Questions & Answers
 

Can a Muslim Woman Travel Alone

  Four Questions about Islam
 

How Can I Become a Better Person

 

Your Guide to Marital Happiness

 

Time Management From an Islamic Perspective

 

How Does Islam View Human Emotions

  Is it True that There's an Authentic Hadith Where the Prophet Refused to Set Prices at the Time of Famine is Madina
 

Hijab: Is it all about appearance (pleasing Allah vs. Pleasing a Husband)

  Price Differentiation, Can I sell at different places with different prices
  Was Lady Aisha a Child When She Married Prophet Mohammad
 

Roles in Marriage: Psychological and Islamic Perspectives

  Can A Muslim Be Depressed ?
  Why do I feel bored most of the time?
  Why can Muslim Men Marry non-Muslim Women when non-Muslim Men can not Marry Muslim Women?
  Did Lady Aisha Participate in the Camel Battle? Why? And What Exactly Happened in this Occasion?
  How can Islam be a Solution to Contemporary Problem? And How Come Women Can not be Nation Leaders in Islam? Why?
 
 
 

Questions such as why human beings were created, and why certain events occur as opposed to others, and why someone had to die and not another, can not be answered by the human mind in and of itself. A simple reason is the fact that human beings are not even able to uncover the mysteries of their own brain! The human mind is only able to identify existing rules, which Allah has put in nature, and use them to come up with new connections. That is why Allah,

  the One and Only Perfect Creator of the universe, has sent messengers, Prophets (peace be upon them all) since the beginning of time, from among the best of human beings, to guide human beings
 

Is it True that There's an Authentic Hadith Where the Prophet Refused to Set Prices at the Time of Famine is Madina

 

This hadith is a sahih (authentic) hadith but there are few issues which I have to make clear so that it is not misunderstood. It has to be understood in context of three important considerations: 1) Islamic legislation (Shari'a), 2) other sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him), 3) as well as the particular context in which the Prophet (PBUH) mentioned those words. I think this makes perfect sense.

In general, Islam is against communism and is totally for personal property rights. Even for husbands and wives, the wife's property is hers and is not for the husband to interfere in without her permission.

Back to the subject, the hadith you mentioned taken in isolation (and hence misunderstood ) would give an image that is totally against the spirit of Islam. It implies manipulation of a certain situation and this will only be to the benefit of one sector of society (which is the rich merchants who own the goods). This is totally against Islamic spirit which looks at the benefits and well-being (welfare) of ALL sectors of society and in fact that is the primary reason spending in charity (Zakah) is mandatory in Islam. In the Qur'an, chapter 59, verse number 7, Allah (Praise by to Him the One and Only) says:

Surah Number: 59, Ayah Number: 7
The spoils of war taken from the villagers and given by Allah to His Messenger belong to Allah, His Messenger and the near kinsmen, the orphans, the needy and the destitute traveler, so that it is not something taken in turns by the rich among you . Whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it; and whatever he forbids you, abstain. And fear Allah; surely, Allah is Stern in retribution.

Let me take back the three considerations I mentioned earlier:

1) The hadith has to be understood in the context of Islamic legislation (Shari'a) which always considers what is called al-masaleh (the welfare of people). This takes supreme primacy in Islam. So, the Prophet PBUH refused to put a fixed price himself  for the particular community he was ruling at the time (which was a special and very generous community indeed already, as we will see in point 3) so that for instance the price he puts for rice or else does not become mandatory till the end of time; it can be flexible in every society/time period/circumstances etc, since Islam is a universal religion that is not pertinent to the Arabs or to the time of the Prophet PBUH only. But that does not mean that the Prophet PBUH forbade fixed pricing in general. Consider a circumstance where the waleyy (the governor) sees it to the best interest of people to fix the price of a certain good, then Islamic legislation allows it since it does not negate a clear-cut verse or hadith. In fact, it is confirming the Islamic spirit in buying and selling as I will explain in the next point.

2) There are other authentic sayings by the Prophet PBUH that make this saying understandable in its context. For instance, the Prophet PBUH said "The honest merchant is with the Prophets, the ones constantly sincere, the martyrs, and the righteous". Also, "Allah has mercy on the man who is generous in buying and generous in selling.". The exact reference (which I will explain below insha' Allah) for those two ahadith is available but unfortunately in Arabic only.

3)  Another yet important consideration is understanding the hadith in context: who was the Prophet PBUH talking to back then? which is the Madina. How was the Muslim State in Madina? What were the people like? Surely, the Prophet PBUH was not worried about manipulation, otherwise if he saw dangers of exploitation, he would have commented on them. He PBUH never witnesses injustice. As to how the Muslim State went in Madina, I encourage u to read the following small article on that from IslamOnline (which is one of the BEST credible sources on Islam in English on the internet):

The article is called: Lend a Helping Hand

Now, there are generally two issues which have to be taken seriously when searching for Islamic information:

1) Sources:

Islamic information should only be gotten from credible Islamic sources to be on the safe side. This makes sense since for instance if u want to know about economics, u should ask economists (not engineers for instance). The author of this excerpt u sent should have not have referred to this hadith in isolation since it gives the wrong meaning (like a green card to set whatever prices unconditionally)! This is not the case of course.

Personally, I consult non-Muslim books occasionally in religious matters for more info on how others see Islam or for more broad philosophical views in the modern times, but for credible information, I go back to the Qur'an and the Prophetic sayings (Hadith and Sunnah) as well as credible scholars thru credible sources. U will get to know those by time. U will also get to know that not all Islamic sources are truly Islamic sources. There are different sects which claim to be among the Muslims (but in fact they have gone far astray from the Qur'an and Sunnah), such as some sects of Shee'a (not all) sources or others. The way of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is the best way since he is the only one who knew what Allah (praise be to Him) wanted best.

2) Hadith Science and Methodology:

No one on the planet (or anywhere else for that matter) is entitled to say something on the Prophet's tongue that is not documented. Muslims are even very careful about that. Hadith (Prophetic sayings) are well-documented and thoroughly-researched in Islamic theology. Nothing further needs to be done about that. It was all thoroughly scrutinized in the ages after the Prophet's death, starting by the end of the Righteous Caliphate. Every hadith has to have a "chain of narrators" (whose details are known in what is called 'Elm Ar-Rijal (Science of Men) and this is known by scholars and has to be written, and also the citation for the hadith has to be shown (from which hadith book? Al-Bukhari or Muslim or Abu-Dawud or who? There are six most credible hadith books and are well-known). Hadiths also vary in levels of credibility. U can even search online on databases such as www.islaam.net in the Hadith Search icon at the side.

In general, here are some interesting links on Hadith (Prophetic sayings) methodology so you can take care of this in the future:

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?cid=1158658418307&pagename=Zone-English-Living_Shariah/Topic/LSESectionList

as well as on the importance of Hadith and Sunnah (broad term for all Prophetic acts):

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1158658455619&pagename=Zone-English-Living_Shariah%2FLSELayout

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1209357520067&pagename=Zone-English-Living_Shariah%2FLSELayout

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1158658459185&pagename=Zone-English-Living_Shariah%2FLSELayout

Related to the topic, as you know, spirituality is embedded in every form of life in Islam since Islam is a way of life not just a religion to be practiced in certain instances or on certain particular occasions. This link below is on Prophetic sayings related to famines and how prayer is done to ask Allah for rain (that was one of the primary causes of famines back then):

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1158658446211&pagename=Zone-English-Living_Shariah%2FLSELayout

Please feel free to ask more questions anytime. Hope the above helps.