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Home Q&A Trade and Commerce Interest Loan for Medical Treatment

Q: An old man hardly gets his lively hood. His son suffers from kidney failure and he needs a loan for the treatment of his son. He could not manage to arrange amount from any where and is forced to get loan from bank:

  1. Is the loan justifiable under this compulsion?
  2. If his act is not justifiable under Islamic law, what options does he have to save life of his son?
  3. Which is the relevant rule in Quraan and Sunnah under which getting loan on interest (Riba) is Haraam? Because it is said that eating Riba is Haraam where as giving (interest) Riba is not Haraam?

A: Shari'ah gives permission to take a loan on interest in dire circumstances and when there is no possibility of a loan from another source without interest. (Al Ashbaah Wan Nadhaa'ir V1 P114, Bahrur Raa'iq V6 P137). The condition of the son suffering from kidney failure is a matter of life and death and will be considered ‘dire circumstances’ under which unlawful becomes lawful till the need is fulfilled; hence a loan on interest in this instance will be allowed.

2) However, the father should try his utmost to get an interest free loan and if he was not successful in this regard then only will he be allowed to take a loan on interest.

3) There is Hadeeth narrated by Sayyidina Abu Sa'eed Khudri (Radhiyallaahu Anhu) which mentions that the taker and giver of Ribaa (interest) are the same. (Mustadrak Haakim V2 P56, Daaru Qutni V3 P25). This Hadeeth clearly states that the giver and taker are sinful. The notion, therefore, that only taking Ribaa is Haraam and not giving, is erroneous.

Although one is forced to take a loan on interest because of dire circumstances, he should continuously resort to Istighfaar for this during the duration of the loan. Also, he should endeavour to settle the loan as soon as possible to get out of this situation.

Allah Ta'aala knows best.


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