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Fatwas / Sales Fatawa / Interest based borrowing.



I am in dire need for a loan. Should I borrow from a bank when most of the banks are interest based? I had previously borrowed because my brother got a taxi license and the due date for payment is at the end of the sixth month of the year, now I am afraid that I might not have money by then. Is it possible for my brother to borrow in order for me to be able to buy his car or should I place my trust in Allah hoping that He will make things easy?

الاقتراض بالربا


Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.

To proceed:

In response to your question, we say, and with Allah Almighty lies all success:
The general principle on all forbidden things is that they are not permitted except for necessity.
However there are some scholars who are of the opinion that interest is exempted from this principle because there is no necessity which requires interest. Hence they said: “there is no necessity when it comes to interest therefore interest based borrowing is not permissible.” That being said, when I looked at the opinions of jurists I found out that there are cases whereby interest based loans are permissible. For instance, if I am on the brink of death and there is no one to help me to fulfill my needs then I come across a Muslim who can lend me money on condition that I pay him back with interest. A group of scholars said it is permissible for me to take an interest based loan in this case because of necessity.
What is apparent is that there is no basis for exempting interest from the principle. However I want to advise my brothers on the issue of necessity that makes forbidden things permissible because people tend to be lax on this issue. Right now people refer to simple needs as necessities when in reality they are not. So it is necessary to distinguish between needs and necessities. There are two conditions required for permissibility if a matter involves clear necessity:
First: the impermissible act should be able to remove the necessity. For example: if a man is choked by food on his throat and is about to die and there is nothing else except a glass of alcohol. In this case we have a necessity which should be eliminated by drinking this alcohol because there are no other beverages available.
Second: Will the necessity be eliminated? In the above example; will the alcohol help push the food from the throat to the abdomen? The response to these questions is positive because from the properties of liquids is that they are able to push food from the throat to the abdomen. Accordingly the two conditions are met, so drinking of alcohol will be permissible in this instance.
Another example is that of a thirsty man who is travelling in the desert and has nothing with him except alcohol. Is it permissible for him to drink alcohol in order to assuage his hunger? The answer is no because elimination of necessity cannot be achieved in this case. Scholars and medical experts mentioned that alcohol cannot relive thirst but rather it inflames the liver and increases thirst. Accordingly the necessity is not eliminated therefore drinking alcohol is not permissible in this case.

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