Book of Hawala (Debt-transfer)

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 41. Book of Hawala (Debt-transfer)

I: On transferring a debt and whether it can be retracted

Al-Hasan and Qatada said, "If someone possessed wealth on the day it [a debt] was transferred to him, the transfer is permitted." Ibn 'Abbas said, "When two partners or heirs break up, and one of them takes assets and the other takes debts which prove to be uncollectable for him, the latter has no claim against the former."

2166. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Procrastination on the part of a rich man is injustice. If the debt of one of you is transferred to a rich man, it should be allowed to take place."

II: When the debt of a dead person is transferred to another man, that is permitted. When it is transferred to a rich man, it is irrevocable

2167. It is related from Abu Hurayra that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Procrastination on the part of a rich man is injustice. If the debt of one of you is transferred to a rich man, it should be allowed to take place." (Muwatta, Book 31, 84)

III: It is permitted for the debts of a dead person to be transferred to someone else

2168. It is related that Salama ibn al-Akwa' said, "One day we were sitting with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, when a dead man was brought for burial. They said, 'Pray over him.' He said, 'Has he any debts?' They answered, 'No.' He asked, 'Has he left anything?' They said, 'No,' so he prayed over him. Then another dead man was brought for burial and they said, 'Messenger of Allah, pray over him.' He asked, 'Has he any debts?' It was said, 'Yes.' He said, 'Has he left anything?' They replied, 'Three dinars.' He prayed over him. Then a third was brought and they said, 'Pray over him.' He asked, 'Has he left anything?' They answered, 'No.' He asked, 'Has he any debts?' They said, 'Three dinars.' He said, 'Pray over your companion.' Abu Qatada said, 'Messenger of Allah, pray over him and I will pay his debt.' So he prayed over him."