Date : 15-07-2009

Question :

A certain conventional bank grants (Visa Card) or (Master Card) to its customers without salary transfer to the bank or a guarantor. Purchases can be made with this card from any mall. If the money is paid back within two months from the date of purchase, no commission or interest is to be added to the original amount. However, 2% is added in case the customer failed to make payment on time. During the first month, a commission is taken from the trader, not the purchaser. Based on this, what is the ruling of Sharia on this form of (Master Card) within two months or after them and the 2% commission charged on the customer?


The Answer :

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


It isn`t permissible to deal in the (Master Card) or the (Visa Card) mentioned in the above question because they include a usurious condition, which is charging an interest against late payment.


This addition is explicit usury (Riba) for this used to be practiced during Jahiliyah (Pre-Islamic times) where a creditor would say to a debtor, "You either pay off the debt or pay interest." Allah the almighty says, " 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." {Al-Baqarah, 278}.


This ruling applies to dealing in such credit card, even if no interest is charged aginst late payment because the condition of charging an interest renders the whole contract void and ,as well known, it is prohibited to engage into a contract that includes an illegal condition. And Allah the Almighty knows best.