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Is Mortgage Permissible in Nigeria?

Question and answer details
Muslim
2012/09/15
As-salamu `alaykum. We live in the capital city of Nigeria where the cost of renting an apartment is very high. There is a house meant for sale in the neighborhood but we don't have the cash to buy it. I advise my husband to take mortgage from a commercial bank where he worked (there is only one Islamic bank in Nigeria and it commences operations in 2012) but he insisted that the loan has RIBA; he can’t take it. I tried to explain the "LAW OF NECESSITY" as issued by the committee of scholars in Detroit in 1999, but he says that we don’t meet the third condition provided, because he believes that with our earnings, six-year savings can get us a house without any RIBA loan. The problem is that after the six years, we can’t still afford a house in that location due to inflation; we can only afford at the outskirt of the town which could be far away from our places of work. Please, I need your advice-1) Can we take the mortgage based on the law of necessity?2) Can we take the loan if we can liquidate it within 4 years?May Allah continue to bless and guide you as you enlighten us on Islam?
Monzer Kahf
Answer

Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

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Dear sister, thank you for your question that shows your commitment to stick to the rulings of Islam in your financial dealings.

It is the responsibility of the Muslim families to highly observe their finance, especially regarding riba (usury) which is strictly forbidden in Islam.

AS for your case, you have not reached the level of necessity (darurah), so you have to avoid this kind of dealings so as to avoid unlawful (haram) financing which has fatal consequences on the whole family affairs.

In his response to your question, Dr. Monzer Kahf, a prominent economist and counselor, states,

Dear noble sister, your husband is 100% right. The necessity concept applies to minorities not to the Muslims of Nigeria. Muslims in Nigeria should have established several Islamic banks by now. Not only one.

Besides, thanks to Allah that an Islamic bank is established there and it’s close to you, just in Abuja. You can use the facility from the Islamic bank. There are also other companies that provide Islamic finance companies which you can contact. One of them is Lotus Capital.

Allah Almighty knows best.


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