Across the emerald green fields, ears of golden corn peep out into the dazzling world beyond, the sky with its forget me not blue, illuminated by shafts of golden rays that make the glistening dew drops sparkle like diamantes. A scenery befitting of an artist’s canvas indeed. As the newly harvested crops stretch across the horizon, a feeling of delight gushes within the very depths of one’s soul. If only the artist itching to sketch this scenic beauty was to know the dramatic events that contributed to this prosperous harvest! If only we were to know the hardships faced by the farmers to yield this crop, for indeed apart from the sweat and labour, their most challenging hardship is often entering the debt cycle.
Indeed it won’t be a mistake to rename the debt cycle as the death cycle for it is a great contributor to the increasing suicidal rates all around the globe.
But in reality what is the debt cycle? Putting it rather bluntly, it’s a situation when someone financially unstable, borrows money to fulfil his substantial needs and is unable to repay it, therefore in order to repay his first loan by the required time, he borrows yet another loan and is consequently trapped in a cycle where he simply borrows to repay and is never unable to completely relieve himself of his debt and thereby leads a horrendous and miserable life where his loans are his stigma, this situation is far worsened when interest is involved.
So, my dear friends just imagine if we could lend a hand to this ailing soul, whose debts hover like a dagger on him; by forgiving his debts in a situation where we play the role of the lender.
This brings to my mind a tale of a man in the far south of Saudi Arabia, in a county that lies at the border of the kingdom near Yemen. This man (may Allah reward him) was a shop owner. Occasionally when his customers were unable to completely pay for their purchases they used to get their names noted in a little book stating that they would repay him the amount at a later date, I suppose that’s the custom in some areas. However after a certain period of time had lapsed and they still remained some who hadn’t yet paid up their debts, this kindly shopkeeper would strike away the pages completely forgiving their debts. Certainly it seems improbable that such man were to exist, but Allah knows the full narrative.
Furthermore this anecdote brings to my mind a hadith of tremendous significance
The Messenger (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “There was a merchant who used to lend to the people, and whenever his debtor was in straitened circumstances he would say to his employees, ‘Forgive him so that Allah may forgive us.’ So Allah forgave him.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
This hadith shows the virtue of being lenient and forgiving to those whom owe you a debt whereby the prophet (May Allah be pleased with him) mentioned that a man used to order his employees to collect the debts owed to him by others and he would tell his employees that if you find the person in difficult circumstances then forgive them so that Allah may forgive us for forgiving them. Once this person died and met Allah, Allah forgave them for this deed that they had sincerely performed.
Oh dear friends, which of us do not crave for Allah’s forgiveness? Certainly we should take the measures to attain His mercy and become more forgiving and lenient as a lender and inculcate within ourselves compassion and benevolence.
Bint Ayesha Writer, AAT