Dear ‘Ulama, we often hear that one will not be forgiven for the debts that he fails to repay. Even the shahid (martyr) will not be forgiven for this.
Does this warning apply to all types of debtors?
or is there some detail to this?
What if one has a sincere intention to pay?
The hadith you question is recorded by Imam Muslim (rahimahullah) and others in which Rasulullah (sallallahu’alayhi wasallam) said:
Every sin shall be forgiven for the martyr besides his debts
(Sahih Muslim, hadith: 4860)
There are a few types of debtors
1. One who takes a loan with no intention of re-paying.
2. One who takes a loan with the intention of re-paying, but delays his repayment even though he has the means.
3. One who takes a loan for the wrong reason; like to engage in haram or without any real need. His motive is to waste the wealth of others.
The warnings in the hadith refers to these 3 types, and the like thereof.
4. As for one who took a loan out of genuine need, with the sincere intention of paying, but failed to settle his debt due to poverty, this kind of a person is not included in these warnings. This person will -insha Allah- not be held responsible in the hereafter. It is hoped that Allah Ta’ala will repay the creditor in the hereafter on behalf of this sincere debtor.
The above applies to all Muslims, the martyr and the non martyr.
(See: Ikmalul Mu’lim of Qadi ‘Iyad, vol.6, pg.306, Sharhul Ubbi ‘ala Sahih Muslim, vol.6 pg.611, Faidul Qadir, hadith:10016 and Hashiyatus Sindhi ‘ala sunanin Nasai, vol.2 pg.60-61)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,
Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar