Abu al-Fadl Jafar ibn Ali al-Dimashqi

Not much is known about the Syrian merchant Abu al-Fadl Jafar ibn Ali al-Dimashqi except that he wrote the book A Guide to the Merits of Commerce and to Recognition of Both Fine and Defective Merchandise and the Swindles of Those Who Deal Dishonestly, and that he lived in the eleventh or twelfth century (he mentions a coin specific to that period in his writing). Al-Dimashqi began his career working as an importer-exporter and is said to have ended it as a real estate broker. Unlike many of his Muslim contemporaries, he argued that a wealthy person was to be respected: “He makes good use of his fortune.”

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