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Delaying in returning a debt

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Someone owes me a very large amount of money. I would like to know what would be approriate with regards trying to get the money returned.

Due to other reasons, we are no longer in contact or on speaking terms howver I have been in touch electronically about 7 months back to ask for it and was told that the money would be paid 2 months later. It has been almost 5 months since and my  further attempts at making contact have been ignored.

It is a large amount of money that I need back in order to take care of my family. The person who owes me the money is not destitute – by that I mean they are employed in agood position earning a good income and enjoys a reasonably comfortable lifestyle. I am also aware that this person has spent a lot of money on recent events and purchases yet does not seem to think paying me is a priority.

I would like to know what the correct course of action should be. Am I allowed to pursue a formal legal route (using lawyers and courts etc) to try to get the money back or is it better to presume that as the person knows they owe me the money, that they will do so at some point.

What is the best course of action to take knowing that I do need the money back and it has been quite some time already (over 2.5 years in total) and my recent attempts at conatct have been ignored.

Jazakallah

Answer

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

The attitude of the person in reference is unfortunate. It is impermissible for one to delay the repayment of a debt[1]. Nevertheless, we advise you to identify a person of influence to him and request him to intervene. If that fails, you may pursue a legal route to get your money back.

And Allaah Ta’aala Knows Best.

Muajul I. Chowdhury

Student, Darul Iftaa

Astoria, New York, USA

Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

_______


[1] صحيح البخاري (3/ 94)

2287 – حدثنا عبد الله بن يوسف، أخبرنا مالك، عن أبي الزناد، عن الأعرج، عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه: أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: «مطل الغني ظلم، فإذا أتبع أحدكم على ملي فليتبع»

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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