creditors, debtors, households, over-indebtedness, Sharī‘ah


Excessive indebtedness at the individual level can create vulnerability to exploitation (Zulm), leading to a modern form of slavery known as debt bondage. Household over-indebtedness has become an increasingly widespread phenomenon in Malaysia, compounded by the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, this study explores the different aspects of indebtedness from a Sharī‘ah perspective. The research draws on a qualitative methodology, including an intensive literature review, analysis of Quranic verses and the sayings of the Prophet. (pbuh), as well as interviews with reputable scholars. The study provides a detailed understanding of Sharī‘ah's position on debt in various circumstances, the relationship between debtors and creditors, preventive solutions, and solutions for those over-indebted. The study highlights rules that regulate the relationship between debtors and creditors and suggests solutions to assist households in financial difficulties. The study concludes that incurring debt should be for Sharī‘ah-compliant purposes and with a genuine intention to pay back, regardless of the hierarchy of needs. This study makes a valuable contribution to the literature on preventing debt bondage and offers insights that can help households avoid over-indebtedness.


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Ahcene Lahsasna (Head of Shariah Committee, Standard Chartered Saadiq), in interview with the author, 14 October 2021.

Ahmad Husni bin Abd Rahman (Head of Shariah and International Relation Unit, Pusat Pungutan Zakat MAIWP) in interview with the author, 02 December 2021.

Engku Rabiah Adawiah bt Engku Ali (Member of the shariah advisory council, BNM), in interview with the author, 10 September 2021.

Mahadi Ahmad ISRA (Senior Researcher, ISRA), in interview with the author, 02 August 2021.

Mohammad Mahbubi Ali (Chairman of Shariah Committee, AFFIN bank Islamic), in interview with the author, 22 August 2021.

Muhammad Hisyam Hassan (Head of Shariah Governance and Management, Maybank Islamic) in interview with the author, 28 Septmber 2021.

Rusni Hassan (Chairman of Shariah Committee, Hong Leong Islamic Bank), in interview with the author, 14 November 2021.



How to Cite

Ghaouri, M. H., Kassim, S., Zakariyah, H. ., & Abdullah Othman, A. H. . (2023). HOUSEHOLDS’ OVER-INDEBTEDNESS: AN EXPLANATION FROM A SHARI‘AH PERSPECTIVE. Jurnal Syariah, 31(2), 160–194. Retrieved from