Baha'i Library Online

COLLECTIONSTranscripts of videos and audio, Pilgrims' notes
TITLEThe Báb's Business Etiquette
AUTHOR 1 Bahá'í Inspiration
ABSTRACTAnecdote about how the Bab changed unseemly business practices while he was a merchant in Bushihr, as quoted by Mirza Habibu'llah Afnan.
NOTES Transcript prepared by Doug Couper from video online at
TAGS- Báb, The; Alan Coupe; Bushihr, Iran; Business; Economics; Ethics; Iran (documents)

1. Transcript (see video below)

The Báb's Business Etiquette
uploaded by Baha'i Inspiration
2020 August 31
3:47 minutes
Video description: A story from 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).
- - - - -

[Music] This is an example of how the Bab changed unseemly business practices while he was a merchant in Bushihr, Persia. During his stay in Bushir, the Bab 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 backtrack and barter to receive a considerable discount. Some of them came to the Bab, negotiated (the) 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 go back on the agreement and bargain. The Bab did not accept and said, "You made a bargain, signed papers and the transaction has been concluded. 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 brought commodities and moved them to his warehouse and then returns them, he will forfeit his standing with the 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." Again He reminded them, "I am ending this custom." Eventually the Bab ordered the merchandise brought back to his shop and did not yield to their efforts at bargaining. He changed many of the unseemly practices during the period he was a merchant in Bushihr.

Certain practices in society, business or otherwise are considered as the norm and are acceptable amongst many though they may be in direct contradiction to spiritual teachings and laws. What is upright is falsely interpreted as naivety whilst what is deplorable is falsely interpreted as wisdom and clearness. [Music] Let us take the example of the Bab in all our dealings and wear our actions against God's scales of spirituality uprightness and goodness, and not rely on the scales of man's machinations.

2. Video

VIEWS98 views since 2024-06-02 (last edit 2024-06-21 05:07 UTC)
Home Site Map Links Tags Chronology About Contact RSS