Assalamualaikum SS Dato’ Seri Mufti. I want to ask a question if we are unable to pay our loans to the bank such as house, car or personal loan before we die, would this make our soul and good deeds suspended?
Hope for an explanation from Mufti. Thank you.
Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Allah SWT commanded believers to record all his debt and time he is supposed to pay them. Allah SWT state in the Quran:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا تَدَايَنتُم بِدَيْنٍ إِلَىٰ أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى فَاكْتُبُوهُ ۚ وَلْيَكْتُب بَّيْنَكُمْ كَاتِبٌ بِالْعَدْلِ
“O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down. And let a scribe write [it] between you in justice.”
Surah al-Baqarah (282)
Debt is a responsibility that is obligatory to be paid justly and the ruling of paying off one’s debts for the agreement between people is obligatory. This is stated in the Quran:
إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَأْمُرُكُمْ أَن تُؤَدُّوا الْأَمَانَاتِ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُم بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَن تَحْكُمُوا بِالْعَدْلِ ۚ
“Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice.”
Surah al-Nisa’ (58)
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَوْفُوا بِالْعُقُودِ ۚ
“O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts.”
Surah al-Maidah (1)
There are also numerous hadiths that mentioned the warnings against those who refuse to pay off their debts and do not even try to pay it off.
- The Prophet PBUH said:
مَنْ أَخَذَ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسَ يُرِيدُ أَداءَهَا أَدَّى اللهُ عَنْهُ وَ مَنْ أَخَذَ يُرِيدُ إِتْلَافَهَا أَتْلَفَهُ اللهُ
"Whoever takes the money of the people with the intention of repaying it, Allah will repay it on his behalf, and whoever takes it in order to spoil it, then Allah will spoil him."
Sahih al-Bukhari (2387)
- The Prophet PBUH also said:
أيُّما رجلٍ يَدَّينُ دَينًا وهو مجمعٌ أن لا يوفِّيه إيَّاه لقي اللهَ سارِقًا
“Any man who takes out a loan, having resolved not to pay it back, will meet Allah (SWT) as a thief.”
Sunan Ibn Majah (1969)
- Furthermore, the debt will be paid off to the creditors with the rewards from the good deeds in the hereafter. The Prophet PBUH said:
وَ مَنْ مَاتَ وَ عَلَيْهِ دَيْنٌ فَلَيْسَ ثَمَّ دِينَارٌ وَلَا دِرْهَمٌ وَلَكِنَّهَا الحَسَنَاتُ وَ السَيِّئَاتُ
“And whoever dies in debt, then in the Hereafter there are no longer the matter of dinar and dirham only matters of good deeds and sins,”
Sunan Abu Daud (3597)
- The soul of a person in debt will be suspended until his debts are settled. This is according to a hadith of the Prophet PBUH:
نَفْسُ المُؤمِنِ مُعَلّقَةٌ بِدَيْنِه حَتَّى يُقْضَى عَنْهُ
"A believer’s soul remains suspended according to his debt until it is settled or paid off on his behalf".
Sunan al-Tirmizi (1079)
- The sin of not settling one’s debt will not be forgiven unless if the creditor forgives him, even if he died as a martyr. The Prophet PBUH said:
يُغْفَرُ لِلشَّهِيدِ كُلُّ ذَنْبٍ إلَّا الدَّيْنَ
“All the sins of a Shahid (martyr) are forgiven except debt.”
