Why You Should be an Honest BusinessMan or Woman

Salam,

An honest and truthful businessman shall be in the shade of the throne of Allah. – The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)

Sorry everyone for not posting in like 3 weeks, I was having alot of technical problems with my wordpress honest business, honest business opportunitiesupgrade and it got really annoying like the devil. WordPress upgrades can be real conflicting, sometimes you get a database error, other times you get an internal server error, then all of a sudden your permalinks don’t work, your tags get screwed up and the list goes on. However I decided to just go back to the regular 2.3 version and brother Azeem was able to fix it for me.

“Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, nobody really notices. But when it’s absent, everybody notices.”(Legendary entrepreneur Warren Buffet)

Which leads me to my new topic, yes its about business. Not monkey business, it’s actually about why we should keep our honesty when dealing with customers and especially maintain our Islamic business ethics in our every business matters. I work in a retail store, we sell overpriced clothes for no reason to beat our customers in the head. For example, we have a $1,500 coat in our store, which attracts alot of window shoppers.  Anytime I sense a customer is ready to buy it, I advise them to not get it from my store and get it from saks fifth ave or something. Where you can actually save hundreds, automatically they are stunned.

They can’t understand why an employee in the store would show them so much honesty, I’m not trying to brag about my customer service, the point is treat others how you would want to be treated. Another girl  walked in ready to buy $300 jeans, I also redirected to another store to get a better deal and again she was staring at me like an alien. Calm down, I’m a citizen. But I realized when you break the norm for the right reasons, you are looked upon as as stranger, which in reality is quite disturbing. That shows how backwards we are.

Back to honesty, see me and manager have different philosophy’s on how to run a business, he believes that you should attack every customer and hunt them down until they buy something. See he wants to increase sales as much as possible, me on the other hand, I’m laid back and I like to let customers move freely around the store and shop with interest and conviction.

After all, I think most people would want to be ultra conservative in their spending habits based on the current economic situation. So while you have customers trying to save, you have businesses trying to survive.

The point I’m trying to prove is many people believe that you have to lie in order for your business to get moving. To me that’s throwing away blessings. As a Muslim, the first word that should come to your mind when selling anything is honesty.

Here are some tips I decided to put together to help us all whether we run businesses or work for a business:

  1. Be real with your customers, which means take into consideration all the principles and ethical practices that are absolutely necessary for future growth. Don’t always think about money, if you believe in your service or product and it has selling potential, it will sell for itself. No need to strip peoples pockets.
  2. Keep your promises, false claims can be very viral. If you dissatisfy a customer or mislead them, they will tell others and eventually you will lose customers.
  3. The sunnah is professionalism, (that’s my next article) Most companies practice the sunnah when it comes to customer service, whether its smiling when greeting your customer or being patient and controlling your anger when your client gets you mad.
  4. Practice what you preach. Don’t tell your employees to do something you don’t practice yourself. Lead by example. Cause and effect, show them why fairness, excellence, honesty and integrity is what makes your business succeed.
  5. If your the boss, don’t look down upon your employees. They are your workers, without them you couldn’t survive, being rich is a trial from Allah swt, the ones who are succeed are the ones who are humble.

So yea honesty is the best policy, stop trying to corner your customers. Insha’Allah you keep it real with them and show them the product as it is, and it will be a win – win situation for everyone. It will pay off in the long run, it’s the most profitable investment you can make.

I end with a verse from the Holy Quran to keep us in check:

“Woe to those who deal in fraud, those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure, but when they have to give by measure or weight to men give less than due. Do they not think that they will be called to account on a Mighty Day, a Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds (83:1-6)”

Just because the cameras aren’t watching and taking you into account doesn’t mean God won’t! I’m out wasalaam.

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16 Responses to Why You Should be an Honest BusinessMan or Woman

  1. Umm Layth December 5, 2008 at 1:38 pm #

    Great post! We had a situation occur a few weeks ago where we realized why we struggle buying from Muslim businesses here. We must care and, like you said, treat others the way we would want to be treated. That means that the products must be the best, that the prices aren't robbing people of their money, that respect is present, and that we remain honest!

    Great post and I really like that you tell the customers the truth. Alhamdulillah!

  2. e December 7, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    Masha'Allah thats good you tell the customers the truth! Hope your boss doesnt fire you for it lol!

    Good article !

  3. Hansa December 8, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    assalamu alaikum – I don't think your example of sending customers elsewhere is necessarily a good example of honesty in business. You were being honest to the customers, but not so to your employers. I doubt they intended to hire someone that sends away customers.

    The overall premise of your post is great though.

  4. waleed December 8, 2008 at 6:37 pm #

    I gotta show this to my boss…

  5. bed December 9, 2008 at 11:00 am #

    You really shouldn't be working where you are right now. Different businesses set different prices according the margins they need. Every store is not the same.

    Hansa is very right, because you are being dishonest, just to your employer.

  6. Saad Ahmad Rashad December 9, 2008 at 3:10 pm #

    Well I’m not being dishonest to them, I told my manager my philosophy, on the other hand it’s not a valid reason for them to fire me or for me to leave my employer.

    I only make a sales pitch when I see the customers interest. You would be surprised how honesty from the sales associate’s end – converts into many loyal customers.

    I’m not going to lie to them just to make a sale. Islam teaches the highest business ethics one should implement, and whether your working for a Muslim or Non Muslim, that criteria still applies, or should for that case.

    My goal isn’t to send away customers, my goal is to develop an honest and long lasting relationship with them Inshallah.

    This also reminds me of Islam and how it spread through Indonesia, largely due to the Muslim traders. So I think we should always stick to our principles and be conscious we are Allah swt representatives on earth.

    Forgive me for any information that is not true and if I have in anyway offended you and May Allah swt keep us all on the straight path. Ameen!

  7. MJ December 12, 2008 at 5:23 pm #

    While I agree with you that as Muslims, we should uphold the highest standards of honesty, I’m not completely convinced by your approach. Are your employers happy with your driving away business? Is it right to be honest with the customer but work in a way that diminishes the profits of the store where you work? What about your duty towards your own employer? And if indeed it is an unfairly over-priced store, why work there (assuming there are other options)?

    I don’t mean to be harsh, brother, but these doubts popped up in my mind and I am asking you. I don’t intend to offend you or be critical, I’m just asking. Apologies in advance if the comment comes across as rude.

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