Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh said the government should intervene to regulate the prices of commodities to protect people from traders who hike prices to exorbitant levels.
“There is no definite religious statement about how much profit a trader can take,” Al-Asheikh said. “But the government official concerned has the authority to control the price if the cause of rising prices is foul play by greedy traders,” Al-Asheikh said in a statement.
On the other hand, if the root cause of the rising prices is related to its original manufacturing cost, nothing can be done, the sheikh said.
“The Ministry of Commerce and Industry should ascertain the prices are genuine and reasonable. If the prices are artificially pushed up, the ministry should fix the prices at a level conforming to the needs of the people without causing loss to traders,” the grand mufti said.
The mufti also reminded traders that the Kingdom’s government is not levying any tax and its ports are open for imports without restrictions.
When asked about the Shariah stand on boycotting goods that have unreasonably high prices, the sheikh said if a consumer does not buy an item because he knows the price is artificially hiked, it gives a signal to the market that the consumers are aware of traders’ ploys.
“However, it would be better if the ministry stepped in in such situations and solved the issue after investigating if the price hike was justifiable or not,” the grand mufti added.
Speaking on the issue of violent protests against the recurring abuse and hate campaign against the Prophet (peace be upon him) in different parts of the world, he said the method of venting anger at the abuse should not go beyond the lawful limits to criminal and violent acts, which are banned in Islam.
“The Muslims should not return the hateful acts of the Prophet’s (pbuh) enemies in the same coin. The abuse should be denounced in a balanced manner and strictly keeping to the Prophet’s (pbuh) noble teachings. A falsehood should not be countered with a wrong deed but with the truth and the right,” the mufti said.
In his view, the best way to end the hate campaigns against the Prophet (pbuh) and Islam is to spread his great teachings in the correct manner. The truth is bound to overcome the falsehoods of Islam’s enemies. “So we should make the maximum use of our media as well as other’s to spread the noble qualities and conduct of the Prophet (pbuh) as a reply to all anti-Islam campaigns. Angry and foolish response will do no good,” the grand mufti said.
On a question about his objection to a film on the Prophet (pbuh), he said, it was because he feared there might creep in some kind of abuse or factual error in such a project.
“When a film on Umar bin Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) was made, some mistakes and abuse occurred. Familiarization and defense of the Prophet (pbuh) is the exclusive task of trustworthy men of religion, piety and scholarship, no one else. It is a known fact that cinematic business aims only at winning more viewers and profit. Its producers and actors do not care for the nature of the content or its results,” the grand mufti said, rejecting the move as unacceptable.