Tafsir Zone - Surah 17: Al-Isra (The Night Journey )

Tafsir Zone

Surah Al-Isra 17:35

Overview (Verse 35)

Just Weight and Measure
The code of conduct the sūrah outlines also speaks about fairness in commercial dealings:
And give full measure whenever you measure, and weigh with accurate scales. That is fair, and best in the end. (Verse 35)

The relevance of fulfilling promises and giving fair and full measure and weight is readily apparent, both in meaning and expression. This makes the progress from one to the other easy and smooth. To be fair in transactions and to give full weight and measure are actions which mark honest dealing and good faith. Thus internal dealings within the community are set on the right footing which promotes trust and honesty, and ensures blessings all round: “That is fair, and best in the end.” (Verse 35) It is good in this life as it maintains fairness, and better in the hereafter as it ensures good reward.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: ‘Anyone who is able to secure unlawful gain yet abandons this for no reason other than fearing God will certainly receive from God what is better than such gain here in this life, before they receive their reward in the life to come.”
Giving in to greed and stinginess in weight and measure betrays meanness and dishonesty which destroys trust within the community. It leads to poor trading, and a lack of blessings and trust in the community. This is bound to have repercussions on individuals who find themselves losers after they had thought to gain through selling people short. Whatever gain they may make is superficial and short- lived. Stagnation of trade, which is a by-product of such stinting, is certain to show its effects on individuals.
This is a fact, recognized by far-sighted business people. They maintain honesty as a business principle not because of any ethical, moral or religious motive, but because they see from practical experience that it delivers much better gain. Thus one person may be fair in business and give full weight and measure for practical and trade reasons while another does the same as part of implementing his religious convictions. The difference between the two is that the latter gets all the benefits received by the former in addition to maintaining a clear conscience and looking towards higher horizons. He benefits by a much broader vision of life. This clearly shows that Islam fulfils the objectives of practical life while building its wider concepts and happier environment.