Fatwa ID: 04695
Answered by: Mufti Eunus Ali
An Amir of an Islamic Organization has bought a Masjid/Islamic Center here in Canada (Greater Toronto Area) with the arrangement of a loan with a Credit Union whose sole (main) business is interest (Riba) based loans and transactions. The Amir put three existing Masajid/Islamic Centers (all paid through public donations) on collateral to get the loan. It means in case of default of monthly payments, all the existing properties (Masajid/Islamic Centres) will be auctioned in the open market by the financer.
On asking the question of how it is justified or sharia-compliant? He (who declares himself Mufti and expert in modern Fiqah) showed his own Fatwa of his own company registered in the province of Ontario (Canada). The fatwa titles “Home Financing Mushrakah Mutnaqisah” (Declining balance).
I never saw any related fatwa of any Mufti or Faqih to buy a Masjid on this principle. His (Mufti/Faqih) own fatwa is for “Home financing” and not for “Masjid/Islamic Centre Financing.”
It should be clear that there are hundreds of Masajid in the Greater Toronto Area. In the same small town where the property was bought for Masjid/Islamic Centres, there already exists a Masjid that is paid for by public donations.
Can you clarify the position of Shariah on this issue? Being an active member of the Muslim Community, and a member of the same organization, what should be our role in these circumstances?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Allah states in the Quran, “Allah has permitted transactions and has forbidden riba (interest)” (Surah Al Baqarah v.275)
Narrated Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) cursed the one who accepted usury, the one who paid it, the witness to it, and the one who recorded it. (Sunan Abi Dawood: 3333)
It is evident from the above-mentioned verse and hadith that involvement in riba (interest) is haram and must be avoided at all cost.
In regards to your question, a credit union is commonly a non-profit-making money cooperative whose members can borrow from pooled deposits at low-interest rates.
If the loan is interest-based it will not be permissible to accept the loan, even more so for the purchasing of the Masjid building. (Fatawa Mahmoodiyyah, Volume 15, Page 105. Darul Ifta Jamiah Farooqiyah and Mariful Quran-English translation, Volume 4, Page 468)
If however the building is purchased, it will be makruh to perform salah in such a Masjid which has been purchased using haram money. (Fatawa Mahmoodiyyah, Volume 15, Page 101. Darul Ifta Jamiah Farooqiyah)
In conclusion, the brother purchasing the building should be advised not to purchase the building if it means that he will be required to take an interest-based loan.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Mufti Eunus Ali
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham