What is the ruling regarding a person who embraces Islam while he is a party to an usurious contract?

Ribaa deprives wealth of all blessing and is bound to lead to economic crises.

What is the ruling regarding a person who embraces Islam while he is a party to an usurious contract?

This involves two cases:

  1. If he is the party that takes interest, he is only entitled to his capital and must desist, as soon as he embraces Islam, from taking any interest whatsoever, as the Qur’an states, “But if you repent, you may have your capital, without wronging and without being wronged.” (Soorat Al-Baqarah, 2: 279) If he receives any further interest after embracing Islam, he can get rid of it by donating it to charity to support charitable causes.
  2. If he is the party that pays interest, two cases are involved here:
    • If he can cancel the contract without incurring huge losses, then he must do so.
    • If, however, he cannot cancel the contract except by incurring huge losses, he may fulfil the terms of the contract but must show strong determination not to enter into such contracts ever again in the future, as the Qur’an states, “Whoever is given a warning by his Lord and then desists, may keep what he received in the past and his affair is Allah’s concern. As for those who return to it, they will be the Companions of the Fire, remaining in it timelessly, for ever.” (Soorat Al-Baqarah, 2: 275)

 

  • Are you the creditor and the party that takes interest?
    • Yes => You are only entitled to your capital without taking any interest whatsoever.
    • No => If you are the party that pays interest, can you cancel the usurious contract without incurring huge losses?
      • Yes => You must cancel the contract if you can without incurring any losses
      • No => You may fulfil the terms of the contract but must show strong determination not to enter into such contracts ever again in the future.