Today’s reminder is the good deed of helping others with a loan, for the sake of Allah, without asking for any more benefit from that loan.
The imam began with referencing the 245th ayat of Sura Baqara which is translated to say:
Who will lend to Allah a good loan which Allah will multiply many times over? It is Allah ˹alone˺ who decreases and increases ˹wealth˺. And to Him you will ˹all˺ be returned.
As always, there are many lessons to ponder over when it comes to the ayats in the Quran and this reminder will only focus on a few but if we analyse the wording of this ayat, Allah SWT speaks of those who will lend to Allah SWT.
Now, if we pause here for a moment, Allah SWT is the owner of all the wealth and He alone distributes wealth and rizq and we are only subject to His decree. So why is it then that He is speaking of us, His creation, lending Him a good loan?
Many of the scholars remark on this ayat as being a reminder, almost an attempt to embarrass us to recognize the need for us to help one another out. This is a reminder that wealth distribution comes from Allah SWT alone and we are powerless to control that except through dua.
And so, if we become stingy and if we hoard our wealth then isn’t that us abusing the blessing that we have been given?
And what better use of our wealth than to spend in the cause of Allah SWT. What better way to spend our wealth than that of which will benefit us in the next life?
And what will be of the greatest benefit to us in the hereafter in terms of our wealth here? Surely, it is to help one another out when you know someone is in financial difficulty and you are able to help them as you’ve been blessed with the means to do so.
The imam mentioned a hadith in which the Prophet SAWS is reported to have said:
“If anyone relieves a Muslim believer from one of the hardships of this worldly life, Allah will relieve him of one of the hardships of the Day of Resurrection. If anyone makes it easy for the one who is indebted to him (while finding it difficult to repay), Allah will make it easy for him in this worldly life and in the Hereafter, and if anyone conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah helps His slave as long as he helps his brother.”
Also, the imam mentioned this hadith which differentiates between a loan and a charity. It is translated to say:
“On the night on which I was taken on the Night Journey (Isra), I saw written at the gate of Paradise: ‘Charity brings a tenfold reward and a loan brings an eighteen fold reward.’ I said: ‘O Jibril! Why is a loan better than charity?’ He said: ‘Because the beggar asks when he has something, but the one who asks for loan does so only because he is in need.’ ”
Dear brothers and sisters, this lesson is important because we are approaching a time of financial difficulty. Only yesterday it was announced that we will be entering a recession towards the end of the year which will last for most of 2023.
For those of us who can afford to do so, we must not get trapped into the habit of hoarding our wealth and our blessing. Yes, there is a time and a place for investment for our loves ones but the investment in helping out your brother or sister in Islam in the hope of nothing but the pleasure and reward of your Creator, should take the top priority.
And on the topic of seeking the reward in loaning to others. It’s important to remember that if you are in the blessed position of being able to loan to someone else, the only thing you should be expecting back from the other person is the loan amount and nothing more.
And so the reminder concludes with the 282nd ayat of Sura Baqara which talks about loans and it is translated to say:
O believers! When you contract a loan for a fixed period of time, commit it to writing. Let the scribe maintain justice between the parties. The scribe should not refuse to write as Allah has taught them to write. They will write what the debtor dictates, bearing Allah in mind and not defrauding the debt. If the debtor is incompetent, weak, or unable to dictate, let their guardian dictate for them with justice. Call upon two of your men to witness. If two men cannot be found, then one man and two women of your choice will witness—so if one of the women forgets the other may remind her.1 The witnesses must not refuse when they are summoned. You must not be against writing ˹contracts˺ for a fixed period—whether the sum is small or great. This is more just ˹for you˺ in the sight of Allah, and more convenient to establish evidence and remove doubts. However, if you conduct an immediate transaction among yourselves, then there is no need for you to record it, but call upon witnesses when a deal is finalized. Let no harm come to the scribe or witnesses. If you do, then you have gravely exceeded ˹your limits˺. Be mindful of Allah, for Allah ˹is the One Who˺ teaches you. And Allah has ˹perfect˺ knowledge of all things.
Dear brothers and sisters, helping one another is a quality that Allah SWT gifted to mankind. And our Ummah is regarding as the most generous of people when it comes to charity. We all know that spending in the sake of Allah SWT will not diminish our wealth so let us use today’s reminder to enable us to help each other out in times of difficulty.