As salaam wa alaikum.
Is there a lending institution available in Trinidad for Muslims to acquire financing to start a business?
Is it permissible to acquire financing from the Agricultural Development Bank in Trinidad and Tobago?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
At the outset, we commend you for your interest and sensitivity on adopting halal and abstaining from haram. We are currently unaware of any such suitable Shari’ah compliant alternatives in Trinidad, in place instead of taking loans with Riba (interest).
Shariah strictly prohibits and condemns all forms of Riba (interest). Interest is an inherent element of loans from non-Islamic banks, hence totally forbidden.
The Quran explicitly warns against the use of interest,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ. فَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا فَأْذَنُوا بِحَرْبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ.
“O those who believe, fear Allah and give up what still remains of the Riba(interest) if you are believers. But if you do not then listen to the declaration of war from Allah and His Messenger”. (AlBaqarah, verse 278,279)
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَأْكُلُوا الرِّبَا أَضْعَافًا مُضَاعَفَةً وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ.
“O you who believe! Eat not Ribâ (usury) doubled and multiplied, but fear Allâh that you may be successful.”(Al Imran verse 130).
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:
عن جابر قال: لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم آكل الربا وموكله وكاتبه وشاهديه(مسلم)
“Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) cursed the one who consumes, deals, records and bears witness for interest based transactions”. (Muslim1598)
As Muslims, even in the absence of such Halal alternatives it is imperative we strive to abstain from Haram. The Muslim community should also endeavor to provide such Halal solutions for the Muslim community.
We hope and make Dua that in the near future there will be such resources available for the Muslim community.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Arshad Ali
Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)