Contract of a debt for a fixed term; must be recorded in writing
Surah ‘Al-Baqarah (The Cow) – Chapter – 2)
Stage – 1, Verse – 282 of 286, Section – 39 of 40 (Part - 3)
In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
282. O ye who believe! When ye contract a debt for a fixed term, record it in writing. Let a scribe record it in writing between you in (terms of) equity. No scribe should refuse to write as Allah hath taught him, so let him write, and let him who incurreth the debt dictate, and let him observe his duty to Allah his Lord, and diminish naught thereof. But if he who oweth the debt is of low understanding, or weak, or unable himself to dictate, then let the guardian of his interests dictate in (terms of) equity. And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if the one of the two erreth (through forgetfulness) the other will remember. And the witnesses must not refuse when they are summoned. Be not averse to writing down (the contract) whether it be small or great, with (record of) the term thereof. That is more equitable in the sight of Allah and more sure for testimony, and the best way of avoiding doubt between you; save only in the case when it is actual merchandise which ye transfer among yourselves from hand to hand. In that case it is no sin for you if ye write it not. And have witnesses when ye sell one to another, and let no harm be done to scribe or witness. If ye do (harm to them) lo! It is a sin in you. And observe your duty to Allah. And Allah is teaching you. And Allah is Knower of all things.
282. Yaaa- ‘ayyuhallaziina ‘aa-manuuu ‘izaa tadaa-yantum-bi-daynin ‘ilaaa ‘ajalim-musam-man- faktubuuh. Wal-yaktub- baynakum kaatibum- bil- ‘adl. Wa laa ya’-ba kaatibun ‘any-yaktuba kamaa ‘allama-hUllaahu fal-yaktub. Wal- yumli-lillazii ‘alayhil-haqqu wal-yattaQIllaaha Rabbahuu wa laa yab-khas minhu shay- ‘aa. Fa- ‘in- kaanallazii ‘alayhil-haqqu safii-han ‘aw za- ‘iifan ‘aw laa yas-tatii- ‘u ‘any-yumilla huwa fal-yumlil waliyyuhuu bil- ‘adl. Wastash-hiduu shahii-dayni mir-rijaalikum. Fa- ‘illam ya-kuunaa rajulayni fa-rajulunw-wamra- ‘ataani mimman- tarzaw-na minash-shuhadaaa-‘i ‘an-tazilla ‘ih-daahumaa fatuzak-kira ‘ih-daahumal- ‘ukhraa. Wa laa ya’-bash-shuhadaaa-‘u ‘izaa maa du-‘uu. Wa laa tas-‘amuuu ‘an taktubuuhu sagii-ran ‘aw kabiiran ‘illaaa ‘ajalih. Zaalikum ‘aqsatu ‘indAllaahi wa ‘aqwamu lish-shahaadati wa ‘adnaaa ‘allaa tartaabuuu ‘illaaa ‘an-takuuna tijaaratan haaziratan- tudiiruunahaa baynakum fa-laysa ’alaykum junaahun ‘allaa tak-tubuuhaa. Wa ‘ash-hiduuu ‘izaa tabaaya’-tum. Wa laa yu-zaaarra kaatibunw-wa laa shahiid. Wa ‘in-taf-‘aluu fa- ‘innahuu fusuuqum-bikum. WattaqUllaah. Wa yu- ‘allimu-kumUllaah. WAllaahu bi-kulli shay- ‘in ‘Aliim.
Daynun – (a debt), in the Arabic language, daynun is used for the matter in which the payment in exchange is not made at the spot.
‘ilaaa ‘ajalim-musam-man – (for a fixed term), the scholars of religious law have taken point from it that the term (date and time of returning the amount) of debt must be fixed and very clear. It should not remain in doubt.
At first, Holy Qur’an described the commands regarding excellence of alms and charity, then usury, its prohibition and badness. Now, it has been mentioned about the debt and such merchandise in which there is a promise of any particular term. Possibility to forgetfulness, error and omission remains always. So, such matters must be recorded in writing and governed, that someone may not reach the point of quarrel. The scribe should not fall short in writing. It is more suitable if the indebted person writes with his own hand or tells to the scribe with his own tongue and he should tell without increase or decrease of other’s right. If he who owes the debt is of low understanding, or weak, or unable himself to dictate, then let the guardian of his interests dictate in (terms of) equity.
This verse is the longest one in the Holy Qur’an. After telling the matters of debt to be in writing, now it commands, “Call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses besides being reduced to writing the agreement”. If two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women, of such as you approve as witnesses, so that if the one of the two errs (through forgetfulness) the other will remind her. Along with this, the witnesses are being instructed that they must not refuse when they are summoned, because it is sin.
To bring the statement in writing; it is emphasized, “Be neither averse nor delay to write down (the contract) whether it be small or great, with (record of) the term thereof. It is the universal truth that the demands of soundness and equity cannot be fulfilled without it.
‘Aqsatu – (more equitable), this word has been derived from Qist, which means equity, justice. From it; is the word Muqsitun, which is Adjective of Allah Almighty, which means A Judge.
‘Aqwamu – (Who keeps More Extent), the words Qiyaamun, Qawwaamun and Qayyimun etc. have come out from its origin. ‘Aqwamu means “Who keeps everything proper (best of all)”.
Tijaaratan haaziratan – (the merchandise which you transfer among yourselves from hand to hand). That is to say; it would not be on debt or promises, but it would be hand-to-hand. In that case, it is no sin for you if you do not write it.
Like this, it is necessary for the scribe and witnesses also that they should act according to the justice; they must not try to harm someone. Otherwise, they will be sinners.