Monday, February 7, 2000
Dear Sister Bilqis,
As-Salaamu-Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatu,
I pray that you understand the intention behind my question.
First of all, I know without a doubt that riba is haram. My situation
is after a divorce (I was forced to leave my husband because
of his mental illness). I had to relocate and that depleted my
funds. I was blessed to secure a job before my relocation back
to my home town. I had two jobs to maintain myself and children,
but I did not have transportation. I spent alot of time on corners
and at convenient stores waiting on my sons to pick me up and
transport me to my second job. It was an obvious inconvenience
for them, and even though they never complained, I felt it incumbent
upon me to get my own car. I was introduced to a Muslim car dealer
who agreed to sell me a car at auction price, but I had to go
to the bank to have it financed.
ALLAH knows that I had no other alternative. I did it with
the premise that I could double up on the payments and settle
the debt without much riba affixed to the loan. Later, I was
told by a Muslim sister to contact the Islamic school board where
I am employed to request a loan payoff and then pay them instead
of the bank. I complied but never received a reply from them.
I avoid major sins and sinning in general, I strive to be the
best Muslim. It seems like ALLAH is warning me...frequently,
when I pick up the Qur'an to read it...the page is on the topic
of riba...I come across much information about riba without looking
for it......a speaker addressed our community on riba....What
should I do? I am a single parent, with a daughter in college..she
has to be transported...I also teach in an Islamic school and
clean the school after work because I need the funds.
On another note, my ex-husband charged me $1,182 monthly to
allow my children to live in his home. I paid him the child support
check of $400 that I received from their father, but he wanted
more. Am I obligated to pay him? I have already started to pay
him a monthly payment of $100. I was married to him for 19 months,
and the bill is now $10,535. I am struggling to pay him. Is this
lslamically correct to do this?
-Jaza Kallah Khairan, Sr. S-
Dear Sr. S-,
I wanted to respond to your question
because you posed a few situations that you need to get a proper
understanding of. I am not a Muslim scholar so I can't give you
an answer as such. However, I understand your concern as we know
that business transactions involving interest are unlawful for
us as Muslims.
I think you should again pursue the
possibility of the Islamic school perhaps paying off the loan
and you paying them back. Often times communications break down.
If you pursue this to its end, you may get the answer you seek.
Regarding the matter with the ex-husband,
you definitely need to seek the Islamic jurisprudence on this
situation. This is a very large amount to owe someone, especially
a former husband.
With both of these matters, I would
seek out a Muslim with expertise in Islamic law and ascertain
your rights and responsibilities before you make any more payments.
From your letter you seem God-fearing,
sincere and hard-working. Continue to seek Allah's (swt) help
and guidance through these matters and you will Insh'Allah see
the light at the end of the tunnel.