Your holiness, Mufti Saheb. I request your honour to give the verdict on the
following questions. May Allah Ta'ala reward you.
Is interest totally unlawful? On which condition is the profit considered as
May a Muslim take the profit on his deposited money in the banks and the post
offices which they term as "interest" in countries such as India, Britain and
South Africa, etc.
Undoubtedly, Riba (interest) is totally unlawful according to Islamic
When there is a dealing between a Muslim and a Muslim or a Muslim and a Zimmi
Kaffir (a non-Muslim living in the safety of an Islamic state), the taking of
the excess money is considered as interest and such a dealing will be unlawful.
However, if this condition does not exist, this excess money will not be
considered as interest and will be legitimate for a Muslim as it is unanimous
that there is no interest applicable when there is dealing between a Muslim and
a Harbi Kaafir (a non-Muslim who is not living in the safety of an Islamic
There is a Hadith from the Holy Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)
which states that:
"No Riba (interest) (exists) between a Muslim and a Harbi Kaafir in Darul
This Hadith bears testimony that the property of a Harbi Kaafir is lawful for
the Muslim at all times provided that he (the Muslim) must not commit
faithlessness in his dealing. Accordingly, the great theologian, his holiness
Shah Burhanuddin (alaihir rahma) states in his distinguished work, "Hedaya",
"Though the Holy Quran has forbidden Riba, i.e. interest, yet this Holy Book of
Allah makes the property of a Harbi Kaafir lawful for the Muslim."
The Quran states:
Likewise, there are so many verses giving evidence that the Shari'ah does not
take a Harbi Kaafir in trust and so their property is permissible for the
Muslim. Whoever, therefore, forbids the Muslim to receive such profits,
deprives them of the benefit and causes the Harbi Kaafirs to take advantage,
which is Haraam.
The Quran declares:
The excess money given by the banks and the post offices in the countries as
mentioned, is legally for the Muslims, and is not (considered) as interest. It
may be taken and used.
Allah knows better!
Mohammad Akhtar Raza Khan Qadiri Azhari
In the famous authentic book of Hanafi Islamic Jurisprudence, "Hedaya",
translated by Charles Hamilton, in Chapter 9 (Book of Sale), pg. 293, the
Scholar, Allama Shah Burhanuddin (alahir rahmah) states: Usury cannot
take place between a Mussulman and a hostile infidel in a hostile country. This
is contrary to the opinion of (Imam) Aboo Yoosuf and (Imam) Shafei, who
conceive an analogy between the case in question and that of a protected alien
within the Mussulman territory. The arguments of our four doctors upon this
point are twofold. FIRST, the Prophet has said, "There is no usury between a
MUSSULMAN and a hostile infidel, in a foreign land." - SECONDLY, the
property of a hostile infidel being free to the MUSSULMANS, it follows that it
is lawful to take it by whatever mode may be possible, provided there be no
The additional amount that is given by the Bank is termed as "Interest." But,
the Islamic concept of "Riba" is not applicable to the term "Interest" that is
utilised by the Bank. According to the definition of Riba and with reference to
the Hadith, "Interest" is not applicable when the dealing is between a Muslim
and a Harbi Kaafir in Darul Harb. Muslims should erase the thought from their
minds that this is "Riba."
In the light of this Ruling, to accept and utilise this amount is permissible.
But if a person, out of his her own personal discretion, does not feel totally
comfortable in using this money should then advance this money to any other
Muslim or an organisation without making any intention of receiving
It is important that this amount not be left abandoned in Banks. Let this money
be utilised for the welfare and benefit of the Muslim Ummah.
It is also noteworthy to mention that Muslims in India have requested the Ulama
there to tackle the issue of "Interest" as Muslims left large amounts dormant
in Banks and the Banks were in turn donating these large amounts to Christian
organisations who were using this money to do missionary work, build Churches
and Missionary Schools. The Ulema and Muslim Scholars researched this issue and
arrived at the above solution.