Taking an interest-based loan to buy a bigger house
Fatwa No: 120569

  • Fatwa Date:20-4-2009 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 25, 1430
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Question

Respected Brother, my question though seem to be common but I want to get the true verdict in this regards. I am having a house which is just a single room at Mumbai, India. This single room has self contained kitchen and a bathroom. In big cities like mumbai, people get contented with such small house. I am working in qatar. back home my mother stays alongwith my wife my brothers wife and 3 children in the same one room. My brother is also working in Qatar. My father is of old age so he sleeps in my brothers house during night. Whereas my mother and her two daughter in law in my house. Since, I did not have any bank balance with me, I could not purchase a bigger house. I comparatively sold a bigger house and shifted to the city and got this small house as my mother was not happy with the location of the bigger house. I feel very uneasy as there is no hijab, no guest can be entertained. My father sits outside the house whole day on a chair. I have been working in Qatar since last 10 years but could not meet the growing price of realestate in India. I had my expenses to cover up, like my marriage, my whole family piligrimage. I invested some money in shares to see if it can give me some profit so that I can buy a house but that too collapsed. now I am wondering if I have to return back and my brother too if the job situation changes then the three families are going to survive with just two rooms like one room for me and likewise of my brother. there is no bank in qatar to give me interest free loan to buy a house at india. There are banks in india to give interest based loan. Tell me what should be my delimma. I keep on thinking day and night for the same. I truly understand riba is haraam. I even look at people living their lives on the street with no proper shed and no proper houses and console myself, but then after few days it still haunts. I am everyday afraid as people stay in one room there are chances of conflict too. please advice

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

Borrowing money with Riba (interest and/or usury) is one of the grave major sins that are confirmed to be forbidden by the Book of the Book, the Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and the consensus of the scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) cursed the person who consumes Riba and the one who gives it to others to consume. Therefore, it is not permissible to commit this grave major sin except in case of necessity or religiously dire need. In our view, what you mentioned is not a necessity to borrow money with Riba because you have a dwelling place even though it is small and because the disadvantage that you fear does not exist at the present time.

However, the necessity that permits borrowing money with Riba is the case when a person is in difficulty that he cannot repel except by resorting to it [Riba], like not finding a means to feed himself or that he does not find clothes to cover his body or a house to dwell even by paying rent (which he can afford); for more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 86701 and 82102

As regards what you mentioned about you and your family fearing to be forced to live with your brother and his family in the same small house, then this is permissible in case of necessity. If this happens –while a woman being careful of showing her adornment in front of non-Mahram men –then in our view it is less grave than borrowing with Riba, though in principle, a Muslim woman living with a non-Mahram man in the situation which you mentioned is not permissible even if she has a Mahram with her. For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 92070 and 88814.

Therefore, you may sell this house and buy another bigger house which has separate amenities even if it is in a far place, and then try to convince your mother in a soft and gentle manner if she is not pleased about the location of the house. It should be noted that you are not obliged to obey your mother about living in a small house which has shared amenities.

If we presume that Allaah predestines that you are all forced to live in that house, then you should be careful of some prohibitions, like a woman and a non-Mahram man staying in seclusion, mixing or looking at each other. Moreover, the women should wear Hijab in front of non-Mahram men and living in these conditions is permissible for necessity. As regards fearing that some problems would happen, then you may solve this by forgiving and being tolerant.

Therefore, we advise you not to resort to borrowing money with Riba and be patient with your circumstances until Allaah makes a way out for you (from difficulty). Also, you may look for someone to lend you money without Riba and you should avoid borrowing money with Riba even if this leads to some difficulty and hardship.

Finally, you should know that if someone abandons something for the sake of Allaah, Allaah will compensate him with something better. Therefore, we ask Allaah to facilitate your affairs and suffice you with what is lawful as compared to what is forbidden.

Allaah Knows best.

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