Maulana Taqi Usmani prescribed a wonderful formula for us; “First thing, decide how ‘J.’ will end, vow to each other that you will never betray each other and finally, make sure your business always does well for the masses”.
“This is it don’t ask me tomorrow, have nothing more,” Junaid Jamshed, the star of Pakistan said as he handed the last hundred rupee note to his wife. In 2002, he had left the music since long and was now destitute. What was going to happen next, what should he do, where should he start were questions that haunted him all day long stretching into the long hours of the night.
But he held on. He held on to his faith and ahadith he had heard from Maulana Tariq Jameel that if you leave something for Allah, He will grant you something even better. In spite of the misgivings that kept creeping in his mind, his heart vouched for the faith that was in it that the Lord will help.
Holding onto this faith, he started the journey of J. a phenomenon in business that we have all witnessed as consumers and as students. In a tale, he relates we have so much to learn from a business sense, resilience, patience and most importantly having the faith that the way of the lord is the best if not the easiest.
A friend of his joined hands and began the journey with an investment of twenty-five lakh rupees each to make clothes. Junaid sold many personal assets from his household and in this process of gathering that investment realized the faces of those who give in the way of Allah and those who exploit a man at his lowest. Battling against the odds he gathered the money and leaped in with faith.
As it would happen, the patterns for the clothes were wrongly sized and the whole lot went to waste along with the cloth went the investment that had been gathered. Facing another sure bout of despair Junaid did not know what to do. In his narrative, he says that that was the point when he saw the incarnation of the fact that Allah (SWT) is the Raziq. A man from Bangladesh came with a special order of smaller sizes, exactly what they had at their hands. So they sold in two days the stock they had planned for a month. Now they had money to work with. Junaid took his partner along to Maulana Taqi Usmani and sought the advice about how to carry their business. Maulana Sahab prescribed a wonderful formula; “First thing, decide how ‘J.’ will end, vow to each other that you will never betray each other and finally, make sure your business always does well for the masses”.
Holding two large bags each full of clothes they set out on the busy road of Arbab Road in Saddar Peshawar hoping any of the shop keepers would take their clothes to sell on the festival of Eid. Tired out both of them stood gazing here and there when a man placed a hand on Junaid’s shoulder saying in the characteristic simple way of the gallant Pathans “What are you doing here my father really likes you come with me,”. There an old man sat with his four children who said “You have left music?” Junaid replied “Yes!”. The old man pointed at a multistoried plaza and asked “Do you want this?” Junaid replied with great amazement that he could just not afford to pay rent for such a building. The old man insisted and gave the shop for only peanuts for what it was worth for five years. And so the journey of “J.” the brand began to take momentum and the business was established.
Listening to Junaid Jamshed talk is an experience that if one has missed is a huge loss. The fervor and passion in his bayan have inspired many people to convert and become practicing believers. He has spoken about many golden principles of business. He related the practice of consumer and seller relationships and concepts of bargaining in Islam. He related that once a slave came to a sahabi and brought a horse claiming his worth 300 dirham. The sahabi took a look at the animal and offered 400, then slowly raised the value to 800 dirham and bought the fine horse. The slave inquired with great wonder that why would you pay more than the asking price. The sahabi replied that I have learned from our Holy Prophet (PBUH) that when you see something under-valued, never exploit that, but hold your honor and pay the right price be it higher than the asking price.
To learn from this and instill this in our purchasing would automatically create great benefit and value with the barakah that Allah (SWT) would bless the transaction with. Another aspect of the business was the “Return Policy”. Not many would know how much importance accepting an item returned is valued in the eyes of Islam. In his beautiful bayan, he spoke of another principle he lived by. He spoke about how the big international names accepted returned items even after long spans where in Pakistan, at the time of accepting returns our businessmen and shopkeepers repel customers with great abhorrence. He stated a hadith that when an item purchased is accepted in return with grace, the Lord raises a palace for the businessman in the heavens.
Junaid Jamshed lived a life of a man journeying from a phase of life into the next his life has lessons and guides for those who seek. His modern understanding is appealing to the generation growing up in this modern time. We pay tribute to his knowledge and passion for trying to do his part in making business better and in line with the teachings of Allah (SWT) and His beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).