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Prescription of Debts


Nasihah (Advice): Severity of not paying one’s debts


Sayyiduna Muhammad ibn Jahsh Radhiyallahu Anhu narrates: ‘We were sitting with Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam when he lifted his gaze towards the sky. He then held his forehead and said: “Subhaanallah! What strict warnings have been revealed!”


We remained silent and fearful. The next morning I asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is the strict warning that has been revealed?”


Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam replied,“By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if a man were killed in battle for the sake of Allah, then brought back to life, then killed and brought back to life again, then killed, and he owed a debt, he would not enter Paradise until his debt was paid off.” (Nasaa’i)




Question and Answer:

  1. a non muslim associate has asked me advise on an outstanding debt.

the individual is a land surveyor who has surveyed a property for a muslim businessman.the job was  completed  and the client was billed for the professional services .the account outstanding is now 3 years old.the muslim businessman has now responded that he is no longer obliged to pay the account, stating that it is ‘prescribed”meaning that it is longer that 3 years old and the law states that he is not  obliged to pay the debt.note .there was no dispute,the survey was utilized by all professionals and the project was completed.

(Question published as received)


  1. Islam does not accept or recognize the prescription of debts. A debtor is bound to pay his creditor irrespective of the time period that has lapsed and the legal loopholes that absolve him of the debt.


The Muslim businessman must honour his obligation and pay the debt. The law of the land may remove the legal obligation of paying the debt but he will remain liable in the court of Allah. If the debt is not paid in this world, there will certainly be accountability for it in the hereafter.


And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best


Mufti Moosa Salie


Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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