Qais bin Abi Gharazah (radi Allahu anhu) said: “At the time of the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) we used to be called Samaasir (brokers). The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) came to us when we were selling and called us by a name that was better than that. He said, ‘O Tujjar (merchants), this selling involves lies and (false) oaths, so mix some charity with it.” [Sunan an-Nasai]
The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) is telling us in this hadith to offset bad deeds with good deeds. When people sell things, they often resort to lying about their merchandise in order to make a sale. To counteract the consequences of these Haraam deeds, the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) told traders in particular to give much Sadaqah (charity). As an eraser rubs out stray pencil marks, good deeds erase bad deeds.
This hadith also informs us of a change in name recommended by the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam). Samaasirah is the plural of Simsaar. It is a non-Arabic expression. It denotes people who sell other’s commodities for a wage. It signifies a broker, agent, or middleman. The non-Arabs were involved in such trade and commerce. Hence, this expression came to be used for all sorts of traders. Allah’s Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) did not like the word; he, therefore, changed it with “Tujjar” – “traders or businessmen.”