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​The Considerate Creditor

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Shaqeeq bin Ebrahim Balkhi (rahimahullah) mentioned the following incident:

I accompanied Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) to visit a sick person. Enroute, a man saw him from a distance and hid away from him, taking another road. Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) shouted out and said, “O so and so! Walk in the direction you were walking in. Don’t change your route.” When he realized that Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) had already seen him, he was overcome with shame and stood still. Upon reaching him, Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) asked him the reason for changing his route. He replied, “I owe you a long overdue amount of ten thousand dirhams (silver coins) which I am unable to pay. Hence, when I saw you coming towards me, I was overcome by shame.”

Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) remarked, “Subhaanallah! Matters have reached such proportions that when you see me you take cover? I have gifted the entire amount to you and I declare myself a personal witness to this, so do not take cover when you see me in future. Also, forgive me for the pain that entered your heart when you met me.”

Shaqeeq (rahimahullah) says, “On witnessing this incident, I realized that Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) was indeed a true ascetic and saint.”

(‘Uqoodul Jumaan pg. 233)

Lessons:

1. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) made special du‘aa for the person who is lenient and considerate in his business dealings (Saheeh Bukhaari #2076). Hence, when the man could not fulfil the debt, Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) forgave the entire amount and waived it, showing consideration to his debtor. If one is unable to waive the entire debt, then one should at least waive a portion of the debt or give the debtor respite. If one is not prepared to do even this, he should, at the very least, deal with the debtor in a polite manner, not with harshness.

2. Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) was blessed with wealth, but he did not have love for wealth. Hence, it was easy for him to waive a debt of ten thousand dirhams. Furthermore, he would use his wealth to assist those in need and to propagate the Deen of Allah Ta‘ala.

3. If a person has an outstanding debt, he should at least feel shame for not fulfilling it. On the contrary, in today’s times, some debtors challenge their creditors and make remarks such as, “Why are you demanding your money? Don’t you have enough money? Do you think that I’m going to run away?”

4. Imaam Abu Haneefah (rahimahullah) was so particular about not causing any pain to people that he even asked his debtor to forgive him for the pain that he might have experienced on seeing his creditor. 

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