Q: My older brother is the head of the household and he makes most of the financial decisions for me. A while ago he made me apply for a loan that I would have to pay interest on. Now that I know that paying interest is haram, I’ve tried hard to convince him to cancel the loan and even told him about valid Islamic sources to show that it is a grave sin. He simply said that we’re in a tough situation and I need the loan to go to college so exceptions have to be made. And he went on to add, “These online muftis don’t know the difficulties our family goes through to put bread on the table.” I’m in a situation where I have no control in returning the loan before interest starts accruing on it since he has control over the bank account. I fear that my family will lash out at me and maybe even cut family ties from me for putting them through difficulties for my own beliefs since they don’t follow Islam as closely as I do. I’m very scared of the consequences I will have to face for letting him force me into taking a loan in which I will pay riba on. Please let me know of any way to deal with this sin that I see no way of avoiding. I would even pay 10 times the amount in sadaqa as I took in the loan (later on in my life) if I have to.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)
This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.