How to Deal With Riba
As a Muslim who bows his head to his Creator it is a serious question “How to obey Him?” In a world that revolves around Riba (interest). A world that runs on it. All over the world in Banks, financing, mortgage all involve interest (Riba). There are millions of Muslims and non-Muslims who live without interest. So, this article discusses practical ways of living a successful life here without compromising success in the hereafter.
Interest from Credit and credit cards
Credit cards are the pillar of consumerism and they are also based on a system of interest-buy now and pay later. The later you pay, then the higher the interest you have to pay.
I suggest that you send your credit card back to the company in two pieces.
If you still owe money then they will continue to send you bills. So, plan now to make a final payment soon and pray that Allah liberates you from this burden.
If you are sure that you must have a credit card, you need to pay the bill in full as soon as you receive it. And if you wait for the due date, then it is likely that you will forget once in a while and end up paying interest. Since interest is forbidden, we must avoid it.
A Muslim forgot to pay his bill on time and ended up with finance charges on the next bill period. He called the service representative saying that he had always paid his bills in full and on time of the billing period. It was a mistake and he wanted the finance charges removed. In fact, it did not take long for the service agent to check his record and delete the finance charges.
Another Muslim whose request for the same thing was denied andhe wrote a letter explaining that he had paid his bills on time in full for the last seven years and have an excellent credit account. He said the company that “If you cannot remove the finance charges which I have incurred this time then maybe I need to take my business somewhere else.” The company made it clear that his position on interest was not to be compromised. After getting this letter he enclosed his MasterCard in two pieces. And within three days back, he received a call from the card issuing company consenting to his position about the charges. The MasterCard Company sent him a new card with the same credit line as before. However, the credit card contract obliges you to pay interestbut your credit history helps you to take a stand for your belief.
Banks are the center of the interest-based economical facts. Conscientious Muslims opt for a checking account instead of an interest-bearing account. It is also the reason why Islamic organizations and Masjids meet their banking needs through checking accounts. However, the bank is benefiting from your money but this is a compromise and you have little choice.
Although there are 50 Islamic banks offering banking services in 23 countries including a few Western non-Islamic banks which have Islamic beliefs. But none of these banks are available in the USA. Even it is also interesting to note that one in five American families do not have a bank account. They always cash the received money through currency exchange. And if they have to pay someone they get a money order from the post office or currier. And truly, a majority of people in the world live without a bank account.
How to deal with the interest you already own
If you have a running interest bearing account which you would like to close now, or you owned a bond and you want to sell it now to get away from interest then I congratulate you on your decision.
Give the amount of interest to any poor person. Don’t give a single penny for interest. Because, it is “Haram” for you but not for the poor. There are some Masjids have a special account to dispose of this money for the poorest of the poor. However, some scholars recommend leaving the interest money in the bank but I would not give the banks one penny. Because it is true that, it is not my money and it is not theirs either.
If we consider ALLAH’s guidelines then we need to avoid taking interest at any purpose. This is the way how we can deal with our life and financial matters.