Statement on Giving Respite to the Insolvent Person
Author : The General Iftaa` Department
Date Added : 03-07-2023

Statement on Giving Respite to the Insolvent Person


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of The Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.


In the difficult circumstances that the world is experiencing, the conditions of those who live on a subsistence level are tightening as well as those who get their livelihood day by day. If their work is disrupted, they will not find what they can live on. However, the words of our Lord, the Most High, apply to them: " (Charity is) for those in need, who, in God’s cause are restricted (from travel), and cannot move about in the land, seeking (For trade or work): the ignorant man thinks, because of their modesty, that they are free from want. Thou shalt know them by their (Unfailing) mark: They beg not importunately from all the sundry. And whatever of good ye give, be assured God knoweth it well." {Al-Baqarah, 273}. Therefore, it has become imperative upon every affluent person to check on the weak and poor individuals whom he knows and help alleviate their burdens and ensure them a minimum level of decent living. This is both a religious and social responsibility on the wealthy and affluent members of society towards their brothers for it raises the spirit of cooperation, love and solidarity between them. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever." {Transmitted by Muslim}. He (PBUH) also said: "A believer is like a brick for another believer, the one supporting the other." {Transmitted by Muslim}. Moreover, this is what the Messenger of Allah loves where he (PBUH) said: "When the Ash'ariyun run short of food in the Jihad or when they are at home in Al-Madinah, they collect all the provisions they have in a sheet and then divide it equally among themselves. They are of me and I am of them." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].


Helping and forgiving others as well as waiving some of the rights due on them, or postponing their collection or some of them, out of solidarity considering their difficult situation, is a sign of the mercy inherent in the heart. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) promised these merciful people to be shown the mercy of Allah, where he said: "The merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to those on the earth, and the One in the heavens will have mercy unto you." {Transmitted by Tirmidhi}. This is because when a believer forgives or fulfills the needs of the person who is going through difficult circumstances, Allah  the Almighty treats him in the same way, because of his mercy towards the servants of Allah, for rewards depend on the kind of deed.

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) has warned against harshness and cruelty of the heart and not helping others although one is able to. He (PBUH) said, "He who is not merciful to others, will not be treated mercifully." { Al-Bukhari and Muslim}. He (PBUH) added: "Mercy is not removed (from anyone) except from a wicked one." {Transmitted by Tirmithi}.


Not only commanded giving respite to the insolvent person, but Allah the Almighty has also encouraged remitting the debt by way of charity where He said {what means}: " If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time Till it is easy for him to repay. But if ye remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if ye only knew." {Al-Baqarah, 280}. This is also celebrated in the Sunnah. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "There was a person who used to loan money to the people and he used to say to his servant: 'When an insolvent person comes to you, show him leniency so that Allah may forbear our faults.' So when he met Allah (i.e., when he died), Allah forgave him."[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].


In conclusion, we call on all Muslims to show mercy and forgiveness to each other, make reconciliation, fulfill the needs of fellow Muslims, give respite to the insolvent person and even remit the debt by way of charity, if possible. And to Allah belongs every success.








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