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The Real Wolves of Wall-Street

Islamic Salvation

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يا جابر كم من عبد إن غاب لم يفقدوه و إن شهد لم يعرفوه  

            في أطمار لو أقسم على الله لأبره قسمه                    

O Jabir - how a many a man there is - if he is absent they do not ask about him, and if he is present they do not recognize him,

In ragged clothes, but if he swears an oath upon Allah - then Allah surely fulfills his oath for him. [Ja’far al-Sadiq]

 

The Real Wolves of Wall-Street

A better metaphor for a certain type of ambitious, cut-throat, high level banker than wolf [or other members of the extended canine family for that matter] is not easy to find. This is because they share the same aggression combined with a very low regard for the financial health of the many innocent whose wealth they play around with.

A narration from the commander of the faithful, which in some variants is attributed to the prophet (via Ali), predicts just such persons in a future age, going on to describe their practices with an accuracy that only prophetic insight can bring.

The narration is found in Uyun Akhbar al-Rida of al-Saduq (and other sources), and is represented below:

ن: بالاسانيد الثلاثة، عن الرضا، عن آبائه، عن الحسين بن علي عليهم السلام قال: خطبنا أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام فقال: سيأتي على الناس زمان عضوض يعض المؤمن على ما في يده ولم يؤمر بذلك، قال الله تعالى: وَلَا تَنْسَوُا الْفَضْلَ بَيْنَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ وسيأتي زمان يقدم فيه الاشرار وينسئ فيه الاخيار، ويبايع المضطر – وقد نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله عن بيع المضطر وعن بيع الغرر – فاتقوا الله يا أيها الناس واصلحوا ذات بينكم، واحفظوني في أهلي

Uyun: Via the three chains from al-Ridha from his forefathers from al-Husayn b. Ali عليهم السلام  who said: the commander of the faithfulعليه السلام  addressed us and said: there will come upon people an extremely severe age, the believer will cling on tightly to that which is in his hand while he was not ordered to do that - Allah the Exalted says: “and do not forget liberality between yourselves, verily Allah is aware of what you do” (2:237), and there will come a time wherein evil men will be given precedence and the righteous will be forgotten, deals are conducted with the one in distress, while the messenger of Allah prohibited transaction with the one in distress, and [also prohibited] the deceptive sale, so fear Allah O people and mend the ties between you, and safeguard me through [honoring] my descendants.

Ref: Muhammad Asif al-Muhsini, Mu'jam al-Ahadith al-Mu'tabara, Bab al-Sakha wa al-Bukhl, Kitab al-Akhlaq (Qum: Dar Nashr Adyan; 1st edition, 1434 H), Vol. 3, Pg. 172, No.6.

 

Commentary

« يأتي على الناس زمان عضوض »

<<There will come upon people an extremely severe age>>

زمان عضوض  is a key phrase which I have rendered as ‘an extremely severe age’, but it has its subtleties which need to be fleshed out.

عض  originally means

العَضُّ الشدُّ بالأَسنان على الشيء

‘to bite onto/take hold of something using teeth’

عَضُوضٌ  is derived fromعض  and primarily used as a descriptive adjective for an animal, and one animal in particular, it is said:كلب عَضُوضٌ  a dog that bites habitually.

This was extended analogically to derive other meanings (but is still intimately associated with its original meaning):

 

[I] When applied to rule or dominion it has the special significance of tyranny, as though the subjects thereof are being bitten by a dog.

It has been used with this meaning in the famous narration of the prophet in Sunni sources:

إن الله عز وجل بدأ هذا الأمر نبوة ورحمة ، وكائناً خلافة ورحمة، وكائناً ملكاً عضوضاً

Allah Mighty and Majestic began this affair with prophethood and mercy, and then will be succession and mercy, and then will be aملكاً عضوضاً  (tyrannical kingdom). This is how various annotators defined ملكاً عضوضاً:

شديد الظلم على الناس، يعضهم كالكلب

Excessive in tyranny on the people, tearing into them like a dog.

قال  ابن الأثير في النهاية: يصيب الرعية فيه عسْفٌ وظُلْم، كأنَّهم  يُعَضُّون فيه عَضًّا

Ibn Athir says in al-Nihaya: The civilians will be inflicted in it with oppression and tyranny, as if they are being bitten in it with bites.

وهو نص على عدم شرعية حكم معاوية وأنه حكم جائر يعض المسلمين كالكلب

And this is a clear proof-text proving the illegitimacy of the rule of Muawiya, and that he was an unjust ruler who will bite the Muslims like a dog.

