Agbonjinmi Sunday Alade
“In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God,’’ (John 1:1). “You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help for each and everything. Guide us to the right straight way (ihdinas sirata almustaqim),’’(Quran 1:5-6).
Everything that does not come from faith is Sin (Romans 14:23). You should borrow only if you are doing so “in Faith.” .If your conscience tells you that taking a project, business or student loan is not honouring God, do not do it.
In Deut 15:2, there was a creditor that lends to his brothers and also foreigners. This means that debt and borrowing are permissive. “For the Lord thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee,” (Deut 15:6). Here, the reason God said “thou shalt not borrow” was that he had made a promise of blessing in the same verse. Therefore, for those who do not receive or believe the promise of the blessing, borrowing remains an option.
Now, it might not be out of point to borrow for a project, schooling or for other purposes including construction of places of worship, yet a consideration of expediency must be satisfied. Those who told you that God said you should not borrow, but lend to many nations are borrowing to build mega projects including worship centres from financial institutions with interest and repayment of capital.
God’s words did not go against borrowing but discourage it if your faith can not bear it.
Most advanced countries are the biggest indebted countries. At the same, richest men and women are the biggest borrowers. If you examine all the debt free persons, they are mostly poor, unskilled and not loaded to be needed in their society socially, financially, economically, and are psychologically struggling.
Who told you borrowing is a sin? It is borrowing without paying back that is a sin. “The Wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the ritghteous showeth mercy, and giveth (Psalms 37:21). Your faith matters in all your dealings (Romans 14:23).
Strive with your wealth- “the believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, their hearts become fearful, and when His verses are recited to them, it increases them in faith; and upon their Lord they rely. The ones who establish prayer, and from what we have provided them, they spend. Those are the believers, truly. For them are degrees (of high position) with their Lord and forgives and noble provision,’’(Quran 8:2-4).
Strive with your wealth for more humanity works-‘’But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart saying, the Seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee,’’(Deuteronomy 15:8-9).
Borrow and build yourself, your business and stop whooping in poverty. Borrow and build commercial house and pay back later. We use money to create wealth before we can engage in charity and other humanitarian works. Money answereth all things and open doors for more money through giving (Ecclesiastes.10:19, Quran 2:276).
“Hard times create strong men. Strong men create easy times. Easy times create weak men. Weak men create difficult times. Many will not understand it, but you have to raise warriors, not parasites,” Sheik Rasid founder of Dubai.
In summary, let us work not to work and pray not to pray. ‘’For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor and to thy needy, in thy land,’’ Deuteronomy 15:11 KJV. This position can be likened to humanitarian works that culminate into development and growth of population to eradicate the existing gaps between the upper class and the lower class, which eliminates social vices and make our society better than we met it due to sound management of finance.
Full utilisation of factor of productions: land, labor, capital and entrepreneur with their rewards such as rent, wage, interest and profit guaranteed possible debt forgiveness and ability to contribute meaningfully to the society at large.
Agbonjinmi Sunday Alade is an Abuja-based economist.