Etiquettes related to debt and loaning – II

Etiquettes related to debt and loaning – II
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Repaying in the best manner:

The debtor should repay in the best manner. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: “A harsh Bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) asking him to repay a young camel he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) had borrowed from this Bedouin. The Bedouin used harsh words when he was demanding his money, so the companions were about to strike him for doing so, but the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: 'Leave him! Indeed a creditor has the right to demand it (i.e. his loan).' The companions could not find a young camel among the brought ones (from Zakah) to match the level of that which was borrowed, and informed the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) that all the camels were of the best type. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: 'Give it to him, for it is the best of all people who pays back in the best manner.' [Muslim] In another narration narrated by Abu Sa’eed, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) told the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, who were enraged with the Bedouin: "You should side with the one who is demanding his right."

Unfortunately, nowadays people hardly side with the one demanding his right, and in some cases even judges deprive people from their rights, and receive bribes to side with the debtor instead of siding with the creditor … woe to them and what a severe punishment awaits them in Hell on the Day of Judgment. 

When the Bedouin saw the good manner in which the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) repaid him, he thanked him, and thereupon the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “These are the best type of people (i.e. who repay in the best manner). There is no good in a nation whose poor cannot take their rights from their rich without being harassed.” The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said this because sometimes the poor might get his right back but only after he suffers and is delayed and is put in embarrassing situations.

Additionally, the debtor must rely on Allah in his attempt to repay the creditor. Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “A man from the children of Israeli asked another to lend him one thousand Deenaars. The second said, `I want a surety witness’ the former replied, `Allah is sufficient as a surety witness’ The second said, you are right, and he lent him the money for an appointed time. The debtor went across the sea, and when he finished his job, he searched for a conveyance so that he might reach in time for the repayment of the debt, but he could not find any. So, he took a piece of wood, made a hole in it, inserted in it one thousand Deenaars and a letter to the lender and then closed (i.e. sealed) the hole tightly. He took the piece of wood to the sea and said: “O Allah! You know very well that I took a loan of one thousand Deenaars from so-and-so. He demanded a surety from me but I told him that Allah’s Guarantee was sufficient, and he accepted Your Guarantee. He then asked for a witness and I told him that Allah was sufficient as a witness, and he accepted You as a witness. No doubt, I tried hard to find a conveyance so that I could pay his money but I could not find any, so I hand over this money to You” Saying that, he threw the piece of wood into the sea till it went out far into it, and then he went away. Meanwhile he started searching for a conveyance in order to reach the creditor’s country.

"One day the lender came out of his house to see whether a ship had arrived bringing his money, and all of a sudden he saw the piece of wood (i.e. the one in which his money had been deposited). He took it home to use for fire. When he sawed it, he found his money and the letter inside it. Shortly after that, the debtor came bringing one thousand Deenaars to him and said, By Allah, I had been trying hard to get a boat so that I could bring you your money, but failed to get one before the one I have come by. The lender asked, have you sent something to me? The debtor replied, `I have told you I could not get a boat other than the one I have come by. The lender said, `Allah has delivered on your behalf the money you sent in the piece of wood. So, you may keep your one thousand Deenaars so depart guided on the right path.” [Al-Bukhari]

This is the consequence of relying on Allah, and when one’s intention is sincere in repayment, then Allah will assist him in his attempt. The problem that faces many indebted people is that they are not truly sincere in their intention to repay the debt to the creditor and thus they become deprived of the assistance of Allah.

Late salaries:

This is one type of debt which the employer owes the employee. Some people might work for a certain period and their contract is terminated and they leave the country whilst the employer owes them part of their salaries that he did not pay them. Undoubtedly, this is a debt on the part of the employer and he must look for them if they leave before he fulfilled their payments or salaries, even if he has to travel to their countries in order to pay them off.  

The following narration indicates the greatness of the right of the employee; `Abdullaah bin `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that he heard Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) as saying: "Three men, amongst those who came before you, set out until night came and they reached a cave, so they entered it. A rock fell down from the mountain and blocked the entrance of the cave. They said: `Nothing will save you from this unless you supplicate to Allah by virtue of a righteous deed you have done.`” The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) mentioned what each of them said and one of them said: “`O Allah! I hired some laborers and paid them their wages except one of them departed without taking his due. I invested his money in business and the business prospered greatly. After a long time, he came to me and said: O slave of Allah! Pay me my dues. I said: All that you see is yours - camels, cattle, goats and slaves. He said: O slave of Allah! Do not mock at me. I assured him that I was not joking. So he took all the things and went away   he spared nothing. O Allah! If I did so seeking Your Pleasure, then relieve us of our distress.` The rock slipped aside and they got out walking freely.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]

Nowadays, employers oppress their employees and eat up their rights and salaries … but the right of these employees will not be wasted with Allah, and their oppression will not be left unattended even if they die before getting their rights, because there will come a Day when everything will be accounted for and then repayment will be in a different form … it will be in rewards from their records. Therefore, employers are advised to rush and fulfill the payment for their employees before that Day comes.

Procrastinating payment:  

Some debtors delay and procrastinate for no need even when they have the money to repay, but he acts so mean and low and pays back in installments to the creditor. One might have a debt of fifty thousand for example, and starts repaying five hundred every month, other months he might pay only two hundred, and a third month he would pay a thousand and so on, despite him having the entire amount, but he just wants the creditor to give up on him and his debt, and this is extreme stinginess.

Such people make the creditor appear like the poor person who is chasing after money, whilst it is his right. He forces him in some cases to beg him to repay, so that he (i.e. the creditor) can fulfill his own obligations which he might have arranged their payment based on the agreed upon promise of repayment from the debtor.

Finally, it is recommended that the debtor says nice words of gratitude to the creditor upon repaying him as this softens the heart and encourages the creditor to loan others in the future.

Etiquettes related to debt and loaning – I


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