Very early evidence for this usage is also found in a letter of Talha to the people of Misr (inciting them against Uthman) in al-Imama wa al-Siyasa of pseudo-Ibn Qutayba

وكانت الخلافة بعد نبيّنا خلافة نبوّة ورحمة، وهي اليوم ملك عضوض، مَن غلب على شي ء أكَلَه

The Khilafa after our prophet was a Khilafa of prophethood and mercy, but it is today a tyrannical kingdom, whoever over-powers something eats it up.

 

[II] When applied to a time-period or an age it has the special significance of severe, as though the age is biting those living through it because of various difficulties that it contains.

It has been used with this meaning in the poem below:

إليك أشكو زمناً عَضوضاً         مَن يَنْجُ منه ينقلب حَرِيضا

To you I complain زمناً عَضوضاً  (a severe age)     whoever is saved from it returns back sickened

A commentator says about this زمناً عَضوضاً:

أي كلب يقال: كلب الدهر على أهله إذا ألحّ عليهم واشتدّ

Meaning hard. It is said: the time has become hard on the people if it constantly presses on them and becomes extreme.

زمان يعضّ الناس ككلب كلب

Al-Tustari: an age which bites the people like a rabid dog.

I say: We can see thatعضوض  connotes both unjust rule and an extremely severe [austere] period to come in the future. What is the most common way in which the modern economic system is described? A rapacious and increasingly ravenous dog eat dog world with great wealth owned by a few and austerity for the rest. And all this is alluded to in the narration!

زمان الضيق و الشدّة على أهله من جهة ضيق المعاش و كثرة القوانين و الحدود الموضوعة من الظلمة و الجبّارين على الضّعفاء و المساكين و غير ذلك

Mir Habib Allah al-Khoei: This age is characterized by poverty and troubles on its people, this is due to the constriction in their living, and the numerous man-made laws and rules which are enacted by unjust and tyrannic rulers over the weak and poor.

I say: Global poverty (inequality) is the main scourge of the modern economic system.

 

  « يعض المؤمن على ما في يده »

<<the believer will cling on tightly to that which is in his hand>> 

There is surely a mistake in this clause since it is not something we expect a believer to do, sure enough, when we look at the Nahj al-Balagha variant of this same tradition it says:

« يعض الموسر على ما في يديه »

<<the well-off will cling on tightly to that which is in his hands>>

فلا يدع أن يخرج منه خير إلى غيره

Al-Tustari: so he will not allow any of his wealth to go to anyone else.

عض الرجل على ماله اذا جمعه لنفسه فلا ينفقه و لا يعطى شيئا منه

Al-Rawandi: a man clings on to his wealth if he amasses it only for himself and does not give anything of it to anyone.

و عض فلان على ما في يده أي بخل و أمسك

Ibn Abi al-Hadid: someone clings to what is in his hands, that is: becomes stingy and withholds.

I say: Greed is the main driver of this.

 

« و لم يؤمر بذلك »

<<while he was not ordered to do that>>

بل بضدّه قال اللّه سبحانه: وَلَا تَنْسَوُا الْفَضْلَ بَيْنَكُمْ

Al-Tustari: rather he was ordered to do its opposite, Allah Glorified is He says: “and do not forget liberality between yourselves” (2:237).

The language used is not of command but encouragement, this shows that what is spoken of here is generosity in giving not the obligatory dues like Zakat.

 و لا تنسوا الفضل بينكم و قال تعالى نسوا اللّه فنسيهم أي تركوا أمر اللّه و طاعته فترك اثابتهم، و اصل النسيان الترك

al-Rawandi says: “and do not forget liberality between yourselves” in another verse He said: “they forgot Allah so He in turn made them to forget themselves” (9:67), that is, they abandoned the orders of Allah and obedience to Him so he abandoned giving them. And the essence of forgetting is abandoning.

 

Examples of Liberality in the Hadith

و عن الصادق عليه السّلام : من يضمن أربعة بأربعة أبيات في الجنّة؟ أنفق و لا تخف فقرا، وأنصف الناس من نفسك، و أفش السلام في العالم، و اترك المراء و إن كنت محقّا

[al-Khisal]: al-Sadiqعليه السّلام  said: who will guarantee for me these four in exchange of four houses in paradise? Give and do not fear poverty, be just to the people even against your own self-interest, spread peace in the world and abandon arguing even if you are in the right.

