The Burden of Debts

“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. Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him. So let him write and let the one who has the obligation dictate. And let him fear Allah , his Lord, and not leave anything out of it. But if the one who has the obligation is of limited understanding or weak or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate in justice. And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men. And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses – so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her. And let not the witnesses refuse when they are called upon. And do not be [too] weary to write it, whether it is small or large, for its [specified] term. That is more just in the sight of Allah and stronger as evidence and more likely to prevent doubt between you, except when it is an immediate transaction which you conduct among yourselves. For [then] there is no blame upon you if you do not write it. And take witnesses when you conclude a contract. Let no scribe be harmed or any witness. For if you do so, indeed, it is [grave] disobedience in you. And fear Allah . And Allah teaches you. And Allah is Knowing of all things.”

(Surah al-Baqarah, Verse 282)

This is amazing. I was reading my page of the day when I realized that the page was actually one long verse of the Quran. What is more amazing is that the subject matter within that verse is about debt and some of the rules regarding debt.

It is detailed out, particularly emphasising on the fact that you have to write the debt down and appoint witnesses. Sidenote: perhaps a trained scholar could explain the application of this rule in today’s time.

Point is, my reading of this verse indicates to me that Allah puts so much emphasis in the payment of debt, such that the command to write it down is being emphasised, like a binding contract obligated upon you to fulfill.

This further points to the reality of how heavy is the responsibility of paying our debts and, indirectly, suggesting why we shouldn’t engage in debt if we can avoid it (considering the fact that the responsibility is heavy).

I’ve always been so afraid of debts, especially with banks. If I decided to borrow money, I’d rather borrow money from a person close to me rather than with a bank and I would do my very best to pay the person as soon as I can.

Personally, I think it is better to be poor than to be burdened with debts. Though I am poor, at least I fully own everything I have.

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