In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Unjust Trade & Hidden Cost

It is clearly implied in Quran that those who reverence the meeting of God and are certain of their accountability for their choices strive to stay honest and just towards their own souls and towards others. They value and adore both truth and justice. They fully comprehend and appreciate all that it takes to be among the truthful. Thus, their submission and love for God is validated through their strife to live every moment in His presence with truth and honesty. Remembering Him, smiling at Him while rejoicing in His blessings, worshiping Him and obeying His commands are moments of truth and justice. These are the ones who will be saved by their truthfulness on the Day of Judgment (5:119).

Those who become accustomed to lying and dishonesty readily cheat people out of their rights, offer false testimonies and transgress when they are involved in any kind of trading/exchanging transaction. God exposes this kind of unethical behavior in few verses such as 26:181-184, 83:1-4, 7:85, and 17:35. By the constant enticement of Satan, their behavior could easily escalate to worse day after day to lead to compromising and trading away more of God's commands on the expense of their own souls and their eternal destiny. At all levels of violations, the foundation is one and the same: cheating & unjust trade; they have been receiving full measure and showered with countless blessings and overwhelming proofs from the Almighty. Yet, when it comes to giving back, and even though they recognize and witness all of that, they cheat and hypocritically fail to validate their recognition and express their appreciation (16:83, 3:86). They transgress against their own souls (83:1-3). God describes this level of unjust trade in many verses like:

[3:187] God took a covenant from those who received the scripture: "You shall proclaim it to the people, and never conceal it." But they disregarded it behind their backs, and traded it away for a cheap price. What a miserable trade.

[9:9] They traded away God's revelations for a cheap price. Consequently, they repulsed the people from His path. Miserable indeed is what they did!

[2:41] You shall believe in what I have revealed herein, confirming what you have; do not be the first to reject it. Do not trade away My revelations for a cheap price, and observe Me.

God explains why such trade never prospers. Once we slip and start to compromise any of God's teachings, it is a given that we will gradually start earning a sin after the other through the unrighteous choices and actions that would follow. Our feet start to settle in a dangerous zone. If we do not recognize our deviation and allow God's ethics to be in full control again, we face the consequences for our own choices. Such consequences boil down to : 1- loss of the privilege of the divine guidance on earth by our own choice (19:75-76). Such divine guidance is exclusive for those who choose God alone and His teachings. And 2- eternal misery in the Hereafter. Trade will permanently end once we leave this earth and meet God at the end of the journey. In other words, we can no longer trade His ultimate judgment or our eternal shame and disgrace.

God explains this tragic loss in the following verses:

[23:62] We never burden any soul beyond its means, and we keep a record that utters the truth. No one will suffer injustice.
[23:63] Because their minds are oblivious to this, they commit works that do not conform with this; their works are evil.
[23:64] Then, when we requite their leaders with retribution, they complain.
[23:65] Do not complain now; you have given up all help from us.

[14:31] Exhort My servants who believed to observe the Contact Prayers (Salat), and to give (to charity) from our provisions to them, secretly and publicly, before a day comes where there is neither trade, nor nepotism.

It is worthy to always remember and remind the believers with the above two hidden costs of this kind of cheap and unjust trade:

  1. God's guidance on earth that we are all desperate for to strengthen our belief and keep us progressing on the straight path completely ceases when the practice of cheating and hypocrisy persists with no return and reform. This means total darkness all the way until the Last Day:

    [51:10] Woe to the falsifiers.
    [51:11] In their blundering, they are totally heedless.

    [2:16] It is they who bought the straying, at the expense of guidance. Such trade never prospers, nor do they receive any guidance.

    [4:137] Surely, those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe, then disbelieve, then plunge deeper into disbelief, God will not forgive them, nor will He guide them in any way.

    [19:75] Say, "Those who choose to go astray, the Most Gracious will lead them on, until they see what is promised for them - either the retribution or the Hour. That is when they find out who really is worse off, and weaker in power."

    [6:110] We control their minds and their hearts. Thus, since their decision is to disbelieve, we leave them in their transgressions, blundering.

  2. Their final abode in misery is explicitly worded in Quran. However, for them, it will be "the unexpected". The cost of cheating and hypocrisy stays hidden until the shocking destination is reached. God warns against the deception of Satan that blinds until the very end :

    [18:103] Say, "Shall I tell you who the worst losers are?
    [18:104] "They are the ones whose works in this life are totally astray, but they think that they are doing good."
    [18:105] Such are the ones who disbelieved in the revelations of their Lord and in meeting Him. Therefore, their works are in vain; on the Day of Resurrection, they have no weight.

    [6:23] Their disastrous response will be, "By God our Lord, we never were idol worshipers."

    [57:13] On that day, the hypocrite men and women will say to those who believed, "Please allow us to absorb some of your light." It will be said, "Go back behind you, and seek light." A barrier will be set up between them, whose gate separates mercy on the inner side, from retribution on the outer side.
    [57:14] They will call upon them, "Were we not with you?" They will answer, "Yes, but you cheated your souls, hesitated, doubted, and became misled by wishful thinking, until God's judgment came. You were diverted from God by illusions.

    [34:52] They will then say, "We now believe in it," but it will be far too late.

    [3:90] Those who disbelieve after believing, then plunge deeper into disbelief, their repentance will not be accepted from them; they are the real strayers.

    [4:18] Not acceptable is the repentance of those who commit sins until death comes to them, then say, "Now I repent." Nor is it acceptable from those who die as disbelievers. For these, we have prepared a painful retribution.

It is a divine will that those cheaters are prevented to perceive the devastating hidden cost of their hypocrisy and unjust trade, in this life and in the Hereafter. It is a divine will they lose the understanding, the hearing and the eyesight. It is a divine will they do not recognize their soul deterioration when they permanently deviate from the monotheistic path and when they are deprived from the divine guidance. They behave like fools and utter nonsense because they have lost the intelligence and the good logic they once had. Like parrots, they mimic the same historical statements lost souls have been uttering all along but they do not even notice that! They follow the same exact patterns of hypocrisy described in Quran. It is ironic how they do not hear their own misguided voices, or see their wobbly foot steps because they have become deaf, and they have been divinely wrapped up in layers of darkness. And that's a divine will.

[2:118] Those who possess no knowledge say, "If only God could speak to us, or some miracle could come to us!" Others before them have uttered similar utterances; their minds are similar. We do manifest the miracles for those who have attained certainty.

[63:1] When the hypocrites come to you they say, "We bear witness that you are the messenger of God." God knows that you are His messenger, and God bears witness that the hypocrites are liars.
[63:2] Under the guise of their apparent faith, they repel the people from the path of God. Miserable indeed is what they do.
[63:3] This is because they believed, then disbelieved. Hence, their minds are blocked; they do not understand.

The recognition of wrong actions is a trait of true believers (3:135, 7:201). Fixing those wrong actions, firmly, is also a trait of true believers (3:135, 9:112). The persistence in sin, is a choice for the arrogant disbelievers. May God alert us to our mistakes. May He spare our souls any form of unjust trade and may He always remind all the believers with its hidden cost.

[3:8] "Our Lord, let not our hearts waver, now that You have guided us. Shower us with Your mercy; You are the Grantor.

[18:10]... "Our Lord, shower us with Your mercy, and bless our affairs with Your guidance."

[1:6] Guide us in the right path;
[1:7] the path of those whom You blessed; not of those who have deserved wrath, nor of the strayers.

Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.