Striving to get rid of usurious loan
Fatwa No: 337309

  • Fatwa Date:9-1-2017 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 11, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum, Sir. I have a problem. For the last four years of my engineering course expenses, we have dealt with a bank for an educational loan. I was not completely aware of what Islam says regarding interest. I only knew that it is haram for the one who takes it, but maybe not for the one giving it. We only took a loan of Rs.40,000 for one semester, and it became 65,000 this year. There are still College fees due for approximately Rs. 250,000 (comparing middle class family's annual income in India), and my parents plan to pay it with the rest of the loan of the bank. Now I learned that the one giving interest has also been cursed by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. So I proposed a solution to my parents. When I was a child, my parents bought a land plot in the city, half in my name and half in my mother's name. This land has become extremely valuable nowadays; my share is approximately Rs 600,000. Besides that, they have agricultural land in a village. So I told my parents that they can take my share of city land plot or give it to my brother - I do not care, I am ready to give it - in exchange of some of that agricultural land, which can pay my college debts as well as the bank debts because I do not want take additional loans from the bank as it is haram. I am otherwise financially unable to repay those debts as I do not have a job. Also, due to my high sexual desire, I wish to get married very soon. So now I hope that Allaah would give me a job of satisfactory income as well as a wife. I do not want those haram debts to be paid from my salary. My parents are very worried regarding my proposal of exchanging land, and I am worried whether there is a ruling regarding the land and whether it was a gift to me as my mother says that she merely bought it with my name. She refuses my proposal and wants me to take additional loans (she is not very Islamic in practical life) and then later get a well-paying job and repay those debts. I say that one's future is uncertain; only Allaah knows it. Please tell me if I am wrong somewhere, and advise me according to the Sharia. May Allaah bless u always.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger. 

Firstly, we would like to commend your action; may Allah reward you generously for what you did as well as for your desire to abide by the commands of your Lord upon your obtaining knowledge of them. Indeed, that is the right thing to do in such a situation. Hold on to the straight path, and never give up your resolve not to take a usurious loan again in the future. There is no doubt that taking usurious loans is one of the gravest sins, and it is one of the seven destructive sins that incur the curse of Allah and remove blessings. It is impermissible for anyone to deal in usurious loans, except in case of extreme necessity when the person fears meeting his destruction otherwise. Please refer to fatwa 120569 about the limits of necessity entailing the legal concession of taking a usurious loan.

Therefore, you should strive in convincing your parents of your desire to sell the land, whether they offer it to you as a gift or as an interest-free loan. If your mother had offered you half of the land as a gift, then the view that we hold as preponderant in this regard is that she is obliged to maintain justice and equality among her children in terms of gift-giving, unless she is favoring one of them over the others due to his special need.

However, if she registered the land in your name in legal documents for a particular reason and did not intend giving it to you as a gift, then the land is not actually yours (according to the Sharia).

You should know that whoever gives up something for the sake of Allah, He will compensate him with something better than it, and whoever relies on Allah, He would grant him relief from all his concerns and worries. He says (what means): {And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out and will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah - then He is sufficient for him.} [Quran 65:2-3]

Allah knows best.

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