Hadeeth – Do I Honour My Word


Abu Hurayra Radiyallaahu anhu reported that Rasullullaah Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam  mentioned about a man of the Bani Israaeel, saying, “He had asked another Isra’eeli to lend him one thousand dinars. He (the prospective lender) asked him to bring witnesses, the borrower replied, “Allah is sufficient as a witness.” The lender asked him to provide a guarantee, the borrower again asserted, “Allah is sufficient as a guarantee.” The lender agreed, saying, “You are correct”, and lent him the money for a specific period.

The debtor then traveled the sea. After he had finished his work, he looked for a conveyance to take him back in time to repay the debt, but did not find any conveyance. So he took a piece of wood and made a hole in it. He placed in the hole one thousand Dinaars and a letter to the lender and sealed the hole tightly. He then took the piece of wood to the sea and said, “O Allah, you know well that I took a loan of one thousand Dinaars from so-and-so. He demanded a witness from me but I told him that Allah’s witness was enough and he accepted. He then demanded a surety and I told him that Allah’s surety was enough and he accepted your guarantee. No doubt, I have tried much to find a conveyance so that I may pay back his money but could not find one, so I hand over this money to you”. Saying that, he threw the piece of wood till it went far out into the ocean and then went away. Meanwhile, he kept looking for a conveyance to take him to the lender’s place. Oneday the lender came out of his house to see whether a ship had arrived bringing his money, and all of a sudden he saw a piece of wood floating by. He took it home to use as firewood. When he sawed it, he found his money and the letter inside. Shortly after that, the debtor came with one thousand Dinaars to him and said, “By Allah, I had been trying much to get a boat so that I could bring you your money but failed to get one before the one I have come by.” The lender asked, “Have you sent something to me?” The borrower replied, “I have said to you that I could not get a boat besides the one I have come by.” The lender said, “Allah has delivered on your behalf the money you sent in the piece of wood. So you may keep your one thousand Dirhams and go rightly guided.” (Bukhari)


Allahu Akbar! This incident displays the utmost trust and reliance in Allah Ta’ala by both the borrower and the lender. A transaction is entered into using Allah Ta’ala as surety. More amazing is the ready and whole-hearted acceptance of the lender to this deal.

Furthermore, this reliance on Allah Ta’ala is taken to an amazingly greater height when the borrower is convinced that Allah Ta’ala will, on his behalf, fulfill his commitment to return the borrowed money on time. As the incident unfolds, we see the beautiful outcome of total Tawakkul (trust) in Allah Ta’ala in that both the parties get their rights fulfilled.

Alas! If only this Tawakkul (reliance) and sincerity of heart existed in our lives today, we would undoubtedly be leading lives of quality and meaning from which mistrust, deceit, mutual hatred and fighting would completely vanish and instead be replaced with mutual trust and love that will engender caring and sharing.

The Fruits of sincerity, trust and reliance on Allah Ta’ala

If a person resolves to do anything and thereafter makes every effort to accomplish it, Allah Ta’ala through His grace will make it come to pass. It is of great importance that we fulfill the rights of others. In the afore-mentioned incident a man did everything he could to fulfil his obligation to repay his debt, although he did not have the means. Allah Ta’ala demonstrated His unseen help. We thus realize that if we are sincere in our intention then Allah Ta’ala himself will help us to discharge the rights of others.

Placing this Hadeeth against the backdrop of financial difficulties, which is the complaint of many today, we need to use this as a clear directive to fulfil the monetary rights of others. How many of us conveniently avoid our creditors using bankruptcy, liquidation, sequestration and an array of legal loopholes to justify this non-payment? Wouldn’t it make more sense if instead, we first make the intention to pay and thereafter harness our efforts in this direction and most important place our trust and reliance in Allah Ta’ala, firmly believing that in His hands are the treasures of the heavens and the earth and that no task is insurmountable, as is understood from this Hadeeth?

May Allah Ta’ala make us fulfil all our commitments and save us from deceiving and cheating others, Aameen.

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