Hoarding commodities is referred to as Ihtikaar in juristic terminologies. It is a situation where a buyer buys goods or commodities in order to sell them during burdensome and trying times at inflated and soaring prices.
Indeed, the pious predecessors and traders exercised due diligence in trade to attain the lofty status promised by the Messenger of Allah ﷺ in paradise alongside the Prophets, the truthful ones(As-Siddeeqeen) and the Shuhada(the Martyrs).
In this regard, Imam Ghazali narrated that there was a person living in Waasit (a town in Iraq), who shipped a boat of apples to the city of Basra. He wrote to his agent there saying: "Sell this food the day it gets to you and do not delay it till the next day. The commodities upon arrival in Basra had very high demand. The agent was advised by other traders to hoard the products until the following Friday in order to double his profit. The agent did that and actually got twice the profit. He wrote to the owner of the products informing him of the good outcome of the sales. The owner wrote back to him saying: "We were content with the little profit while ensuring the safety of our deen (faith), but you actually went against this concept and we hate to make double profit which may lead to losing some part of our Deen (faith). You indeed committed a crime against us, hence, when you receive this letter of mine, distribute all the money among the poor and needy Muslims of Basra. I wish to be protected from the sin of hoarding up food for higher prices.”
Hoarding of essential goods for higher prices is contrary to the quality of righteous. This practice consists of uneasiness, tightening and strangulating the living conditions of people, hence, compelling its prohibition.
Its prohibition is also reported in some Ahaadith of Nabi ﷺ. Nabi ﷺ said: "May the importer be blessed and the monopolist (holder) be cursed.”
In another hadith: "He who hoards up food from the Muslims, May Allah inflict him with leprosy and bankruptcy.”
In another hadith he ﷺ said: "He who hoards up food for more than forty days(in pursuit of higher prices) Allah has no need for him and he has no need for Allah."
In conclusion, hoarding is a forbidden practice as it leads to the constricting and tightening of the people in their food and living conditions. It is upon traders to know that Allah has has made this practice forbidden, nor is it part of helping one another towards good deeds and piety.
May Allah grant us the understanding and ability to reflect and practice upon the Sunnah in every circumstance.
Muhammad Saloojee


Jamiatul Ulama Western Cape


Branch Code:  198765

Zakaat Account Number:  2010789571

Lillah Account Number: 2010789563



Sunday, 14 April 2024
Saturday, 04 Shawwal 1445

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