It was narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: "An Israeli man asked another Israeli to lend him one thousand Dinars. The second man required witnesses. The former replied, 'Allaah is sufficient as a witness.' The second said, 'I want a surety.' The former replied, 'Allaah is sufficient as a surety.' The second said, 'You are right,' and lent him the money for a certain period. The debtor went across the sea. When he finished his job, he searched for a conveyance so that he might reach in time for the repayment of the debt, but he could not find any. So, he took a piece of wood and made a hole in it, inserted in it one thousand Dinars and a letter to the lender and then closed (i.e. sealed) the hole tightly. He took the piece of wood to the sea and said. 'O Allaah! You know well that I took a loan of one thousand Dinars from so-and-so. He demanded a surety from me but I told him that Allaah's Guarantee was sufficient and he accepted Your guarantee. He then asked for a witness and I told him that Allaah was sufficient as a Witness, and he accepted You as a Witness. No doubt, I tried hard to find a conveyance so that I could pay his money but could not find, so I hand over this money to You.' Saying that, he threw the piece of wood into the sea till it went out far into it, and then he went away. Meanwhile he started searching for a conveyance in order to reach the creditor's country.
One day the lender came out of his house to see whether a ship had arrived bringing his money, and all of a sudden he saw the piece of wood in which his money had been deposited. He took it home to use for fire. When he sawed it, he found his money and the letter inside it. Shortly after that, the debtor came bringing one thousand Dinars to him and said, 'By Allaah, I had been trying hard to get a boat so that I could bring you your money, but failed to get one before the one I have come by.' The lender asked, 'Have you sent something to me?' The debtor replied, 'I have told you I could not get a boat other than the one I have come by.' The lender said, 'Allaah has delivered on your behalf the money you sent in the piece of wood. So, you may keep your one thousand Dinars and depart guided on the right path." (1).
Amongst the lessons drawn from the above-mentioned Hadeeth:
1- This Hadeeth refers the permissibility of cooperation among people on good and righteousness such as lending money to the one who needs it if one is sure and has trust that such person will pay back his debt.
2- This Hadeeth implies the permissibility of seeking witnesses on debts and a surety. Also, this can be more required if people become taking lightly the matter of paying back debts and delaying repayment.
3- It implies the virtue of putting full trust in Allaah The Almighty and that the one who has a sound trust in Allaah The Almighty, surely Allaah The Almighty will support and help him.
4- It implies also that Allaah The Almighty will help the one who really wants to render back trusts and that Allaah The Almighty will reward those who give time to people to repay their debt through preserving their money in this life and giving them great reward in there hereafter as He The Exalted preserved it for the lender.
5- Perfection of the Power of Allaah The Almighty and that His Will must come true, where money has been delivered for his owner in a piece of wood thrown into the sea.
6- This Hadeeth proves the Karaamaat (i.e. supernatural abilities or event) for the righteous, truthful and honest Muslim individuals.
7- The one who borrowed money did not stop at putting money in a piece of wood and threw it in the sea so that it may reach its owner; rather, he did great efforts after that to deliver money to its owner in natural way to fulfill their duty for certain.
8- Watchfulness of the one who lent money of Allaah The Almighty, because he told the one who came to repay his debt again after he found a ship will reach him that he has received his money that he (i.e. the borrower) sent to him.
9- It implies permissibility of travelling by sea along with the property of people and trade,
10- It implies the permissibility of telling about the wonderful events that occurred to Bani Isra'eel and the like so that people may be get admonished. (2).
(1) Reported in Saheeh Al-Bukhaari No. (2291).
(2) ‘Umdatul Qaari (vol. 9, p. 99).