Sahih Muslim (1886)
- The Prophet PBUH refuse to pray for a deceased who hasn’t paid off his debts. From Salamah bin Akwa’ RA, he said:
كُنَّا جُلُوسًا عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ إِذْ أُتِيَ بِجَنَازَةٍ فَقَالُوا صَلِّ عَلَيْهَا فَقَالَ هَلْ عَلَيْهِ دَيْنٌ؟ قَالُوا لاَ قَالَ فَهَلْ تَرَكَ شَيْئًا؟، قَالُوا لاَ فَصَلَّى عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ أُتِيَ بِجَنَازَةٍ أُخْرَى فَقَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، صَلِّ عَلَيْهَا، قَالَ: هَلْ عَلَيْهِ دَيْنٌ؟ قِيلَ نَعَمْ، قَالَ فَهَلْ تَرَكَ شَيْئًا؟، قَالُوا ثَلاَثَةَ دَنَانِيرَ، فَصَلَّى عَلَيْهَا، ثُمَّ أُتِيَ بِالثَّالِثَةِ، فَقَالُوا صَلِّ عَلَيْهَا، قَالَ هَلْ تَرَكَ شَيْئًا؟، قَالُوا لاَ، قَالَ فَهَلْ عَلَيْهِ دَيْنٌ؟، قَالُوا ثَلاَثَةُ دَنَانِيرَ، قَالَ صَلُّوا عَلَى صَاحِبِكُمْ، قَالَ أَبُو قَتَادَةَ صَلِّ عَلَيْهِ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَعَلَيَّ دَيْنُهُ، فَصَلَّى عَلَيْهِ
Once, while we were sitting in the company of Prophet, a dead man was brought. The Prophet (ﷺ) was requested to lead the funeral prayer for the deceased. He said, "Is he in debt?" The people replied in the negative. He said, "Has he left any wealth?" They said, "No." So, he led his funeral prayer. Another dead man was brought and the people said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! Lead his funeral prayer." The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Is he in debt?" They said, "Yes." He said, "Has he left any wealth?" They said, ''Three Dinars." So, he led the prayer. Then a third dead man was brought and the people said (to the Prophet (ﷺ) ), Please lead his funeral prayer." He said, "Has he left any wealth?" They said, "No." He asked, "Is he in debt?" They said, ("Yes! He has to pay) three Diners.', He (refused to pray and) said, "Then pray for your (dead) companion." Abu Qatada said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! Lead his funeral prayer, and I will pay his debt." So, he led the prayer.
Sahih al-Bukhari (2286)
According to the above general evidences of the Quran and hadiths, loans from a bank is also considered as debt. Hence, bank loans are also included as an obligatory debt to be paid and there are grave warnings against those who purposely refuse to pay them.
However, there are many ways to ensure the loan is paid back, among which is by taking a takaful plan where it guarantees the payment of the loan. We should work hard in ensuring we are able to pay back our loans and debts. Furthermore, loans are a type of delayed debt al-dayn al-muajjal. Hence, the repayment of it is delayed to a certain period of time if there is something that prevents us from repaying our debt.
According to the above discussion, we would like to state that bank loans are the same as other types of debts. Thus, it is included in the grave warning towards debt as stated by the Prophet PBUH.
Hence, we advise everyone to try their best to avoid being involved in debt except when he is certain he is able to repay it. The reason is, the Prophet PBUH himself avoid being in debt. In a hadith narrated by al-Bukhari:
أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ سَلَّمَ كَانَ يَدْعُو فِي الصَلَاةِ : اللهمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ المَاْثَمِ وَ المَغْرَمِ. فَقَالَ لَهُ قَائِلٌ: مَا أَكْثَرَ تَسْتَعِيذُ مِنَ المَغْرَمِ. فَقَالَ: إِنَّ الرَجُلُ إِذَا غَرِمَ حَدَّثَ فَكَذَبَ وَوَعَدَ فَأَخْلَفَ.
“O Allah, I seek refuge with You from the torment of the grave, and I seek refuge in You from the tribulation of the Al-Masihid-Dajjal, and I seek refuge with You from the trials of life and death. O Allah, I seek refuge in You from sin and debt.” Someone said to him: "How often you seek refuge from debt!" He said: "If a man gets into debt, when he speaks, he lies, and when he makes a promise, he betrays it."
Sahih al-Bukhari (832)
Lastly, we pray to Allah SWT with the supplication taught to us by the Prophet PBUH in helping us in settling our debts, as we have stated before in the article ‘Irsyad al-Hadith Series 180: Supplications to Settle Our Debts’, one of them is:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ الْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ غَلَبَةِ الدَّيْنِ وَقَهْرِ الرِّجَالِ
"O Allah! I seek refuge with You from worry and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from cowardice and miserliness, from being heavily in debt and from being overpowered by (other) men."
Sunan Abu Daud (4:353)