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Died with repaying debts

Fatwaa ID: 512

Question:
if a person sincerely intends to repay a debt, but dies, and no one pays it for him, what is his fate? what is the meaning of the following hadīth: The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was reported to have said, “There are two types of debt: whoever dies intending to repay it, I will be responsible for it, and whoever dies with no intention to repay it, will have it taken from his good deeds. There will not be any dinars or dirhams on that Day.”

[Collected by At-Tabarani and authenticated in Ahkam al-Jana’iz, p. 5]

Answer:
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

Severe warnings have come in regards to not paying back debts. Every attempt must be earnestly made to pay back one’s debts during one’s lifetime. Dying in such a condition wherein one does not leave behind any wealth is one of the worst situations. Nabi ﷺ would not lead the janaazah salaah of such a person. He also made it clear that all the sins of a martyr are forgiven except his debts. This is because debts have to do with rights of others, not the rights of Allaah Ta’aala.
If a person dies without paying back and he also does not leave behind sufficient wealth to be used for repayment, then he will pay it off on the Day of Judgment. The currency of that day will be one’s deeds. His good deeds will be given to the creditor.

As for the Hadith you are referring to, this was from kindness of Nabi ﷺ. He voluntarily took responsibility of repaying the debts of the Muslims. Some scholars suggest that the Muslim Treasury may assist in repayment. However, this is left to the discretion of the qaadhi. A person should not anticipate such. He should not take loans unless necessary, and that too should be to the extent he is confident he can repay. The obligation of paying the debt is not transfered to the personal wealth of a family member.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York
https://askthemufti.us/

07/12/1444 AH – 02/03/2023 CE | AMG1-2741

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين


المبسوط للسرخسي (29/137)
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