loan or robbery

Loan Or Daylight Robbery?

The Prophet ﷺ taught us to always be ready to help others by whatever means possible.

He ﷺ said: “Whoever relieves a Muslim of some worldly distress, Allah will relieve him of some of the distress of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever conceals (the faults of) a Muslim, Allah will conceal him (his faults) in this world and the Day of Resurrection. And whoever relieves the burden of a destitute person, Allah will relieve him in this world and the next. Allah will help His slave so long as His slave helps his brother.” (Sahih Muslim, 2699)

There are many similar sayings and advices from the Prophet ﷺ.

Keeping this in mind, many people opt for giving loans, more or less, as per their capacity. But unfortunately the word “loan” has become just another pretext for daylight robbery.

Habitual loan seekers can be very thorough and professionally persuasive, while emotionally recounting the desperation of their ‘financial emergencies’. They share with you detailed accounts of their wretched financial status that was further stretched thin due to impending nuptials or urgent medical bills or mounting school fees, and similar tales of desperation and distress. They reassure you that what they require is not charity but a timely help in the form of a loan, which will be promptly returned at the earliest opportunity.

Sometimes they borrow items and ‘forget’ to return them…

At the outset itself, many of these conscienceless individuals ‘borrow’ the amount without the intention of repayment. These unscrupulous people prey on the goodwill and naivete of their brethren, and experience a sense of accomplishment on expropriating other’s wealth with a minimum of fuss and harm.

They are so unprincipled and insensitive that years pass by while they live their lives unconcerned and indifferent to their promise; and maintain all the standards of life, even go for holidays or Umrah and Hajj, but ‘forget’ to pay the loan.

While the hapless fellow who trustingly gave up his hard-earned money, expecting its faithful return, suffers in life and dreams of getting back his money someday.

Another strategy employed by these amoral con-men to avoid payment is rebuking the lender and accusing him of being impatient and insensitive. This tactic makes him feel guilty to ask directly or indirectly his right, as long as he has money or can manage without the loaned amount.  The irony is that many times their joint family members and friends stand with the defaulter because he “doesn’t” have the money.

The question is, why should he opt for a loan if he can’t pay back? Why should he visit private or expensive hospitals if he can’t afford it? Why should he take a loan to conduct a lavish, out-of-budget wedding? The list goes on.

One should satisfy one’s self with whatever Allah has given him. One must accept the fact that he can’t fulfil all his aspirations. One must know that the matter of loan is so serious that all the sins of a martyr can be forgiven except debt! (Sahih Muslim, 4991)

Sometimes they borrow items and “forget” to return them. SubhanAllah, how easy it is to forget the rights of people! But Allah won’t forgive unless the people themselves forgive.

Note that the rights of people are a serious matter, and that Allah greatly hates injustice, duplicity and negligence of the rights of others. Allah won’t bless anything which is taken unjustly in this dunya, and He will surely bring the transgressor to account in the Hereafter.

[Also read: Islamic Ethics Of Trade And Business]

Sheikh Abdus Salam can be reached at
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