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Repaying a company debt

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari

A brother is in debt to a company however the company has become bankrupt and there is no contact information for the company. He has tried e-mailing them but the e-mail bounced. What is the brother supposed to do in such a situation?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

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

In the case where one is unable to contact the person or company whom one owes money, firstly, one should try his best to find and contact him/them. This must be by exercising all possible mediums of contact, such as: by phone, email, post, personally visiting him/them if the creditor is in one’s town or city.

If the one whom one owes the money is no where to be found to the point that one is unaware whether he is dead or alive, then one is not obliged to look for him in different towns and cities.

It is stated in al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya:

“An individual owes money to another and the creditor disappears in a way that the debtor is unaware of his whereabouts and whether he is dead or alive, it will not be necessary upon the debtor to look for him in other towns and cities.” (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 5/366)

If one is not able to find and get in touch with the creditor despite employing all possible means, then one should give the amount which one owes in charity to the poor and needy, along with repentance from Allah Most High, and the intention of re-paying the loan if the creditor was found. (al-Fatawa al-Hindiyya, 5/367)

Thus, in your case, you should try your best to contact the owners of the company that went broke. If you are unable to do so, you should give that money in charity to the poor, and later if you do find them, you will have to re-pay the debt to them.

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK


This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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