May 14, 2016

An example of how the Báb changed unseemly business practices while He was a merchant in Bushihr, Persia – related by ‘Abdu’l-Baha

During His stay in Bushihr, the Báb achieved extraordinary things and thoroughly demolished the foundation of people's corrupt practices. The merchants of Bushihr had a custom that after a deal had been concluded they would renege and barter to receive a considerable discount.

Some of them came to His Holiness, negotiated purchase of indigo dye, and bought a very large quantity. After they had sealed the bargain and moved the lots of indigo to their own office, they returned to renege and bargain. His Holiness did not accept and said, "You made a bargain, signed papers, and the transaction has been completed. I will not give a discount and will not renegotiate." They insisted. He replied. "What I said is final." They pleaded: "It is the custom of the country." He responded: "Many of these customs are wrong and will soon be abolished." No matter how much they insisted, He would not agree. The merchants were obstinate, and at last He said, "[If] the price is high, return the merchandise as I will not barter." They insisted: "It is the custom here." He replied: "I wish to put an end to this custom." They insisted: "If a merchant has bought commodities and moved them to his warehouse, and then returns them, he will forfeit his standing with merchants." "It is your choice," He told them, "accept the terms and refrain from renegotiation.” Again they insisted: "But this is the custom of the realm." Yet again, He reminded them, "I am ending this custom." Eventually, He [the Báb] ordered the merchandise brought back to His shop and did not yield to their efforts at bargaining.

He changed many of their unseemly practices during the period He was a merchant in Bushihr. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (Words of 'Abdu'l-Baha, quoted by Mirza Habibu’llah Afnan in ‘The Genesis of the Bábi-Bahá’í Faiths in Shiraz and Fars’, translated and annotated by Ahang Rabbani)