The Islamic Importance of Debt Repayment

Muslims have a few more things to consider when in debt (Photo: Ella Byworth for

My father is a follower of the rules, especially when it comes to hospitality to others.

As a teenager who occasionally mopped up my friends for a walk at McDonald’s or going out, I reminded myself that it was important that I pay them back.

It wasn’t just because he didn’t want my friends to think I couldn’t be trusted to borrow money – as a Muslim he taught me how to pay off my debts on as soon as possible, even if it was as little as £ 1.

Borrowing and lending has serious consequences in Islamic culture, and debt is a punishable otherworldly offense – it can prevent you from entering Heaven.

While debt has social and personal implications for the average person, for Muslims there is also a religious element.

The Prophet Muhammed who said: “If a man was killed in battle for the love of Allah, then brought back to life and had a debt, he would not enter Heaven until his debt was over. not been reimbursed.

Unpaid debts are aligned with a person’s outcome in the hereafter, so Muslims take it very seriously.

Illustration of money flying out of man's pocket

Muslims believe that defaulting on their debts may prevent them from entering Heaven (Photo: Ella Byworth for Metro.

A corporate insolvency practitioner, Al-nur (who is Muslim) helps companies and individuals with debt and he says they are often similar.

He tells that just as there is a great consequence to not repaying a debt in Islam, there are also rewards to be obtained for those who cancel them.

“In Islam, debt is an obligation that must be fulfilled,” he said. “Islam takes the issue of debt very seriously and warns against it and urges the Muslim to avoid it as much as possible.

“However, we are taught that there is a huge reward for those who forgive and forgive the debt of someone who owes them money.”

Most of the personal insolvency situations he sees relate to credit cards and payday loans with “ridiculous” interest rates, he says.

He understands that sometimes it is enough to borrow money, but encourages people to live without excessive material consumption.

He adds: “Unfortunately, we live in an age where everyone is encouraged to live on credit. Everyone has to own a house. Everyone borrows to finance a car or even a cell phone.

“So my obvious advice is that you don’t need this material lifestyle. In Islam we are taught that we have to live as a traveler, this life is a matter of days and that we have to work towards the next life which is eternal. ‘

Al-nur’s final tip is to see a practitioner for free advice if you need extra support to manage it.

With such serious emphasis on the subject, we answered some common questions about debt and Islam.

What does the Quran say about debt?

There are several references to debt in the Quran.

One of the most important things is to write down the payments due. It is decreed that every debt contract must be drawn up by a scribe with fairness (without bias).

It is also advisable to have at least two witnesses. The Holy Quran also states that those who lend should not make any profit on monetary exchange (interest).

Interest is considered unfair and Islamic banks offer loans without charging for them (this does not mean Muslims get zero interest loans, they still have to make contributions to charity).

With such an emphasis on debt repayment, it can be easy for creditors to demand repayment.

However, Islamically, prosecuting poor debtors is prohibited and the repayment claim should be postponed until the debtors are better off.

What if someone dies in debt?

A family member or friend can pay on their behalf, so Muslims usually urge each other to make their debts known to others by writing down or informing them.

The heirs or relatives of the person must take responsibility for using the wealth of the deceased person to pay off his debt.

If there is no money available, they have to work to pay it off on their own or give something as a pledge, as that is like taking action to meet the obligations of the person.

How can Muslims get out of debt?

As with anyone in debt, they will need to develop a plan to pay off the lender. But remember that interest is forbidden in Islam (you are not supposed to exchange money for money).

So whatever loan they take out, it can be a “halal” loan where they make some sort of ethical contribution or pay for an asset instead of interest.

But many choose to ask loved ones to cover them while they are fundraising. There are also charities and organizations aimed at helping Muslims to strategize against repayment of large sums.

Illustration of a Woman Beside a Credit Card and a Final Notification Letter

(Photo: Ella Byworth for

Duaas to help relieve debt

Duaas – or prayers – are a deep act of worship for Muslims. They can be used during the salah (five daily prayers) or recited at any time of the day.

Prophet Muhammed is said to have taught a prayer to one of his companions Abu Umamah Ansari who owed someone money.

It is reported that once he recited the prayer he was relieved of his debt.

He was advised to say: ‘Allaahumma inni a’oodhu bika min al-hammi wa’l-hazani, wa a’oodhi bika min al-‘ajzi wa’l-kasali, wa a’oodhu bika min al-jubni wa ‘l-bukhli, wa a’oodhi bika min ghalabat il-dayn wa qahri al-rijaal’.

It translates as: “Allah, I seek refuge with You from worry and sorrow, and I seek refuge with You from incapacity and laziness, and I seek refuge with You from cowardice and cowardice. greed, and I seek refuge with You against the heavy debt and to be overcome by men ”.

Muslims in debt may want to recite this as a way to deal with their financial problems.

While Muslims have an additional religious obligation to their debt problems, there are also solutions based on religion.

For example, those of the Islamic faith who can afford it, must pay an annual zakat (charity). Instead of paying zakat, some may choose to pay off a parent’s debt.

It is considered to be doing charity and maintaining family ties.

Ultimately, however, Muslims believe that God is righteous and good, and they can choose to pray that their financial affairs will be made easier.

Debt month

This article is part of a month-long focus in November on debt.

A scary word we know, but we hope that if we tackle it head-on we will be able to reduce the shame surrounding financial difficulties and help everyone improve their understanding of their finances.

Throughout November, we’ll be posting first-person debt reviews, features, tips, and how-to. You can read everything about the month on the Debt Month tag.

If you have a story to share, a topic you want us to cover, or a question you need to answer, contact us at [email protected]

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