Q: My father was a hardworking man all of his life. Due to poverty in his homeland he went to a European country and worked there in a factory for 25 years. Never being dependent on any government help system. I have a few questions on what he did and would like to get answers from you about that so I can help my father by any means.
1. He took a few times loan from banks in order for his brother or his father and paid interest on it in order to get forgiven does he have to give the equal amount of money of the interest to a charity or to people for charity?
2. He got laid down from his job in 2008 and got dependent on government help system that is they paid him on a monthly basis. He could work a little but he had back pain but anyhow as he was old he did not get any job anywhere else. As we did not have any money our father was in Europe and we here in Pakistan, we were in a tight spot. Here was a chance our father could be gone into the disabled program that is the government gives the money to people who can’t work and they give it to his family as well.
We did many khatams and dua for this but every time when we made dua we asked ALLAH if its halal give it to us and if not then don’t.
What happened is that my father got accepted, but it is the way that he got accepted that worries me. They asked him a few questions to which some he answered honestly and to some not that he lied and cheated to them. Moreover he got 140000 dollars in pension which had to be used first by the authority after which they start paying us, what my father did is that he told them that he lost the money in gambling. He did this by going to a casino playing a few rounds showing himself to cameras and telling them he lost the money by which he then bought a home and some land. He got accepted and we started receiving a sum from a few months after.
My father as he was 55-57 years old could not get work or anything started to take the money and came back to homeland land and we use the money ever since. The money is given every month on a basis that the children must be studying and must give proof. All my brother and sisters study and we regularly send them proof which they want plus they give a fixed money to my father but not mother. That money is a little much for us that is we eat drink do our needs with it and can save and with the money we saved we bought land.
I married and we did some business but we usually lost money that is we always lose money in business. Now I want to repay the money which we took which brings me to another question must we repay the government from which we took the money or is this money halal?
Whatever we bought with the money the land or house has now increased in value do I have to pay the increase as well or just the sum taken?
My father cant repay them because he is old so I want to do it for him as he sacrificed all his life for us. I want to ask should I sell everything and repay the government?
Another thing is that can I START a business with that money earn enough and pay the government back will this profit be halal or haram. We do not have money to pay them back except by selling our properties and then we will have nothing and by doing job even in Europe paying back 5-7 hundred thousand dollar is hard very hard.
My father is a good man but he thought this is best for his family he knew he lied but he said that I worked for my pension and why should they give it to me in installments. He has back problems and has some anger issues but he is a good man prayes 5 times PRAYES NAFIL FOR HIS PARENTS EVERYDAY 20 RAKATS gives zakat gives sadaqa helps poor buys materials for mosque went 2 times hajj.
Please guide me I know my question is lengthy but here some molvis do not understand me. I want to pay back this money by any means. So to wrap it up do I HAVE TO SELL THE PRPERTIES TO PAY THEM BACK BECAUSE WE DO NOT HAVE ANY OTHER MEANS OR CAN I START A BUSINESS AND WITH THE PROFITS PAY THEM BACK? THE ZAKAT AND SADAQA ETC WHICH HE GIVES/gave IS THAT QABOOL OR NOT QABOOL IN ISLAM My father thinks maybe this money is halal but I do not think so and we do not have other income but as soon we have some business or money we will leave it he says and pay them back please help cheating to non muslim government is that also haraam?
1. It is better that he gives the equivalent in charity to some poor person.
2. If he was in need and he received a government grant then the money is permissible, though the procedure he adopted was not permissible.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)