Debt In Islam

Jan 31, 2022 | Miscellaneous


Salam Mufti,

Hope you’re well.

I had a car accident 4 years ago and I wasn’t insured. The Claimant sued the insurance company for 18k and then they sued me for 18k. The facts of the accident were, I pulled out a junction onto a 20mph road and the other car hit me flush on driver’s side door. I suffered a mild brain injury and therefore have memory loss of the accident for 20 hours. The other driver claimed 7k damages for car and around 7k for personal injury. Most people in the UK play the insurance system and the doctors don’t take much notice so if you tell them you have neck pain etc, they will write that in the report. I couldn’t challenge the events because I had no memory collection. Insurance company don’t usually challenge these issues and usually pay out without an issue. I can’t be absolutely certain but I am pretty confident in saying he most likely played the system to get more money but I can’t be certain.
However now they are demanding 18k from my and have got a county court judgement against me. All this does it means they can sieze anything I owe etc.

I know legally how to protect myself so my question is on Islamic basis rather than legally. I know islam places huge emphasis on the debts to be paid.

1) If I have my doubts about whether the injuries were legitimate, will this mean I am no longer Islamically responsible for it? However please note I can be certain of this, I have memory loss of incident. My doubt is from the fact I know pretty much everyone plays the insurance companies and secondly I pulled out to a 20mph road, if the claimant was actually going this speed, he would struggle to cause any injuries. or major damage. According to officers, my car ended up 40/50 years over the embankment, I have offered the insurance 5k to relieve myself of the burden Islamically as if any possible damage was caused I believe it couldn’t have been more than 5 thousand pounds. They rejected this. Am I Islamically responsible?

I have saved £12,000 for university and really need this money. Please advise


Disclaimer: This response discusses liability and compensation in light of the Hanafi school, focussing on when a person will be liable for damages in the eyes of God. For tort law from within other jurisdictions, consult the necessary lawyers and legal authorities.

When property is damaged, liability is decided by uncovering the nature of the cause of damage. Say one emerged on a 20mph road junction, checking their left side and making a sincere judgement call that they would be able to emerge without impeding oncoming traffic. Thereafter, a car hit them from their left side as they were speeding. The cause of the property damage would be the oncoming vehicle. As the driver emerged with due care, it is the speeding vehicle that caused the collision (mubashir). In such a case, the emerging driver has an Islamic right to claim compensation for their property damage; negligence or purposeful intent from the oncoming driver will not be considered.[1] In other scenarios, some drivers are known to hit cars that have crept forward from a junction, knowing that the insurance company will not hold them at fault and will pay them out handsomely. Again, in the eyes of the Shari’a, this oncoming vehicle will be liable for the damages.

However, say one emerged on a 20mph road junction without due care, emerging when the path is not clear and cutting other road users off. If such an emergence involved a collision, the emerging vehicle will be responsible for the cause of damage. Thus, application to your circumstance will very much depend on what occurred that day. If care was taken and one saw the distance between the oncoming vehicle and judged that a car should not reasonably hit them, this is valid and considered. Though, if they bullied themselves onto the junction, emerging without care and consideration, their actions would have caused the collision.

This matter concerns the damages to the car. As for the claim to personal injury, even when one is deemed the cause of the collision (mubashir) for damages, the emerging driver will be considered an accessory (mutasabbib) to the personal injury. This is because the speeding – which, allegedly, was so excessive that it rendered the emerging driver with brain injury and memory loss – is likely to have caused the majority of the personal injury.  That was an act of their volition, and the emerging driver became an accessory to their injury. An accessory is only liable for damages if their actions were deliberate or caused by negligence from their side.[2] Based on the testimony you submitted, this does not appear to be applicable here.

As our disclaimer highlights, our response details liability in the court of God, where intentions and hearts can be examined and liabilities will be paid through deeds and punishment. As you know, the highway code has its own regulations, and you will have to consult your own legal authorities to advise on liabilities on that front. On the matter of payments or pay-outs from the other’s insurance company, if you did not lie in your version of events, it would be valid to take.

