SERIOUSNESS OF DEBT
1) DEFINITION OF DEBT.
2) ISLAM TAKES THE MATTER OF DEBT VERY SERIOUSLY & WARNS AGAINST IT & URGES THE MUSLIM TO AVOID IT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
3) STERN WARNINGS ABOUT DEBT ONLY CAME BECAUSE OF THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES TO WHICH IT LEADS BOTH ON AN INDIVIDUAL LEVEL & ON A COMMUNITY LEVEL.
4) SCHOLAR STIPULATED THREE CONDITIONS FOR DEBT TO BE PERMISSIBLE.
5) DU’AA’S WHICH SPECIFICALLY SEEK THE HELP OF ALLAH IN PRAYING OFF DEBTS.
1) DEFINITION OF DEBT. :-
The fuqaha’ define dayn (debt) as an obligation to be fulfilled, as it says in al-Mawsoo’ah al-Fiqhiyyah (21/102). The linguistic meaning of the word dayn (debt) in Arabic has to do with submission and humiliation. The connection between the shar’i meaning and the linguistic meaning is clear. The debtor is a prisoner, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “
Narrated Samurah: The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h) said Your companion has been detained (from entering Paradise) on account of his debt.
ABU DAWOOD (Book 22, Hadith 3335)
2) ISLAM TAKES THE MATTER OF DEBT VERY SERIOUSLY & WARNS AGAINST IT & URGES THE MUSLIM TO AVOID IT AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. :-
It was narrated that ‘Aishah said:”The Messenger of Allah [SAW] often used to seek refuge (with Allah) from debt and sin. It was said to him: ‘O Messenger of Allah! You often seek refuge from debt and sin?’ He said: ‘If a man gets into debt, he speaks and lies, and he makes a promise and breaks it.'” (Sahih)
SUNAN NASEEI (Vol. 6, Book 50, Hadith 5474)
SAHIH BUKHARI (Vol. 3, Book 41, Hadith 582)
‘A’isha, the wife of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) reported:The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) used to supplicate in prayer thus:” O Allah! I seek refuge with Thee from the torment of the grave, and I seek refuge with Thee from the trial of the Masih al-Dajjal (Antichrist) and I seek refuge with Thee from the trial of life and death. O Allah! I seek refuge with Thee from sin and debt.” She (‘A’isha) reported: Someone said to him – (the Holy Prophet): Messenger of Allah! why is it that you so often seek refuge from debt? He said: When a (person) incurs debt, (he is obliged) to tell lies and break promise.
SAHIH MUSLIM (Book 4, Hadith 1218)
It was narrated that Muhammad bin Jahsh said:”We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah when he raised his head toward the sky, and put his palm on his forehead, then he said: ‘Subhan Allah, what a stern warning has been revealed! We fell silent and were scared. The following day I asked him: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what is this stern warning that has been revealed? He said: ‘By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if a man were to be killed in the cause of Allah then brought back to life, then killed, but he owed a debt, he would not enter paradise until his debt was paid off,” (Sahih)
SUNAN NASEEI (Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 4688)
Narrated Salama bin Al-Akwa`:A dead person was brought to the Prophet (p.b.u.h) so that he might lead the funeral prayer for him. He asked, “Is he in debt?” When the people replied in the negative, he led the funeral prayer. Another dead person was brought and he asked, “Is he in debt?” They said, “Yes.” He (refused to lead the prayer and) said, “Lead the prayer of your friend.” Abu Qatada said, “O Allah’s Messenger (p.b.u.h)! I undertake to pay his debt.” Allah’s Messenger (p.b.u.h) then led his funeral prayer.
SAHIH BUKHARI (Vol. 3, Book 37, Hadith 492)
In Another Narration.
Abu Qataadah (may Allaah be pleased with him) promised to pay it off for him. When he saw him the following day and said, I have paid it off, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Now his skin has become cool for him
MUSNAD AHMAD (HADITH 14240)
SOURCE OF MUSNAD AHMAD :-
AL-HAAFIZ IBN HAJAR SAID :-
This hadeeth indicates how difficult the issue of debt is, and that it should not be undertaken except in cases of necessity.
