Q 2: I seek to know your opinion regarding the following matter. In our country, the authority compels traders to sell goods for a fixed price (the pricing system), especially foodstuff. These prices are unjust to the trader, as they were fixed a long time ago and expenses have increased. Thus, traders resort to monopolizing goods and selling them to anyone who agrees to pay a higher price. They can also keep the goods with them for a while, but this causes injustice to the buyer. What is the buyer's stance toward monopolizing traders? Should a buyer deal with them out of need, especially as most of (Part No. 13; Page No. 185) the necessary goods are monopolized and the buyer has nothing to do but to yield and buy them at the higher price? It is also useless and will not remove injustice if a buyer informs the authorities concerned.

A: If traders and the like agree with each other on raising the prices of their goods, seeking their own profit, the ruler has the right to fix a reasonable price for the goods. This ensures justice of the transaction between the buyer and the seller and conforms to the famous juristic rule that provides for bringing good to averting evil. However, if the traders do not agree with one another, but the prices rise due to a higher demand for goods without any deception, the ruler does not have the right to fix prices, but he should leave the people to earn their living. Based on that, it is not permissible for traders to raise the prices outrageously or to fix them.The same meaning is expressed in a Hadith related on the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said, Prices became high during the lifetime of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The people said, "O, Messenger of Allah! If only you could fix prices for us." Thereupon, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "Allah is the One Who withholds, gives lavishly, provides and Who fixes prices. I hope to meet Allah, without anyone having any claim against me for doing them injustice regarding their blood or property." (Related by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and Al-Tirmidhy who regarded it as Sahih; authentic) It is also related on the authority of (Part No. 13; Page No. 186)  Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said, A man came and said, "O Messenger of Allah! Fix the prices." He said, "No, but I shall supplicate to Allah." Then, another man came and said, "O Messenger of Allah! Fix the prices." He said, "It is Allah Who makes the prices go up or down." May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.