Q: With this letter I wish to enquire about a problem that I am currently experiencing, and require your kind assistance. I purchased a business plot approximately 25 years ago and placed my uncle’s name together with my name on the title deeds for tax purposes. My uncle did not invest any money on this plot as I had to pay cash for it with my own funding and build a business property on part of the land. After a few years, I sold the developed property for R200, 000 to an external party.
My uncle had no problem with the sale of the developed property as he was aware that he had no financial share in the property although his name appeared on the title deeds. From the sale of the property, I built a complex on the existing plot consisting of 5 shops and a flat on top. I had to take a loan of R300, 000 at the bank to finance the building complex.
As years carried on, I was experiencing financial difficulties with the repayment of the bank loan. My uncle paid the outstanding balance of the outstanding loan amounting to R240, 000 which includes lawyers fees, bank charges etc. He also spent a further amount to fix the property which he wrote down in a book for record purposes.
We agreed that the money spent on the 2nd newly developed property by himself should be repaid in full as I was the legal owner. I paid him and even took out a loan from the bank for R150, 000 as he was in financial difficulty and had to pay external parties. The balance of the loan was less than R200, 000.
At the moment there are four tenants in the building complex owned by myself, although his name still appears on the title deeds. He takes every month half of the rental income, although the money I owe him is less than 10% of the value of the building complex. Every month we are experiencing a continuous battle with the collection of the rental income for the past approximately 20 months. The 50% rental income collected by himself is not deducted from the money I owe him.
My uncle was in financial trouble with the Receiver of Revenue whereby his son decided to pay his outstanding debt. He made an agreement with his son that he could have all assets belonging to him. The son on a monthly basis collects 50% of the tenants rent. We are unhappy about this as it was not our agreement. I would like to know whether this money is halaal as they do not deduct it from my loan and it feels as though they are taking interest on the balance of the Money that I owe them. I have heard rumours that the son claims they own 50% of the property. It will be highly appreciated if you could provide me with a speedily resolution (Fatwa) on the above mentioned matter. I hope the above mentioned matter meets your favorable attention and urgency it deserves.
A: The property belongs to you entirely. Hence all the money that the property generates must come to you. The rental that your uncle is taking is extortion and zulm. He needs to either return it to you all at once or in installments through the fifty percent he takes in rentals wrongfully. The name appearing on paper does not make the person the shar`ee owner. Believing that he is the owner is wrong. Whatever he is consuming is haraam, extortion, zulm and interest.
الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لَا يَقُومُونَ إِلَّا كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذِي يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا الْبَيْعُ مِثْلُ الرِّبَا وَأَحَلَّ اللَّـهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا فَمَن جَاءَهُ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ فَانتَهَىٰ فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُ إِلَى اللَّـهِ وَمَنْ عَادَ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿البقرة: ٢٧٥﴾
مطلب كل قرض جر نفعا حرام قوله ( كل قرض جر نفعا حرام ) أي إذا كان مشروطا كما علم مما نقله عن البحر وعن الخلاصة وفي الذخيرة وإن لم يكن النفع مشروطا في القرض فعلى قول الكرخي لا بأس به (الرد المحتار 5/ 166)
عن جابر رضي الله عنه قال لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم آكل الربا وموكله وكاتبه وشاهديه وقال هم سواء رواه مسلم ( مشكوٰة المصابيح ص244)
عن أبي هريرة عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ليأتين على الناس زمان لا يبقى أحد إلا أكل الربا فإن لم يأكله أصابه من بخاره ويروى من غباره رواه أحمد وأبو داود والنسائي وابن ماجه ( مشكوٰة المصابيح ص245)
وعن عبد الله بن حنظلة غسيل الملائكة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم درهم ربا يأكله الرجل وهو يعلم أشد من ستة وثلاثين زنية رواه أحمد والدراقطني وروى البيهقي في شعب الإيمان عن ابن عباس وزاد وقال من نبت لحمه من السحت فالنار أولى به ( مشكوٰة المصابيح ص245)
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)