Khutbah and Notes: Freeing Yourself from Debt – Said Ragaeh


Whoever lives with people for 40 days, indeed he is one of them.” The reality is that many Muslims have lived in America for more than 40 days, even 40 years perhaps and eventually some adoptions of this culture are inevitable.

In this society, almost everyone is in debt. From the houses we buy to the vehicles we drive, to the expensive appliances we purchase. If none of these, student loans are definitely an issue.

Quote: “For every 100 dollars we earn, we spend 130.” This highlights the fundamental reason for why we are in debt. It is because we spend more than we have.

Ali ibn Abi Talib (radhiAllahu anh)taught a slave this beautiful du’a and said that if you were to recite it, Allah would pay your debt. The du’a is Allahumma ikfini bi halalika an haramik. Wa aghnini bi fadhlika ammin siwak. Translation: Oh Allah, suffice me from what is Halal. And do not let me commit Haram [to pay this debt off]. And do not allow me to be in need of anyone but You, Ya Allah.

This wealth is so powerful yet so strange: The Halal of the wealth comes with a long hisaab (accountability). And the Haram of the wealth can lead you to Jahannam. Both ends are a serious issue.

Islam will never ask you to be a consumer. Rather, it asks us to be moderate in spending on ourselves. In Surah Furqan, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says: And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate

The Prophet (salAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) discouraged the people from taking out loans, saying “don’t put terror in your hearts by getting loans.” Debt is a concern during the night and disgracement during the day. Someone who has a debt to pay is constantly concerned about where the money will come from.

A man came to the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and said “Ya Rasool Allah, if I am killed for the sake of Allah, would that forgive all my sins? He (saw) said yes, if you are patient and you are seeking the reward from Allah, and you did not turn your back to the enemy, all your sins will be forgiven. As he finished the sentence, Jibreel (AS) came to the Prophet (saw) and he added, “except debt.” This is mentioned in Sahih Muslim.

It is narrated  that the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alaihi wa salaam) was once sitting outside his Masjid and looked up at the sky. He then looked down and covered his face with his hands and said “SubhanAllah, SubhanAllah! A man could be killed for the sake of Allah and then revived. And then he could be killed for the sake of allah again and then revived. But he would not enter Jannah as long as there is a debt on his account.”

Ibn Kathir: On the Day of Resurrection, the person who had an unpaid debt in this life will be resurrected as if a Jinn is inside them (meaning that they will not be able to talk, think, maintain his balance)

Allah demolished and takes away the Barakah from wealth that is traced with riba. And He allows the Halal wealth to grow beyond belief.

If a man has a debt and intends to pay it back, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala takes charge of that loan and He will pay it on your behalf. And if anyone borrows wealth with the intention of not returning it, he will meet Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala on the Day of Judgement as a thief. (Sh Said summarized a few hadith here)

Tips for those in debt:

  • If you know a due date is coming, put a small portion aside or open a special account if you have to and put a certain amount away weekly, bi weekly or monthly to make sure you are on the right track.
  • Do not be a consumer. If you don’t need to buy it, dont. If you already have winter boots from last winter and they are in good condition, keep them!
  • Get married and have more children. It is part of the Shariah and Allah promises that He will put barakah in the wealth and provide for you.
  • Be very concerned with what you consume, not the halal meat but rather, how you earn your money.
  • Be consistent in du’a. Don’t underestimate its power.
  • For students with student loans, stop two things: 1) eating out 2) stop going to Tim Hortons (coffee shop).
  • If you can get another job and not have to take as many student loans, alhamdulillah. Don’t do the summer classes for one year but save up.

Omar Usman

Omar Usman is a founding member of MuslimMatters, Qalam Institute, Muslim Strategic Initiative, and Debt Free Muslims. He is a regular khateeb and has served in different administrative capacities in various national and local Islamic organizations. You can follow him on Google+ or on Twitter @ibnabeeomar. Check out his latest project at Fiqh of Social Media.

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