(Yunus bin ‘Ubaid [rahimahullah] – Part Two)
One of the outstanding qualities of Yunus bin ‘Ubaid (rahimahullah) was his trustworthiness and honesty in his business dealings. There are many incidents in his life which exhibit his level of trustworthiness and the lengths to which he went in maintaining the highest level of honesty in his dealings.
On one occasion, a woman came to Yunus bin ‘Ubaid (rahimahullah) and offered to sell him a silken robe. Yunus bin ‘Ubaid (rahimahullah) asked her the price, to which she replied, “five hundred.” Yunus bin ‘Ubaid (rahimahullah) responded, “It is worth more than that.” The woman thus increased the price to six hundred, but Yunus bin ‘Ubaid (rahimahullah) again said, “It is worth more than that.” Yunus bin ‘Ubaid (rahimahullah) continued to raise the price in this manner, until he eventually purchased the silken robe from her for one thousand. (Siyaru Aa’laamin Nubalaa vol. 6, pg. 289)
On yet another occasion, a person from Shaam came to the silk market intending to purchase a shawl for four hundred dirhams (silver coins). Yunus bin ‘Ubaid (rahimahullah), who was a merchant in that market, informed him that he had a shawl for two hundred dirhams (which was actually cheaper than what he was prepared to pay). Before they could conclude the sale, the azaan was called out, and Yunus (rahimahullah) left to perform his salaah. After he had completed his salaah and returned, he found that his nephew had sold that very shawl to the same person for four hundred dirhams. Yunus (rahimahullah) approached the man and said to him, “O slave of Allah, this shawl which I had presented to you for two hundred dirhams; if you wish you may keep it and take (your) two hundred dirhams back, and if you wish you may leave the shawl (and take the full amount back).
Amazed at the honesty and character of Yunus (rahimahullah), the person asked Yunus (rahimahullah) who he is. He replied, “A mere individual from amongst the Muslims.” However, when this person insisted thereafter, Yunus (rahimahullah) informed him. This man then explained that when they were out in jihaad and were in the thick of the enemy, whenever they found themselves in a dire situation, they would implore Allah Ta‘ala in the following words, “O Allah, The Rabb of Yunus bin ‘Ubaid, make a way out for us.” (Hilyatul Awliyaa vol. 2, pgs. 293)
In fact, this quality of wishing well for others was found to such a level in him that he would say, “It has become easy for me to take something inferior and I feel obliged to give that which is better.” (Hilyatul Awliyaa vol. 2, pgs. 297)
1. Earning a livelihood is indeed an important aspect in a believer’s life and he is even rewarded for it (when he carries it out in the correct manner). However, in doing so, he must never get distracted and consumed by wealth and worldly possessions, thereby making material gain and profit his primary concern, even at the expense of his Deeni responsibilities and Islamic values. Despite being involved in worldly trade, the heart of Yunus (rahimahullah) was not attached to worldly items in the least, and he could therefore conduct himself in such an exemplary manner.
2. When a person develops within him the consciousness of Allah Ta‘ala to the desired level, he will find it very easy to fulfill the commands of Allah Ta‘ala in every sphere of life, and in any circumstance – whether it is in his domestic life, his salaah and all other acts of worship, his social interactions, and even in his business dealings. The life of Yunus bin ‘Ubaid (rahimahullah) is a glaring example of this, as he was not only an exemplary muhaddith and saint, but was also a trustworthy businessman. His piety was not only restricted to his ‘ibaadah but was apparent even in his business dealings.