Can one inherit property acquired with interest funds?

Question:

As salaamu alaikum.

My question is regarding the following scenario:

Bakr had bought a piece of land and made a house for himself and his family. One of his sons is Hassan. Bakr does not consider bank interest as the kind of interest that has been prohibited in the Shariah. Therefore, he keeps his money in the bank and also keeps the interest he obtains for his own personal needs. Using that contaminated income, he had purchased that land. In addition to that, due to lack of adequate funds, Bakr had also taken home loans from banks which charge interest on the loans. Those loans, including the interest, was paid off by him before his death. Now, the other sons and daughters of Bakr are interested to stay elsewhere and have, therefore, relinquished all their claims to that house. Only Bakr’s son, Hassan intends to stay there permanently with his wife and children. However, in spite of that intention, he is hesitant to stay in that house as it was made with interest-bearing money and the interest-bearing home loan was also used in the process. Therefore, he does not know whether it is permissible for him to stay in that house and use it. On the other hand, Hassan is also finding it quite difficult to make a house of his own, buy a flat, or even get a rented house at an affordable price.

Now, my question is: Is it permissible for him to stay in and use that house (the house that his father had made), given this scenario?

(Original question adjusted for posting)

Answer:

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

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Your family’s concern to adopt halaal is a sign of your taqwa and Allah consciousness. As you have noted, interest is a major sin and one must abstain from it in all it’s forms.

Even if one engages in the sinful act of interest to purchase a property, it will be considered a legitimate ownership and the Shari’ah Laws of Inheritance will apply. It is therefore permissible to accept such a property in inheritance and the brother may stay in the mentioned house.

However if it is possible to identify an average amount of interest monies used in the purchase of the property, that amount should be given away to the needy if the heirs has the financial ability, with the hope that Allah Ta’ala will forgive the father for using the interest.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Arshad Ali

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom (Trinidad)

www.fatwa-tt.com /www.jaamia.net