Hud (Hud) - Chapter 11: Verse 84 (partial)
"Do not give short measure and weight."
The people of Madyan, whose country was an enclave of land lying between Hijaz and Syria, used to give short measure and weight, thus wronging other people in respect of what was rightfully theirs. That is, they used to give other people less than the value of their goods. Their misconduct reflected badly on their integrity and honour and showed that they were far from clean both externally and at heart. Their geographical position meant that they were able to control the trade route of the caravans moving between the north and the south of Arabia. This enabled them to dictate unfair terms on other people's trade.
Here we see the link between believing in God's oneness and submission to Him alone on the one hand, and honesty, fair trading, honourable transactions and combating all kinds of cheating and stealing, whether perpetrated by individuals or governments, on the other. This relationship appears to be a safeguard ensuring a better human life, justice and peace among people. It is the only safeguard based on fearing God and seeking His pleasure. Hence, it has a very solid foundation which cannot be influenced by special interests or personal desires.
In the Islamic view, business dealings, and morality generally, must have a solid basis which is not influenced by changeable factors. Thus Islam differs fundamentally with all other social and moral theories devised by human beings and governed by their differing bents of thought and their temporary interest.
When business dealings and morality have such a solid basis, they are not influenced by immediate or material interests or by differing environments with different factors and considerations. Hence, rules of morality and those that govern human dealings are not subject to whether people are nomadic, agrarian or industrialized. Such changeable factors lose their influence on the moral concepts of society or the moral values which govern business transactions when the basis of legislation for all spheres of life is Divine law. Then the essential basis of morality is to seek God's pleasure, hoping to win His reward and avoid His punishment. All that is advanced by human-made theories and doctrines about morality being the product of the economic situation and the social conditions prevailing in a particular society become meaningless in the light of Islamic moral theory.
"In The Shade of The Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol. 9, pp. 235, 236