Relinquishing the Loan

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Qaasim bin Muhammad (rahimahullah), who was the grandson of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and an outstanding scholar of Madeenah Munawwarah, mentions that when his wife passed away, Muhammad bin Ka’b Qurazi (rahimahullah) came to console him. While consoling him, Muhammad bin Ka’b (rahimahullah) narrated the following incident to him:

Among the Banu Israaeel, there was a man who was blessed with the knowledge of Deen and would exert himself in the worship of Allah Ta‘ala. This man had a wife whom he loved very deeply. When she passed away, the man was so grieved and affected that he went into seclusion in a room, locking the door and completely refraining from meeting people. In this manner, no person could enter (and meet him).

Eventually, a woman, who had heard of this man (and the tragedy which he suffered), came to his home. She said, “There is a certain mas-alah (question) that I need to ask him, and I have to ask him this question directly.” When the people (at his home) left, she did not move away from the door, insisting that it was necessary for her to speak to him.

So, a person (of the household) said to the man, “There is a woman here who wishes to ask you a question. However, she insists that she must speak to you directly. All the other people have departed, but she refuses to leave.” The man relented and said, “Allow her to enter.”

On entering, she said, “I have come to ask you a question.” The man asked, “What is your question?” She replied, “I borrowed some jewellery from my neighbour. I continued to wear the jewellery and lend it to others for a lengthy period. Eventually, they sent a message to me, requesting me to return the jewellery to them. Should I return it to them?”

The man replied, “Yes, by Allah!” The woman responded, “But it remained with me for so long!” The man said, “That is all the more reason for you to return it to them, when they (were so kind to you and) lent it to you for such a lengthy period.”

(When the man said this,) the woman responded, “May Allah have mercy on you! Are you continuing to grieve over that (wife) which Allah Ta‘ala lent to you and then took back from you, whereas He is more rightful of her than you (as she belongs to Him)?” This statement served to open the man’s eyes, allowing him to see the reality of his situation. Thus, the woman’s advice benefited him (and changed his perspective, helping him to overcome his grief).

(Muwatta Imaam Maalik #811)

Lessons:

1. Let alone our wealth and belongings, such as our car, house, business, etc. – we ourselves belong to Allah Ta‘ala. Hence, He may deal with us as He sees fit, and may take us from the world when He pleases. Whatever we enjoy, be it material possessions or the company of a loved one, is a loan from Him, and hence we must never forget that the day will certainly come when we will be separated from it. When that day dawns, then as painful as the separation may be, we must never complain against Allah Ta‘ala, as He merely took back that which belongs to Him.

2. When Allah Ta‘ala wishes to guide a person, he sends him a reminder or an eye-opener. So wonderful and unique is the system of Allah Ta‘ala that this inspiration may come from the most unlikely of people or places (see here and here for a few examples). Fortunate is the person who pays heed and benefits from the reminder, using it to reform his ways and return to Allah Ta‘ala.

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