Once, Al-Haaj Ibrahim was approached by a friend for a loan. The friend promised to return it before the end of the year. Al-Haaj gave the loan and entered the transaction in his accounts. His friend offered to mortgage something against the loan. Al-Haaj refused, stating that since he was a dear friend and Allah (swt) was a Witness between them, a mortgage was not needed.
Before the year ended, Al-Haaj had a sudden heart attack and died. He left behind a widow and four children.
One day, Al-Haaj’s wife checked his accounts to see the details of his debtors and creditors. She came across the entry of the loan he had granted to his friend. The wife sent a message to Al-Haaj’s friend, requesting him to return the loan. The friend denied ever taking a loan from Al-Haaj. When she insisted and pursued the matter, he changed his statement and said that he had actually returned the loan much earlier and that was why he couldn’t even remember the incident.
When the news spread, public opinion was divided into two groups: one group supported Al-Haaj, while the other was on his friend’s side.
Al-Haaj’s widow approached the influential members of the society for assistance, but to no avail. Losing all hope, she filed a case against this man in the court.
After hearing both parties, the judge said: “This man claims to have returned the loan. He has a witness, who has testified that once the loan was granted to this man by Al-Haaj, the man mentioned to him how relieved he was due to the kind gesture of Al-Haaj. However, we have no proof or witness to substantiate the fact that the borrowed loan was actually returned to Al-Haaj. In such a case, the accused is required to take an oath by the Quran and confirm that he had indeed returned the borrowed loan.”
The accused man took a false oath by the Quran. Consequently, the court acquitted him. As the man proudly stepped out of the court room, he suddenly fell to the ground. This man, who had been hale and hearty just a few seconds ago, had dropped dead before everyone’s eyes.
The narrator of this story was Al-Haaj’s neighbour. He was also present during the trial and was deeply shocked by the sudden demise of this young man. He visited Al-Haaj’s house and spoke to Al-Haaj’s wife from behind the veil.
She said: “My husband was a pious man. He always lent people a helping hand. He used to lend money to all – the rich and the poor. Later, as per the Prophet’s (sa) Hadeeth, he wrote off the loans of the destitute and allowed time to the rich to pay off their borrowed money. He kept the accounts of all such transactions. He rarely asked the borrowers to sign for the funds they took. I advised him to do so many times, but he would answer me: ‘The money that I have belongs to Allah (swt). There was a time, when I was poor. It was Allah (swt), Who enriched me.’
On the day of the verdict, I was also present in the courtroom. When that man took a false oath and the judge acquitted him, I cried out in horror. I knew that he had lied and had dared to mock Allah’s (swt) Book. At that very moment I cursed him: ‘O Allah! You are the Knower of all that is evident and all that is concealed. You are also the Knower of the Unknown. If this man is a liar, make him an example for others to fear, oh Mighty Lord!’
I saw him die before my eyes in the court. He was acquitted by the judge, but could not escape the ultimate King of the heavens and the earth.
One cold night, at the door, stood his graceful widow. She admitted to me that her husband had lied in the court. She had tried to persuade him to return the loan, but he didn’t listen. Eventually, he paid a heavy price for his treachery. She had come to return the loan – she handed over the borrowed money to me and left.”
Adapted from “Sunehray Faislay” published by Darussalam. Translated for “Hiba” by Rana Rais Khan.