An effort in f a c i l i t a t i o n

The beauty in the longest verse of the Qur’an


Have you ever experienced going through the process of reading any judicial document or legal judgement? If yes, you must have noticed the legal language to be so confusing, right? At some point, you must have gone dizzy reading it!  The court and judiciary’s legal jargon make things worse!

The Qur’an is a miracle in human language. You read. You think. You get enlightened. You start loving your Creator!

Aayatud-Dayn is the longest verse in the Qur’an. 

This verse addresses the Believers – Yaaa Ayyuhal Lazeena Aamanu – and speaks of legal matters yet in a miraculously understandable language.  This one verse is sufficient proof for any inquisitive mind to submit to the glory of Qur’an being the true Word of Allah. 

The glory and beauty of the Qur’an is that it expounds complicated things in an easy way without compromising on its linguistic miracle. It uses rich vocabulary that baffles the linguists yet remaining profoundly simple to understand.

This ayah speaks about financial transactions, the rights of the debtor, the approach of the creditor, justice and equity, documentation, witness and evidence, fear of Allah and being conscious of Him.

The longest aayah in the Qur’an comes in the longest Surah of the Qur’an. Verse No. 282 of Surah al Baqarah:

“O you who have believed, when you contract a debt for a specified term, write it down.

And let a scribe write [it] between you in justice.

Let no scribe refuse to write as Allah has taught him. So let him write

and let the one who has the obligation dictate.

And let him fear Allah, his Lord, and not leave anything out of it.

But if the one who has the obligation is of limited understanding or weak or unable to dictate himself, then let his guardian dictate in justice.

And bring to witness two witnesses from among your men.

And if there are not two men [available], then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses – so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her.

And let not the witnesses refuse when they are called upon.

And do not be [too] weary to write it, whether it is small or large, for its [specified] term.

That is more just in the sight of Allah and stronger as evidence and more likely to prevent doubt between you, except when it is an immediate transaction which you conduct among yourselves.

For [then] there is no blame upon you if you do not write it.

And take witnesses when you conclude a contract.

Let no scribe be harmed or any witness. For if you do so, indeed, it is [grave] disobedience in you.

And fear Allah.

And Allah teaches you.

And Allah is Knowing of all things.” (Surah al Baqarah 2: 282)

As Sayyid Qutub says, “In these highly legalistic discussions, the Qur’ān maintains the same quality of literary excellence and beauty as in those passages that deal with moral or religious exhortations. Indeed, it is even more so, because precision is of the essence in these cases and one inappropriate word could affect the whole meaning with unfortunate consequences”.

Some points to learn from the longest verse of the Qur’an:

1. More than 14 centuries ago the Qur’an insisted on putting things in writing should you borrow money.

2. A third party, that is an independent document writer, must do the recording in order to ensure total impartiality and fairness.

3. The document writer must be a man of integrity.

4. The document writer must be honest in his writing, and not play with words. He is required to record the agreed terms of the loan faithfully, without interference, bias or prejudice.

5. The writer is obliged to do his job fully and competently as a duty to the One Who has blessed him with the ability to write, and for which he will be appropriately rewarded.

6.  No eligible person must refuse to write.

7. The borrower must dictate. (Contrast this with today’s conventional banks which dictate terms to the borrowers, and dictate in a mischievously lop-sided way!)

8. If the borrower is feeble-minded, under aged, or unable to dictate through ignorance or an impediment of speech, or any other reason, his guardian, attorney or trustee, may do so on his behalf, showing the same, if not greater, scrupulous fairness.

9. The document must be witnessed and signed by two guarantors from among known people.

10. If two men witnesses are not available, then a man and two women from those whom you accept as witnesses – so that if one of the women errs, then the other can remind her.

11. The witnesses must not refuse if they are called upon.

12. Witnesses must carry out their duty willingly, honestly and without any condescension or deference towards either of the parties.

13. Whether the sum of money borrowed is small or large, it must be written down for its specified term.

14. It is in all fairness that the transaction must be written down. A written contract gives greater force to the testimony of the witnesses, since a written statement carries more weight than one based totally on memory, and it “is more likely to spare you any doubt”. Thus, the wisdom underlying these instructions becomes clear and they appear more convincing, practical and reassuring.

15. Writing the document is more just in the sight of Allah and stronger as evidence and more likely to prevent doubt between the debtor and creditor.

16. In spot trading, executed immediately and frequently, there is no need for writing down the details and the mere presence of witnesses will suffice.

