Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon Muhammad, His last Messenger, his household, his companions and all those who follow him till the Last Day.
Chairs & Shares After Nigeria’s first oil boom [1973-74], the emergent middle class showed off its new found wealth by ... yes, you guessed right ... spending. One regular spree was spending on all-night weekend parties. Young boys looked forward to Fridays, not because of Jumuah, unfortunately, but because it was fun to carry the iron/wooden chairs that party guests would sit on, arrange them under canopies made of raffia mats, arrange the drinks etc. But we hated Sunday mornings; it was time to unpack and you just couldn’t find the adrenalin to start carrying back chairs to rental centre’s and empty bottles back to liquor stores. If you lived in a hilly area that was 300metresﾕ away from the road, that definitely wouldn’t be fun! So, you could imagine my relief when I overhead my father talking about buying 250 chairs [shares] from John Holt.
Next day, he was talking about 500 shares from UAC, then NTC, NBC, NBL etc. When the tally of chairs got to 3,500, I couldn’t help anymore but to ask, "I know a lot of people come for our parties but 3,500 chairs is a whole lot! Where would we keep them? Or are we starting a rental service?" Every time I tell the story, I still feel embarrassed by my ignorance of what a share is. My father had a good laugh first, and then he explained that he was buying ownership in the said companies. He finished by saying, "But come to think of it, I am actually buying the chair to sit on, in case the company wants all its owners to come for a meeting." That was one reason I was very close to my father [rahimahullaah]; even when I acted like an idiot, he would still honour/humour me with his kindness.
Buying For His Pleasure
That was the era of the first indigenization when the foreign companies were forced by law to sell 60% of their shares to Nigerians. Many of the Nigerians who bought those shares still reap from them till today three decades later! Many would argue with some justification that returns from the capital market do not keep pace with inflation; but neither do many of the alternative investments. Plus much of those surplus funds would have gone into renting chairs for parties [and other frivolities] rather than buying shares of companies! We are in another era of boost in the capital market. Several companies[the surge is led by banks] are coming to the market to sell their shares, the government is also out to sell their debts and response from the public has been outstanding! But as many of us should be aware, the Muslim does not take any step in his life without asking two key questions: Am I taking this step sincerely for attaining the Pleasure of Allaah? and Is the step consistent with the way of guidance from Allaah and His Messenger? You are in the best position to answer the question about your ikhlaas [sincerity], and with this edition, we help you to answer the second question. At least, I now know that my father shouldn’t have bought some of the shares that he did then! May Allaah always guide us to attain His Pleasure. (Aamin).
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited