Imaam slams traders for unreasonable price hikes

Sheikh Salah Al-Bedair, Imaam of al-Masjid an-Nabawee in Madeenah, yesterday criticized merchants for exorbitant increase in prices of essential commodities and services in the country.

Delivering his Friday sermon, the Imaam said Sharee’ah does not provide unrestricted freedom to traders to charge exorbitant prices causing harm to the public and increasing their financial burden.

He said Islamic scholars have called for preventing such traders from charging unreasonable prices. “They made this call inspired by the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).”

The Imaam’s call came after prices of some essential commodities reached its all-time peak causing concern among the public. The Shoura Council had called Commerce and Industry Minister Dr. Hashem Yamani to discuss the issue.

Al-Bedair also spoke about the negative effect of rising prices on individuals and society, adding that it would put social, economic and psychological pressures. Moreover, the poor will find it difficult to buy essential commodities.

“It will also lead to corruption as people will start resorting to illegal ways to make money to meet their needs,” he explained. The Prophet has warned that those who try to increase prices causing difficulties to the public would be punished severely on the Day of Judgment, he added.

The Imaam urged Muslim traders to show sympathy toward others, saying that God will bless those who show mercy toward their fellow beings with more wealth and better health.

Minister Yamani told the Shoura that hike in prices of consumer goods was part of a global trend and not because of any fault on the part of his ministry. He said the ministry would not interfere with market forces. He said consumers in the Kingdom have a variety of options to choose from. “One can always go for goods that suit his budget,” he added.