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CAN YOU TAKE A LOAN FORM THE BANK ON INTEREST BASE?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net
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QUESTION:

As Salaamu Alaikum,

Since the USD is in shortage from the banks as to who they are willing to give, as being in business where I need 100% foreign exchange to conduct my business. I have continuously asked the bank for USD but I get very little. The black market sell the same USD at a much higher price than the bank. The bank however has said that if I take a loan e.g of 250k I will get USD to meet my demand. In other words they want to benefit from me takin a loan so I can get the USD which will also benefit me. This have been said to me by multiple banks. If I take the loan the interest will be approx. $ 500.00 a month, if I was to buy USD from the black market the extra I am paying on a USD is way more than the interest on the loan from the bank. My question is it permitted to take a loan under these circumstances from the bank so they can facilitate my demand for USD so I can conduct my business? To me it is unfair to have to buy from the black market which is a dangerous process in terms of fake money, scams, increase in cost of goods and also encouraging the black market. Also the interest from the loan will be deducted also from my yearly corporate tax which I have to pay the government.

Jazak allah

ANSWER:

Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

Your explanation of the situation shows clearly that the bank wishes to engage you in an interest bearing transaction, so that they will make money by collecting interest from you on the loan which they want you to take. This is nothing but a scheme to force you into an Interest based transaction.

It should be understood that both receiving and paying interest are totally Haram in Islam, and there is no allowance for this, except if one is compelled to do so to fulfill an emergency or a pressing need (which must be fulfilled). Your situation is not of this nature and also, you have no need for the bank’s loan. In this situation, for you to go ahead and take out a loan of 250 k, and then agree to pay so much interest on this amount over a period of time, is being careless and unconcerned of the prohibitions of the Shariah.

With respect to obtaining USD, this is a need for your business, but it can be accessed without having to pay interest on a loan, by purchasing these from places other than the banks. Though the exchange rate may be higher, it is not interest and as such, it remains a fully Halal transaction. The interest added to your loan may be lower than the extra amount you may pay for the USD through black market but, paying interest is totally Haram and sinful. On account of this, it will not be allowed for you to take the loan from the bank knowing fully well that you will be paying interest, just for the sake of obtaining US dollars. Purchasing the US dollars from other sources besides the bank will be permissible even though the exchange rate may be higher. Since this is not illegal in Islam, and it is not haram and sinful, this is the better option for you. However, you will need to be vigilant and do your checks while purchasing the foreign currency.

And Allah Knows best

Mufti Waseem Khan

27/11/2019

This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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