282- YOU WHO BELIEVE, IF YOU LEND EACH OTHER TO A NAMED DATE, WRITE IT DOWN, AND LET A SCRIBE WRITE JUSTLY FOR YOU AND BETWEEN YOU. NO SCRIBE SHOULD REFUSE TO WRITE AS ALLAH TAUGHT HIM. LET HIM WRITE, AND LET HE WHO INCURS THE DEBT DICTATE, AND LET HIM FEAR HIS LORD, ALLAH, AND DO NOT DECREASE ANY OF IT. BUT IF HE WHO INCURS THE DEBT IS MENTALLY INCAPABLE, OR WEAK, LET HIS GUARDIAN DICTATE JUSTLY. AND HAVE TWO WITNESSES OF YOUR MEN, BUT IF THERE ARE NOT TWO MEN, THAN A MAN AND TWO WOMEN OF THOSE YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH AS WITNESSES, SO THAT IF ONE OF THE WOMEN FORGETS THE OTHER REMINDS HER. AND WITNESSES SHOULD NOT REFUSE WHEN THEY ARE CALLED. AND DO NOT TIRE OF WRITING IT DOWN, WHETHER IT IS SMALL OR LARGE TO ITS TERM, FOR THIS IS MORE JUST BEFORE ALLAH, BETTER AS EVIDENCE, AND LESS LIKELY TO CAUSE YOU DOUBT. UNLESS IT IS A TRADE CARRIED OUT ON THE SPOT BETWEEN YOU, THEN THERE IS NO BLAME ON YOU IF YOU DO NOT WRITE IT DOWN. AND HAVE WITNESSES WHEN YOU BUY AND SELL. NEITHER A SCRIBE NOR A WITNESS SHOULD SUFFER ANY HARM, AND IF YOU DO, IT IS YOUR WICKEDNESS. BE RIGHTEOUS AND PROTECT YOURSELVES FROM ALLAH’S DISPLEASURE, AND ALLAH TEACHES YOU, FOR ALLAH KNOWS ALL THINGS.
283- BUT IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING AND CAN NOT FIND A SCRIBE, THEN PLEDGE WITH POSSESSIONS. IF YOU TRUST EACH OTHER, LET HIM WHO HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED FULFILL HIS TRUST, AND LET HIM GUARD HIMSELF FROM THE DISPLEASURE OF ALLAH, HIS LORD. AND DO NOT CONCEAL YOUR TESTIMONY, AND HE, WHO CONCEALS IT, WILL BE SINNING IN HIS OWN HEART, AND ALLAH KNOWS WELL EVERY THING YOU DO.
These two Ayahs have details concerning financial dealings and contract. They have detailed Instructions from Allah the Highest concerning this matter. Ayah 282 is the longest Ayah in the Quran.
The following is a discussion of the points detailed in these Ayahs:
1- An agreement or contract should be dated with a starting date and an end date.
2- Such contract should be written down. This is better than just memorizing the agreement because:
- Written contract will be the reference to the terms of the agreement in case someone forgot some of the terms.
- Will prevent people doubting each other if they have written contract.
3- The Arabs and most of the nations at the time were illiterate, did not read or write. They used to use a scribe to write for them. There may also be a point in making a third person write even if both parties to the contract write. This is less likely to lead to injustice, particularly if the literate person writes the contract while the other party is illiterate and can not read what is being written.
The scribe is a third person who is not a party to the contract.
4- “NO SCRIBE SHOULD REFUSE TO WRITE AS ALLAH TAUGHT HIM”. This is a command from Allah the Highest that no scribe refuse to write and should not take advantage of the situation if he the only scribe available for example.
5- “LET HIM WRITE, AND LET HE WHO INCURS THE DEBT DICTATE AND LET HIM FEAR HIS LORD, ALLAH, AND DO NOT DECREASE ANY OF IT. BUT IF HE WHO INCURS THE DEBT IS MENTALLY INCAPABLE, OR WEAK, LET HIS GUARDIAN DICTATE JUSTLY”
The scribe takes the dictation from the person who incurs the debt, who is the weaker party. This makes it less likely for the lender to include unfair conditions. If he can not dictate for reasons of physical or mental incapacity, then his guardian should dictate, and should do so justly. In either instant, the person should fear Allah and not decrease the amounts or change the agreed terms in any way.
The person who is incurring the debt dictating means that unfair conditions can not be imposed on him, as happens when one is making a contract with a big organization, which usually imposes its own terms. The weaker party dictating the contracts give him some power, also makes him fully aware of all the terms and conditions he agrees to (no small print)
6- “AND HAVE TWO WITNESSES OF YOUR MEN, BUT IF THERE ARE NOT TWO MEN, THAN A MAN AND TWO WOMEN OF THOSE YOU ARE SATISFIED WITH AS WITNESSES, SO THAT IF ONE OF THE WOMEN FORGETS THE OTHER REMINDS HER”
Any contract should be witnessed by two men, or a man and two women. They should be people known to be trustworthy and just. Allah the Highest is telling us that if there are not two men, then a man and two women. Only one man can be replaced by two women, not the two men.
The Ayah tells us that women are more prone to forget then the other woman may remind her. Women in general are less involved in business and trading than men and less familiar to what happen in such transactions. One might say that women are involved in business and can chair companies, be ministers or heads of states. The majority of women throughout the world however are not.
Women might be more likely to be swayed by their emotions which sometimes show monthly fluctuations.
7- “AND DO NOT TIRE OF WRITING IT DOWN, WHETHER SMALL OR LARGE TO IT’S TERM, FOR THIS IS MORE JUST BEFORE ALLAH, BETTER AS EVIDENCE, AND LESS LIKELY TO CAUSE YOU DOUBT”
Written contracts can be referred to by any of the parties involved, which saves us from doubt and dispute about conditions, dates, terms etc.
8- “AND WITNESSES SHOULD NOT REFUSE WHEN THEY ARE CALLED”
Witnesses should not refuse to witness a contract and should not refuse to testify if called to testify in case of a dispute. In fact, if a witness of a contract or if someone witnessed any thing then hears about a dispute and thinks that his or her testimony is needed he should give it before he is asked, rather than wait until called to testify. Ending the dispute early prevents its escalation.
Allah’s messenger prayer and peace upon him said: “Shall I tell you who the best witnesses are, he is the person who gives his testimony before he is asked for it” (A: 5; 193 & Ma: Ahkam; 28)
9- “UNLESS IT IS A TRADE CARRIED OUT ON THE SPOT BETWEEN YOU, THEN THERE IS NO BLAME IN YOU IF YOU DO NOT WRITE IT DOWN”
Meaning that for small transactions, which takes place everyday and every minute, there is no need to write it down in a contract. Our practice of having receipts or record of some sort is sufficient.
10- “AND HAVE WITNESSES WHEN YOU BUY AND SELL”
An advisable practice if possible on transactions that are not written down.
11- “NEITHER A SCRIBE NOR A WITNESS SHOULD SUFFER ANY HARM, AND IF YOU DO, IT IS YOUR WICKEDNESS”
Allah the Highest is commanding us that neither the scribe nor the witnesses should suffer because of the service they did, and for their assistance to the contracting parties. They should not suffer physically, materially, financially nor psychologically. They should not suffer when they are called upon when the contract is being written and witnessed, nor should they suffer when if called upon to give testimony in case of dispute.
The scribe and the witnesses are not parties to or beneficiaries of the contract therefore they should not suffer in any way for the part they took and should be compensated for any loss of earnings. If we let them suffer, others will be reluctant to give their services and people will have difficulties making contracts. Allah the Highest went as far as saying that any harm coming to them will be due to our wickedness.
12- “BE RIGHTEOUS AND PROTECT YOURSELVES FROM ALLAH’S DISPLEASURE, AND ALLAH TEACHES YOU, FOR ALLAH KNOWS ALL THINGS”
Then Allah the Highest tells us that the most important thing of all in any dealing is to be righteous and to fear Him, and Allah the Highest teaches us how to do things right in all aspects of life.
This may also be understood that Allah the Highest gives us knowledge and Wisdom when we are righteous and obey His commands. “ALLAH GRANTS WISDOM TO WHOM HE WILLS” (S:2 A:269) Also Allah the Highest gave special knowledge to the righteous man Moses peace upon him went to learn from “THEY FOUND ONE OF OUR SLAVES, WE HAVE GIVEN MERCY AND WE TAUGHT HIM KNOWLEDGE FROM US” (S:17 A:65)
13- “BUT IF YOU WERE TRAVELLING AND COULD NOT FIND A SCRIBE, THEN PLEDGE WITH POSSESSIONS, IF YOU TRUST EACH OTHER, LET HIM WHO HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED FULFILL HIS TRUST, AND LET HIM GUARD HIMSELF FROM THE DISPLEASURE OF ALLAH, HIS LORD”
This is the situation when people are travelling and or do not find a scribe to write the contract. Then they can pledge securities against the money. However in case of trust between the parties, Allah the Highest reminds us to fear Him and to fulfill our trust.
14- “AND DO NOT CONCEAL YOUR TESTIMONY, AND HE, WHO CONCEALS IT, WILL BE SINNING IN HIS OWN HEART, AND ALLAH KNOWS WELL EVERY THING YOU DO”
Testimony is knowledge we possess which we should let the appropriate persons know when it is needed. They might or might not know that we possess this knowledge. This knowledge might be needed to prove ownership, guilt or innocence, write or wrong, inheritance, marriage, paternity etc. Therefore withholding the information in the testimony may lead to injustice, and loss of rights.
This testimony is very important to be delivered even if it is against our own interest, or if it is against people we love, or for people we do not like, for Allah the Highest said: “YOU WHO BELIEVE, STAND FIRMLY FOR JUSTICE AND BE JUST WITNESSES FOR ALLAH, EVEN IF AGAINST YOURSELVES, YOUR PARENTS OR YOUR CLOSE KIN” (S: 4 A: 135)
Also Allah the Highest said: “YOU WHO BELIEVE, STAND FIRMLY FOR ALLAH AND BE JUST WITNESSES, AND DO NOT LET THE HATRED OF OTHERS MAKE YOU COMMIT THE CRIME OF INJUSTICE, BE JUST FOR THIS IS NEARER TO PIETY” (S:5 A:8)
Some might think that if they do not give a testimony they have they have not sinned. Allah the Highest however is telling that they are sinning, and their sinning is deep in their hearts.
B: Bukhari M: Muslim Mal: Malek A: Ahmed D: Abu Dawood
Da: Daremy Ma: Ibn Magah N: Nesae T: Termezi