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Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine

By Rabbi Joseph Schwarz, 1850

The Bargain Void In Law.

A merchant of this city once bartered several chests of indigo (in Arabic Al Nil), with another merchant, for sugar. But, before delivering the indigo to the purchaser, it rose greatly in value, and he sought for some device to declare the bargain void. The other merchant, however, maintained, as was natural, that the trade was perfectly fair; and, as the other would not deliver up the indigo, he saw himself compelled to go to law. In the mean time the defendant went privately to the Kadi, and promised him a considerable sum if he could annul the sale, although there was no pretext for such a proceeding. On the day fixed for the hearing of the case, both parties appeared before the Kadi, to hear his judgment, whether the sale should be set aside. The judge gave thereupon the following wise and just decision: “Indigo is blue; sugar, on the contrary, is white; therefore they are almost of opposite colours, and in nowise similar, wherefore they cannot be bartered against one another; and the sale is accordingly declared null and void.”

Jews and Muslims in Palestine