By Wael Abdelgawad for IslamicSunrays.com
Being in debt is a killer. It consumes us with stress, and eats away at our happiness and sense of security. It destroys marriages, and if the debt is between family or friends then it can ruin those relationships. In some countries, inability to pay your debt can even you put in prison.
I feel obligated to mention that part of the reason so many people are carrying so much debt is our addiction to the material lifestyle. We are bombarded with messages and advertisements telling us we need to buy this and own that. It gets to the point where we measure our status in life (and that of others) by what we own, or worse, by how much we spend. If we spend a huge sum of money on a lavish wedding, then we are “honored” in society. If not, we feel shamed. Since our incomes do not match our desires, we go into debt.
This thinking and lifestyle is completely contrary to what Islam teaches us, and to the example set by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them all). Even when they became rulers of the world, they continued to live simple and humble lifestyles, because they understood what really matters in life.
So the first step for us is to readjust our priorities, and to realize that what matters is our relationship with Allah. Beyond that, the important things in life are our family relationships – loving our spouses and children and spending time with them, worshiping with them, supporting them. Then our friendships, and doing some good in the world, creating something meaningful, and being an agent of compassion in the lives of those around you.
Dua Against Debt
If you have done whatever you can to avoid debt, and still you find yourself burdened with debts, try this dua from Fortress of the Muslim. Repeat it many times every day:
Allaahummak-finee bihalaalika ‘an haraamika wa ‘aghninee bifadhlika ‘amman siwaaka.
“O Allah, suffice me with what You have allowed instead of what You have forbidden , and make me independent of all others besides You.”
(Reference: At-Tirmithi 5/560. See also Al-Albani, Sahih At-Tirmithi 3/180.)
This dua against debt is really brilliant, because the dua contains within itself the solution to the problem. “Suffice me with what you have allowed.” In other words, let the halal be enough for me. Don’t let me get myself into debt because of haram mortgage loans or excessive material desire, or out-of-control consumer spending. Let me be satisfied with a simple, halal life, so that I don’t get into debt.
If you repeat this often enough it becomes a part of your thinking and awareness, and you modify your own behavior, which leads to: “make me independent of all others besides You.” You become your own man or woman, not owing money to anyone, independent, relying only on Allah.
I’m not saying the dua is just an affirmation, I’m saying it works on both levels, as an affirmation and as a prayer to Allah to help you achieve that affirmation. It’s a subtle and amazing dua.
Three Excellent Dua’s Against Debt:
(note that #2 is the same as the one above)
1) “Oh Allah, I take refuge in You…”
Narrated by Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (ra):
One day the Messenger of Allah (saw) entered the mosque. He saw there a man from the Ansar (a resident of Madinah) called Abu Umamah and said to him: “What is the matter that I am seeing you sitting in the mosque when there is no time of prayer?” Abu Umamah said: “I am entangled in sorrow and debts.” The Prophet Muhammad (ra ) replied: “Shall I not teach you words by which, when you say them, Allah will remove your sorrow, and settle your debts?” Abu Umamah said: “Yes, Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet Muhammad (ra ) said: “Say in the morning and evening: Allahumma inni ‘auzu bika min alhamma wal ‘huzn, wal ‘ajzi wal kasali wal bukhli wal jubn, wa dhala’iddini wa ‘galabatir rajaal.” (See here for the arabic text).
‘O Allah, I take refuge in You from anxiety and sorrow, weakness and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debts and from being overpowered by men.’
Abu Umamah said: “When I did that Allah removed my distress and settled my debt.” [Abu Dawood]
2) “O Allah, grant me enough…”
Ali radi Allahu `anhu said that a slave, who had made a contract with his master to pay for his freedom, came to him and said, “I am unable to fulfil my contract, so help me.” He said, “Shall I not teach you some words which Allah’s Messenger (ra) taught me, and which even if you had a debt as large as a mountain Allah would pay it for you?”:
Allahumma akfini bihala lika an haramika wa aghnini bi fadhlika am-man siwak.
“O Allah, grant me enough of what You make lawful that I may dispense of with what You make unlawful, and make me independent, by Your bounty, of other than You.” [At-Tirmidhi]
3) “O Allah, Sovereign of all…”
The Prophet (saw) said to Muadh radi Allahu `anhu, “Should I not teach you a supplication which, when used to implore Allah, Allah shall pay your debt, even it be as huge as Mount Uhud? He then mentioned:
Allahumma Maalik al-mulki tu’til-mulka man tasha’ u wa tanzi’ul mulka mimman tasha’, wa tu’izzu man tasha’ u wa tudhilu man tasha’, bi yadika al-khayr, innaka ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer, Rahmaan-id-dunya wa’l-aakhirah wa raheemahuma, tu’teeyahuma man tasha’ wa tamna’ minhuma man tasha’, irhamni rahmatan taghnini biha ‘an rahmati man siwaak.
“O Allah, Sovereign of all, You give dominion to whomsoever You will and You take dominion away from whomsoever You will, You exalt whomsoever You will and You bring low whomsoever You will. In Your hand is all goodness and You are able to do all things. Most Merciful and Most compassionate in this world and in the Hereafter, You give them to whomsoever You will and withhold them from whomsoever You will. Bestow mercy upon Me in such a manner that I have no need of the mercy of anyone but You.” [Tabarani]