Debt: Comments on a bad debt

Q145 :In an earlier answer on Zakah and bad debts, you mentioned that we do not own our money. It belongs to Allah and we are placed in charge of it. With this concept in mind, how can we explain "loss" or "profit"? The way I would look at it is that when you do not receive your money back, you are losing money that belongs to Allah but at the same time you are gaining Allah's reward for not demanding it and for writing it off. If the money is returned, you have the chance to use it for a good purpose as well as Allah's reward for doing a good deed. Please comment.


A145 : I like your comments, but I would not go as far as you have. If you lend money to someone and he does not return it, though he is able to do so, you certainly have lost it. It is true that you will gain reward from Allah for doing a good turn to someone in need, but it is Allah who has placed you in charge of something that He owns. He also allowed you the privilege of putting your money to a good purpose of your own choice, including every legitimate matter which brings you, your family and other people comfort and happiness. If someone defrauds you of that privilege by borrowing some of your money and deliberately refusing or neglecting to return it, then he is taking away from you something that Allah has given you. It is not for any human being to do that. On the other hand, Allah urges us to postpone repayment dates of loans other people may owe to us, if we know that the borrower is insolvent. If we do so, or, better still, write the loan off, we certainly earn generous reward from Allah. He has also made it clear that we may ask for any legitimate guarantees that what we lend to others is returned to us. The longest verse in the Qur'an deals with the need to write down the terms and conditions of loans that we may make. It requires believers to write down these terms and to have witnesses to the contract. The Prophet also describes as an injustice the action of a person who delays repayment of a debt when he is able to repay it.


Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )