Fatwa: # 17350
Category: Financial Transactions
Country: United Kingdom
Date: 25th November 2008

Title

Q: I said ... riba is involved in schemmes like Al Burag, HSBC... they argued...why you eat chicken from shops, how do you know its halal?

Question

I live in UK and my salary goes to my UK high street bank account. In a gathering, morgage for homes was discussed and I said its not permissible in any circumstances as riba is involved in schemmes like Al Burag, HSBC Ammnah etc and they are not 100% islamic or shariah based. they argued and said why you eat chicken from shops, how do you know its halal, why you keep car in such country when insurance is haram and why you keep you money in  bank as current account as this will e used by bank. I was very upset. my questions are: these people as as shopkeeper say meat is halal and you buy so for motgage ullema attached to the company if say its ok to mortgage than believe them. by law you cant drive without insurance these are mandatory but one can live on rent in this country than going for Riba based intrest based mortgages.

1.Is mortgage which is not 100% shariah based allowed in any way, even you cant buy ur own house in UK.

2. are we allowed to keep our salary in high street current bank accounts as no other way.

3.are we allowed 3rd party insurence only as this is the minimal way otherwise you cant drive.

4. after investigating ourself are we allowqed to buy meat from hahal shops, once they say its halal.

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

There are three issues to your query:

  1. Home financing schemes
  2. Mandatory insurance
  3. Information regarding Halaal food

At the outset we commend you for mentioning the Haqq that mortgage and all interest based financing is Haraam. In every era and time one would find people who endeavour to prove their wrongs and go to the degree of justifying their Haraam activities by making analogous references to various Laws of Shariah which in reality are devoid of any substance.

1.       If the deal is not structured according to the Shariah Laws of trade and commerce, it will not be permissible to use the facility to finance a house. It is important to mention that the contract must be verified by reliable Ulama who are well versant in the laws of finance and economics. The economic proposer in the recent past especially in the Islamic finance industry has given birth to a generation of “scholars” who have found themselves in Shariah Boards of multinational companies only to receive attractive remuneration and benefits. The implication of such endeavours will obviously have a direct impact on the autonomy of such individuals. The Arabic saying “Man is a slave of Ihsaan (good done to him)” is apt to describe the issue. These “scholars” have dallied with the Shariah to suit the corporate needs and requirements of their bosses and in the process make a mockery of Deen. In the name of DHAROORAH (Need) they adopt rulings from the various Madhaahib thus making the entire Shariah a complete jumble. In the light of these personal gains, we encourage the public to always verify the contracts of these puppet Scholars with other Ulama who are not on the pay roll of these companies and speak the Haqq without fear or favour. If such Ulama are satisfied with the contracts, then one may take benefit from such facilities. Secondly, the issue of chickens is non analogous. This clearly depicts the importunity of some to justify their insincere activities. According to Shariah, if one is confident (Yaqeen) that XYZ chickens have not been slaughtered according to Shariah, then one cannot consume XYZ chicken no matter who claims it is Halaal. The issue of Khabr Adil (the information of one reliable Muslim) will apply only if the individual was not present at the slaughtering neither is he aware of the status of the product. In such an instance Shariah has given the flexibility to rely on the information of one reliable Muslim who is aware of the laws of Haraam and Halaal. The issue of Shariah compliancy of commercial banks and Finance houses is not something which is hidden. The contracts have to be read and signed by the client. If the client is not acquainted with the technical aspects of Shariah with regards to finance and economics, then it is their obligation to refer to those who have insight in the field. In light of the personal interests held by the in house Shariah scholar’s, one cannot simply rely on their word. Experience bears testimony to the fact that some contracts that were ratified and approved by the Shariah Boards are questionable and objectionable from a Shariah perspective. When these objections and questions are put before them, they buckle under such pressure and look for loop holes to justify and protect their interests from passing the buck on other scholars and so called “standards”. As a scholar, it is ones Shari’e responsibility to weigh the worth and credibility of any opinion before adopting the same view immaterial of whom may say it. It is against academic honesty to hold an opinion/view and issue a Shariah ruling on a certain matter without being academically equipped to respond to any objections/questions that may be posed. If one cannot sufficiently respond to genuine queries/objections raised on an issue upon which one has ruled, then such individuals should refrain from shouldering a responsibility that is beyond their capabilities as that would be regarded as Khiyanah (deception) and would be of disservice to the Ummah and Deen.

2.       The intention in keeping the money/salary at conventional institutions is not to earn interest on the money but to benefit from the security and other facilities offered by the bank. In view of this need, the Ulama have allowed monies to be kept in conventional institutes.

3.       Since it is the requirement of the Government, one would be excused o take out the minimum insurance prescribed as the Law of the Land.

4.       As mentioned in 1 above, if a reliable Muslim who has knowledge of Halaal and Haraam informs you that the meat is Halaal, then you may rely upon his word and consume the meat.

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

 

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa 

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