Debt on the shariah spectrum.

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Bismihi Ta’ala

*Debt on the shariah spectrum.*

 *Shariah has evolved through the 23 years of prophecy of the prophet Muhammad Swalallahou Alaihi Wasallam. Some ahadiths shows complete severity on debt. Others a relaxation. But to understand sunnah, we need to see the life of sahabahs ra. We need to enquire which verse and hadiths are the last abrogating ones. For example, salaah evolved such that in the beginning, it was permissible to answer salaam, but then this was abrogated.*

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهِ قَالَ: «كُنَّا نُسَلِّمُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ ﷺ وَهُوَ فِي الصَّلَاةِ فَيَرُدُّ عَلَيْنَا، فَلَمَّا رَجَعْنَا مِنْ عِنْدِ النَّجَاشِيِّ سَلَّمْنَا عَلَيْهِ فَلَمْ يَرُدَّ عَلَيْنَا، وَقَالَ: إِنَّ فِي الصَّلَاةِ لَشُغْلًا».

سنن أبي داود

*Reading those ahadiths where Rasouloullah swalallahou alaihi wasallam refused to read salaatul janazah of someone died indebt, many have concluded misconception about debt. In fact, it is permissible to borrow money-without interest of course-but with the condition that you would pay back and that you surely have that amount of wealth/estate in your possession to pay your debt in case of death*.

*If someone does not possess enough wealth to set off his debts in case of death, then he should not borrow that amount of money. In fact, Shariah legislate the expenses of funeral and burial from the deceased wealth/estate. And right after that is paying off all his debts. However if the debt of the deceased is more than his wealth, inheritors will not get anything.*

*In the beginning, Rasouloullah Swalallahou Alaihi Wasallam was very strict in regards to matters concerning debts. To the extent where he refused to read the Namaz Janazah of someone in debt.*

*But after that, when people started acquiring more wealth, he became less strict. But of course, all debts should be paid off.*

أنا أوْلى بِكُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ مِن نَفْسِهِ، مَن تَرَكَ مالًا فَلِأهْلِهِ، ومَن تَرَكَ دَيْنًا أوْ ضَياعًا فَإلَيَّ وعَلَيَّ»

صحيح مسلم

*Rasouloullah Swalallahou Alaihi Wasallam said: “Whomsoever has left some debts behind, I’ll pay it off. “ (Sahih Muslim)*

*To be noted that Rasouloullah Swalallahou Alaihi Wasallam himself has left this world while his shield was in the possession of a Jew, kept as a pawn for a debt of 30 sa’ of wheat. (Bukhari)*

حَدَّثَنا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ كَثِيرٍ، أخْبَرَنا سُفْيانُ، عَنِ الأعْمَشِ، عَنْ إبْراهِيمَ، عَنِ الأسْوَدِ، عَنْ عائِشَةَ رضي الله عنها ، قالَتْ: «تُوُفِّيَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ ودِرْعُهُ مَرْهُونَةٌ عِنْدَ يَهُودِيٍّ، بِثَلاَثِينَ صاعًا مِن شَعِيرٍ»


*Even Rasouloullah Swalallahou Alaihi Wasallam himself had left this world while being in debt.*

حَدَّثَنا إسْحاقُ بْنُ إبْراهِيمَ، قالَ: قُلْتُ لِأبِي أُسامَةَ، أحَدَّثَكُمْ هِشامُ بْنُ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ أبِيهِ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ، قالَ: لَمّا وقَفَ الزُّبَيْرُ يَوْمَ الجَمَلِ دَعانِي، فَقُمْتُ إلى جَنْبِهِ فَقالَ: «يا بُنَيِّ، إنَّهُ لاَ يُقْتَلُ اليَوْمَ إلّا ظالِمٌ أوْ مَظْلُومٌ، وإنِّي لاَ أُرانِي إلّا سَأُقْتَلُ اليَوْمَ مَظْلُومًا، وإنَّ مِن أكْبَرِ هَمِّي لَدَيْنِي، أفَتُرى يُبْقِي دَيْنُنا مِن مالِنا شَيْئًا؟ فَقالَ: يا بُنَيِّ بِعْ مالَنا، فاقْضِ دَيْنِي، وأوْصى بِالثُّلُثِ، وثُلُثِهِ لِبَنِيهِ – يَعْنِي بَنِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ


*About 25 years later, after Rasouloullah Swalallahou Alaihi Wasallam, Hazrat Zubeir ra passed away while being in debt. But he had more than enough wealth to pay off his debts. (Bukhari)*

*Hence, it is not part of the Sunnah to make announcements in regards to debt at the time of janaaza. And it is permissible to borrow money as long as you have the intention of paying it back. And you have enough wealth to pay off in case you pass away.*

*And you should know that if the debt has not been paid off in this world, then it will be paid off on the day of judgement with good deeds.*

*To be noted that even if taking debts is permissible when backed  by wealth, but still one should not contract large amount of debts without necessities. Because debts is a load upon oneself.*

*Rasouloullah swalallahou alaihi wasallam used to ask protection against insolvency and indebtedness.(Bukhari)*

 اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْمَأْثَمِ وَالْمَغْرَمِ» فَقَالَ قَائِلٌ: مَا أَكْثَرَ مَا تَسْتَعِيذُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مِنَ الْمَأْثَمِ وَالْمَغْرَمِ؟ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ: «إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ إِذَا غَرِمَ حَدَّثَ فَكَذَبَ، وَوَعَدَ فَأَخْلَفَ»

مسند الشاميين للطبراني

*Because insolvency cause one to evade, lie and do not respect promises.*

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