Unable to Repay His Debts
Fatwa No: 387271

  • Fatwa Date:25-11-2018 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 17, 1440
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Question

Selam...I had a partnership with someone and started doing business in 2013.Then I had to run out of my country as we fell in debt due to being a victim of blackmail of some government-supported parties.I know that to have a clear Tawbeh one needs to pay back all the dues.I read Qura'an Kerim everyday and support other people but I know this is not enough.I have been trying but in vain.I am really unhappy with this situation and do want to cover my debts. I fear that I reach my last day before clearing my record before Allah.I take care of my 85 years old father, wife and two children at school. I thought I go to be impresoned but it was a stupid idea because I am responsible for my family and there is no one else to support them.I tried to save money to pay back even part by part but it is not an effective way even though I do not buy myself or the family anything more than the basics, not even visiting doctors if it is not so serious a problem.I tried to have a loan but it is a risk and I do not want to fall deeper in hell.Please advise what would I do.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

If you are able to repay some of the debt, then you have to pay it and whatever you are unable to repay, then the creditors are obliged to give you respite until you become able to repay.

Allah Says (what means): {And if someone is in hardship, then [let there be] postponement until [a time of] ease. But if you give [from your right as] charity, then it is better for you, if you only knew.} [Quran 2:280]

As-Sa’di  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said about the interpretation of the above verse:

"Meaning that if the debtor (indebted person) is insolvent and is unable to repay, then it is an obligation on his creditor to give his respite until he becomes able to repay. Once the debtor obtains money by any permissible means, he is obliged to repay his debt. If the creditor forgives him the debt or part of it, then this is better for him [creditor].” [End of quote]

If when you had taken the money from the people you were determined to repay them, then you are not sinful.

The Permanent Standing Committee was asked: "If a person dies while he had a debt which he was unable to repay due to his poverty; does his soul remain liable and pending on account of his debt?

Answer:

"Ahmad, at-Tirmithi and Ibn Maajah reported that Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “The soul of the deceased believer remains pending on account of his (person’s) debt till it (the debt) is repaid." This is understood to refer to whoever has left behind money from which his debt can be repaid. As regards a person who has no money (left behind) from which they may repay his debt, then it is hoped that this Hadeeth does not apply to him, as Allah Says (what means):

• {Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.} [Quran 2:286]

• {And if someone is in hardship, then [let there be] postponement until [a time of] ease.} [Quran 2:280]

Also, this Hadeeth does not apply to whomever had a good intention to repay when he had contracted the debt but died and was unable to repay. Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Whoever takes people's money while wanting to repay, Allah would help him to repay, and whoever takes people's money while wanting to spoil them, then Allah will spoil him (i.e. spoil his wealth and punish him in the Hereafter)." [Al-Bukhaari]"

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 124262.

Allah knows best.

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