about debt

Again, About Debt

In the name of Allah.

“O Allah, please ease and help me.”

In Question and Answer section of the site www.KonsultasiSyariah.com, we often received many whines about debt. Often too, some of those whiner told about the advice of shaman in their mails. Among them there are people who use the chapter Al Fatihah as their secret trick to be rich, or use recitation made by the “Kiai” (religious figure). Indeed, there are various ways people take to obtain money instantly when they are cornered.

Dear readers, probably it has became human’s trademark. When he is cornered, shari’a rules are much lesser priority. Even though he has to sacrifice his faith, he’ll do it, or anything; the most important thing is to solve the problem as soon as possible. Indeed, this is the portrait of a looser, whose patience is as paper thin, upon carrying trial that Allah has destined for him.

Regarding the principle of instancy to escape out of a problem by sacrificing faith as some people did, I remember scholarly explanation about the difference of people who worship other beside Allah during the period of ignorance and today. Among their differences mentioned is: the past people only committed shirk when they were at ease. whereas in cornered and difficult situation, they wouldn’t commit any shirk. It is as Allah decreed,

فَإِذَا رَكِبُوا فِي الْفُلْكِ دَعَوُا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ فَلَمَّا نَجَّاهُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ إِذَا هُمْ يُشْرِكُونَ

“When they embark in the ships they call upon Allah, consecrating their faith to Him. But when He rescues them and brings them to land, they suddenly begin to associate others with Allah in His Divinity” (Q.S. Al-Ankabut/The Spider :65)

Another verse that resembles the above verse is Allah’s decree in chapter Luqman:32.

Contrary to it, is the condition of people today. They have a heart to sell their faith in any condition, particularly in difficult time which need fast solution. Therefore, averagely, “patient” who goes to shamans are people who are in tight spot.

We agree that debt is a problem, and frequently indulged in debt is a disease. Moreover when a lot of conventional financial institution open their door widely for loan, and thus, debt. The wide use of credit card has been an efficient media to spread “the debt virus”. Let’s see some hadith below, which hopefully can scare us and thus prevent us from indulging ourselves in debt.

First: From Abu Huraira -may Allah be pleased with him-, the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,

نَفْسُ المُؤْمِن مُعَلَّقَةٌ بِدَينِهِ حَتَّى يُقضَى عَنهُ

“The soul of the believer is suspended because of his debt until it is paid off.” (Narrated by Turmudzi, Ibn Maja, and Ahmad; classified as valid hadith by Al Albani in “Shahih Jami’ Ash-Shaghir, no. 6779)

Second: The Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- always seek protection from living in debt. Among his supplications is:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْمَأثَمِ وَالـمَـغْــرَمِ

“O Allah, I seek refuge with You from sin and heavy debt).”

Someone said to him: “How often you seek refuge from heavy debt!” He said: “

إن الرجل إذا غرم حدث فكذب ووعد فأخلف

When a man gets into debt, he speak and tells lies, and he makes a promise and breaks it.”( Narrated by. Bukhari, no. 798)

Third, Sins of a martyr will be forgiven, except for debt.

From Abu Huraira -may Allah be pleased with him-, he said that there was a man who asked the Prophet – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-, “If I die in Allah’s Cause, will my sins be forgiven?”

نَعَم، وَأَنْتَ صَابِرٌ مُـحْتَسِبٌ مُقْبِلٌ غَيْرُ مُدْبِرٍ إِلَّا الدَّيْنَ فَإِنَّ جِبْرِيلَ عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ قَالَ لِي ذَلِكَ

He -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- replied,

“Yes, if you are patient, wish for Allah’s reward, and keep moving forward and not flee (from the battle, -ed). Except for debt. That is what angel Gabriel told me.” (Narrated by Muslim, no. 1885)

Fourth: Debt prevents a person to enter Paradise

From Muhammad Ibn Jahsy – may Allah be pleased with him-, ” We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when he raised his head towards the sky, and said:

سبحان الله ماذا نزل من التشديد

“Subhaan-Allaah! What a strict issue has been revealed to me!”

The following morning I asked him, “O Messenger of Allah, what is this strict issue that has been revealed?” He said,

والذي نفسي بيده ، لو أن رجلا قُتِلَ في سبيل الله، ثم أُحْييَ ، ثم قُتِلَ ، ثم أُحْييَ، ثم قُتِلَ وعليه دَيْنٌ ، ما دخل الجنة حتى يُقضَى عنه دَينُه

“By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if a man were killed in battle for the sake of Allah, 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.” (Narrated by An Nisa’i and Ahmad, Classed as good(hasan) by al-Albaani)

Fifth: Debt is a burden for a soul

From Uqbah Ibn Amr -may Allah be pleased with him- said, the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said,

لاَ تُخِيفُوا أَنْفُسَكُم بَعْدَ أَمْنِهَا. قَالُوا: وَمَا ذَاكَ يَا رَسُولَ الله؟ قَالَ: الدَّيْنَ

“Don’t scare yourselves after you are being reassured.” The companions asked, “What is that, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “It is debt.” (Narrated by Ahmad, classed as good (hasan) by Al Albani).

Solution to be Debt-free

1. We are sure that everyone wishes to live free from the burden of debt. But what if we already involved in debt? Here are some solutions to free ourselves from it.

Believe that everything is a trial from Allah. Attempt to be patient, because Allah will never try a person with something that is out of his power.

2. Never even think to have prejudice to Allah, such as, for example, Allah doesn’t love you anymore, moreover to think that Allah isn’t fair. Therefore, maintain your heart carefully.

3. Avoid all acts that will worsen your condition, for example: going to a shaman, seeking for charm, tirakat, practicing remembrances which have no supporting indication, and other instant ‘solution’. It will not improve your situation, therefore, avoid it.

4. Face the trial bravely, don’t run away, let alone suicide. Those will only troubling your family, Remember, the Hereafter punishment is far more grave! Opting for this ‘solution’ will only cost you to be a person who deserves of this threat below:

من أخذ أموال الناس يريد أداءها أدى الله عنه ومن أخذ يريد إتلافها أتلفه الله عليه

“The one who takes people’s wealth intending to pay it back, Allah will pay it back for him, and the one who takes it intending to destroy it, Allah will destroy him.” Narrated by al Bukhari (2387).

5. Ask for Allah’s forgiveness plenty of time, because it may be that Allah cast the debt upon us due to the many sins that we’ve committed.

6. Intent to pay off the debt. Allah has promised to pay off the debt of a person who intent to pay it off. The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- also said,

ما من أحد يدان دينا يعلم الله أنه يريد قضاءه إلا أداه الله عنه في الدنيا

“There is no one owes, and Allah knows that he intends to repay the debt, but Allah will pay it off in the world” (Narrated by An Nisa’i and Ibn Maja; classed as valid hadith by Al Albani).

7. Next, use any permitted means that you could to obtain money. May Allah bless your effort. Amin.

Author: Ustadz. Ammi Nur Baits

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