و عن الرضا عليه السّلام قال لمولى له: هل أنفقت اليوم شيئا؟ فقال لا فقال فمن أين يخلف اللّه علينا أنفق و لو درهما واحدا

[al-Kafi]: From al-Ridhaعليه السّلام  who said to a Mawla of his: have you spent anything on charity today? he said: no, he said: how is Allah going to compensate us (in what we spend - if it is not in charity)? Give in charity even if it be a single silver coin.

 

Three Main Signs of that Age

  « يقدّم فيه الأشرار، و ينسى ء فيه الأخيار »

1. << the evil men will be given precedence and the righteous will be forgotten >>

Let no one be in doubt about the moral decadence of a tax-evading global elite, a handful of whom own the wealth of almost half the earth’s population, or that of politicians who acquire positions of power deceitfully, in fact the lower they debase themselves the higher they rise, while the righteous are shunned, mocked and demeaned, or as is more likely, considered irrelevant, a pathetic remnant of a bygone era where virtue still counted. Relativism and Nihilism are after all what characterize this age.

To be continued …




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 المسلم أخو المسلم لا يظلمه ولا يخذله، إن كان عندك معروف، فعد به على أخيك

وإلا فلا تزده هلاكا إلى هلاكه

The Muslim is a brother of a Muslim, he is not unfair with him nor does he cheat him,

If you want to make him a good turn then hand it over to your brother, and if not then do not contribute to his financial destruction [The Messenger of God]

 

The Real Wolves of Wall-Street Pt. II

  « ويبايع المضطر – وقد نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله عن بيع المضطر » 

<< deals are conducted with the one in distress, while the messenger of Allah prohibited the sale of the one in distress >>

Al-Tusi narrates from al-Sadiq a similar narration:

يأتي على الناس زمان عضوض يعضّ كلّ امرئ على ما في يديه ، و ينسى الفضل ، و قد قال تعالى و لا تنسوا الفضل بينكم ثمّ ينبري في ذلك الزمان أقوام يبايعون المضطرين اولئك هم شرار الناس

There will come upon people a severe age wherein every man will cling to what is in his hand, and forget giving, while Allah the Exalted said: “and do not forget liberality between yourselves” (2:237), then will arise in that age groups who will conduct business deals with the distressed and they are the worst of the people.

 

Distress Deals

Some scholars have tried to interpret مضطر which I have rendered as ‘distressed’ to be مكره that is ‘compelled’ [to buy or sell]. They claim that it is this latter (compelling someone to buy or sell something) which is forbidden because all transactions must be entered in with full consent. They point out that even if someone is in distress it is still his decision to engage in the transaction. 

But I consider this to be a limited definition restricting the range of the narration’s applicability, rather, I would say that the مضطر in the context of the society which these narrations describe and the stinginess they attribute to the wealthy - should  be taken to mean those whom economical forces (completely out of their hands) exploit and make desperate enough to do anything including allowing the sharks to come out and take advantage of them. 

In fact they openly brag about finding such deals: “The main reason to buy a distressed property is the price. In most cases, a foreclosure or short sale will be priced below market value, the valuation of the asset is artificial because it was not sold under open and competitive market conditions. From the buyer's perspective, however, property that is sold in a distressed sale can present an opportunity to purchase the asset at a substantial discount to market prices”.

Another example which is relevant to our modern age and would fall under the spirit of this Hadith is Big Pharma. Many of these global corporations hike up the prices of important and life-saving drugs to developing countries which cannot afford them. We have psychopathic CEO’s who claim to care only about the balance sheet and answerable only to the shareholders with no shred of mercy in their hearts, while the sick have no option but to pay up.

This interpretation is backed up by narrations as the one found below:

إسماعيل بن عبد الله القرشي قال: أتى إلى أبي عبد الله عليه السلام رجل فقال له: يا ابن رسول الله رأيت في منامي كأني خارج من مدينة الكوفة في موضع أعرفه وكان شبحا من خشب أو رجلا منحوتا من خشب على فرس من خشب يلوح بسيفه وأنا أشاهده، فزعا مرعوبا فقال له عليه السلام: أنت رجل تريد اغتيال رجل في معيشته، فاتق الله الذي خلقك ثم يميتك فقال الرجل: أشهد أنك قد أوتيت علما واستنبطه من معدنه اخبرك يا ابن رسول الله عما فسرت لي إن رجلا من جيراني جاءني وعرض علي ضيعته فهممت أن أملكها بوكس كثير لما عرفت أنه ليس لها طالب غيري فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: وصاحبك يتولانا ويبرأ عدونا ؟ فقال: نعم يا ابن رسول الله رجل جيد البصيرة مستحكم الدين وأنا تائب إلى الله عز وجل وإليك مما هممت به ونويته فأخبرني يا ابن رسول الله لو كان ناصبا حل لي اغتياله فقال: أد الأمانة لمن ائتمنك وأراد منك النصيحة ولو إلى قاتل الحسين عليه السلام

