Debts need to be recorded

…recording the debt is ‘Divinely Ordained’

Dr. Javid Iqbal
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jun 21 2018 11:57PM | Updated Date: Jun 21 2018 11:57PM

It is ‘Divinely Ordained’ that debts should be recorded in writing, in presence of witnesses in order to avoid misunderstandings that might arise:

‘’O you who believe! When you incur debts among yourselves for a certain period of time, write it down. And have a scribe write in your presence, in all fairness. And let no scribe refuse to write, as God has taught him.  So let him write and let the debtor dictate. And let him fear God, his Lord, and diminish nothing from it. But if the debtor is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable to dictate, then let his guardian dictate with honesty. And call to witness two men among you. And if two men are not available than one man and two women whose testimony is acceptable to all; if one of them fails to remember, the other would remember her. Witnesses must not refuse when called upon. And do not think it too trivial to write down, whether small or large, including time of repayment. That is more equitable with God, and stronger as evidence, and more likely to prevent doubt except in cases of spot transaction between you, then there is no blame on you if you do not write down.  And let there be witnesses when you conclude a contract, and let no harm be done to either to the scribe or witnesses. It will be wickedness on your part if you do so. So fear God for it is God that teaches you. And God is acquainted with all things.’’ (2: 282)

The Holy Verse is self-explanatory in all its aspects. Debt, whatever it amounts to, may not be taken trivial to the extent of failing to record it. For effective debt-servicing, it is prudent to record it. The scribe may not refuse to record it, as his ability to record events in writing is God given. On a similar pattern, the ones called to testify may abide, taking it as a deed to please God. Recording the debt apart from being more equitable with God stays as evidence to offset doubts. The same holds true in a contract/trade deal. And, in the aftermath of recording, any harm coming to scribe or witnesses would constitute an act of wickedness.


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