I know Imran ibn Mansur is not everyone’s cup of tea, however this angle of looking at the intention of the loan company is really a killer point on the whole student loan debate which has been ongoing for the past few years in the UK
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
باسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن والاه
What is the ruling on participating in any of these transactions or in this business? And can one make promotional material for the company, for example website, applications, or tutorial videos about Traffic Monsoon?
If there is any transaction that is impermissible, what should the Muslim who participated ignorantly do with the money he has earned through it?
Please explain the reasoning behind any impermissible transaction, and if there is any way to make it compliant with Islamic law.
Jazakum Allahu Khairan.
Text of the Fatwa:
Written by Shaykh, Dr. Ahmad ibn Rashid Ar-Ruhaily, a member of the teaching faculty at the Islamic University in Madinah, a member of the Center of Da’wah and Irshaad (Calling and guiding to Islam), and a member of the center for Guidance and Counseling (At-Tawjeeh wal Irshaad) in the Noble Prophet’s Masjid, holding a PhD in Fiqh from the Islamic University in Madinah, with a dissertation in modern financial transactions.
All praise is due to Allah, and may His praise and peace be upon His Messenger, and upon his family, companions, and those who follow his guidance. To proceed:
It is not permissible to take part in this company called Traffic Monsoon, because it involves usury, gambling, deceit and fraud.
As for usury, then he is paying fifty, and receiving fifty-five. This is usury (ribaa).
As for the product or service, then it is superficial and unintended. The reality of the transaction is money for money, with an increase and a delay. It is from the transactions that are considered schemes to usury, and in such transactions, the product or service is ignored, and the transaction is essentially money for money.
Allah – the Most High – has prohibited usury in His Noble Qur’an; Allah, the Most Mighty and Exalted, said: “O you who have believed, do not consume usury, doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful.” [Surat Ali-Imran, 130]. And He – the Most High – said, “Allah removes any blessing from usury.” [Al-Baqarah, 276].
The second matter: It involves gambling, and this is because a person goes in with the hope of earning. Gambling is when a person pays something, and perhaps he may profit, and perhaps he may lose. So, he is either one who wins or one who loses.
And Allah – the Most High – has prohibited gambling in His Book. He the – the Most High – said, “O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful. Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist?” [Surat al-Ma’idah, 90-91].
In addition, this company involves deceit and trickery. This company deceives people; it gives those who joined first their profits, and then the loss is upon those who join last.
As for promoting this company, then this is impermissible, because this involves aiding them in prohibition. This company’s [transactions] are prohibited, and advertising for them is also prohibited, because the means to a prohibited act is also prohibited. Allah – the Most High – says, “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, and do not cooperate in sin and aggression ” [Surat al-Ma’idah, 2]
As for the one who took part in this company while not knowing its ruling, and has gained some profit, then: if he already withdrew this profit before knowing it is prohibited, then there is nothing upon him, because Allah – the Most High – says regarding money gained from usury, “So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with Allah.” [Surat al-Baqarah: 275].
However, if he did not withdraw anything before knowing that it is prohibited, then he can take the original capital that he invested, and he cannot take any of the profits. This is because Allah – the Most High – says, “O you have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers. And if you do not, then be informed of a war [against you] from Allah and His Messenger. But if you repent, you may have your capital investments- [thus] you do no wrong, nor are you wronged” [Surat Al-Baqarah: 278-279].
And in the case that he has taken any of the profits after knowing of its prohibition, then he must get rid of this prohibited money, and he cannot benefit from it whatsoever. Thus, he should give it to fulfill the debt of his Muslim brother, for example, or he can give it to the general benefit of the Muslims, such as giving it towards building roads, buildings, and so forth, with the intention of getting rid of prohibited money, and not with the intention of drawing closer to Allah with this spending. This is because Allah is pure, and only accepts that which is pure. Thus, one cannot have the intention of giving it in charity, because it is prohibited wealth. The authentic hadeeth states, “Indeed, Allah is pure, and only accepts that which is pure.”
And Allah – the Most High – knows best.
Published by Sheikh Sajid Umar, visit for Arabic translation and more information on Traffic Monsoon
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