What do the scholar and experts of shari’ah say regarding my situation? Since our marriage in 1997, we have wanted to buy our own house without taking a bank loan. This materialised in 2010 when we bought our house from my elder brother. However, the money came from private loans from family and friends. Since we believed that conventional loans are forbidden as they charge interest.
What do the scholars of Islam say about taking and giving of usury? As a practising Muslim can I take a loan that incurs interest? Muhammad Redwanullah, Nottingham
In the Islamic law, usury is regarded as exploitation of the weak by charging high rates of interest. The Quran states clearly: “Those who take usury will rise on the Day of Resurrection like the one distressed by the Satan’s touch. They think that ‘Trade and usury are the same,’ but God allowed trade and prohibited usury. Whoever, on receiving God’s warning… goes back to usury will be an inhabitant of the Fire, there to remain” (Al-Baqara: 275). Therefore, the taking and giving of usury is prohibited.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Allah curses those who take usury, those who give it, those who witness it, and those who record it.” (Bukhari and Muslim).
The legal maxim states: “Every loan that incurs benefit is usury” and is considered usurious and is a major sin, an enormity. Its atonement is to repent, by regretting having done this sin, resolving never to commit it again, and doing good deeds in abundance because Allah the Almighty ﷻ says: “Good deeds shall erase evil deeds. That is a powerful reminder for the mindful people.” [Hud: 114].
Based on the above, a Muslim must realize that God Almighty prohibited usury and that there is a unanimous consensus concerning its prohibition.
And Allah ﷻ knows best
This Fatwa is written by Dr Musharraf Husain Al-Azhari
Director of British Fatwa council UK