Tolerance Of Islam In Relation To Financial Matters

Finances are the lifeline of a community and very commonly an area from which a lot of contention between people arise. One of the aspects of the tolerance of Islam in this respect is as follows:

  • One is to be kind with his fellow brother when buying and selling. The Prophet s said: “Allah will have mercy on one who, when buying or selling, is kind and generous.” (Baihaqi)
  • When one is unable to repay a loan, Allah instructs us to be understanding of the person’s condition. He, the Exalted, says: “And if someone is in hardship, then [let there be] postponement until [a time of] ease. But if you give [from your right as] charity, then it is better for you, if you only knew.” (2:280) The Prophet s said: “Whoever gives the one upon whom a debt is due time to pay it off, he would receive with each day that passes a great reward.” (Ibn Majah)
  • Islam asks that a person be generous towards others. The Prophet s said: “There was a person from a previous nation who didn’t do any good except that he would send his servants to reclaim loans given to people in the community. When one of them was unable to repay he would tell them to go easy on that individual.” Allah then forgave that person on account of his generosity (Muslim)
  • Islam encourages one to reconsider his purchase if the seller feels sorrowful for selling what he has sold. The Prophet “Whoever returns what he bought to a seller when he feels sorrowful for selling what he sold, Allah will cover from him his faults on the Day of Resurrection.” (Ibn Hibban)
  • If a sale is being conducted, the transaction does not become binding until those involved in the sale get up to leave the session in which the buying/selling was discussed. The Prophet s said: “The buyer and seller have the right to revoke the sale as long as they do not separate from each other. If they both have spoken the truth, they would be blessed in that sale, and if they have hidden faults there will be no blessing in the sale.” (Bukhari)
  • A sign of the tolerance of Islam is its beautiful system of inheritance. Allah, the Exalted, says: “Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females. But if there are [only] daughters, two or more, for them is two thirds of one’s estate. And if there is only one, for her is half. And for one’s parents, to each one of them is a sixth of his estate if he left children. But if he had no children and the parents [alone] inherit from him, then for his mother is one third. And if he had brothers [or sisters], for his mother is a sixth, after any bequest he [may have] made or debt. Your parents or your children – you know not which of them are nearest to you in benefit. [These shares are] an obligation [imposed] by Allah. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.” [4:11]
  • A sign of the beauty of Islam is that one is to give a gift to those who are present when money is being divided. Allah, the Exalted, says: “And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of the estate and speak to them words of appropriate kindness.” [4:8]
  • A person may bequeath a certain amount of his wealth after his death. Aamir bin Sa’d said that the Prophet s would visit me while I was sick in Mecca. I told him, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I want to bequeath my entire estate for the sake of Allah. The Prophet said “No.” Aamir then said, “Then a half,”and the Prophet once again said, “No.” He then said a third, and the Prophet ragreed, but added: “A third it is, but a third is still too much. It is better that you leave your heirs rich so that they would not ask people to support them.” (Bukhari)