My brothers and sisters, the default setting for the Muslim is that he/she is a Wali of Allahﷻ. This is not my imagination but Allahﷻ stated that clearly in His Book and said:
أَلَآ إِنَّ أَوْلِيَآءَ ٱللَّهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ
ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَكَانُوا۟ يَتَّقُونَ
لَهُمُ ٱلْبُشْرَىٰ فِى ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَفِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ ٱلْفَوْزُ ٱلْعَظِيمُ
Yunus 10: 62-64 There will certainly be no fear for the Awlia (slaves who Allahﷻ loves) of Allah, nor will they grieve. ˹They are˺ those who are faithful and are mindful ˹of Him˺ For them is good news in this worldly life and the Hereafter. There is no change in the promise of Allah. That is ˹truly˺ the ultimate triumph
Allahﷻ, in His Infinite Mercy didn’t specify the level of Iman or Taqwa. Allahﷻ went even further and mentioned His special favor on us:
ٱللَّهُ وَلِىُّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ يُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ ٱلظُّلُمَـٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ
Baqara 2: 257 Allah is the Guardian of the Believers—He brings them out of darkness and into light.
About our last moments which we must always think about, Allahﷻ described a situation that I ask Allahﷻ for all of us, where we will be given the good news of Jannah before we leave this life. He said:
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُوا۟ رَبُّنَا ٱللَّهُ ثُمَّ ٱسْتَقَـٰمُوا۟ تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْمَلَـٰٓئِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا۟ وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا۟ وَأَبْشِرُوا۟ بِٱلْجَنَّةِ ٱلَّتِى كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ
نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَآؤُكُمْ فِى ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَفِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِىٓ أَنفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ
نُزُلًا مِّنْ غَفُورٍ رَّحِيمٍ
Fussilat 41:30-32 Surely those who say, “Our Rabb is Allah,” and then remain steadfast, the angels descend upon them, ˹saying,˺ “Do not fear, nor grieve. Rather, rejoice in the good news of Jannah, which you have been promised. We are your supporters in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. There you will have whatever your souls desire, and there you will have whatever you ask for: a welcome from the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful ˹Rabb˺.”
As I have said many times before, there are only two things that are critical needs for the human being – Dharooriyaat. Hidaya (guidance) in life and Maghfirah (Allahﷻ’s forgiveness) after death. Nothing else is Dharoori – critical. I remember and remind you that these last moments on earth are the time when everyone is afraid. Without exception everyone is fearful about a world we have not seen and in which we will not have any power to change our situation. At that time, Allahﷻ will send His Angels to comfort us and to promise to be with us in the journey and convey to us, Allahﷻ’s promise of forgiveness. Nuzul is a welcome gesture (like a drink of cold water or juice) for a thirsty traveler which is a precursor and promise of what is to follow. In this case it is the announcement of Jannah for the Wali of Allahﷻ, even before his soul leaves his body.
So, In-sha-Allahﷻ all Muslims are the Awlia of Allahﷻ. As long as we don’t commit Shirk or Kufr and we try our best to fulfill our duties, we can hope for Allahﷻ’s Forgiveness. What sense does it make to ruin this by taking interest-based loans and thereby removing ourselves from the list of Awlia of Allahﷻ and entering our names in the list of enemies of Allahﷻ? Especially because whatever we take the loan for, will remain here when we die while our action of challenging Allahﷻ and accepting the declaration of war from Him, will go with us into the Aakhira. That is how evil interest is.
Allahﷻ mentioned our Rizq in very clear terms:
اللَّهُ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاء مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَقْدِرُ لَهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
Ankabut 29: 62. Allah enlarges the provision for whom He wills of His slaves and restricts it for whom (He wills). Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of everything.
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاء وَيَقْدِرُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا بَصِيرًا
Isra 17: 30 Truly, your Rabb enlarges the provision for whom He wills and restricts (for whom He wills). Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His slaves.
أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّ اللَّهَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاء وَيَقْدِرُ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Rum 30: 37 Do they not see that Allah enlarges the provision for whom He wills and restricts (it for whom He wills). Verily, in that are indeed signs for people who believe.
قُلْ إِنَّ رَبِّي يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاء وَيَقْدِرُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
Saba 34: 36 Say (O Muhammadﷺ): “Verily, my Rabb enlarges and restricts the provision to whom He pleases, but most people know not.”
The question I ask myself and ask you to ask yourself is, ‘If our Rizq is fixed and the only choice we have is about the way we obtain it, then what sense does it make to take it from a place which Allahﷻ prohibited? Whatever we possess in this life, whether it is Halaal or Haraam, will remain here. Only what we send ahead i.e., our deeds, will remain. Allahﷻ told us very clearly.
مَا عِندَكُمْ يَنفَدُ وَمَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ بَاقٍ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ صَبَرُوٓا۟ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ
Nahl 16 : 96 Whatever you have will end, but whatever Allah has is everlasting. And We will certainly reward the steadfast according to the best of their deeds.
