The Qur'an encourages debt cancellation whenever a debtor is unable, due to his particular circumstances, to repay the debt: "And if [the debtor] is in difficulty, then [there should be] postponement until [he is] at ease, but that you should give it as charity is [even] better for you, if you knew." (2:280)
It is a sad fact that Muslim countries of today are all up to their necks in foreign debt obligations, and most of them count amongst the poorest of the world. The myth of oil-rich Arabia very often disguises the fact that the majority of Muslims live in the Third World. In fact, over 80 percent of the world's refugees are Muslims. Their countries are torn apart by economic hardship and war, even though many of them are rich in natural resources.
The world-wide indebtedness of countries to a monetary system policed by the IMF has become a means of ensuring that the richer, dominating countries of the world can continue to drain the world's resources without fear of retribution from the poor of the world. All talk of globalism and free trade cannot disguise the reality of a new age of economic imperialism and colonialism.
Muslims can whole-heartedly support the concept of Jubilee 2000 calling for world-wide debt forgiveness. Indeed they need to take it a step forward by calling for a fundamental change in the way we run our economic affairs.
(Taken from Economic Justice and Muslim Values, by Sahib Mustaqim Bleher, General Secretary of the Islamic Party of Britain).