Subject : Ruling when a Person is Obliged to Borrow from a Usurious Bank
Fatwa Number : 1974
Date : 27-12-2011
Classified : Usury (interest) &Loans
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

I`m indebted. Is it permissible for me to borrow money from a usurious bank in order to pay the debt? This is  knowing that I could go to jail in case I failed to do so. In light of this, am I considered compelled to resort to such bank or not?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Usury (Riba) is prohibited and there is no justification in Sharia for dealing with it. This is attested to in the verse where Almighty Allah Says {What means}:" O ye who believe! Observe your duty to Allah, and give up what remaineth (due to you) from usury, if ye are (in truth) believers. And if ye do not, then be warned of war (against you) from Allah and His messenger. And if ye repent, then ye have your principal (without interest). Wrong not, and ye shall not be wronged." {Al-Baqara, 278}.

When in need or facing hardship, a Muslim should turn to Allah and seek meeting his/her needs through lawful means since Almighty Allah Says {What means}: "Then, when they have reached their term, take them back in kindness or part from them in kindness, and call to witness two just men among you, and keep your testimony upright for Allah. Whoso believeth in Allah and the Last Day is exhorted to act thus. And whosoever keepeth his duty to Allah, Allah will appoint a way out for him, And will provide for him from (a quarter) whence he hath no expectation. And whosoever putteth his trust in Allah, He suffice him. Lo! Allah bringeth His command to pass. Allah hath set a measure for all things." {At-Talaq, 2-3}.

On the other hand, Islam admonishes the creditor to consider the situation of the debtor so as not to force the latter to fall into the unlawful. In this regard, Allah the Almighty Says (What means): " And if the debtor is in straitened circumstances, then (let there be) postponement to (the time of) ease; and that ye remit the debt." {Al-Baqara, 280}. However, if the indebted is in dire need, then it is permissible for him/her to follow the opinion of the scholars who have permitted Tawarruq. And Allah Knows.

*Tawarruq is an arrangement whereby a person, in need for liquidity, purchases a commodity from a seller on credit at a higher price. The person who acquires commodity this way is called "Mutawarriq".   





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