The reader is presented with two fathers, that is the father Hashim and the thief 'Sin'. In each case they are partnered with a violation of faith, one in thievery outight, and the other in what their religion would call thievery in usury.
What we consider the obvious crimes, are justified by the thief by the times. He has no honest job, no opportunity, no chance to make something of himself to survive wuithin the bounds of the law and society and so he steps outside and performs what is called a 'service' in the most peculiar manner. Even the language the narrator uses encourages the 'professionalism' of the crooks' "...all financial inducements being offered with no gratuities being excluded, plus, for filing purposes only, a summary of the motives for the application.
On either side, we are expected to observe the men in both their places of work and at their home. We do not see the thief at his home, but we understand his situation. First the reader is horrified to learn that he crippled all of his children on purpose in order to provide them with a means to earn money as beggars, just as Ramani's father left him a cart, in a sickening way Sin gives his sons a livelihood. His sin, he knew, he respected and he accepted as his means of life.
Hashim became a wild zealot, and remained a hypocrite and a sinner although he commits what may be thought of as an 'acceptable' one because it operates within the confines of the law. His hypocrisy drives him wild when it is pointed out to him, and only accentuates his greed. Earlier int he story he actually tries to justify usury by saying that his wild rates would teach people to earn their own money so they would not have to pay him interest to use his. His greed extends past the money, and onto the object of his desire as his wild logic comes out gain saying that he is actually helping people by hiding the prophets hair from them and keepingit to himself so they would not be tempted to idol worship.
Miracles are situational, the 'miracles' performed at the finale of the story make one wonder where God, Allah, whoever it is one prays to was looking for the duration of the peoples lifetimes. What is one supposed to be thankful for? Sheikh regains her sight, but loses her husband, the kids lose their handicaps but also their way fo life. On Hashim's side, there is a family massacre. What are we supposed to reap from the power of the profit's hair? Where is there not madness? It seems as though the culture we are exposed to sets ne up for failure and there is no way to avoid it even by cheating.