Monday, 21 November 2011

The dangers of debts

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists), and no aggression is there except against the oppressors, and prayers and peace of Allah be upon whom who is sent as a mercy to the ‘Alamîn.

People have become unaware of the dangers of debt that some of them ended up in prisons or had to sell some of their properties to return all or some money to their creditors.

Therefore, I liked to write this message about the danger of debt and its consequences of great mischief both in this worldly life and the Hereafter. It does not stop at prison or selling some of the properties to pay off the debt; it goes beyond that to severe remorse and regret on the Day of Resurrection. How sever is the regret of the slave who dealt with the money of people and took it but did not pay it back! Apart from the humility in this worldly life, paying the debt off is waiting for him in the Hereafter, on the day when he will come a bankrupt, powerless and humiliated. He will not be able to give back rights nor give a valid excuse and thus his good deeds which he has spent his life accumulating will be taken from him and given to his adversaries in replacement for their money… have you not heard the words of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him: "do you know who the bankrupt is?"
«أتدرون ما المفلس؟...» رواه مسلم

So the slave of Allah should now think deeply about his book of deeds, if it is empty from acts of injustice to people not to mention debts, you counted it a little thing, while with Allah it was very great. If you realize the danger of debts and the mischief it may bring about, then you should consider these commandments:

1- Being free from debt brings about happiness, freedom and peace of mind.

2- That because the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has sought refuge with Allah from debt so many times a man from the companions said to him: "O Messenger of Allah why do you so frequently seek refuge with Allah from being in debt?"
He replied: "A person in debt tells lies whenever he speaks, and breaks promises whenever he makes (them)." [Agreed upon]
«إن الرجل إذا غرم حدّث فكذب ووعد فأخلف» متفق عليه

Being in debt is a pretext of lying when talking and in breaking promises; so it is worthy of the one who is in debt or the one that who is afraid of falling into being in debt to frequently invoke Allah by this invocation:

"O Allah, You alleviate debt and sin so alleviate them from me. O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the sins and from being in debt."

3- So many people are ignorant of the danger of debt that they resort to it even in the most trivial matters. If they had known how the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has warned sternly against it they would have never committed being in debt. It has been narrated in so many Hadith that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has abstained from praying the funeral prayer on him who was in debt. In the well-established Hadith, a man was brought to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to pray on him but he said: "you pray on your companion, he has unpaid debt." [Reported by At-Tirmidhi, Hasan Sahih (good authentic)]
«صلوا على صاحبكم فإن عليه ديناً» رواه الترمذي، حسن صحيح

It is worthy to mention that the previous case was at the beginning of Islam, when Allah opened the gates of profit to His Messenger he said: "I am closer to every believer than his own self; so whosoever leaves unpaid debt I am to pay it off, and whosoever leaves money (as inheritance) the debt is to be paid off by his heirs." [Narrated by Abu Dawud and authenticated by Al-Albani]
«أنا أولى بكل مؤمن من نفسه فمن ترك دينا فعلي قضاؤه ومن ترك مالا فلورثته» رواه ابو داود وصححه الألباني

And whoever dies and has not paid off his debt, paying off will be from his good deeds in the Hereafter.

4- The stern warning against being in debt that if a person was duly martyred in supporting the religion of Allah he will not enter Paradise unless he pays off his debts. Imam An-Nasâ'i reported, in a good chain of transmission, and Al-Hakim, and the wordings are his, that Mohamed ibn Abdullah ibn Jahsh said: the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was sitting where the funerals are put (by the graves) then he raised his head to heavens, then he lowered his gaze, and then he put his hand on his forehead and said: "Glory be to Allah! Glory be to Allah! What a stern revelation." He said: we knew but kept silent. The following day I asked the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, about the stern revelation.

He said: "it is revealed about the debt. By Him in Whose Hands is my soul if a man was killed on the cause of Allah, then he lived again and was killed again, then he lived again and was killed again while he has unpaid debt he will not enter Paradise unless his debt is paid off."

Imam Muslim reported in his authentic book of Hadith: "Allah forgives all the sins of a martyr except unpaid debt".
«يغفر للشهيد كل ذنب، إلا الدين» رواه مسلم

And in a narration on the authority of Samra bin Jundob: "Is there any one from “so-and-so tribe” your companion is imprisoned by the gate of Paradise (he cannot pass the gate) because of an unpaid debt." [Al-Albani reported it with an authentic chain of transmission]
«ها هنا أحد من بني فلان؟ إن صاحبكم محبوس بباب الجنة بدين عليه» رواه الألباني، إسناده صحيح

5- Abandoning being in debt in the time of prosperity and preferring to be safe of it is better than borrowing money and be in debt that he would find it hard in the future to pay it off. Thus he would enter Hellfire because of debt, where his good deeds will be taken to his creditors and if they are not enough their sins are thrown over him. The case has been to some people that they borrow money to go on vacation in some resorts, thus he over burdens himself with heavy debts. This is but ignorance of the danger of debt and it is out of the blind imitation of the luxurious; it is entering into the hatred of Allah as He loathes the arrogant in-debt people; it is running away from the taunting of family and kids.

6- Too much debt brings about poverty and takes bless away from money; it threatens with devastation and loss. Some people have the salary of more than ten thousand Riyals, nevertheless, they complain of debt as a result of poor planning and management. They drown themselves in installments, and whenever something is presented to him he would rush to these companies and fall in installments. The case has been to some people that they have drowned themselves in luxuries: the furniture is bought in installments, the car as well as the trade that they cannot pay it off any more. Thus he spends and his family years in great destitution; his income decreases and the requests of creditors increase as a result of excessiveness. Allah Glorified and Exalted has said: {And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.} [Surat Al-Isrâ': 29]
{وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَى عُنُقِكَ وَلاَ تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ فَتَقْعُدَ مَلُوماً مَّحْسُوراً} الإسراء: 29

Transliteration: Wala tajAAal yadaka maghloolatan ilaAAunuqika wala tabsutha kulla albasti fataqAAuda malooman mahsooran

And the Almighty has said: {And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes).} [Surat Al-Furqân: 67].
{وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا أَنفَقُوا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوا وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُوا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ قَوَاماً} الفرقان: 67

Transliteration: Waallatheena itha anfaqoo lam yusrifoo walam yaqturoo wakana bayna thalika qawaman

7- Taking people's money with the intention of not returning it back is treachery and theft. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: "if a man marries a woman with a dowry (that he will pay it for her later) and that he intends not to give it to her is an adulterer, and whoever borrows money and he intends not to pay it off is a thief" [Al-Albani said authentic due to other narrations],
«من تزوج امرأة على صداق، وهو ينوي أن لا يؤديه إليها؛ فهو زان، ومن ادان دينا وهو ينوي أن لا يؤديه إلى صاحبه أحسبه قال: فهو سارق» الألباني، صحيح لغيره

And in a narration by At-Tabarani: "he will meet Allah as a thief".
«لقي الله وهو سارق» رواه الطبراني

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has said: "Whoever takes the money of people with the intention of repaying it, Allah will repay it on his behalf, and whoever takes it in order to spoil it, then Allah will spoil him." [Reported by Al-Bukhari]
«من أخذ أموال الناس يريد أداءها أدى الله عنه ، ومن أخذ يريد إتلافها أتلفه الله» رواه البخاري

8- The creditor who intends to alleviate the distress of people is embraced by the mercy and glory of Allah. In the authentic Hadith: "whoever relieves the distress of his debtor or erases his debt, verily he will be under the shade of the Throne on the Day of Resurrection." [Authenticated by Al-Albani]
«من نفس عن غريمه ، أو محا عنه ، كان في ظل العرش يوم القيامة» صححه الألباني

Allah Almighty has said: {And if the debtor is in a hard time (has no money), then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay, but if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know} [Surat Al-Baqarah: 280].
{وَإِن كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَى مَيْسَرَةٍ وَأَن تَصَدَّقُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ} البقرة: 280

Transliteration: Wain kana thoo AAusratin fanathiratun ila maysaratin waan tasaddaqoo khayrun lakum in kuntum taAAlamoona

9- The debt is distress at night and humiliation during the day, so whoever feels that debt is humiliating for men would not dare to fall in debt. It is in the Hadith: "the honor of the believer is his standing at night (praying and invoking Allah) and his pride is his being independent from people". [Declared good by Al-Albani]
«شرف المؤمن قيامه بالليل ، و عزه استغناؤه عن الناس» حسنه الألباني

Imam At-Tirmidhi reported from Abu Kabshah Al-Anmari: "and, verily, the slave will not open a door of begging but that Allah will open before him a door of poverty", this Hadith is good and authentic.
«ولا فتح عبد باب مسألة إلا فتح الله عليه باب فقر» رواه الترمذي، حسن صحيح

10- Beware of imitation. Just that someone has opened a shop and was successful in it you find some people rushing to borrow funds and collecting a large amount of money by debt and then starts a project, and that he wants to become a merchant overnight. Why do you involve yourself in such a predicament, which consequences may be loss, and thus you fall in unbearable debts that you cannot pay off? Do not risk yourself with which you cannot bear. Safety is above everything. So do not seek debt until you make all possible calculations, and unless you consider the outlet if you lose and how to pay off people's money and give them their rights back. O brother, beware of debt as you can; because death comes suddenly. Economize in your spending and be moderate and waste not by extravagance so that you will not become blameworthy and in severe poverty.

11- And know -may Allah bless- you that if you fall in the predicament of debt your priority should be to pay off the debt; as it was said he who is worried because of his debt, he should pay it off. And try to reduce excessive luxury and extravagance. There are some people who borrow the money then they would have no determination in paying it off; so they borrow each month and do not care about the increasing debt. If he asks people for debt, he insists on begging. And when the debt is due he procrastinates. He would become angry if people request for their money. Some of them solve the problem of debt with another debt; their status is such as the status of those who rose from a hole to fall into a ditch. He would buy a car in installments and sell it in cash; though this issue has the suspicion of usury as was stated by his Eminence Sheikh Abdul-Aziz ibn Baz, especially for him whose intention was to get money.

12- Do not borrow unless in case of necessity, and do you know the meaning of necessity? It is when a mischief is due to take place in this worldly life and in the Hereafter; like delaying marriage that would lead to adultery. It is in the Hadith: "verily, there are three who deserve the help of Allah, and he has mentioned amongst them the one who is getting married". [Ibn Mulqen, authentic]
«ثلاثة حق على الله أن يعينهم...والناكح يريد العفاف» ابن ملقن، صحيح

13- From the commandments is to pay of your debts justly and not to procrastinate; and that you should not eat up people's money or denying having them. There are some borrowers who would come to you in a humble manner showing off piety and honesty; he would come to you asking to lend him money that you might be needing at the present or the following day; they remind you of the reward of generosity; they may also seek the help of those whom you cannot refuse a demand to; so you give him what he wants in private; you might even be shy of making someone witnessing the situation or that you make him sign an IOU; though Allah has commanded us when we contract a debt for a fixed period that we should write it down. It is a command of favor not a command of obligation. So he takes the money thanking and praising you in a way that may make you shy of his praise. Then you will not see him again. You will not have a glimpse of his face. You will search for him to repay you the debt which is due and that you need the money, but he evades you, he skews from you. You knock at his door but you are told he is not present. You return in the morning but he is asleep. You come after an hour and he has gone. You seek all means and friends to intercede with him but he meets you proudly turning his face away from you with pride, saying: O brother!! You have bothered us with this debt. What a strange persistence! Are you afraid that I will eat it up? And he scolds you while you are humoring him. And if he is a good man he would pay you your money but a riyal at a time that you lose your face collecting your debt. Your money becomes an affliction which you lose precious time in collecting and then you will not benefit from it as it is being repaid a penny after the other while you have given it as a whole sum. If he has no honor or conscience he will eat up the whole debt and will scream at you that you have no right with him and that you can go to court. He knows that you have no proof against him. But even though if you have written down the debt, have you any patience with the prolonged trials, their postponements and following them up? Verily, losing the money is easier than resorting to courts. O debtors: Is there any reward for good other than good?

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