Book of Pledges

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 51. Book of Pledges

I: On the pledge in settled places

The words of Allah Almighty, "If you are on a journey, and cannot find a writer, something can be left as security." (2:283)

2373. It is related that Anas said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, pawned his armour for some barley. I took some barley bread and dissolved fat to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I heard him say, 'The family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has never had more than a sa' in the morning nor the evening,' and they were nine households."

II: Pawning armour

2374. It is related that 'A'isha said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, bought some food from a Jew on credit and left his armour as security."

III: Pawning weapons

2375. It is related that Jabir was heard to say that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Who will deal with Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf? He has insulted Allah and His Messenger." Muhammad ibn Maslama said, "I will." So he went to him and said, "We want for you to lend us one or two wasqs [of food]." Ka'b said, "Then leave your women with me as security." They said, "How can we leave our women with you as security when you are the most handsome of the Arabs?" Ka'b said, "Then leave your sons with me as security." They said, "How can we leave our sons with you as security? One of them will be abused and it will said, 'He was pledged for one or two wasqs. This will be a shame for us. Rather we will leave our arms as security with you." Sufyan said it meant weapons. He [Muhammad ibn Maslam] promised to come to him and then they killed him. Then they went to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and informed him.

IV: Leaving a riding animal or a milk animal as security

Al-Mughira mentioned from Ibrahim, "One can ride the stray animal according to how one fodders it and milk it according to its fodder. This also applies to animals left as security."

2376. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to say, "The pledged animal can be ridden in return for its maintenance and one can drink the milk of a milk animal when it is left as security."

2377. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Riding animals can be ridden for their maintenance when they are left as security. The milk of a milk animal can be drunk for its maintenance when it is left as security. The one who rides and drinks should pay the expenses."

V: Leaving a pledge with Jews and others

2378. It is related that 'A'isha said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, bought some food from a Jew and left his armour as security."

VI: When there is a disagreement between the one leaving the pledge and the one with whom the pledge is left, the proof is up to the one who makes the claim and the one against whom the claim is made takes an oath

2379. It is related that Ibn Abi Mulayka said, "I wrote to Ibn 'Abbas and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he wrote back to me, 'The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, judged that the one against whom the claim was made had to take the oath.'"

2380. It is related that Abu Wa'il said, "'Abdullah said, 'Whoever swears an oath depriving someone of his property and lies in his oath, will meet Allah and find Him angry with him." Allah Almighty revealed to confirm that, "Those who sell Allah's contract and their own oaths for a paltry price ...(to).. a painful punishment."' (3:77) Then al-Ash'ath ibn Qays came out to us and asked, 'What has Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman [i.e. 'Abdullah] related to you?' We told him. He said, 'He has spoken the truth. By Allah, this was sent down about me. There was a dispute between me and another man about a well. We took the dispute to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Bring your two witnesses or he takes an oath.' I said, 'Then he will take an oath without caring.' Then Allah revealed the confirmation of that. Then he recited this ayat, "Those who sell Allah's contract and their own oaths for a paltry price ...(to).. a painful punishment."' (3:77)