Demanding payment from a client

Q: I did work for a Hindu. Payment was due months ago. He owes me R425. It is a tiny amount, but I spent a lot of time on the work, and the amount will cover certain business expenses.

He promised thrice to pay. I stated clearly the terms when I quoted him before he paid the deposit, which he agreed to. But now he says, months later, those terms are unfair, so he will not pay. I should email, and message him several times for months, but no response.

He finally answered the phone. I was so angry at his excuses and lies, that my hands started shaking and I started arguing loudly and interrupting him. I never get vulgar or insult, but I was rude and hostile. I never became like this ever before on a worldly issue in my entire life. Eventually he said he will pay month end. I said "Thank you, goodbye".

If he was a Muslim, I would have overlooked this for the sake of peace and community, hoping reward from Allah Ta'ala. But this treatment from a Hindu, I don't appreciate. Please advise:

(1) Was I sinful in talking rudely, angrily, and hostile with him? If yes, must I apologize to him for being rude? He has continued to lie and ignore me for months, and I finally got to speak to him on this occasion.

(2) What do you advise regarding the R425 he owes me? Should I pursue it or just drop the matter in view of peace? The next option I can consider is issuing him a legal letter of demand, following with Small Claims Court. But I do not want to go to court. However, I can threaten him with it. Insha Allah I will follow your advice.

A: In view of the deception and the lies he had spoken to you, you are not sinful in demanding your rights from him in this manner.

You have the right to demand your haq, provided you adopt the halaal means in doing so.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)