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Monopoly and Islam

Islam suggests all Muslims seek sustenance for their lives through various methods possible such as business, trading goods, and securing a steady job. Trading is a business that is particularly suggested by Islam, as it has been done by the Muslim ancestors, as well as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). But to run halal trading requires help from the Holy Quran and the Hadith, so that the business will be getting the blessing and pleasure from Allah SWT, both in the world and the Hereafter. Allah says:

لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا مِن دِيَارِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا وَيَنصُرُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ

“For the poor emigrants, those who were expelled from their homes and their properties, seeking bounty from Allah and pleasure and helping Allah and His Messenger. Those, they (are) the truthful.” (Surah Al-Hashr 59:8)

Monopoly, or Ihtikar in Arabic, is a prohibited practice in Islam because it leads to injustice. Islam teaches us to do business in the right way, and this has been taught as the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) gave us an example. The monopoly of this activity is strictly forbidden in Islam, below here Allah says in the Quran. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُم بَيْنَكُم بِالْبَاطِلِ إِلَّا أَن تَكُونَ تِجَارَةً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنكُمْ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَنفُسَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا

“O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.” (Surah an-Nisa 4:29)

Stockpiling of goods is one part of the way of monopoly, using; for example, a trader stockpiling the rice that circulating in the community. Then, when rice is in crisis, it is sold at a high price. This is what makes people finally harmed.

“Whoever stockpiling goods, then he sinned, “(Muslim)

Monopoly activities can indeed damage market prices, which at first low prices become high and otherwise which should be sold at high prices instead sold at low prices. Damaging market prices is also an act that is prohibited by Islam, as the following hadith below states that.

“Whoever does shikar to damage market prices so that prices rise sharply, then it is sinful.”(Ibn Majah)

A monopoly is an act that prohibits in Islam, so what is the law of the prohibitions of monopoly in Islam?

Below here is some Prohibition of monopoly in Islam you should know:

  1. The conditions for allowing a monopoly in Islam
  2. No limitation to the prohibition of monopoly
  3. It can negatively affect the goods available
  4. Allah the Most Just in giving sustenance
  5. Always be friendly and polite
  6. Stockpiling of goods
  7. Human life assets
  8. Placed in hellfire
  9. Be honest in trading
  10. It will damage the market prices
  11. Monopoly is something that Allah forbids
  12. Responsible for providing community needs
  13. The legal basis for prohibiting monopoly in Islam
  14. Preventing things that make it difficult for humans

Stockpiling goods can also negatively affect existing goods. In a hadith, it is explained that the goods which are piled up or the food is piled up for 40 days, Allah will abandon his responsibility and go away. Monopolists are usually people who have power and he likes to hoard these items. Also, if he hears the price of an item is cheap he will feel disappointed, but if it is instead, he will feel happy. O Muhammad], they rushed to it and left you standing. Allah says:

فَإِذَا قُضِيَتِ الصَّلَاةُ فَانتَشِرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَابْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ وَاذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

“Then when is concluded the prayer, then disperse in the land and seek from (the) Bounty of Allah, and remember Allah much so that you may succeed.” (Surah Al-Jumu`ah 62:10)

If the mosque is the noblest place, then the market is the worst place, why? Because in the market a lot of people carry out hoarding, cheating, and counterfeiting of goods that make people suffer losses. Below here, the Prophet said in his hadith.

“The best places are mosques, and the worst places are markets”. ( Thabrani)

The conditions for allowing a monopoly in Islam are as follows; a buyer or seller may stock up on food or goods to be transported into the house before reselling them at a reasonable price. Below is one of the hadiths that explain this.

From Ibnu Umar r.a. he said: “I saw people who bought food without being weighed in the time of the Prophet Muhammad they were prohibited from selling it unless they had to transport it to their homes first.”(Bukhari, and Muslim)

Whoever dares to do a monopoly at market prices Allah will put him in hellfire. Indeed, Allah will give a very painful punishment to the monopolist. A seller must have a responsibility as a provider of community needs. However, if he has hoarded, cheated in price and it is not done honestly, Allah Almighty will befall him with losses.

“Allah Almighty is He is The Most Merciful to someone generous when he sells when buying and or when demanding rights.” (Bukhari)

Both traders and sellers must always be friendly and polite in carrying out buying and selling. Besides that, it must also be honest, full of responsibility, and do not do cheat. Indeed, Allah will give His mercy to those who are kind. Allah will give many rewards as the most rewarding deeds in Islam. Below here is the hadith.

Monopoly in Nowadays Situation

Here is an example of a monopoly. It can be distinctively defined by certain types since there are many of them. But some examples could be taken:

  1. Monopoly is the production process of a product, whether it’s by a group or individually. To control the pricing, competitive production, and supply.
  2. Monopoly in certain trades or services. When a group monopolizes the whole process and prevent others from providing the same services. Meanwhile, society is in high need of the service.

وَأَذَانٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ إِلَى النَّاسِ يَوْمَ الْحَجِّ الْأَكْبَرِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ بَرِيءٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ وَرَسُولُهُ فَإِن تُبْتُمْ فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَإِن تَوَلَّيْتُمْ فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّكُمْ غَيْرُ مُعْجِزِي اللَّهِ وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

“And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people (on the) day (of) the Greater Pilgrimage that Allah (is) free from obligations [of] (to) the polytheists, and (so is) His Messenger. So if you repent, then, it is best for you. But if you turn away then know that you (can) not escape Allah. And give glad tidings (to) those who disbelieve of a punishment painful (Surah At-Taubah 9:3)

Then, how do you trade that is recommended by Islam? First, do it honestly and use a measure or scale with the correct balance sheet. The goods or conditions of food ingredients are also in good condition and it is not rotten. Below here, Allah says:

وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ إِذَا كِلْتُمْ وَزِنُوا بِالْقِسْطَاسِ الْمُسْتَقِيمِ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا

“And give full measure when you measure and weigh with an even balance. That is the best [way] and best in the result.” (Surah Al-Isra` 17:35)

Monopoly cannot be restrictively and exhaustively defined due to its many types, but it is possible to cite some of the examples the jurists mentioned when they talked about monopoly. As it has been prohibited in Islam, we Muslims should avoid any practice of monopoly in our lives. Even though we gain a huge amount of money from it, the huge sins will come along as well.