If you look at the studies and statistics of debt and how people acquire it, the majority of them indicate that most people get into debt when they don’t have to.
Our “sense of entitlement” sums up one of the reasons we get into debt and the second reason is that we simply have to (loss of job, accident, health care expenses etc).
“We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”
When greed is accompanied with a desire of instant gratification, this becomes a lethal combination. Many people don’t realize how dangerous this can be. From an Islamic point of view, many relationships can come to an end due to financial reasons.
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was once invited to lead Salahtul Janazah on a man who died. In one narration, he asked the Sahabah if the man had any debts and they responded with yes. The Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam stepped away and Abu Qatadah radhiAllahu anh informed him that it was two dinaars and that he would take care of it. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam thereafter proceeded to lead the Janazah prayer [Nasa’i]. In another narration, the Prophet later asked Abu Qatadah if he had paid it and he said no. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “Do it now.” Upon returning, the Prophet said, “It is now that his body and skin have cooled down.”
“The soul of the believer is in the state of suspension because of his debt until it is paid off. (Tirmidhi)
The Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam swore to Allah that even a shaheed (martyr) will not enter Paradise because of his debt.
In a hadith, Muhammad bin Jahsh reported that “We were sitting with the Prophet Muhammad salAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam once and he looked up to the sky and then held his forehead with his hand (as if he had seen something of great magnitude) and then he said “SubhanAllah, regarding what was revealed to me. I swear by the one in whose hands lies my soul, if a man was killed for the sake of Allah and then brought back to life, and he was killed again and brought back to life, and he was killed again and brought back to life, he would not enter Paradise so long as he had debts on his account.” (Nasa’i)
Debt is a source of anxiety during the night and it causes humiliation during the day. Each and every one of us is blessed by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala so we ought to stop thinking that so many people are above us. Look up to people for their taqwa and relationship with Allah. Sometimes we envy other people for certain things that they have, not knowing that they envy us for certain things we have.
This advice goes for everything in life. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alaihi wa sallam taught us how we should treat every issue in our life. He taught us to fear Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and turn to Him for your needs before panicking. And remember the Qur’anic ayah, whoever fears Allah, He will find a way out for him. Be patient and strengthen your connection with Allah azzawa jal.
Secondly, be cognizant of Allah when both borrowing or lending money and purify your intention. The Prophet said in a hadith “whosoever borrows peoples property or money, with the intention of paying it back, Allah will assist them and pay it on their behalf. And whosoever takes it with the intention of not paying it back or ruining their property, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will ruin him.
The Prophet (saw) taught his Companions a beautiful du’a that we should all read in the morning and evening which asks refuge from 8 things:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْبُخْلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ غَلَبَةِ الدَّيْنِ وَقَهْرِ الرِّجَالِ
Translation: “Oh Allah I seek refuge in You from worry and grief, I seek refuge in You from hopelessness and laziness, I seek refuge in You from miserliness and cowardice and I seek refuge in You from overwhelming debt and from the force of men.” Click here for a detailed analysis of this supplication.
Finally, there are many ways we can cut our debts in half. You don’t have to be in debt. You just have to have that desire and drive to be debt free. There is nothing sweeter than that sense of liberty that comes with paying off your debts.There is no feeling better than waking up in the morning, not owing anyone but Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
“Oh Allah, free us from our debts. Oh Allah, liberate us from our financial burdens. Oh Allah, make us owe no one but You, Oh Allah.” AMEEN!