How to live without paying Interest (Riba)?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Also, I have a follow-up question for your team on interest. Given what you said in your last question (# 11) about interest, I just want to know realistically as to how to live in this world under current conditions? Also, in the US, we are asked not have houses under riba, but no questions are asked (to the best of my knowledge) about car loans, etc. Is there any basis for that? Also, are the injunctions against taking interest, or against paying interest? Some reasonable guidance as to how to live, consistent with the guidance in the Quran/Prophet's (SAWS) sayings on riba,in the current World would be appreciated.
This question is just a continuation of the question concerning Riba in Islam. Now my husband has just stepped out of medical school and has just started his residency.Ofcourse he took students loan to complete his studies which most probably wil take cus 10yrs ot pay off.So what do you say whatever money he's earning or will be earning is haram.Please guide us in this feild because there is no way that we can pay these loans right away.
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How to live without paying Interest (Riba)?
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
The Holy Quran is extremely clear regarding its commandments on ‘riba’ or usury. Interest is considered a part of usury and thus the same laws will apply for it.
Allah says further in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 278: O Believers!, fear Allah and give up that ‘riba’ which is still due to you, if you are true believers. But if you do not do so, then you are warned of the declaration of war against you by Allah and His Messenger!
For a believer, taking any interest is absolutely forbidden under any circumstances.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 161: That they took ‘riba’, although they were forbidden. And that they devoured men’s substance wrongfully. We have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment (of Hell Fire)!
The scholars of the Holy Quran also condemn the paying of interest as haraam, because the principle in Islam is that if something is haraam, all roads leading to it are also haraam. For example, alchohol or adultery and fornication is haraam in Islam. Thus all roads that lead to alchohol, like making it, selling it, storing it, etc. are all considered haraam. Similarly all roads leading to adultery and fornication are considered haraam. When one takes a loan and pays interest on it, he is actually encouraging and becomes a part of a haraam system.
But if one is driven by absolute necessity and has absolutely no other choice but to take money on interest with a heavy heart for his basic necessities like food, clothing, or medicine, etc. his case is with Allah. One must realize here that nothing, absolutely nothing is hidden from Allah Subhanah and He knows the innermost secret of our hearts. If one is able to convince Allah on the Day of Judgment that he had absolutely no other choice than to take funds on interest for his emergency, it is expected that Allah will have mercy on him.
There is absolutely no differentiation in Islam about housing loans, car loans, student loans, etc. Every loan that involves the paying of interest is deemed the same.
Yes, it does indeed seem today that it would be impossible to live without getting involved in ‘riba’. The system has permeated into our blood and everything around us legalizes the lures to easy loans and interest transactions. But this is not only the case with ‘riba’. Everything that is haraam is alluring, and this is precisely our test as muslims. Alchohol, drugs, women, gambling, lotteries, cheating, back-biting, etc. are all inter-woven into society and it seems impossible to stay clear of each of them. But we are commanded by Allah and His Messenger (saws) to stay clear of the haraam and attain only the halaal. It is difficult, but not impossible. This is precisely our test as muslims! Do we get tempted to go for the easy and thus haraam, or do we control our lusts and drives, and attach ourselves to the promises of our Lord and His Messenger (saws). If we make an intention to stay away from the haraam, Allah has promised to make it easy for us in this world, and His reward in the hereafter is confirmed.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter Chapter 65 Surah Talaq verse 2-3: Whosoever fears Allah in whatever he does, Allah shall open for him a way out of the difficulties and shall provide for him from whence he could little imagine. And whoever trusts in Allah, Allah is enough for him. Allah will bring His decrees to fulfillment and Allah has appointed a destiny for everything.
If we make intention to have patience and stand firm on the principles of the Holy Quran, Allah will help us. Brother, please remember that this life is nothing but a passing test, and what is with Allah is far greater and richer in reward. By letting go of the haraam of this world, we might miss out on some luxury, but we will Insha Allah have the pleasure and unlimited bounty of Allah in the hereafter. Sometimes it becomes difficult to follow the guidelines of Islam, especially when you see everybody else do as they please, and apparently move ahead in this world. But Allah and His Messenger have advised us to have patience in this world, and follow every word of Allah and His Messenger (saws), if we really want to attain true success. This life is nothing more than a place for a test.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 43 Surah Zukhruf verses 33-35: But for the fear that all mankind would follow the same (evil) way, We would have made for those who disbelieve in the Merciful, houses with roofs of silver and gold, and stairways by which they go to the upper chambers, and their doors and their couches on which they recline, all of silver and gold! But all this is merely a provision of this worldly life. But the hereafter with your Lord is only for the Righteous.
If we follow Allah and His Messenger (saws), we might feel that we miss out on a few luxuries in this worldly life, but we will be in Gardens of Bliss in the hereafter. The people who disregard the commandments of Allah and disbelieve Allah and His Messenger (saws), live this worldly life without a care of haraam/halaal, but rest assured they will be the losers in the hereafter. So the only guidance I can give you in light of the Holy Quran is to have patience and trust in Allah’s promise.
Your comment: This question is just a continuation of the question concerning Riba in Islam. Now my husband has just stepped out of medical school and has just started his residency.Ofcourse he took students loan to complete his studies which most probably wil take cus 10yrs ot pay off.So what do you say whatever money he's earning or will be earning is haram.Please guide us in this feild because there is no way that we can pay these loans right away.
Please be rest assured that the earnings of your husband will be halaal as long as the nature of the job that he does is halaal. You have already taken the loan and now you must make intention with Allah Subhanah to help you pay the loan back, and promise Allah that once you come out of this ‘riba’ dealings, you will never ever enter into the ‘riba’ system again. Allah knows the inner secrets of our hearts and He is Kind and Merciful to His slaves.
And Allah Alone knows best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
May Allah guide you and us all to the Siraat al-Mustaqeem.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,