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Riba in the West

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Could you please throw more light upon the statement in Sh. Nuh Keller’s ‘Reliance of the Traveller’, whereby it is stated that it was the position of Imam Abu Hanifa that it is permissible to receive interest from non-Muslims by Muslims living in Dar-ul-Harb. If that is the case can we Muslims accept interest from the banks in the UK etc?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

1. It is not permitted to take riba (such as bank interest) in the West in the Hanafi school, as the reality of the West is fundamentally different from the reality the scholars talked about in these types of rulings.

This is the position of the top Sunni scholars across the Muslim world. Those who may say otherwise are unquestionably mistaken, and are unwittingly getting Muslims into a lot of material and spiritual trouble.

2. Sh. Nuh Keller translated a strong refutation of those who claim otherwise by a top Syrian Hanafi scholar of the 20th Century, Shaykh Muhammad Hamid. You can find it in the Reliance.

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.