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Bank and Credit card loans

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Around 5 to 6 years ago I took out a series of bank loans and credit cards and catalogue accounts but I did not pay any of them back. I am now trying to sort all my previous errors in life I have come across these debts now I think some have put ccjs on my name and some are still writing to me. All of these have interest involved in them. I don’t want to be held accountable on the day of judgement for them if they have to be paid what does shria say about this. Will I have to pay these or due to the interest can I do taubah and never do again.

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful.

Amr ibn al-’As (radi allahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallal lahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “All the sins of a Shahid (martyr) are forgiven except debt.” (Sahih Muslim: 872)

The severity in regards to loans and debt is clear from the above Hadith. That despite being a martyr a person’s debt will not be forgiven unless the lender forgives the individual.

If the borrower is poor, bankrupt and does not possess the means to pay off the loan, then the Quran gives advice to the lender to give the debtor respite until he becomes capable of paying it off. “If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time till it is easy for him to repay. But if you remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if you only knew.” (Surah al-Baqarah, V: 280)

However if the borrower is rich and has the means to pay off the loan, yet he defaults and fails to pay it off then this will be counted as injustice and oppression.

Abu Huraira (radi allahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (sallal lahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Delay in payment on the part of a rich man is injustice/oppression.” (Sahih al-Bukhari: 3.486)

In conclusion, you are liable in Shariah for your debts and are required to pay these off if you posses the means. If not, you may ask for complete or part reduction in the debt or that you are given more time to pay off the loan. According to Shariah you are obliged to pay off the original amount borrowed, however if this proves to be difficult, due to the contract entered, then you may pay the required amount and repent to Allah and make firm and sincere intention not to get involved in these types of loans again.

And Allah knows best.

Sayeedur Rahman

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.