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Hadith 18: Paying off Jabir’s Debt

Under category : Ponder on a Hadith
1109 2021/05/31 2024/04/24
Article translated to : العربية Español

Narrated Jabir bin `Abdullah Al-Ansari:

My father was martyred on the day of Uhud and left six daughters and some debts to be paid. I suggested that his creditors take the fruits (i.e. dates) of my garden in lieu of the debt of my father, but they refused the offer, as they thought that it would not cover the full debt. Jabir, added, "When the season of plucking the dates came, I went to Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) and said, "You know that my father was martyred on the day of Uhud, and he was heavily in debt, and I would like that the creditors should see you." The Prophet (ﷺ) whereupon said to his companions, "Let us go and ask the Jew for respite for Jabir." All of them came to me in my garden, and the Prophet (ﷺ) started speaking to the Jew, but the Jew said, "O Abu Qasim! I will not grant him respite." When the Prophet (ﷺ) saw the Jew's attitude, he stood up and walked all around the garden and came again and talked to the Jew, but the Jew refused his request. I got up and brought some ripe fresh dates and put it in front of the Prophet. He ate and then said to me, "Where is your hut, O Jabir?" I informed him, and he said, "Spread out a bed for me in it." I spread out a bed, and he entered and slept. When he woke up, I brought some dates to him again and he ate of it and then got up and talked to the Jew again, but the Jew again refused his request. Then the Prophet (ﷺ) got up for the second time amidst the palm trees loaded with fresh dates. The Prophet (ﷺ) invoked Allah to bless the fruits and said to me, "Go and collect the various kinds of dates and place them separately in heaps"' I did accordingly and called him. On seeing him, the creditors started claiming their rights pressingly at that time. When the Prophet (ﷺ) saw how they behaved, he went round the biggest heap for three times and sat over it and said, "Call your companions (i.e. the creditors)." Then he kept on measuring and giving them, till Allah cleared all my father's debts. By Allah, it would have pleased me that Allah would clear the debts of my father even though I had not taken a single date to my sisters. But by Allah, all the heaps were complete, (as they were) and I looked at the heap where Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) was sitting and noticed as if not a single date had been taken thereof.


1. The miracle of multiplying the heaps of dates by the Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be upon Him.

2. Allah supports His faithful servants and helps them when they realize that there is no refuge except in Allah.

Fiqh Values:

1. Paying off the debt of the deceased is an obligation upon the heirs, it should be paid before splitting the inheritance.

2. A trustee may pay off the dead debt without the presence of the heirs.

3. What is permissible in reconciliation might not be permissible in selling, Allah’s Messenger, called the Jewish creditors to accept the rough estimation, which was probably less than the value of their debt. This is considered reconciliation, not selling, provided that the creditor takes less than his debt.

4. It is permissible to have financial transactions with the disbeliever who is a non-fighter.

5. Weighing and measuring should be done by the seller or the payer, including expenses if necessary.

6. It is permissible to request delaying a debt for the debtor’s consideration with the creditor’s consent and without causing any harm.

7. The desirability of intercession for those with debts and needs, especially the weak ones, Allah’s Messenger (Peace Be upon Him said): “If you make intercession, you will be rewarded.”

8. It is permissible to sit on the dates and kinds of food, if sitting does not spoil them.


1. The hadith shows the scene of the social and economic life of the Medinah, and how Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) mingled and interacted with His Companions without any constraints or snobbery.

2. The Daaiyah (preacher) should care about his people in every walks of life, he should not be limited to his mosque or his pulpit.

3. The leader should be a reflection of trusting in Allah and His support, despite the severity of the situation and the persistence of the Jew, Allah’s Messenger (Peace Be upon Him) left him to sit and disregarded him.

Generic Values:

1. Believers should support and help each other, Abu Bakr, Umar and other companions went to ask the Jews to give Jabir more time, so that he does not look weak without any support , in front of them, after his father was martyred in Uhud.

2. The Prophet’s obvious humility and humbleness, as He slept in the hut, on the ground.

3. Allah’s Messenger was very patient and humble, He talked with the Jew more than once to give Jabir more time to pay his debt.

4. “Place them separately in heaps” this indicates that the palm trees of Jabir produced different kinds of dates that differ in value and cost, according to their quality.

5. Supplication to Allah for blessings and to have abundance.

6. The harshness of the Jews in financial transactions, they did not accept the intercession of Allah’s Messenger (Peace Be upon Him).

7. The respect of the Jew towards Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) by saying “Abu al-Qasim” is actually not genuine, if he truly respected Him, he would have accepted the Messenger’s intercession, instead of refusing to do so to underestimate Him in front of His Companions.

8. Allah’s Messenger (Peace Be upon Him) measured the dates and gave the creditors their debts, this shows the humility and humbleness of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH), also reassurance for Jabir and displeasing the Jews who were expecting that Jabir would not be able to pay his debts, but they were surprised by this miracle.

9. “Allah cleared all my father's debts”: attributing the favor and grace solely to Almighty Allah, in addition to being submissive, compliant and obedient.

10. “By Allah, it would have pleased me that Allah would clear the debts of my father”: Accepting fate and Heavenly Decree is the door to abundance and Allah’s blessings.

11. The story reflects the application of Allah’s Messenger saying:

“Whoever accepts other people's wealth intending to pay it back, Allah will pay it back for him.” The will of Jabir’s father, Abdullah, on the night prior to his death, that his son pays his debt, indicates that he was willing to pay for the creditors.

12. The hadith also is a practical application of fulfilling the needs and relieving the distress of people, as mentioned in the two Sahih Books: “If anyone fulfills his brother's needs, Allah will fulfill his needs; if one relieves a Muslim of his troubles, Allah will relieve his troubles on the Day of Resurrection”.

13. The reward of the intercessor is guaranteed by Almighty Allah, even if his intercession is not a success.

14. There are different narrations concerning the number of Jabir’s sisters, in a hadith they are said to be six, and in another narrations they are seven or nine.

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