The ill effects of Riba — how about a debit card alternative

Q: Salam Alaikum,
What is the Islamic ruling on credit cards?  Also can you please state the severe side effects of dealing with Riba? Jazakullah
Time: Tuesday January 25, 2011 at 12:10 am

A: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

يَمۡحَقُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلرِّبَوٰاْ وَيُرۡبِى ٱلصَّدَقَـٰتِ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ أَثِيمٍ

Allah will deprive usury of all its blessings (barakah), and He causes charitable deeds to flourish, and Allah does not love any ungrateful sinner (2:276)

  • If the credit card bill is paid off by its due date without incurring interest, such a usage of the credit card  would be permissible.

Added information to better keep you religiously compliant:

  • For small transactions one should try and keep adequate cash. This would be best and less tempting towards wrongful financial transactions.
  • We are living in times of extreme ‘watchfulness’ as to how Muslims spend their wealth, thus for issues of personal security and false accusations, it may be best to use a debit card rather than a credit card.
  • Should one only have access to a credit card, than in such an instance one should not roll over its payment into an interest bearing transaction. This would constitute a sin.

The ill effects of it are as follows:
Reduced baraka in ones family, reduce babrakah in transactions, lack of contentment, greater level of family and social discord, gradual hatred towards one’s spouse, children and parents, social restlessness, selfishness, meanness, not wanting to spend even when one has money to do so, lewdness in dress and manners, nasty attitude, wanting the money of others with a sense of greed and false entitlement, hoarding wealth, unwanted arguments, less love, roaming eyes towards that which is forbidden, evil thoughts, fear of poverty and looking down upon others without valid reason.

As one can tell, dealing in haram would only result in an adverse outcome. The above has been proven time and time again. Live in accordance to what Allah (SWT) has blessed you with. Work hard and accept your lot in life and Allah (SWT) would fill your heart with pure contentment, Ameen.

So let us be cautious about our dealings and monitor them accordingly, so as to create and opportunity of Baraka in every facet of our lives.

I appreciate your question and you patience in seeking my response.

Allah Certainly Knows Best.


2 responses to “The ill effects of Riba — how about a debit card alternative

  1. Assalam o alaikum!
    Many Muslims are living in their homes everywhere in the world where they are paying interest for 20-30 years. They will never ever be able to accumulate the amount to puchase the home on cash as it will raise question when you deal with cash on such high amount. Is it suggested in their best interest to rent for the rest of their lives because who can save $200,000 or more cash just by working a 9-5 job (average worker) while taking care of their normal lives?
    Upon asking few scholars, they said the home deweller has to try to pay off the home as soon as possible. Question is, why the home buyer bought the house on interest at the first place if it is so absolutely bad?What if the home deweller dies before paying the home off? Will that be considered a loan that he/she did not pay off and will be questioned in the grave? We all know about this but have no way to utilize it in our practical life. It’s very hard.
    Credit cards are very helping sometimes. If I need $500 (which I did need in the past), who can I go to and ask in our Muslim cummunity; since there is no centeralized committee where one can go and ask for cash for their troubles. Credit cards come handy even though there is interest (and Allah understands the situation of many) and it saves you from asking favors from people around you who will definitely not help you. There are many living examples of this behavior in our Muslim community; we just talk and dont walk the walk. Mormon church helped these Muslims but not Muslims.
    People are going to Hajj, buying homes, buying halal businesses, buying cars, buying home cookwares, paying school fees (Federal loans), hospital bills, paying zakat etc etc on credit cards. Some are able to pay the CC off by the end of the month, some are not. Many of us do not struggle for the right way and just follow the trend and use CCs (credit cards) without thinking about the interest but some do think.
    We should live according to our means and not go beyond.
    The rest of the world is going into Buiness accounting, finance, loans,real estate, acquiring properties and that all deals in interest.
    If it is so harming, then why there is no definite fatwa out there that says that we are not to send our kids out to these schools where they learn Accounting, Finance, Annuity and any other subject that deals with interest. On one hand we are sending kids to schools and teaching them these subjects and on the other, we can not deal with interest. If I graduated in Accounting or Finance, I will look for a job in that field and will it make my income Haram since I am dealing with interest all day long and supporting the company who deals with interest. What do we do and how do we manage that? How can we compete (in a halal way) with the rest of the world? There are very very few trades which may be all halal but most of them have some types of haram contents in them and we have become immune to them since we like ease in life and Allah will only see your struggle in doing the right thing. Oh Allah, forgive us and make things easy for us since we are weak. Make us remember our grave, it’s isolation and barrenness, and the questions we will be asked there. Have mercy on all the humanity and Muslims in particular because a great # of Muslims will be thrown in hell just because they were given the correct message and they failed to follow. Evaluate yourself and make your life better before you are six feet under and cars will be passing you by with their car stereos on and you’ll be nobody to them. By that time, you have already sent your Aamaal to Allah and just wait for the results to be anounced.

  2. Walaikumsalam,
    Scholars have discussed all what you have made mentioned of above. Laws too have been shared regarding all the above claims in the books of fiqh.

    To be honest, i really do not know what you are really refering to. Nor am i really going to take out the time to figure you out. I am really sorry for this shortfall on my side.
    It appears as i glances at the above, some of your claims are the same claims made by many others over the years. It sort of presents the paradox of life. For example: if wine is haram then why was grapes created; If Allah created the world for humans than why can we not do as we please; if the dollar bill has a face on it and it is placed in the musjid boxes to maintain the musjid, then why can we not draw faces of saints on musjid walls; if dating is haram then why do we say telephones are halal, since telephones are used to call up our dates, etc. etc. Such questions, be they direct to the issue or not have always been asked of scholars.

    Your words are appreciated, sadly, they are not out of the box as much as they are in the box. Time to hop out.

    Kindly ask a specific question for a specific response. May Allah Bless you all, Ameen.

    Student# 725
    As dictated from the Imaam