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Q797: Living a lavish life inspite of debts

Question

Please tell me what is the Islamic ruling regarding someone who has plenty of debts to be paid yet he lives his life beyond comfortable living and also spends his wealth lavishly?

Answer

When one borrows money of someone, he should hasten to pay it off as soon as possible. The one who has the capacity to pay off his debt and still does not pay it off has been called a Zaalim (Oppressor) in the Hadith. The Messenger of Allah Salla Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam states,

“مطل الغني ظلم”

“The postponing of a wealthy person in paying of his death is oppression”

This is why one who is in debt should pay is debt off immediately even thought it might mean he has to decrease on his own personal expenditure. Hazrat Muaaz R.A was once in debt. The people who lent him money came to the Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam and complained. The Prophet Salla Allahu Alayhi Wa Sallam sold all of Hazrat Muaaz’s wealth to pay them off, so much so that Hazrat Muaaz was left with nothing.

There is not guarantee when death can occur. It is mentioned in Hadith that,

“صَاحِبُ الدَّيْنِ مَأْسُورٌ بِدَيْنِهِ يَشْكُو إِلَى رَبِّهِ الْوَحْدَةَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ”

“The one in debt will be chained up with his debt, and will complain of loneliness to Allah on the Day of Qiyaamah.”

This means that there will be no one to help him pay his debt on the Day of Qiyamah, when the debtors ask for their right. So his good deeds will be given to those he owed money to, and if he has no good deeds then their bad deeds will be placed on him. Allah save us from such a situation.

And Allah is All Knowing

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