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He Bought His Apartment With Riba; How Can He Repent From His Action? Repenting From Taking A Riba-based Loan

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I bought an apartment two years ago through a riba-based bank. I paid five thousand Jordanian dinars (JD) and the rest was paid by the bank. The price of the apartment was 27 thousand dinars. The agreement was that I would pay monthly instalments for 92 months, and the amount of one instalment is 208 JD. Now I want to get rid of the bank and repent to Allaah. Please note that the instalments paid to date add up to 13,000 JD. What is the best solution to rid myself of this sin? Please note that I cannot afford to pay the rest of the price of the apartment, and that the prices of apartments are going up in Jordan nowadays, i.e. if I were to put my apartment up for sale I would get double the price for it.


Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

We ask Allaah to enable you to repent from dealing with riba, because riba is a major sin and dealing in it means that one is subject to a stern warning.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O you who believe! Fear Allaah and give up what remains (due to you) from Ribaa (from now onward) if you are (really) believers.

279. And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allaah and His Messenger but if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly (by asking more than your capital sums), and you shall not be dealt with unjustly (by receiving less than your capital sums)"

[al-Baqarah 2:278-279]

It was narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the one who consumes riba and the one who pays it, the one who writes it down and the two who witness it, and he said: they are all the same. Narrated by Muslim (1598).

Secondly:

Part of repentance is getting rid of the interest that you are paying to the bank. If this interest can be waived in full or in part, then you should hasten to pay the instalments even if that means selling your house. But if you are obliged to pay the interest and you cannot get out of it or reduce it, there is no sin if you make use of the house, either by living in it or by renting it out, etc.

We ask Allaah to accept your repentance and help you to do that which He loves and which pleases Him.

And Allaah knows best.

Repenting from taking a riba-based loan

I took out a loan from the bank, due to difficult circumstances, because I wanted to prepare an apartment to get married. Please note that there is nothing luxurious in this flat at all, and it is a very simple flat. I am a teacher and my salary is transferred to the bank and a sum of money will be deducted from it each month for five years, until the loan ends. Two and a half years have passed, and I have decided to go to the bank and stop this loan, because I feel that anything that happens is because of this loan. But I found out that the amount that should be paid is more than I can afford. In addition to that, I was intending to do ‘Umrah this year, myself, my wife and my son and daughter. Is it permissible for me to travel for Umrah, hoping that Allaah will heal my sick son and then come back to stop this loan next November in sha Allaah, or what should I do?.

Praise be to Allaah.

It is not permissible to take out riba-based loans, from the bank or elsewhere, even if that is to prepare a house for marriage, because of the definite prohibition on riba and the stern warning against it. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"O you who believe! Be afraid of Allaah and give up what remains (due to you) from Ribaa (from now onward) if you are (really) believers.

279. And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allaah and His Messenger but if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly (by asking more than your capital sums), and you shall not be dealt with unjustly (by receiving less than your capital sums)"

[al-Baqarah 2:278-279]

Muslim (1598) narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the one who consumes riba, the one who pays it, the one who writes it down and the two who witness it, and he said: "They are all the same."

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Every loan in which it is stipulated that something extra be paid is haraam, and there is no difference of opinion on this point. Ibn al-Mundhir said: They were unanimously agreed that if the lender stipulates that the borrower must pay extra or give him a gift, and he gives the loan on the basis that he will take an additional payment for that, it is riba.

End quote from al-Mughni, 6/436

What the one who has taken out a riba-based loan has to do is repent to Allaah and regret what he has done, and he has to resolve firmly not to go back to this great sin and serious crime, concerning which there is narrated a warning such as has not been narrated concerning any other sin. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound.

Moreover, according to Islam you are not obliged to pay back any more than the capital; as for the haraam interest, you are not obliged to pay it and it is not permissible for the lender to take it from you, because Allaah says: "but if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly (by asking more than your capital sums), and you shall not be dealt with unjustly (by receiving less than your capital sums)".

But if you fear harm and problems if you do not pay the interest, then pay it, and repent to Allaah and feel dislike towards this great evil.

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: I borrowed one hundred pounds from one of my friends on the basis that I would pay him back one hundred and fifty. When the time to pay it back came, I tried to give him one hundred only, but he insisted on taking the extra amount of fifty pounds in return for the laon. What is the ruling on this extra amount? If that comes under the heading of riba, is there any sin on me, and how can I rid myself of that, knowing that the money that I borrowed from him has become mixed with my own money. What do I have to do?

He replied: Allaah has forbidden riba and has issued a stern warning against it. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

"Those who eat Riba will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaytaan (Satan) leading him to insanity…

O you who believe! Be afraid of Allaah and give up what remains (due to you) from Ribaa (from now onward) if you are (really) believers.

And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allaah and His Messenger"

[al-Baqarah 2:275, 278-279]

There are many forms and types of riba. What you mention in the question is a loan with interest. The kind of loan that is allowed in Islam is al-qard al-hasan (a goodly loan) in which you lend something to your brother so that he may benefit from the loan, then he pays you back without any additional payment being stipulated and without paying less. This is the goodly loan. As for the loan which brings a benefit or the loan which is intended to bring a payment of interest, this is haraam according to the consensus of the Muslims. It is haraam according to the Qur'aan and Sunnah and the consensus of the Muslims, and a stern warning is issued to the one who does that. What should be done is to repay the amount that was borrowed; as for the additional payment which has been stipulated and taken from you, this is haraam and is riba. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the one who consumes riba, the one who pays it, the two who witness it and the one who writes it down. He (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also cursed the one who consumes riba and the one who helps him to consume it. So what you have done is haraam and is a major sin, and you have to repent to Allaah. He has to give this interest that he took back to you, because it is not permissible for him. You committed a haraam action by giving him the interest. What you should have done is to refrain from paying interest.

What you have done is blatant riba, so you both have to repent to Allaah and not do any such transaction again. The other person has to return the interest that he took. And Allaah knows best.

End quote from al-Muntaqa min Fataawa al-Shaykh al-Fawzaan, 5/210

Remember that the more quickly you get rid of this loan, the better it will be, so that you may rid yourself of riba and its effects.

So it is better for you to hasten to pay it off and to use the money that you were going to use for ‘Umrah to rid yourself of this debt.

We ask Allaah to heal your son and to relieve your distress, and make you independent of means from halaal sources so that you will have no need of anything haraam.

And Allaah knows best.

 

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