Fatwa ID: 04514
Answered by: Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh
I have an older brother and sister, who live together with my mother. Brother is married, the wealthy property owner. Sister divorced, working. I was getting court orders from my brother's properties, but he had put these in my elder sons name.
I borrowed money from my sister, so I could buy my elder son a house. Middle son also was married living with me in a 4 bedroom house.
The court orders kept coming, I kept asking my brother and sister to sort things out it was scaring us in case we ended up in court or something. My brother skips taxes, he's rich but using us doing his hard work. I was a labourer in the properties with my mother. Never got a penny. The land our father owned, he gave to his father in law, our father's house here, he sold and started his business.
They didn't do anything, so my husband started to say we are going to get in trouble. I went to a solicitor to sell a property.
Then my mother and sister came with the letter, my sister started to say not to sell the house. I was in the wrong that our brother had done so much to get where he is. Then she took a kasam on our dead father, also in Allah's name that, our brother would pay her back the money I owed her. Don't sell it. I have been trying to save to pay her back.
But, what she is doing to me is wrong. Not only in front of my family, but Allah also was a witness.
Why ask for the money ASAP now?
My husband isn't working anymore, due to heart and other problems. My sons work but just manage their own families.
Do I have to go the bank to get a loan payback? Where has the kasam gone, where has Islam in our family gone? My brothers one son is a mufti, one a hafiz.
My sons are saying to pay her and leave it. He is also an alim and the other a hafiz. They are saying pay and leave them, Allah will help us.
But what is right?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
What I understood from your question is that your brother owes you money which he promised to pay but has not done so yet. At the same time your sister, who is a divorcee and lives with your brother and mother, gave you the loan and now wants you to pay her back.
Taking loan (dayn) is recognised by the Shari’ah if a person has the need for it. This is as long as the person intends to pay back the loan. If a person dies before being able to pay back a debt owed to another but he or she had the intention to pay back, will not be sinful. (1)
It is not clear from your question the type of transaction you have had with your brother and what he exactly owes you. However, if he has made a promise to pay you something that he owes you and then does not do it, he will be sinful for his failure to fulfil his promise.
Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him), said, “There are three signs of a hypocrite: whenever he speaks, he lies; whenever he makes a promise, he breaks it; and whenever he is trusted, he betrays his trust.” (2)
With regards to the money that you owe to your sister, then this is a separate matter, and therefore you should make effort and arrangement to pay her back. However, you can be freed from this obligation if your brother has willingly agreed to take responsibility and pay the amount you owe from your sister. (2)
Only Allah knows best
Written by Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
(1) Al-Fatawa Al-Hindiyyah, Vol. 5 p.366, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut
(2) Agreed Upon
(3) Radd al-Muhtār of Ibn Ābidin, Vol. 5 p. 341, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut