Volume 3, Book 49, Number 868 :
Narrated by Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa)
Once Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) heard the loud voices of some opponents quarreling at the door. One of them was appealing to the other to deduct his debt and asking him to be lenient but the other was saying, “By Allah I will not do so.” Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) went out to them and said, “Who is the one who was swearing by Allah that he would not do a favor?” That man said, “I am that person, O Allah’s Apostle! I will give my opponent whatever he wishes.”
There’s something really oxymoron-ish about swearing by Allah to not do something good. The two just don’t go together. Often times we say things in anger and heat of the moment that we come to regret later. If only we thought once before speaking. If only there was someone to correct us right there on the spot. Alas, the wicked things that are tongues are!
One of the noblest traits of one’s character is to admit mistakes and make amends. The good thing about this world is that we always have a second, third, fourth chance to start afresh – as long as death doesn’t come knocking.
So if you slipped, if you were in error, you need to take the first step towards forgiveness. Admit your fault and right the wrong. You still have a chance.
Hadith no. 1831 (below) is a repeat. Read it here.
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 336 :
Narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “He who buys foodstuff should not sell it till he is satisfied with the measure with which he has bought it.
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 337 :
Narrated by Jabir (radiallaahu `anhu)
Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Haram (radiallaahu `anhu) died and was in debt to others. I asked the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) to intercede with his creditors for some reduction in the debts. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) requested them (to reduce the debts) but they refused. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said to me, “Go and put your dates (In heaps) according to their different kinds. The Ajwa on one side, the cluster of Ibn Zaid on another side, etc.. Then call me.” I did that and called the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). He came and sat at the head or in the middle of the heaps and ordered me. Measure (the dates) for the people (creditors).” I measured for them till I paid all the debts. My dates remained as it nothing had been taken from them. In other narrations, Jabir (radiallaahu `anhu) said; The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “He (i.e. ‘Abdullah) continued measuring for them till he paid all the debts.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said (to ‘Abdullah), “Cut (clusters) for him (i.e. one of the creditors) and measure for him fully.”
Why was Jabir (radiallaahu `anhu) keen on paying this guy’s debt? Because Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu) was his father.
We have to realize the seriousness of debt. It’s not something encouraged in Islam. When a person takes a debt from another, he becomes like his prisoner. 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: “Your companion is being detained by his debt.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3341; classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Islam takes the matter of debt very seriously and warns against it and urges the Muslim to avoid it as much as possible.
It was narrated from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say in his prayer: “Allaahumma inni a’oodhi bika min al-ma’tham wa’l-maghram (O Allaah, I seek refuge with You from sin and heavy debt).” Someone said to him: “How often you seek refuge from heavy debt!” He said: “When a man gets into debt, he speak and tells lies, and he makes a promise and breaks it.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (832) and Muslim (589).
Al-Nasaa’i (4605) narrated that Muhammad ibn Jahsh (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:
We were sitting with the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when he raised his head towards the sky, then he put his palm on his forehead and said: “Subhaan-Allaah! What a strict issue has been revealed to me!” We remained silent and were afraid. The following morning I asked him, “O Messenger of Allaah, what is this strict issue that has been revealed?” He said, “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if a man were killed in battle for the sake of Allaah, then brought back to life, then killed and brought back to life again, then killed, and he owed a debt, he would not enter Paradise until his debt was paid off.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Nasaa’i, 4367.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) refrained from offering the funeral prayer for one who had died owing two dinars, until 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 (3/629); classed as hasan by al-Nawawi in al-Khalaasah (2/931) and by Ibn Muflih in al-Adaab al-Shar’iyyah(1/104).
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Fath al-Baari(4/547):
This hadeeth indicates how difficult the issue of debt is, and that it should not be undertaken except in cases of necessity. End quote.
It was narrated from Thawbaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Whoever dies free from three things – arrogance, cheating and debt – will enter Paradise.”
Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1572); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“The soul of the believer is suspended because of his debt until it is paid off.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (1078).
Al-Mubaarakfoori said in Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi (4/164):
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. End quote.
Read more on it here.
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 304:
Narrated Khabbab (radiallaahu `anhu):
I was a blacksmith in the Pre-lslamic period, and ‘Asi bin Wail owed me some money, so I went to him to demand it. He said (to me), “I will not pay you unless you disbelieve Muhammad.” I said, “I will not disbelieve till Allah kills you and then you get resurrected.” He said, “Leave me till I die and get resurrected, then I will be given wealth and children and I will pay you your debt.” On that occasion it was revealed to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam):
‘Have you seen him who disbelieved in Our signs and says: Surely I will be given wealth and children? Has he known the unseen, or has he taken a covenant from the Beneficent (Allah)? (19.77-78)
Someone tell the disbelievers they won’t be getting any wealth or children after resurrection. Someone tell them!
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 290:
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu):
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “May Allah’s mercy be on him who is lenient in his buying, selling, and in demanding back his money.”
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 291:
Narrated Hudhaifa (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Before your time the angels received the soul of a man and asked him, ‘Did you do any good deeds (in your life)?’ He replied, ‘I used to order my employees to grant time to the rich person to pay his debts at his convenience.’ So Allah said to the angels; “Excuse him.” Rabi said that (the dead man said), ‘I used to be easy to the rich and grant time to the poor.’ Or, in another narration, ‘grant time to the well-off and forgive the needy,’ or, ‘accept from the well-off and forgive the needy.’
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 292:
Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “There was a merchant who used to lend the people, and whenever his debtor was in straitened circumstances, he would say to his employees, ‘Forgive him so that Allah may forgive us.’ So, Allah forgave him.”
وَإِن كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَى مَيْسَرَةٍ وَأَن تَصَدَّقُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
And if the debtor is having a hard time, 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. [2:280]
Ibn Kathir comments on this ayah:
Allah commands creditors to be patient with debtors who are having a hard time financially,
﴿وَإِن كَانَ ذُو عُسْرَةٍ فَنَظِرَةٌ إِلَى مَيْسَرَةٍ﴾
(And if the debtor is having a hard time (has no money), then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay.)
During the time of Jahiliyyah, when the debt came to term, the creditor would say to the debtor, “Either pay now or interest will be added to the debt.”
Allah encouraged creditors to give debtors respite regarding their debts and promised all that is good, and a great reward from Him for this righteous deed,
﴿وَأَن تَصَدَّقُواْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ﴾
(But if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know) meaning, if you forfeit your debts and cancel them completely.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Sulayman bin Buraydah said that his father said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah say,
«مَنْ أَنْظَرَ مُعْسِرًا، فَلَهُ بِكُلِّ يَوْمٍ مِثْلُهُ صَدَقَة»
(Whoever gives time to a debtor facing hard times, will gain charity of equal proportions for each day he gives.)
I also heard the Prophet say,
«مَنْ أَنْظَرَ مُعْسِرًا، فَلَهُ بِكُلِّ يَوْمٍ مِثْلُهُ صَدَقَة»
(Whoever gives time to a debtor facing hard times, will earn charity multiplied two times for each day he gives.) I said, `O Messenger of Allah! I heard you say, `Whoever gives time to a debtor facing hard times, will gain charity of equal proportions for each day he gives.’ I also heard you say, `Whoever gives time to a debtor facing hard times, will earn charity multiplied by two times for each day he gives.’ He said,
«لَهُ بِكُلِّ يَومٍ مِثْلُهُ صَدَقَةٌ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَحِلَّ الدَّيْنُ، فَإِذَا حَلَّ الدَّيْنُ فَأَنْظَرَهُ، فَلَهُ بِكُلِّ يَوْمٍ مِثْلَاهُ صَدَقَة»
(He will earn charity of equal proportions for each day (he gives time) before the term of the debt comes to an end, and when the term comes to an end, he will again acquire charity multiplied by two times for each day if he gives more time.)”
Ahmad recorded that Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi said that Abu Qatadah had a debt on a man, who used to hide from Abu Qatadah when he looked for him to pay what he owed him. One day, Abu Qatadah came looking for the debtor and a young boy came out, and he asked him about the debtor and found out that he was in the house eating. Abu Qatadah said in a loud voice, “O Fellow! Come out, for I was told that you are in the house.” The man came out and Abu Qatadah asked him, “Why are you hiding from me” The man said, “I am having a hard time financially, and I do not have any money.” Abu Qatadah said, “By Allah, are you truly facing a hard time” He said, “Yes.” Abu Qatadah cried and said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah say,
«مَنْ نَفَّسَ عَنْ غَرِيمِهِ أَوْ مَحَا عَنْهُ،كَانَ فِي ظِلِّ الْعَرْشِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة»
(Whoever gives time to his debtor, or forgives the debt, will be in the shade of the Throne (of Allah) on the Day of Resurrection.)”
Muslim also recorded this Hadith in his Sahih.
Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la Al-Mawsili recorded that Hudhayfah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«أُتِيَ اللهُ بِعَبْدٍمِنْ عَبِيدِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ قَالَ: مَاذَا عَمِلْتَ لِي فِي الدُّنْيَا؟ فَقَالَ: مَا عَمِلْتُ لَكَ يَا رَبِّ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ فِي الدُّنْيَا أَرْجُوكَ بِهَا قَالَهَا ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ قَالَ الْعَبْدُعِنْدَ آخِرِهَا: يَا رَبِّ إِنَّكَ كُنْتَ أَعْطَيْتَنِي فَضْلَ مَالٍ، وَكُنْتُ رَجُلًا أُبَايِعُ النَّاسَ، وَكَانَ مِنْ خُلُقِي الْجَوازُ، فَكُنْتُ أُيَسِّرُ عَلَى الْمُوسِرِ وَأُنْظِرُ الْمُعْسِرَ، قَالَ: فَيَقُولُ اللهُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ: أَنَا أَحَقُّ مَنْ يُيَسِّرُ، ادْخُلِ الْجَنَّة»
(On the Day of Resurrection, one of Allah’s servants will be summoned before Him and He will ask him, “What deeds did you perform for Me in your life” He will say, “O Lord! In my life, I have not performed a deed for Your sake that equals an atom,” three times. The third time, the servant will add, “O Lord! You granted me wealth and I used to be a merchant. I used to be lenient, giving easy terms to those well-off and giving time to the debtors who faced hard times.” Allah will say, “I Am the Most Worthy of giving easy terms. Therefore, enter Paradise.”)
In the mosque l asked Ibn Abi Hadrad to pay the debts which he owed me and our voices grew louder. Allah’s Apostle heard that while he was in his house. So he came to us raising the curtain of his room and said, “O Ka’b!” I replied, “Labaik, O Allah’s Apostle!” He said, “O Ka’b! Reduce your debt to one-half,” gesturing with his hand. I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! I have done so.” Then Allah’s Apostle said (to Ibn Abi Hadrad), “Get up and pay the debt to him.”
The way Prophet (SAW) dealt with this situation shows us how Ihsaan can be done in dealings involving debt and loan. The one paying the debt should do so within the prescribed time limit and the lender should go easy with him. If possible, reduce the amount. If not, be nice.