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Is it allowed to take a mortgage?

All praises be to Allaah, Lord and Sustainer of the worlds, and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and upon his family and companions.

Mortgage is based on interest, and interest is haraam and is one of the major sins in Islaam, which can never become halaal at all. There is no argument or difference of opinion on this issue. Whoever makes a difference or dispute on this issue has differed from Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

The seriousness of dealing in interest is shown by Aayaat of the Qura'an and many Ahadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):

Allaah says;

"O you who believe! Be afraid of Allâh and give up what remains (due to you) from Ribâ (usury) (from now onward), if you are (really) believers."

[Al-Baqarah: 278]

"Those who eat Ribâ (usury) will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaitân (Satan) leading him to insanity. That is because they say: Trading is only like Ribâ (usury), whereas Allâh has permitted trading and forbidden Ribâ (usury). So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Ribâ (usury) shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allâh (to judge); but whoever returns (to Ribâ (usury)), such are the dwellers of the Fire they will abide therein."

[Al-Baqarah: 275]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“A man's eating of a dirham of interest is worse than his committing adultery thirty six times”

(reported by Imam Ahmad)

And he cursed the one who takes the interest, who gives it, who writes the contract and the two who witness it, and he said these are all equal. (Reported by Muslim from Jabir [may Allaah be pleased with him])

We should realise that the essence of a Muslim's life in this world is that he/she hopes for Paradise in hereafter. Allaah, the Most Glorified, has decided that He will test people like you and me who want to achieve that aim, and this is the very purpose of all the commands and prohibitions which Allaah has laid down, so Allaah says:

"Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: We believe, and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allâh will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars."

[Al-Ankaboot: 2-3]

And Allaah says:

"Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, When (will come) the Help of Allâh? Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allâh is near!"

[Al-Baqarah: 214]

And Allaah says:

"If a wound (and killing) has touched you, be sure a similar wound (and killing) has touched the others. And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that Allâh may test those who believe, and that He may take witnesses from among you. And Allâh likes not the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrongdoers).. "

[Aalu-Imran: 140]

And Allaah says:

"Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allâh tests those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) tests those who are As-SâbirIn (the patient ones etc.)?"

[Aalu-Imran: 142]

And Allaah says:

"And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-SâbirIn (the patient ones etc.).. 156.Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: Truly! To Allâh we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.. 157.They are those on whom are the Salawât (i.e. blessings, etc.) (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.."

[Al-Baqarah: 155-157]

So whoever obeys the laws of Allah will fulfil the purpose of this life and whoever disobeys the laws of Allah will be a loser on the Day of Judgement.

One common question is: "Is interest permissible for those who live in a non-Muslim country?"

Whether we live in a Muslim country or a non-Muslim country, interest can never become permissible. In fact, living in this country has a much higher standard of living for many people than if they had to live in a Muslim country. And people who make interest permissible in this country would do the same in a Muslim country because the economic system of Muslim countries is no different from non-Muslim countries.

So a Muslim has to submit to Allaah's commands and be patient on what Allaah has decreed for him and hope for Allaah's bounty as Allaah says:

“Indeed with every hardship, is relief.”

[Al:Sharh: 5]

Another common question is: "Can you accept interest to pay interest on mortgage?"

This is simply darkness upon darkness, because taking mortgage is one major sin, accepting interest is another major sin, and using that interest to pay other interest is a third major sin. May Allaah protect us from falling into the depth of haraam in such a manner.

Are there any halaal mortgages available?

There are many companies these days who are claiming to provide so called “halaal mortgage,” but Muslims should be extremely careful to find out and make sure that what they are purchasing is really what the seller is claiming.

What should a person do who has already bought a house on mortgage and now realises that this was haraam?

Another common question that is often asked is: “I have a mortgage with a high street bank, how can I change it to make it halal and continue living in it?”

What is haraam can never be changed into halal, except by sincere repentance and removing what is haraam. Changing a high street mortgage into a so-called ‘halal mortgage' is not proper because most of these 'halal mortgages' are in fact unlawful.

So one should get rid of the haraam dealings of paying the mortgage on a house straight away, if this is at all possible. However, if this puts a person or his/her family into extreme hardship, then Allaah is merciful and He does not burden His slaves with more than they can bear, so one can stay in the house bought on a mortgage as long as he is sincere with his repentance and he does his best effort to get rid of this burden as fast as possible. He should also realise that Allaah is ever-watchful and knows what is in the hearts of people.

May Allaah help and guide us to do all that He is pleased with and his Peace and blessings be upon His last Prophet Muhammad