[1]             مجمع الضمانات» (ص146): الْفَصْلُ الْأَوَّلُ فِي الْمُبَاشَرَةِ وَالتَّسَبُّبِ بِنَفْسِهِ وَيَدِهِ الْمُبَاشِرُ ‌ضَامِنٌ، وَإِنْ لَمْ يَتَعَدَّ وَالْمُتَسَبِّبُ لَا إلَّا إذَا كَانَ مُتَعَدِّيًا فَلَوْ حَفَرَ بِئْرًا فِي مِلْكِهِ فَوَقَعَ فِيهَا إنْسَانٌ لَمْ يَضْمَنْهُ وَلَوْ فِي غَيْرِ مِلْكِهِ ضَمِنَهُ ذَكَرَهُ فِي الْأَشْبَاهِ»

«مجمع الضمانات» (ص146): الْمُتْلَفُ بِلَا غَصْبٍ تُعْتَبَرُ قِيمَتُهُ يَوْمَ التَّلَفِ، وَلَا خِلَافَ فِيهِ كَذَا فِي الْأَشْبَاهِ مِنْ الْقَوْلِ فِي ثَمَنِ الْمِثْلِ»

«مجلة الأحكام العدلية» (ص179): (مَادَّةُ 922) لَوْ أَتْلَفَ أَحَدٌ مَالَ الْآخَرِ وَأَنْقَصَ قِيمَتُهٌ تَسَبُّبًا يَعْنِي: لَوْ كَانَ سَبَبًا مُفْضِيًا لِإِتْلَافِ مَالٍ أَوْ نُقْصَانِ قِيمَتُهٌ يَكُونُ ضَامِنًا. مَثَلًا: إذَا تَمَسَّكَ أَحَدٌ بِثِيَابِ آخَرَ وَحَالّ مُجَاذَبَتِهِمَا سَقَطَ مِمَّا عَلَيْهِ شَيْءٌ أَوْ تَعَيَّبَ يَكُونُ الْمُتَمَسِّكُ ضَامِنًا وَكَذَا لَوْ سَدَّ أَحَدٌ مَاءَ أَرْضٍ لِآخَرَ أَوْ رَوْضَتِهِ فَيَبِسَتْ مَزْرُوعَاتُهُ وَمَغْرُوسَاتُهُ وَتَلِفَتْ أَوْ أَفَاضَ الْمَاءُ زِيَادَةً وَغَرِقَتْ الْمَزْرُوعَاتُ وَتَلِفَتْ يَكُونُ ضَامِنًا. وَكَذَا لَوْ فَتَحَ أَحَدٌ بَابَ إصْطَبْلٍ لِآخَرَ وَفَرَّتْ حَيَوَانَاتُهُ أَوْ ضَاعَتْ أَوْ فَتَحَ بَابَ قَفَصٍ وَفَرَّ الطَّيْرُ الَّذِي كَانَ فِيهِ يَكُونُ ضَامِنًا»

«مجلة الأحكام العدلية» (ص179): (الْمَادَّةُ 925) لَوْ فَعَلَ أَحَدٌ فِعْلًا يَكُونُ سَبَبًا لِتَلَفِ شَيْءٍ فَحَلَّ فِي ذَلِكَ الشَّيْءِ فِعْلٌ اخْتِيَارِيٌّ يَعْنِي أَنَّ شَخْصًا آخَرَ أَتْلَفَ ذَلِكَ الشَّيْءَ مُبَاشَرَةً يَكُونُ ذَلِكَ الْمُبَاشِرُ الَّذِي هُوَ صَاحِبُ الْفِعْلِ الِاخْتِيَارِيِّ ضَامِنًا

[2]             مجمع الضمانات» (ص165): (الْفَصْلُ الْأَوَّلُ فِي الْجِنَايَةِ بِالْيَدِ مُبَاشَرَةً وَتَسَبُّبًا) ‌الْمُبَاشِرُ ‌ضَامِنٌ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَتَعَمَّدْ وَلَمْ يَتَعَدَّ، وَالْمُتَسَبِّبُ لَا يَضْمَنُ إلَّا أَنْ يَتَعَدَّ، فَلَوْ رَمَى سَهْمًا إلَى هَدَفٍ فِي مِلْكِهِ فَأَصَابَ إنْسَانًا ضَمِنَ»

Answered by:
Ifta Research Fellow

Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel