Paying Interest on a Mortgage - Am I sinning?
  • Question:

    I have a mortgage where I pay interest. It is out of pure necessity. It is the only part of my life which I pay interest and I hate it but I have no other choice and I repent frequently and strive to pay off my mortgage as soon as possible. Am I still considered doing a major sin?

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    May Allah bless you for your concern regarding the deen.

    Allah is the only Entity that makes a decision regarding sins. I am in no position to judge whether you are sinful or not. That being said, it should be noted that interest based transactions is prohibited through clear verses of the Holy Quran and teachings of the Messenger (pbuh).

    "Those who devour usury will not stand except as stands one whom the Satan by his touch has driven to madness. That is because they say, "trade is like usury", but Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden usury. Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, and will give increase for deeds of charity, for he does not love any ungrateful sinner. (Holy Quran 2: 275, 276)

    Jabir (ra) reported that the "Messenger of Allah (pbuh) cursed the devourer of usury, its payer, its scribe and its two witnesses. He also said that they were equal (in sin)" (Saheeh Muslim)

    You state your condition to be one of necessity.

    The only situation where something can become permissible that is clearly forbidden by the Holy Quran is in the situation of life and death. This is why the Holy Quran tells us that pork becomes permissible in a scenario where one has nothing else to eat for survival. This permissibility of a general Quranic prohibition is limited to the dire situation of life and death, as mentioned in the verses of the Holy Quran.

    "He has forbidden you only the maitah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, on which Allah's Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering). But if one is forced by necessity without willful disobedience nor transgressing due limits, then there is no sin on him. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful" (Holy Quran 2:173)

    My advice to you is to contact a reliable Islamic financial institution that has reputable Islamic scholars as a shariah advisory board, for your house mortgage.

    May Allah ease you of your situation and grant success.

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah institute
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