Renting a house bought with a usurious loan
Fatwa No: 310777

  • Fatwa Date:17-1-2016 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 7, 1437
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. Me and my family live in a non-muslim country. I would like to ask a question about a situation regarding me and my husband. My husband’s mother is not a Muslim. After many years of telling her that buying a house with interest is haram and explaining her about the punishment for those who are taking use of interests – she does not care about our daw'ah (proselytization) and wants to buy a house with interest anyways. She told us that she wants to buy a new house close to us because she lives too far away, and because of this, we had the idea of her buying a house, but bigger, so that we could rent a part of the apartment, and in the end keep the part that we paid the rent for after a few years. So, basically, we would be getting a part of a big house this way while avoiding paying interest and taking a loan from the bank. However, my husband’s mother would have to take the loan and pay the interest this way (something she wants to do anyway). Now, because she wants to buy a bigger house so that we can live in it and close to her, she has to take a bigger loan. Would it be halal for us to live in such a house given that we would not be paying any interest on the loan and in the end it would be our own? The other alternative is to continue renting a smaller apartment which other people have bought with a loan of their own (also through interest).

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.

Some points of the question are rather general; we shall answer your question according to our understanding in the following points:

Firstly, it is impermissible for you and your husband to ask his mother to take a big (usurious) loan so that she can buy a bigger house in order to rent out part of it, even if she was already planning to take a loan anyway. Your request for her to take a bigger loan is impermissible because it constitutes asking her to commit a prohibited act and endorsing it.

Secondly, if the mother took the loan and bought a house or a plot of land, then it is not prohibited for you to rent it from her or accept it or part of it as a gift from her if she gifted it to you, because the prohibition of taking a usurious loan is related to the person’s liability, not to what is bought by the loan. This ruling also applies to what other people buy with the money of a usurious loan; engaging in financial transactions with such people over what they bought is not prohibited. For more benefit, please refer to fataawa 93774 and 102369.

Thirdly, the reason that you believe that this house or property will eventually be yours is unclear; it cannot be declared true or false because judgment on any matter is based on conceptualizing it. However, if you mean that the house would be eventually inherited by your husband, then only Allaah knows that; please refer to fatwa  238165 about the inheritance between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Allaah knows best.

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