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Law of Not Paying Debt in Islam – Is It Allowed?

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Islam is a religion that organize and contain of every single aspect in human life. Values of Islam begin with every problem such as law, economic, family, ethics, and many others. Including in terms of daily life, Islam also organized sub problems such as debts and receivables must according to main values in pillars of Islam, pillars of Faith,  the function of faith in the Holy Book (Kitabullah), the function of faith to Allah SAW, and the function of Al-Qur’an for humanity. See also : Law of Working in Bank in Islam – Is It Allowed?


“O you have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down.” (Al-Baqarah verse 282)

One of the rules in an economic problem which stated in the above verse is an order for the believers to write a dealings in specific and details, so that there are no issued (problems accured) in the future. Including contract of debt.

Debt often become a sinner and experience the sinful things since it related to other rights and wealth. Not paying and fufil others wealth is same as taking and seizing from other people in a bad way. This matter become a result of tyrannical and hurts other people upon their rights they had.

Therefore, These are the explanations about debt and the law of not paying debt in Islam we should know.

Not Paying Debt is a Sin

People who did not pay their debt certainly they are sinful. Debt is an agreement (contract) or a promise which must be fulfilled. Whereas a form of violation in agreement (contract) or promise is a matter that also sinful. As for that, the law of paying debt and recompense debt is obligatory. While the law of not paying debt in Islam is forbidden (haram). See also :Importance of Commitment in Islam

In hadith, also stated the problems of debt, as follow :

“The Prophet shallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam buy food from a Jew not with a cash, then He mortgaging His harness.” (Al-Bukhari)

This represent when The Prophet in debt, then He mortgaging His harness as a guarantee and payment process.

Therefore, before making on an agreement or before the debt agreement due date, then the debtor should finish it first. This is because we could not bring our debt problems to our death. Since this subject will be charge and we will be asked for responsibility, unless the lender disclaim it.

Therefore, it would be better if we could not pay it or find it difficult to repay the debt the we should immediately visit and discuss it with the lender. Furthermore we should also explained the reasons and made a new agreement. Of course at once we should apologize over the late payment. Since it is a sinful if human especially a moslem who believed not doing his obligation and violate other people rights.

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Hadiths and History of Debt Issues

These are the following hadith and history on debt issues. It really dangerous if someone not paying his debt and forgot about it, especially if its intentionally.

1. An unpaid debts will be replaced with its kindness

“Whoever dies owning a debt of a dinar or a dirham, than it will be paid back from his good deeds (in the Judgement day) since there will be no dinar or dirham (in the afterlife).” (Ibn Majah)

On the above hadith its explained that in the Judgment day it will be asked the responsibility of debt. As a form of our good responsibility  in the doomsday later. It means that our kindness reward will decreased by an unpaid debt.

2. Having an intention not paying debt as same with thieves

“Any Man who takes out a loan, having resolved not to pay it back, then he will meet Allah (in the Doomsday) as a thief.” (Ibn Majah)

People who does not repay his debt as mentioned in the above hadith will as same as a thief. We did not want this matter happen to us as the believer to be likened as a thief. Therefore, a debtor should pay extra attention on his debt.


3. An intention to destroy human, will destroyed by Allah SWT

“Whoever takes people’s wealth with the intention of destroying it, Allah will destroy him.” (Bukhari)

Not repaying debt means takes other rights or wealth from another human as well as it should be returned to the person concerned. Therefore, as an intention on destroying other human, then Allah will destroy him too.

4. Debt will not be forgiven

“Any sins of the person martyred will be forgiven except debt.” (Muslim)

In this hadith also stated that debt is a sin that will not be forgiven if its intentionally not be pay or repayed.

5. God’s (Allah) help for those who intend to pay of their debt

“Allah will be with (gives help to) a person owning debt (that want to repay his debt) until he pay it back as long as that debt is not forbidden things by Allah.” (Ibn Majah)

Debt Should be Avoided, Even Its Allowed

As a form of obligation and responsibility of the believers who is in debt, then he should intend to repay it. While Allah will help good intentions if we already did it.

Take out a loan (debt) in islam is allowed as long as it is for goodness, especially in achievement of human mission according to the purpose of human creation, the process of human creation, the nature of human creation, the concept of human in Islam, and humanity based on Islam as the function of religion, the world according to Islam, success according to Islam, success in the world and afterlife according to Islam, and way of success according to Islam. But it won’t be allowed for forbidden (haram) purposes and prohibit by Allah SWT, or will give a bad impact for ourselves or society.

Be in debt is allowed in Islam, but don’t let the debt wrapped arround our lives until a state that its difficult for us to pay it back. From the above hadiths and information as Moslems we should pay an attention that what became debts should be paid back and repay it before the due date came. Of course do not let us trapped in debt that contain of forbidden usury (riba). Since riba itself is haram and do not let us as a Moslem in adversity with the wrapped of debt and usury (riba) that will never end.

Therefore, we should pray always to Allah SWT to avoid us from debt and usury (riba). See also : Importance of Generosity in Islam

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Kategori : Economy