Q: I recently read a fatwa that you issued with regards to eBucks. Jazakallah for the fatwa. I am struggling to understand one aspect and would like you please clarify it.
As you noted in the definition of interest, interest is “excess devoid of any compensation which either of the transacting parties is entitled to due to it being a pre-condition in that transaction.” So one of the conditions for interest is that it should be a pre-condition which doesn’t seem to be met in eBucks. FNB from time to time changes the amount of eBucks given, the reasons for giving eBucks etc. This shows it is not a pre-condition and it is not part of the contract as FNB from their side only modify it from time to time. If this was a pre-condition and part of the transaction it would require the consent of both transacting parties. Therefore, it seems that the definition of interest does not fit into eBucks. Please clarify.
A: The fact that they are promising you this extra benefit in a loan transaction causes it to enter under the definition of interest. Hence it is haraam.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)