Selections from the Qur'an that give guidance on justice in our society and the forgiveness of debts. The words were applicable centuries ago and they still ring true today.
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)
The alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those who collect them (for distribution), and those whose hearts are to be reconciled (resettlement of families, refugees etc), to free captives (slaves etc) and the debtors in need, and for the cause of Allah (God) and the needy travelers; a duty imposed by God. God is Knower, Wise." (9:60)
O you who believe, when you transact a loan for any period, you shall write it down. An impartial scribe shall do the writing. No scribe shall refuse to perform this service, according to GOD's teachings. He shall write, while the debtor dictates the terms. He shall observe GOD his Lord and never cheat. If the debtor is mentally incapable, or helpless, or cannot dictate, his guardian shall dictate equitably. Two men shall serve as witnesses; if not two men, then a man and two women whose testimony is acceptable to all. Thus, if one woman becomes biased, the other will remind her. It is the obligation of the witnesses to testify when called upon to do so. Do not tire of writing the details, no matter how long, including the time of repayment. This is equitable in the sight of GOD, assures better witnessing, and eliminates any doubts you may have. Business transactions that you execute on the spot need not be recorded, but have them witnessed. No scribe or witness shall be harmed on account of his services. If you harm them, it would be wickedness on your part. You shall observe GOD, and GOD will teach you. GOD is Omniscient. (2:282)
GOD condemns usury, and blesses charities. GOD dislikes every disbeliever, guilty. O you who believe, you shall observe GOD and refrain from all kinds of usury, if you are believers. If you do not, then expect a war from GOD and His messenger. But if you repent, you may keep your capitals, without inflicting injustice, or incurring injustice. If the debtor is unable to pay, wait for a better time. If you give up the loan as a charity, it would be better for you, if you only knew. (2:276-280)
That which Allah giveth as spoil unto His messenger from the people of the townships, it is for Allah and His messenger and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, that it become not a commodity between the rich among you. (59:07)