(FATH AL-BAARI 4/547)
Narrated Thawban:That the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h) said: “Whoever dies and he is free of three: Kibr (Pride), Ghulul, and debt, he will enter paradise.”
SUNAN TIRMIDHI (Book 21, Hadith 33)
It was narrated from Thawban, the freed slave of the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h), that the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h) said:“Anyone whose soul leaves his body and he is free of three things, will enter Paradise: Arrogance, stealing from the spoils of war, and debt.” (Sahih)
IBN MAJAH (Vol. 3, Book 15, Hadith 2412)
Abu Hurairah narrated that:The Messenger of Allah said: “The believer’s soul is suspended by his debt until it is settled for him.” (Hasan)
SUNAN TIRMIDHI (Vol. 2, Book 5, Hadith 1078)
IBN MAJAH (Vol. 3, Book 15, Hadith 2413)
AL-MUBAARAKFOORI SAID :-
قوله : ( نفس المؤمن معلقة ) قال السيوطي أي : محبوسة عن مقامها الكريم ، وقال العراقي أي : أمرها موقوف لا حكم لها بنجاة ، ولا هلاك حتى ينظر هل يقضى ما عليها من الدين أم لا .
The words “the soul of the believer is suspended” – al-Suyooti said: i.e., it is detained and kept from reaching its noble destination. Al-‘Iraaqi said: i.e., no judgement is passed as to whether it will be saved or doomed until it is determined whether his debt will be paid off or not.
(TUHFAT AL-AHWADHI 4/164)
SOURCE OF TUHFAT AL-AHWADHI :-
It was also narrated that many of the salaf warned against debt.
It was narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: Beware of debt, for it starts with worry and it ends with war.
MUWATTA MALIK (Book 37, Hadith 8)
Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: O Humraan, fear Allaah and do not die in debt, lest it be taken from your good deeds when there will be no dinars and no dirhams.
MUSANNAF ‘ABD AL-RAZZAAQ (HADITH 4781)
SOURCE OF MUSANNAF ABD AL-RAZZAAQ :-
3) STERN WARNINGS ABOUT DEBT ONLY CAME BECAUSE OF THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES TO WHICH IT LEADS BOTH ON AN INDIVIDUAL LEVEL & ON A COMMUNITY LEVEL. :-
These stern warnings about debt only came because of the negative consequences to which it leads both on an individual level and on a community level. With regard to the personal level,
AL-QURTUBI SAID : –
Our scholars said: It is a disgrace and a humiliation because it preoccupies the mind and makes one worried about paying it off, and makes one feel humiliated before the lender when meeting him, and feeling that he is doing one a favour when accepting a delay in payment. Perhaps he may promise himself that he will pay it off then break that promise, or speak to the lender and lie to him, or swear an oath to him then break it, and so on. Moreover, he may die without having paid off the debt so he will be held hostage because of it, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The soul of the believer is held hostage by his debt in his grave until it is paid off.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 1078. All of that undermines one’s religious commitment.
With regard to the community level, specialists have described the negative consequences and the danger it poses to the economy, for example:
1) Desire for immediate gratification with no thought of the future.
2) Lack of responsibility and self-reliance.
3) Poor distribution of wealth.
(AL-JAAMI’ LI AHKAAM AL-QUR’AAN 3/417)
4) SCHOLAR STIPULATED THREE CONDITIONS FOR DEBT TO BE PERMISSIBLE. :-
The scholars have stipulated three conditions for debt to be permissible:
1) The borrower should be determined to repay it.
2) It should be known or thought most likely that he is able to repay it.
3) It should be for something that is permissible according to sharee’ah.
IBN ‘ABD AL-BARR SAID :-
The debt for which a person will be kept out of Paradise – and Allaah knows best – is that for which he left behind enough to pay it off but he did not leave instructions to that effect, or he was able to pay it off but did not do so, or he took the loan for some unlawful or extravagant matter and died without having paid it off.
