Can a Person in Debt Purchase Unnecessary Items?


Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: If you are in debt, are you allowed to spend money on things that are not necessary, although they may be beneficial? Or, for example, buying a copy of an Islamic lecture?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.

A person in debt may travel or purchase goods, even if unnecessary, as long as doing so will not hinder the repayment of the debt.

At the appointed time of repayment, however, paying off the debt takes precedence, such that one may not travel or purchase goods — aside from basic necessities — until one pays back the creditor. [Kasani, Bada’i al-Sana’i; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The wealthy person’s delay in repaying a debt is injustice.” [Sahih Bukhari]

And Allah knows best.
Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani