Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I feel that Allah has taken away all barakah from our lives and that is because of the interest we are paying on credit cards. We both are very conscious of our prayers but now my husband is jobless. What should we do?

Answer: Assalam alaykum. Thank you for writing in. May Allah grant you a way out of every hardship and enable you to repay your debts as soon as possible.

It is not possible to know why Allah puts specific people through certain tests. Neither is it right that we say because someone did x that Allah did y and z to him. However, we do know there is a wisdom in everything Allah does, and all one can do is be patient, grateful, and turn to Him, while at the same time, learning from the mistakes that have been made.

Credit cards and interest

For sure, any involvement with interest is a serious matter and has the potential to bring a problems in a person’s life, materially and spiritually.

The jurists have laid down specific conditions to the permissibility of using credit cards. These include, paying back any monies due before interest accrues, and being certain one has the means to pay off any the money before interest accrues. [www.albalagh.net]

Despite the permissibility of using credit cards, one should only use them only sparsely and with caution. The practice of using credit cards as a part of everyday life is akin to a person who regularly walks around the edge of a large hole. One day he’s going to fall in. Unless one has money at hand, they can never be certain of paying back borrowed money, nor be certain of job security. When things fall apart, the evils of the interest based credit system kicks in.

Tests and returning to Allah

Test come in many forms, and as mentioned, we cannot say for sure why Allah tests people in certain ways. We do know however, that ‘When Allah loves a people he will test them. Whoever is pleased will be satisfied, and whoever is displeased will have indignation’ [al Tirmidhi].

Therefore, two things can be learnt from the words of our beloved Prophet ﷺ that are applicable here. First, that despite the hardship, we understand that Allah loves those whom he tests and it is a purification of the heart. Secondly, it is a chance to show one’s sincerity in faith through being grateful and not showing discontentment at what Allah has decreed.

Du’a and worship

– The specific supplications for debts should be recited morning and evening, after each prayer and at Tahajjud time:

اللَّهُمَّ اكْفِنِي بِحَلَالِكَ عَنْ حَرَامِكَ وَأَغْنِنِي بِفَضْلِكَ عَمَّنْ سِوَاكْ
O Allah, save me from haram and make the halal sufficient and by your favour make me independent from others

Take heart, for the Prophet ﷺ said, that whoever recites this du’a, ‘Even if there is a debt equal to that of a huge mountain then Allah will pay it’ [al Tirmidhi].

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْهَمِّ وَالْحَزَنِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْعَجْزِ وَالْكَسَلِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْبُخْلِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ غَلَبَةِ الدَّيْنِ وَقَهْرِ الرِّجَالِ
O Allah I seek refuge in You from worry and grief, I seek refuge in You from hopelessness and laziness, I seek refuge in You from miserliness and cowardice and I seek refuge in You from overwhelming debt and from the force of men

The Prophet ﷺ stated that whoever recites this du’a Allah will remove all his worries and debts. [Abu Dawud]

– Please pray the Prayer of Need (Haja) each night. You can find out how to pray this prayer here.

Zakat and Loans

Your husband would be eligible to receive zakat under the category of those who are in debt. This may be a good option to pursue in order to pay back the debt as soon as possible. [Tuhfa al Muhtaj]

Another option is to borrow money from a trusted and close family or friend who can pay off the debt for you to the bank and then you owe them the money, if they are able to do this and are happy to wait for your husband to find a job and pay the debt back in instalments. While your husband will still be in debt, at least it won’t accrue any more interest and the time pressure is less. The lender also gets rewarded.

Resources

You may find the articles and links from Rizqwise useful in managing your debt:
Debt: How It Destroys Lives and How to Fight it

Please see also this reader on credit cards.

May Allah grant you and your husband an easy way out of this difficult affair, and make you and us of those who turn to Him in hardship with forbearance and gratitude. Please keep us in your du’as.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

Photo: Sean MacEntee

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)