As for the one who took a loan for something lawful because he was poor, and he died without leaving behind anything to pay it off, Allaah will not keep him from Paradise because of it, in sha Allaah.
5) DU’AA’S WHICH SPECIFICALLY SEEK THE HELP OF ALLAH IN PRAYING OFF DEBTS. :-
In Sunnah there are a number of duaa’s,they are
Suhail reported that Abu Salih used to command us (in these words):
When any one of you intends to go to sleep, he should lie on the bed on his right side and then say:
اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّ السَّمَوَاتِ وَرَبَّ الأَرْضِ وَرَبَّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ رَبَّنَا وَرَبَّ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ فَالِقَ الْحَبِّ وَالنَّوَى وَمُنْزِلَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَالإِنْجِيلِ وَالْفُرْقَانِ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ أَنْتَ آخِذٌ بِنَاصِيَتِهِ اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ الأَوَّلُ فَلَيْسَ قَبْلَكَ شَىْءٌ وَأَنْتَ الآخِرُ فَلَيْسَ بَعْدَكَ شَىْءٌ وَأَنْتَ الظَّاهِرُ فَلَيْسَ فَوْقَكَ شَىْءٌ وَأَنْتَ الْبَاطِنُ فَلَيْسَ دُونَكَ شَىْءٌ اقْضِ عَنَّا الدَّيْنَ وَأَغْنِنَا مِنَ الْفَقْرِ
“Allaahumma Rabb al-samawaati wa’l-ard wa Rabb al-‘arsh il-‘azeem, Rabbaanaa wa Rabba kulli shay’in, Faaliq al-habb wa’l-nawa wa munzil al-Tawraati wa’l-Injeeli wa’l-Furqaan, a’oodhu bika min sharri kulli shay’in anta aakhidhun bi naasiyatihi. Allaahumma anta al-awwal fa laysa qablaka shay’un, wa anta al-aakhir fa laysa ba’daka shay’un, wa anta al-zaahir fa laysa fawqaka shay’un wa anta al-baatin fa laysa doonaka shay’un. Iqdi ‘annaa al-dayna wa aghninaa min al-faqri
” O Allah. the Lord of the Heavens and the Lord of the Earth and Lord of the Magnificent Throne, our Lord, and the Lord of evervthina, the Splitter of the grain of corn and the datestone (or fruit kernal), the Revealer of Torah and Injil (Bible) and Criterion (the Holy Qur’an), I seek refuge in Thee from the evil of every- thing Thou art to sieze by the forelock (Thou hast perfect control over it). O Allah, Thou art the First, there is nothing before Thee, and Thou art the Last and there is naught after Thee, and Thou art Evident and there is nothing above Thee, and Thou art Innermost and there is nothing beyond Thee. Remove the burden of debt from us and relieve us from want.”Abu Salih used to narrate it from Abu Huraira who narrated it from Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him).
SAHIH MUSLIM (Book 35, Hadith 6551)
‘A’isha, the wife of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) reported:The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) used to supplicate in prayer thus:”
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ عَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَسِيحِ الدَّجَّالِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ فِتْنَةِ الْمَحْيَا وَالْمَمَاتِ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْمَأْثَمِ وَالْمَغْرَمِ
O Allah! I seek refuge with Thee from the torment of the grave, and I seek refuge with Thee from the trial of the Masih al-Dajjal (Antichrist) and I seek refuge with Thee from the trial of life and death. O Allah! I seek refuge with Thee from sin and debt.”She (‘A’isha) reported: Someone said to him – (the Holy Prophet): Messenger of Allah! why is it that you so often seek refuge from debt? He said: When a (person) incurs debt, (he is obliged) to tell lies and break promise.
SAHIH MUSLIM (Book 4, Hadith 1218)
Ali [may Allah be pleased with him] narrated:that a Mukatib came to him and said: “Indeed I am not capable of my Kitabah so aid me.” He said: “Should I not teach you words that the Messenger of Allah taught me? If you had a debt upon you similar to the mountain of Sir, Allah would fulfill it for you. He said: ‘Say:
اللَّهُمَّ اكْفِنِي بِحَلاَلِكَ عَنْ حَرَامِكَ وَأَغْنِنِي بِفَضْلِكَ عَمَّنْ سِوَاكَ
Allahummakafini Bihalalika An Haramika, Wa Aghnini Bi Fadlika Amman Siwaka
O Allah, suffice me with Your lawful against Your prohibited, and make me independent of all those besides You
SUNAN TIRMIDHI (Book 48, Hadith 194)
Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Mu’aadh (may Allaah be pleased with him): “Shall I not teach you a du’aa’ which you may say even if you have debt like Mount Uhud, so that Allaah might pay it off for you? Say, O Mu’aadh:
اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكُ الْمُلْكِ ، تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَنْ تَشَاءُ ، وَتَنْزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّنْ تَشَاءُ ، وَتُعِزُّ مَنْ تَشَاءُ ، وَتُذِلُّ مَنْ تَشَاءُ ، بِيَدِكَ الْخَيْرِ إِنَّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ ، رَحْمَانُ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ ، تُعْطِيهُمَا مَنْ تَشَاءُ ، وَتَمْنَعُ مِنْهُمَا مَنْ تَشَاءُ ، ارْحَمْنِي رَحْمَةً تُغْنِينِي بِهَا عَنْ رَحْمَةِ مَنْ سِوَاكَ
‘Allaahumma Maalik al-mulk, tu’ti al-mulk man tasha’ wa tanzi’ al-mulk mimman tasha’, wa tu’izzu man tasha’ wa tudhilul man tasha’, bi yadika al-khayr, innaka ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer, Rahmaan al-dunya wa’l-aakhirah wa raheemahuma, tu’teeyahuma man tasha’ wa tamna’ minhuma man tasha’, arhamni rahmatan taghnini biha ‘an rahmati man siwaaka
(O Allaah, Sovereign of all, You give dominion to whomsoever You will and You take dominion away from whomsoever You will, You exalt whomsoever You will and You bring low whomsoever You will. In Your hand is all goodness and You are able to do all things. Most Merciful and Most compassionate in this world and in the Hereafter, You give them to whomsoever You will and withhold them from whomsoever You will. Bestow mercy upon Me in such a manner that I have no need of the mercy of anyone but You
AL-MU’JAM AL-SAGHEER AL-TABARAANI (HADITH 559)
SOURCE OF AL- MU’JAM AL-SAGHEER AL-TABARAANI :-
Narrated AbuSa’id al-Khudri:One day the Messenger of Allah () entered the mosque. He saw there a man from the Ansar called AbuUmamah. He said: What is the matter that I am seeing you sitting in the mosque when there is no time of prayer? He said: I am entangled in cares and debts, Messenger of Allah. He replied: Shall I not teach you words by which, when you say them, Allah will remove your care, and settle your debt? He said: Why not, Messenger of Allah? He said: Say in the morning and evening:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ غَلَبَةِ الدَّيْنِ وَقَهْرِ الرِّجَالِ
Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min al-hammi wa’l-hazani, wa a’oodhi bika min al-‘ajzi wa’l-kasali, wa a’oodhu bika min al-jubni wa’l-bukhli, wa a’oodhi bika min ghalabat il-dayn wa qahri al-rijaal
“O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from care and grief, I seek refuge in Thee from incapacity and slackness, I seek refuge in Thee from cowardice and niggardliness, and I seek in Thee from being overcome by debt and being put in subjection by men.” He said: When I did that Allah removed my care and settled my debt.
ABU DAWOOD (Book 8, Hadith 1550)
Above isnaad includes Ghassaan ibn ‘Awf;
AD-DAHABI SAID :-
He is not strong.
Hence Shaykh al-Albaani classed the hadeeth as weak in Da’eef Abi Dawood. But the du’aa’ mentioned above is proven in al-Saheehayn in a report other than this story of Abu Umaamah.
And Allaah knows best.
(PREPARED BY AIJAZ SHAIKH)