Answered by: Mufti Javed Ibn Nazir Kachhalia
Over the years I acquired a number of properties. I purchased a couple of these first on an interest-only mortgage. When the property price on these went up I re-mortgaged these properties and used the capital that was gained from the increase in price to fund further properties. This sequence continued until I now have several properties.
Is my income from these properties halal?
Would these assets themselves be considered legitimate and halal or should I sell them? If not can I sell a couple and pay off the interest debt on the rest. Would this make the other properties legitimate and halal?
Thank you for your time and I await your advice and guidance on this issue.
In the name of Allah the most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
Allah SWT has given us guidance on transactions and business in the Holy Qur’an. We also come to know from the Ahadeeth of Our Beloved Prophet ﷺthe importance of doing business and trading in the correct way.
Rather, by doing our transactions, trading, and business according to Shariah we will be rewarded immensely.
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:’the trustworthy, honest Muslim merchant will be with the martyrs on the Day of Resurrection.” (Sunan Ibn Majah and Sunan Tirmidhi)
We also come to know that Halaal earnings it’s an act of worship and Ibadah. Therefore, we should strive by acquiring Halaal earning by also fulfilling other fundamentals and obligatory acts of worship.
Oppose to Halaal it is Haraam (unlawful). The trading, the transactions and the business that Allah SWT and our Beloved Prophet ﷺ have entrusted us to stay away from and to avoid at all cost.
Amongst those transactions is the transaction and dealing of Riba (interest or usury).
Allah states in the Quran, “Allah has permitted transactions and has forbidden riba (interest)” (Surah Al Baqarah v.275)
Allah in the Holy Quran has said: “Allah destroys riba and nourishes charities”. (Surah Al-Baqarah v.276)
The Prophet of Allah has cursed the person who takes interest, who gives interest and who writes it and who witnesses it.” (Mishkaatul-Masabeeh p.244 v.1)
From the above, we find substantial evidence that to take interest in any transaction or business it’s not permissible at any cost. (May Allah protect us, Ameen)
After understanding the above, let’s now answer your queries.
- The initial transaction that you made in purchasing the house or house on interest, is not permissible and it is haram. Evidence of this is from the above verses and Hadeeth we have mentioned
- The incomes from those properties are halaal and legitimate.
There is a usool (ruling) in the books of Fiqh (Jurisprudence):
‘if a land was snatched and taken over by someone besides the owner, this individual has performed Salaah on that land, even though the way that the land was acquired was unlawful but the Salaah will be valid’ (Usool Shashi)
- The scenario, which you have mentioned of selling some of the properties and pay off the interest, is the best scenario and way forward.
We have to remember that as long as we will have items, materials, businesses with interest loans we will be sinful in the court of Allah and it’s a crime in Shariah until we don’t settle them.
So I will strongly urge you and advise you to sell some of them and pay off the interest loan or search for non-interest loans in the market to re-mortgage those properties or some of those properties, at the same time ask Allah for forgiveness and seek His pardon. Insha’Allah Allah SWT will put loads of barakah once you have drifted away from Riba and interest loans.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Mufti Javed Ibn Nazir Kachhalia
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham