3 BUSINESS PRINCIPLES OF ABDUL RAHMAN IBN AWF WHICH EARNED HIM 13,545 TONS OF GOLD
Most of us consider that a huge amount of money, as well as a highly equipped best team of experts or professionals, is necessary to start a business. But according to historiographer and modern scholars to start any business the only thing required is passion and skills. According to many scholars, the significance and the depth of the word Tajir are more than the word Entrepreneur so it is better to use the word Tajir because the word is not limited in its value system. The first rule of business is to practice this essential principle: The belief that Allah will give you the best if you put in the work. Success and achievements in business come to those who have a clear vision of their dreams, those make every effort towards it and do what it takes to next level or heights of success. Here we are going to discuss the story of a successful business, wealth, and charity of Abdur-Rahman Ibn ‘Awf (R.A). He was one of the very early people who accept Islam. He is one of those ten people whose entry to paradise was told by Prophet Mohammad (Blessing and Peace be upon Him). And When it comes to Muslim businessmen; Abdur-Rahman Ibn ‘Awf’s name was also on the list.
When he died, his wealth valued in Gold Coins was, three billion one hundred three million Dinars (3,103,000,000 – 4.365 gms gold per coin). If the whole wealth is converted into USD then the calculation is approximately 4.365 X 3,103,000,000 X 39 = USD 528,239,205,000. So, it is more than $528 billion dollars. Bill Gates is the richest person in the world as of Dec 2016 and his total net worth is $75 billion. Hazrat Abdul Rahman bin Awf was 7 times richer than the Bill Gates. So how he started his business? Let me tell you. His privileged background was common knowledge as he was the son of a successful businessman, ‘Awf ibn ‘Abd ‘Awf. He was known as a business sensation; his father saw his abilities early when he had taken him out for his business conferences. It didn’t take much time that he became the most successful entrepreneur of his time. When Abdur-Rahman (RA) arrived in Madinah after migration, he has left all his wealth back in Makkah and he had no money at all, so He had to start from the beginning or we could say that start from scratch.
In 622 AD, Almost 70 Muslims were migrated to Madinah with their families. It was a summer season. In Madinah, they were stayed with the Ansar in their houses, until they could arrange for their own homes. Abdur-Rahman (RA) was paired up with Sa’ad Ibn Ar-Rabi’ah (RA). He was one of the well-off men of Madinah. At that time, Sa’ad (RA), with big-heartedness and kindness towards his new brother, told Abdur-Rahman (RA), “Dear brother, I have the most money among the people of Madinah. I have two farms and two wives. See which farm you like, I shall empty it for you, and I shall divorce the wife out of two who is attractive for you.” It is the generous example of love that Muslims had for each other. Sa’ad Ibn Ar-Rabi’ah was ready to give his wealth and family for the happiness of Allah and offer it to his Muslim brother. Many of the Muslims accepted the division offered to them from their Muslim brothers of Madinah, the response of Abdur-Rahman’s (RA) is quite impressive. It is going to give you goosebumps and you will truly appreciate and respect the will of a Muslim. Abdur-Rahman (RA) answered to Sa’ad Ibn Ar-Rabi’ah (RA) by showing great gratitude, “May Allah bless you with your family and money but show me the way where the market is.”
He was talking about “The market of Qainuqa”. He did not wish to become a burden on anyone. During this sadness, there was one optimistic point which was a sign of things to come. He always followed the principle that didn’t take loan or gift from anyone because he had a firm believe that Allah (SWT) would provide him, and he had trust in his ability that he could earn in the open market by finding opportunities. He was a skilled businessman, trained by his father. Before accepting Islam, he was one of the lucky young men of Makkah who was born with silver spoons. He had so much experience that he can smell opportunities and see them everywhere. His passion for seeking opportunities has allowed him to enter the market, use his business wisdom and get benefits from opportunities.
After entering the market from which businesses did Abdur-Rahman start? He started his trading in a very modest and self-effacing way but he was sharp in scaling the chances he found to convert them into an excellent career of trade progress. Abdur-Rahman had started his business by selling some yogurt (dried buttermilk), Oil and butter. The initial capital of his business was 2 or 4 dinars. Soon he quickly found that horse trading had a good scope in the market. So he started to trade the horses, he realized that profit ratio in this business very small due to great and increasing supply and demand. He expanded his business soon so he started to sell the saddles also for the horses, which was very much money-making business as compared to sell horses. As he bought and traded different commodities, saddles, and horses, due to the volume he turned over, his earnings raised rapidly. The brighter future turns into a reality when there are cleanliness and purity in your heart, you are doing your trade with honesty and you know how to measure or scale rightly.
From day one since Abdur-Rahman (RA) began his own business in the market of Qainuqa in Madinah, Allah (SWT) blessed him with reward beyond his expectations. Later Abdur-Rahman became so familiar to business success that he said if he picked up a stone he probably expected to find ornament gold or silver under it! His wealth touched several various businesses. Trade was his profession but he also had agricultural farms besides his business. Camels were the main source for transportation at that time, and for import and export, you would need them. Initially, he took camels from others. Then he bought his own camels to save the expense of transportation and having his own agricultural land and farms can be a source to feed these camels. Essential business principles of Hazrat Abdul Rehman Bin Auf (R.A) were very simple:
1. The first principle of his business is cash. He always bought goods on cash and sold on cash. (So no credit deals)
2. Never wait for the higher profit or never stock things. He always tried to avoid storage of goods, he sold goods even if he was offered with one penny of profit. It derived a High level of flow of money, so the main emphasis was on making earnings by increasing profits.
3. He always made fair deals. He never used to hide any fault in his products. If his product was not up to the mark or if there was even a slight fault in his product, He mentioned it in front of his customer.