Aunty Claiming Interest on Loan

Aunty Claiming Interest on Loan

Question:

Asslamualaiku,

I have aunt whose husband was murdered and she has two daighters. She was living in a house owned by my father (She was living on his own wealth not depeng upon us). She has some money she kept with us and allowed us to use (When she will be in need she will take back she never had any business or investment deal with us ). We wanted to construct a new house on the house where she was living. When my mother asked her that we want to contruct a house at owr land/house where she was living she got angry. She asked us to give her money back and we returned her whole money almost within 10days to her. Our Maternal incle who is now taking care of my aunt and her daughters asked us to give additional amout with that original amount as you were using in your trade etc. We told them we never had any business or investment agreement with aunt as business is profit and loss nd what he is asking is merely interest and wr cannot give you interest.Is it right thing that we did? My uncle said that my aunt is saying that she asked us to return the money 2-3 years ago but you did notreturn them so you will have to give additional amout ( But actully she never forced us to give the money back). Is not giving additional amount to her is right as we thought it i interest and we give all the original amount back to her?

Answer:

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

You state your aunty was staying in your father’s house. She was maintaining herself. You also state she had her money kept by your’ll and allowed your’ll use of the money. You did not state whether your aunt paid rent for occupying your father’s house. You also did not explain why she allowed your’ll use of her money. 

Her money has been returned to her. Your uncle states that your’ll should pay her an extra amount as the money was not returned three years ago when she asked for it. It is possible your aunt allowed your’ll use of her money as she was occupying your father’s house. Shariah emphasises on clarifying issues to avoid disputes.

Nevertheless, the permission to use her money will be regarded as a loan.

In principle, a debtor is only required to pay back the original amount of a loan. Any amount in excess of the original loan is Riba (interest) and therefore, Haram and a major sin.

There are severe warnings against dealing in Riba. Allah Ta’ala says:

وَأَحَلَّ اللَّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا ۚ (سورة البقرة: 275)

Translation: “But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest.”

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ. (سورة البقرة: 278)

Translation: “Oh those who believe, fear Allah and give up what still remains of the Riba (interest) if you are believers.(Surah Al-Baqarah: 278)

فَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا فَأْذَنُوا بِحَرْبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ (سورة البقرة: 279)

Translation: “But if you do not then listen to the declaration of war from Allah and His Messenger.” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 279)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَأْكُلُوا الرِّبَا أَضْعَافًا مُضَاعَفَةً ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ (سورة آل عمران: 130)

Translation: O you who have believed, do not consume usury/interest, doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful.” (Suran Aal Imran: 130)

Furthermore, see the following Ahadith:

عَنْ جَابِرٍ، قَالَ لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم آكِلَ الرِّبَا وَمُوكِلَهُ وَكَاتِبَهُ وَشَاهِدَيْهِ وَقَالَ هُمْ سَوَاءٌ (صحيح مسلم: 1598)

Translation: “Jabir (Radhiyallahu Anhu) said that Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) cursed the accepter of interest and its payer, and one who records it, and the two witnesses, and he said: They are all equal. (Sahih Muslim: 1598)

عن عبد الله بن حنظلة غسيل الملاءكة قال قال رسول الله صلي الله عليه و سلم درهم ربا ياكله الرجل و هو يعلم اشد من ستة و ثلاثين زنية

Translation: “It is narrated on the authority of Abdullah Bin Hanzalah that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: One dirham of interest/usury which a man consumes while he is aware (of it being interest), is more severe than thirty-three counts of adultery” (Mishkaat Al-Masaabeeh: 2825)

You are not required to pay your aunt any amount in excess of the loaned amount. However,if you voluntarily decide to give your aunt extra money as a gesture and expression of goodwill, then that will be a gift to her and therefore, permissible.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hammad Ibn Ismail Jogiat

Student - Darul Iftaa

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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