What do the scholars and muftīs of the mighty Sharī’ah say regarding this matter: I wish to purchase a home in England because I live here. Unfortunately, it is not possible for me to buy a house without a mortgage, I wish to stay away from interest because it is Harām. Is obtaining such wealth from disbelievers through such a transaction here also prohibited? If it is, then what solution does the pure Sharī’ah provide?

Questioner: Zubair from UK


بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب

If a Muslim deals interest with another Muslim, then this is Harām and without doubt, the one who does this is a sinner [fāsiq]. However, if a Muslim carries out such a transaction with a harbī kāfir which is otherwise Harām between two Muslims, and he obtains some wealth via this transaction, this is not considered as interest. But, the condition is that there be no loss to any Muslim, rather, there should be a benefit. It is mentioned in a Hadīth,

لَا رِبَا بَيْنَ الْمُسْلِمِ وَالْحَرْبِيِّ فِي دَارِ الْحَرْبِ

 “There is no ribā [interest] between a Muslim and a harbī kāfir in Dār al-Harb.”

[Sharh al-Wiqāyah, vol 2, pg 164]

Even though there is discussion on the chain of narration [sanad] of this Hadīth, nevertheless, a Muslim’s taking of benefit through an invalid [fāsid] transaction with a harbī kāfir is proven by strong legal reasoning. The cause is that in Dār al-Harb, the life and wealth of a disbeliever are not protected. Therefore, without lying and deceiving, it is permissible to take a harbī kāfir’s wealth in anyway one can. Therefore there is no interest between them [harbī kāfir and Muslim]. This wealth is lawful, even if the disbelievers have labelled it as ‘interest’. However, in this invalid transaction, the Muslim should be the one receiving benefit, and not giving benefit to the kāfir, because giving interest to a kāfir is impermissible.

It is mentioned in Waqār al-Fatāwā that due to the wealth of a harbī kāfir being lawful [mubāh al-asl], to obtain it via these means [i.e. an invalid transaction] is permissible, as long as there is no deception, dishonesty and force involved. With regards to giving this interest to a harbī kāfir, no Imām or Faqīh [jurist] has mentioned this, and according to us also, a Muslim can take ‘interest’ [and he considers it lawful wealth] from a harbī kāfir, but he [Muslim] cannot give it to him [harbī kāfir].”

[Waqār al-Fatāwā, vol 1, pg 246]

Also, it is mentioned in Bahār-e-Sharī’at that to obtain wealth from a harbī kāfir via an invalid transaction is not prohibited, i.e. that transaction which is prohibited between two Muslims. If it is carried out with a harbī then it is not forbidden, however, the condition is that the transaction be beneficial for the Muslim.

[Bahār-e-Sharī’at, vol 2, part 11, pg 775]

However, to buy a house with cash in countries such as England, America and Canada etc. is extremely difficult. If buying a house falls into ‘Darūrah’ (necessity) or ‘Hājah’ (need), then one can fulfil one’s ‘hājah’ even if it means that a disbeliever will benefit. But, it is necessary that the necessity or need is real and actual.

‘Darūrah’ is such an action which is so necessary, that if it is not carried out, there is certainty or predominant assumption that one of these five things [religion, intellect, lineage, life or wealth] will be lost.

Just as it is mentioned in Fatāwā Ridawiyyah, that the Divine Laws are established for the protection of five things, namely; religion, intellect, lineage, life and wealth, and all actions revolve around these five things, except for useless acts. If leaving an action will result in any of these [five things] being lost or close to being lost, then this is Darūrah.

[al-Fatāwā al-Ridawiyyah, vol 21, pg 205]

Undoubtedly, such a necessity will make the prohibited, permissible. Just as it is mentioned in al-Ashbāh,

“الضرورات تبیح المحظورات”

“Necessities make the prohibited, permissible.”

[al-Ashbāh wa al-Nazhā’ir, vol 1, pg 118]

‘Hājah’ is an action which is important, but the protection of five things, namely; religion, intellect, lineage, life and wealth are not dependant on it. However, there will be difficulty, obstacle or loss if it is left.

Just as it is mentioned in Fatāwā Ridawiyyah that, “and if it is not depended upon, but leaving it will result in difficulty, or an obstacle then it is hājah, for example, having a lamp is not necessary for living one’s life. During the era of Prophethood, those blessed houses never had lamps; the Mother of the Believers (may Allāh be pleased with her) states,

‘والبیوت یومئذ لیس فیہا مصابیح’

 ‘In those days, the houses never had lamps.’

Narrated by Bukhārī and Muslim. However, there not being any light in the homes of the public is definitely a cause of difficulty and an obstacle.”

[al-Fatāwā al-Ridawiyyah, vol 21, pg 205]

In our Sharī’ah, harm/injury is repelled i.e. wherever harm is present, it will done away with and ease will brought in its place. It is for this reason that our scholars have mentioned two well known juristic principles: 1. Harm is done away with 2. Hardship brings ease.

[al-Ashbāh wa al-Nazhā’ir, vol 1, pg 118]

The proof for these rules is present in the Qurān; Allāh (Most High) states,

{مَا یُرِیۡدُ اللہُ لِیَجْعَلَ عَلَیۡکُمْ مِّنْ حَرَجٍ}

{Allah does not desire to place any hardship upon you} [Sūrah al-Mā’idah, verse 6]

Thus, in light of these evidences, if your buying a house falls into darūrah or such hājah which will result in difficulty, then to take out a loan which will give result in giving the other side benefit, from a bank which has no Muslim owners or from a kāfir [on an individual basis] is permissible.

It is stated in Fatāwā Ridawiyyah that if any Muslim has a share in that company, then to take even one rupee [pound, etc] extra [interest] is Harām unrestrictedly.

[al-Fatāwā al-Ridawiyyah, Volume 17, pg 339]

In Fatāwā Bareilī, in reply to a question about purchasing a house in America via an interest based loan, it is stated that if there is a necessity or need, whether it be for religious or worldly purposes, then to take out such a loan [even if the disbeliever is benefiting] from a bank or an individual [who is a disbeliever] is permissible. It is further in the fatwā mentioned that it is Harām to take a loan from the disbelievers and return a greater amount back to them due to ‘so-called’ necessities [which in reality are not necessities], because this is giving benefit to a harbī kāfir, which is forbidden in the Sharī’ah.

[Fatāwā Bareilī, pg 33]

واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری

Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri

Translated by Zameer Ahmed

Read the original Urdu answer here – [Q-ID0260] Is it permissible to take out a mortgage in England?

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