The Sincere Debtor


Nabi sallallahu alaihi wasallam mentioned that a man from the Bani Israeel requested someone belonging to his tribe to lend him a thousand Dinars (Gold Coins). The latter replied: Bring me witnesses so that I can request their testimony when required. But the man answered: Allah is sufficient as a witness. He then requested for a surety but again he received the reply: Allah is sufficient as a surety.

The man replied: “You are indeed correct” and lent him the money which was to be repaid after a fixed period of time taking the money he travelled by sea and completed what he set out to do. He then searched for another ship to board so that he could return and settle his debt at the appointed time but could not find one. So he took a piece of wood, carved a hole in it, placed therein a thousand dinars with a note from him to the creditor and thereafter sealed the hole well. He then took that piece of wood to the sea and said: “O Allah, You are well aware that I took a loan of a thousand dinars from so and so person and he requested for witness and surety. I have endeavoured to the best of my ability to find a ship to send him the money which is due to him, but my efforts have been in vain. Therefore I hand over this money to Your care.” Saying this he threw the piece of wood into the sea and watched it disappear into the distance. He then left and continued looking for a ship to return to his country.

Meanwhile the creditor went out, hoping to see a ship that would bring his money. Since there was no ship coming in that day, he thought it best to go back home. As he was leaving he picked up a large piece of driftwood from the shore which he thought would serve as an excellent source of firewood. When he chopped the wood he found the thousand dinars as well as the note sent by the debtor.

Sometime later the debtor returned bringing with him another thousand dinars. He explained: I have tried my best to find a ship to pay back your money but could not find one till today. The creditor asked: Did you send something to me? The debtor replied: I informed you that I could not find a ship before the one I arrived in. The creditor said: Allah has delivered that which you had sent in the piece of wood on your behalf. You may keep your thousand dinars and return rightly guided.

(Bukhari, vol.1, Pg. 302.)

Lesson: Divine assistance comes to the aid of the debtor who sincerely makes an effort to repay.

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