Interest-Based Transaction

Question:

Country: Hong Kong

I have taken a bank loan on interest for my education few years back. I know now and realise it with utmost repentance that I have done a Haram thing. However the loan is still due for clearance. Now I am earning and can pay the loan with interest. I want to ask if it’s better for me to pay the loan with interest which I agreed upon the bank initially or just pay the amount I have taken from the bank, hence doing a settlement such that I pay only what I have borrowed (Paying No interest in the principal amount).

Hope you understood my question.

Please advise on this.


Assalaamu alaykum 

In order for us to issue a ruling, kindly clarify: is it legally acceptable for you to merely pay the amount you borrowed or are you required to pay the full amount including the interest? 

Jazakallahu Khayran 


Walekum Assalam,

Yes, I can legally do away with paying just the principal amount without interest. In this case I have to come to a mutual agreement with the bank that I cannot pay the full amount and hence will pay the amount borrowed only. There will be no legal action from the bank, they will only put my name in a defaulter list suggesting I should not be given another loan (which I never intend to take again, If Allah wills). So in a way I can do away without paying the ribah and only paying the borrowed sum in full. In short I will have to request bank to wave off the ribah on me and accept only the borrowed money. One thing more, I might have to present myself as I am not in a financial state to pay the borrowed money with ribah where as I actually am able to pay!

Hope you have understood.

(Question published as received)

Answer:

In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-raḥmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Since it is possible for you to wave off the interest and only pay back the original amount you borrowed from the bank, then you should do that. [1]

If the bank chooses not to extend you the courtesy of waiving the interest amount, then legal action will be levied against you. In this case, you must pay out the interest portion as early as possible so that no further interest accrues.

In either case, you already hold the sin of this interest-based transaction upon your shoulders, regardless of whether you end up paying the interest or not. You must repent abundantly, seek Allah’s forgiveness, and never enter an interest-based transaction in the future to show your conviction of tawbah.

And Allah Ta‘āla knows best          

(Mufti) Bilal al-Mahmudi

Concurred by,
Mufti Faisal al-Mahmudi


[1]

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ. فَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا فَأْذَنُوا بِحَرْبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ. (البقرة: 278، 279)

اگر اموال ربویہ سے قرض لینے کا مطلب یہ ہو کہ قرض بینک سے لیتا ہے اور اس پر سود ادا کریگا تو یہ درست نہیں کیونکہ جامعہ کی تعلیم فرض نہیں اور نہ انتہائی مجبوری ہے کہ اس کے لیے ناجائز کا ارتکاب کیا جاۓ. (فتاوى دار العلوم زكريا، ج ٥، ص ٥١٤. زمزم)