 17. The rights of contract writers and witnesses must be protected. No harm must come either to the document writer or to the witnesses.

18. Bullying and threatening the witnesses and contract writers is a great sin which smacks of lack of faith, obedience and Allah-consciousness.

19. All persons involved in the transaction must fear Allah and remember His grace upon them and act in a grateful manner.

20. Allah is the Greatest Teacher of mankind. He teaches even in matters of financial dealings so that man is rightly guided in every walk of life.

21. Intention, that is purity of motive, is of vital importance as Allah has knowledge of everything.


Jazakallaahu Khayra for reading this post.

May 8, 2013 - Posted by | Reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. thank you bro. awaiting your 2nd part on Riba,
    if a country doesn’t have any Islamic Bank, but Muslims living in that country, given no option they had to maintain their balances
    at conventional bank where interest/earning get accumulated in their savings account or in their current accounts and plus time goes by the fluctuation of exchange rate also effect on the money in the bank i.e. the value of money, so in this case what’s the ruling on the interest / profit earned on savings and can a account holder use that for his/her personal expense? or can he dispose on his/her
    next kin family members requirement? pls. enlighten me, Jazakallahu Khair

    Comment by Akram | June 3, 2013 | Reply

    • Assalamu Alaikum, brother.

      This is a big problem faced by Muslims where they are forced to have dealings with conventional banks. As a matter of fact, one cannot simply avoid these banks in most cases.

      If there is feeling of regret and accountability to Allah, then it is very appreciative and Allah rewards according to people’s intentions.

      With regard to the interest given by the bank, you must give it all away to charitable causes, such as helping the poor and insolvent debtors and contributing to restoring bathrooms in Masjids (mosques). You should neither use it for your own expenses, nor leave it to the bank.

      Also, if interest money is given away to charitable causes it will be a source of help to them at least in some cases but the money cannot be left with the bank as the bank will re-use and misuse such money.
      And while giving away, the interest money one cannot expect any reward from Allah as reward is ensured only when the money is halaal and also if it is given away by choice. Here it is given away as you need to get rid of the curse of interest.

      Please remember that one cannot use such haraam money to be given to one’s kith and kin.

      Hope I answered your question.

      Barakallahu Feekum.
      May Allah reward you for your sincere intentions. Aameen.

      Comment by MuQeet | June 3, 2013 | Reply

      • Jazakallah, bro.
        understood what is riba? but in my question I asked about the value of money, when some one deposit at a bank (where no islamic bank in that country) and at the end of the year bank added some earning and at the same time the value of the money what he had in the begining of the year had gone down. in this case how do you eveluate?
        example: at the begining of the year deposiitd AED 1000 = USD 272 at the end of the year it has gone down to $200? if that account holder earned something extra earning, say AED 1100, isn’t that he/her compensated the loss of value of money?

        Comment by Akram | June 7, 2013 | Reply

        • Money value will go up and down. Gold value goes up and down.
          But the loss in terms of depreciation cannot be compensated.
          So the excess money which one gets (in your example from 1000 to 1100), that 100 USD is still considered as ribaa and has to be disposed. At the moment, I do not have any reference of fatwa to cite. But this is the case.
          Consider this: You purchased gold two years ago. That time for example one gram gold was 130 dh. Today the rate is 161 dirhams. Now you have to give Zakah. will u calculate as per the present rate that 161 or according to the old rate 130?
          As per shariah understanding, it has to be at the present market rate. In which case you will be giving more in zakah. In terms of money, the value would have come down. But still you will convert the zakah amount in terms of money which is more.
          In interest, whatever excess amount a person gets, is considered as ribaa. One need not try to find out the market value in order to take think or consider as having been compensated or balanced for the loss.

          Comment by MuQeet | June 7, 2013 | Reply

  2. Jazakallah kahir, bro. now im able to explain the questioner who posted this question to me. may allah s.w. bless your good work.

    Comment by Akram | June 8, 2013 | Reply

    • You are welcome, brother.
      Please also tell him in a kind way that such type of thinking is one of the temptations of Satan who tempts the Believers not to do an act of righteousness.

      Comment by MuQeet | June 8, 2013 | Reply

  3. […] The longest ayah in the Qur’an tells Muslims to write down their loan and debt transactions. […]

    Pingback by This 7th Century Book Promotes Writing! « YasSarNal QuR'aN | February 3, 2016 | Reply

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