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بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Procrastination in payment of debt is injustice

If someone asks for a loan to fulfil his specific needs, then to help him by granting loan is an act to be rewarded by Allah Almighty. As, the scholars have written in the light of Quran and Sunnah, that at the time of needs, asking for loan is permissible. If someone is asking for loan, then to lend him money is commendable. Because, helping someone by lending is highly encouraged by Islam and promised the best reward both in this world and hereafter. But it is inevitable for lender not to impose a condition for taking more than amount what he paid to the debtor. While lending and borrowing, we are to abide by the rules stipulated by Allah Almighty in Suratul Baqarah Verse 282. The main objective of these provisions is that no dispute will arise later on. Among these rules, three important rules are as under:

  1. If you are lending money to any person, then you have to write it down, even if the volume of debt may be very meagre.
  2.   The date of loan paying back must be determined.
  3. Two witnesses also should be designated.

It is essential for borrower to exert his possible best efforts to return the loan on the fixed date. In event, loan payback is not possible on the fixed date, then, it is necessary for him to fear Allah Almighty and beg more grace period from the lender prior to expiry of the fixed payback date. Allah Exalted will greatly reward the lender on allowing him more grace period. But, the people who despite having ability to pay the loan back, they derelict in payment, for them, severe warnings are mentioned in sayings of the prophet (PBUH), even the prophet (PBUH) used to deny to offer funeral prayers of those persons until their debts were paid off.

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: the soul of a Muslim will be hanging due to his debt (e.i. debt prevents to enter into paradise) until his debt is paid off. (Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad & Ibn Majah)

One day after performance of Fajr prayer, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: one of your companions has been stopped at the gate of paradise due to non-payment of his debt, If you wish to let him to undergo God’s punishment, or you will to save him from torment (by paying his debt off). (Al-Targhib wal-Tarhib).

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:Allah Exalted forgives the martyrs on land for all sins except debt. (Muslim).

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: whoever borrows money from someone intending to pay it back, then, Allah Exalted facilitates for him payment of his loan. While borrowing, if he intends to devour, then Allah causes such reasons that destroy his wealth. (Bukhari).

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: Whoever dies while he was in debt, then his loan will be paid off through his good deeds. (However, if someone pays his debt off after his death, hence there will be no impeachment, if Allah wills. (Ibn Majah).

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: despite having ability to pay debt back, it is an injustice to procrastinate in paying the debt back. (Bukhari & Muslim).

Jabir (RA) narrated that a man died, we after washing him up and shrouding him, came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) to offer prayer over him. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) asked “is there any debt on him?” Then we said that there is a debt of 2 Dinars on him.  The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said that you yourselves offer prayer over him. Abu Qatada (RA) said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) O’ the Messenger of Allah! (Peace be upon him) I’m responsible for his debt.  The prophet (PBUH) said that you became responsible of his debt, then, he became innocent. Thereafter, the Messenger of Allah offered prayer over the deceased. (Ahmad narrated with good source and Al-Hakim said it has authentic source --- Al-Targhib and Al-Tarhib 2/68)

Supplication of the Messenger (PBUH) for easiness in payback of debt:

One day the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) entered the mosque. He saw there a man from the Ansar called Abu Umamah (RA). 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 worries and debts. The Messenger of Allah replied: Shall I not teach you words by which, when you say them, Allah will eliminate your worries, 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 ‏"‏ "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 miserliness, 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 Daud).

{Note}: In case, the borrower at the return of the loan pays a little more than the original amount, then it is not only permissible , but this act is a proven process by the Prophet (PBUH), provided that there should not be any deal for returning more than loan amount. We should avoid borrowing money from bank, because it would be returned along with interest and it is absolutely forbidden (Haraam) to take or give interest.

Muhammad Najeeb Qasmi (www.najeebqasmi.com)