Making Ribaa (interest) permissible in the west – Shaykh Ahmed al-Wasaabee

Shaykh Ahmed al-Wasaabee warns us of evil callers who make ribaa “halal,” evil callers such as Qaradaawe, Siraaj Wahhaaj

Question to Shaykh Ahmed al-Wasaabee: Some youth try to tell us that ribaa (interest) in the west is permissible. And they attribute this to al-Qaradaawee. So what is the ruling on the one who follows these types of rulings? And other people in the west have made similar statements, such as Siraaj Wahhaaj, and others like him. This is a very common thing, as many youth say that ribaa is permissible in the west because of necessity (i.e. you cannot purchase a house without a mortgage, and if you do not purchase a house, the Muslims will be in a state of weakness!, etc.).

Shaykh Ahmed al-Wasaabee: Allaah (subhaana wa ta’laa) has completed our deen for us. Allaah’s statement:

This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (Al-Ma’idah 5:3)

So our deen is perfect, and it is perfect in every time and every place. So the one who has given the fatwa that working with ribaa, and eating ribaa is allowable in the lands of the west, then he is from amongst the people who are following the footsteps of shaytaan. And it is waajib upon us and the Muslims to enter into al-Islaam fully. And to accept al-Islaam in its entirety, in all of its forms, all of its orders, and all of its prohibitions. Allaah’s statement:

O you who believe! Enter perfectly in Islam (by obeying all the rules and regulations of the Islamic religion) and follow not the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan). (Al-Baqarah 2:208)

So the ones who issued these fataawa, allowing ribaa in the lands of the west, then they are indeed following in the footsteps of shaytaan. And the deen of al-Islaam must be established and performed in all places, in Yemen, and in Makkah, and in Britain, and in America, and other than them; and the deen is not to be established in certain places and to be left off in other places.

And the ruling of ribaa is clear. Allaah (subhaana wa ta’laa) said: O you who believe! Be afraid of Allaah and give up what remains (due to you) from Ribaa (usury) (from now onward), if you are (really) believers. (Al-Baqarah 2:278)

And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allaah and His Messenger. (Al-Baqarah 2:279)

And He (taa’ala) said:

Those who eat Ribaa (usury) will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaitan (Satan) leading him to insanity. That is because they say: “Trading is only like Ribaa (usury),” whereas Allaah has permitted trading and forbidden Ribaa (usury). So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Ribaa (usury) shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allaah (to judge); but whoever returns [to Ribaa (usury)], such are the dwellers of the Fire – they will abide therein. (Al-Baqarah 2:275)

And the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihiwasallam) said, “Every time a person increases in ribaa, then the end of his issue is to littleness and nothingness.”

And the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihiwasallam) did not make a distinction in these hadeeths, and Allaah (subhaana wa ta’laa) did not make a distinction in these ayaats, regarding times and places. And this is applicable to every time and to every place.

And the ones who change the deen and make it applicable in certain times and certain places, then they are the ones who follow their desires. Allaah’s statement:

Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilaah (god), and Allaah knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight. (Al-Jathiyah 45:23)

So it is waajib upon the believers to fear Allaah in these issues. Allaah’s statement:

Say (O Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihiwasallam) to these polytheists): “Tell me, what provision Allaah has sent down to you! And you have made of it lawful and unlawful.” Say (O Muhammad (salallaahu ‘alaihiwasallam)): “Has Allaah permitted you (to do so), or do you invent a lie against Allaah?” (Yunus 10:59)

And verily, the people who allow ribaa in the west have made a lie upon Allaah (suhbhaana wa ta’laa). And they have no justification for what they say. And the clear verses and the clear commands of Allaah and His Messenger are present. And there is no room for anyone to twist and modify them according to certain times and places. And these fataawa are false and far astray, and they come from the people who are not cautious in their deen. And my advise is that we do not ask about our deen except from the Ahlul-‘Ilm, the people known to be upon the Kitaab and the Sunnah, the Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jama’ah. And we do not ask about our deen from the Ahlul-Bidaah, such as Yusuf al-Qaradaawee, and others like him. So they are never to be asked about affairs of our deen, and never to be depended upon in their legal opinions. And they are to be warned against.

And Islaam calls the disbelievers to enter into al-Islaam, and calls them to fulfil the orders of Allaah (subhaana wa ta’laa) and to leave off His prohibitions. And from His prohibitions is ar-ribaa.

[And the shaykh warned us about these callers of evil (those who issue rulings making ribaa permissible in the west), and that they should be warned against, and to be stay away from.]

In summary, ribaa is not permissible in the west.

Benefit: It is not permissible to put money in banks that deal with ribaa. However, out of necessity, if a person fears that his money may be stolen, or that it may be robbed, or that it may be taken from him (if he does not place it in a bank); then in this instance, the ‘Ullema, like Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azeez ibn Baaz and others have issued fataawa that it is permissible for people to put their money in banks that deal with usury in order to secure their money. This is with the condition that they are not allowed to earn interest on this money. But if this fear is not a reality, then it is not allowed for any Muslim to place his money in banks that deal with ribaa, even if he fulfils the condition that he does not earn interest on his money. For verily, the banks benefit from those who place money in their banks.

Source: Al-Qawl-ul- Mufeed Fee Adillatit Tawheed [Beneficial Speech in Establishing the Evidences of Tawheed], in the Q&A at the end of the 20th Chapter (The Danger of Ascribing Shirk with Allaah)