Yesterday’s Friday sermon warned Muslims that it was a great wrong to put off settling their debts.
“Debtors should not shirk from paying their dues to the extent of going into hiding and refusing to be contacted,” said Imams during the sermon. “If any of you are unable to settle your debts, do not treat the lenders like an enemy or stranger.
“Islam allows us to go into debt, but discourages it. Muslims should avoid getting into debt, except in very urgent and desperate cases. In such situations, we should aim to pay off the debt as soon as possible. Delay and failure to settle the debt can lead to quarrels and hostilities.
“It is an obligation for the debtor to settle the payment, as agreed between the lender and borrower. This obligation includes paying for outstanding bills such as water, electricity, housing payments and the like.
“Only borrow, if necessary, for essential and urgent needs and avoid taking another loan before settling your previous debts. If you have not been able to settle the debt during the period of payment, then it is advisable to ask for some consideration as to the delay.
“Plan your expenses carefully by prioritising your basic needs and leading a modest lifestyle with prudent spending. Maintain good relations with the creditor. Creditors should also be considerate to those who are going through hardship to pay off their debts.”