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Search Fatawaa

Subject : How to Repent from a Riba-Based Loan?

Fatwa Number : 831

Date : 14-07-2010

Classified : Things that rescue, good relations with relatives

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

Three years ago, I obtained a Riba-based (Usury/interest)loan from a non-Islamic bank to build the house where I`m currently living. The payments stretch over twenty years, and I regret having taken that loan for my life has been difficult ever since. What is the Islamic ruling on such a loan, and how should I make repentance for I fear that I might pass away before paying it off. This is in addition to the fact that I`m an underpaid employee, and don`t have the financial resources to settle that loan in a short time ?

The Answer :

Riba-based loans obtained from non-Islamic banks are prohibited, and this is a well known fact to the general public, so all the parties involved in this transaction are sinful, be they creditors or debtors. Jabir Bin Haya`an was reported to have said: “ The Prophet(PBUH) cursed the one who took or gave Riba, the one who did the paperwork, and the two witnesses. He(The Prophet) said: all of them are equally cursed.”{Muslim/1598}. Repentance from such a great sin should be through showing remorse, asking forgiveness, and abstaining from such an act. Allah, The Almighty, accepts sincere repentance from His servants, and He says in this regard: “He is the One that accepts repentance from His Servants and forgives sins: and He knows all that ye do.”{Ash-Shura/25}. However, you have no choice now but to settle the regular payments of that loan. Moreover, you aren`t obligated to shoulder an extra burden by borrowing money in order to speed up payment so as to decrease the rate of the usurious interests. In addition, you aren`t obligated to sell the house that you have built because the sin of Riba is incurred by the person who committed it, not what he had spent it on. And Allah knows best.



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