Ismail b. Abdallah al-Qarashi who said: a man came to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام and said: O the son of the messenger of Allah I saw in a dream as though I am outside the town of Kufa in a place which I know, and there was something like an apparition made of wood or a man carved out of wood on a wooden horse brandishing his sword while I look on in fright and terror, so he عليه السلام said to him: you are a someone who wants to cheat a man out of his livelihood so be fearful of Allah who created you and will make you to die, so the man said: I bear witness that you have been given knowledge and have derived it from its real source (treasure-mine), I will inform you O the son of the messenger of Allah the background to that which you have interpreted for me, a man from among my neighbors came to me and offered me his walled-up land so I wished to own it at a very low price since I knew that there isn’t anyone else who wants to buy it, so Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said to him: is your fellow someone who follows us and disassociates from our enemies? He said: yes - O the son of the messenger of Allah, he has good insight and follows the religion, and I repent to Allah Mighty and Majestic and to you from what I wanted and had intended to do, but inform me O the son of the messenger of Allah - if he was a Nasibi [a hater of the Ahl al-Bayt] could I have cheated him in this way? He said: return back the trust to whomsoever has placed his confidence in you and expects good-counsel from you - even if he be killer of al-Husayn!    

--> Some of the people of Ilm in Ta’wil of Ru’ya claim that the Imam’s interpretation is wholly consistent with their methods. They interpret wooden things in dreams as having association to Nifaq (hypocrisy) because of the Aya from Surat al-Munafiqun “as though they were pieces of wood propped up” (63:4). The sword as an allegory for his evil intention. That this intention harbors some financial aspect can be inferred from the horse which symbolizes “the world” and “livelihood” because it is in of itself a steady source of income and the potential to earn.

To be continued …

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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I am one of those successful trader on walls street but I neither see myself as wolf or tiger, I am just a businessman who understands market cycles. :NH: 

it is clear from your post that you have no understanding of market and how it really works. please do more real research about the real business on walls street and then try to write something on this subject.

Edited by Highflyer

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5 hours ago, Highflyer said:

I am one of those successful trader on walls street but I neither see myself as wolf or tiger, I am just a businessman who understands market cycles. :NH: 

it is clear from your post that you have no understanding of market and how it really works. please do more real research about the real business on walls street and then try to write something on this subject.

The aim is not to paint all Wall-Street traders with one brush. I have been careful in my word-selection to limit discussion to certain types of people and dealings [whether they are within Wall-St. or beyond]. Maybe the title has confused you. It is mostly a pun based on the movie with the same name. However, it is undoubted that an age which will be dog eat dog in its aggressiveness and ferocity is alluded to in the Ahadith.

In any case, if you had read the whole piece you would have seen that it is a commentary on what was said by the Prophet about the signs of the aforementioned age. They include:

1. << the well-off will cling on tightly to that which is in his hands >> i.e. stinginess and greed.

2. << deals are conducted with the one in distress, while the messenger of Allah prohibited the sale of the one in distress >>

3.  << the messenger of Allah prohibited the deceptive sale >>

If you do not recognize these three traits as features of the modern economic system then you can choose to benefit us with your knowledge and elaborate on it. 

Edited by Islamic Salvation
na.sadat and zainabamy like this

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good, and yes 95% traders on wall street arent real traders and they just thrive by cheating or manipulating markets, because they lack strategy to make money from real markets.

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    • good, and yes 95% traders on wall street arent real traders and they just thrive by cheating or manipulating markets, because they lack strategy to make money from real markets.
    • The aim is not to paint all Wall-Street traders with one brush. I have been careful in my word-selection to limit discussion to certain types of people and dealings [whether they are within Wall-St. or beyond]. Maybe the title has confused you. It is mostly a pun based on the movie with the same name. However, it is undoubted that an age which will be dog eat dog in its aggressiveness and ferocity is alluded to in the Ahadith. In any case, if you had read the whole piece you would have seen that it is a commentary on what was said by the Prophet about the signs of the aforementioned age. They include: 1. << the well-off will cling on tightly to that which is in his hands >> i.e. stinginess and greed. 2. << deals are conducted with the one in distress, while the messenger of Allah prohibited the sale of the one in distress >> 3.  << the messenger of Allah prohibited the deceptive sale >> If you do not recognize these three traits as features of the modern economic system then you can choose to benefit us with your knowledge and elaborate on it.