And for those who are still not sure and are doubtful, what sense does it make to take our Rizq from a source which is at best, doubtful?’ Ask, ‘What if I take an interest-based loan and die the next day?’ I know people to whom this happened. What if it happens to us? The fact of the matter is that what is ours, nobody can take from us. If it is not ours, nobody can give us. We can’t get more or less. All we can do is to decide the source we want to take it from. The biggest evidence and proof of that is that we will be questioned about the source and not about the quantity. So, why ruin our Aakhira and be counted among the enemies of Allahﷻ for something which even if we get it, we will have to leave it behind. Just look at all the palaces, mansions, forts, and tombs in the world. People have even forgotten the names of those who built them but those who built them are being questioned about them. Why do we think it will be any different for us? Let us build palaces in Jannah which will be ours forever.
To those who say that Rasoolullahﷺ didn’t explain Riba enough or properly and quote Sayyidina Omar ibn Al-Khattab (R)’s statement, the simple answer is that Sayyidina Omar (R) made a general statement that he would have liked to have more details. He was not saying that Rasoolullahﷺ didn’t not do his job of conveying the message. We must be very careful about our language when speaking about Allahﷻ, Rasoolullahﷺ and the Qur’an because as I said, the wrong words can get us into serious problems.
One of the most important fundamentals of our Aqeeda is to believe that Rasoolullahﷺ did his job of conveying the message of Islam completely and faultlessly. It was his job to teach Islam in every intricate detail that was necessary for us to learn to practice our Deen completely and he did this. There were Munafiqeen who criticized the detail with which Rasoolullahﷺ taught the method of Istinja (cleaning after urinating) and Istijmar (cleaning after defecating) and Salman Al-Farisi (R) replied to that. There are many other examples of the detail with which Rasoolullahﷺ taught Islam and conveyed his message. How then could he have not done so with respect to Riba (interest) against which Allahﷻ declared war? Therefore, we need to ask two questions: Did Rasoolullahﷺ convey the message, complete in all respects? If a Muslim says that Rasoolullahﷺ did not convey the complete message but left some details out, then he/she has left Islam because he has denied the Ayah of the Qur’an where Allahﷻ said:
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُۥ وَٱللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَ
Ma’ida 5: 67 O Messenger! Convey everything revealed to you from your Rabb. If you do not, then you have not delivered His message. Allah will ˹certainly˺ protect you from the people. Indeed, Allah does not guide the people who disbelieve.
If we believe that Rasoolullahﷺ conveyed the message completely, then let us follow him completely. The second thing to ask those who argue about different branches of Riba and say that some are prohibited, and others are not, is that if we believe that Rasoolullahﷺ fulfilled his responsibility of conveying the message completely and he prohibited Riba, without mentioning any categories, it means that he prohibited all categories. If some categories were not prohibited, it was his responsibility to clearly state that. If he did not do so, it can only mean that it includes all categories. The alternate explanation, ‘that he left out some detail’, is to deny the Ayah of the Qur’an and will take us out of Islam.
To understand this with an example; we know that alcohol is prohibited in Islam. If someone argues that fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana are not alcohol, so they are not banned, what will you say? That is the reason it is necessary to study Islam systematically like we study every other body of knowledge. The ruling is that by ‘alcohol’ is meant alcohol itself as well as everything which produces the effect of alcohol which is to intoxicate and interfere with our cognitive ability. And so, every kind of intoxicant is prohibited, and it is not necessary for each of them to be named separately. Likewise for all forms of gambling, extra and pre-marital sex, all lying and cheating and so on are prohibited. In Islam when something is prohibited, the prohibition extends to all its forms, in all quantities, and all ways that lead to it or have anything to do with it. Islam shuts all doors leading to prohibited things and everything related to them. The same principle applies to Riba. Safety lies in leaving whatever is prohibited because in the end no matter what it is, the material thing will remain here but our actions and the reason we took that action will go with us and we will pay the price for it. We don’t want to meet Allahﷻ as His enemies but as His obedient slaves.
To sum up, there are two things that most people say when we talk about conventional mortgages. 1. Why should I pay rent all my life? Instead, why not get a mortgage and pay the same to own my house. 2. I want to invest and leave something for my children when I die. Let us see the reality of these two things. First of all, look at the final payment figure at the end of 30 years and remind yourself that, that is the real price of the house. That is usually 2-3X of the ticket price. So, if the house is supposed to be worth $500,000, by the time you finish paying for it after 30 years, you would have paid $1-1.5 million. Does that make sense? Meanwhile, if some years after taking this loan, you die, then the bank will take away the house and the payment you made until then and your children will get nothing. What is the guarantee you have that you will not die before you finish paying for the house? Even more importantly, when you die and go before Allahﷻ, your house remains here, while your decision to go to war with Allahﷻ, goes with you. Is that how you want to meet Allahﷻ and Rasoolullahﷺ? As their enemy? Anyone who believes in the meeting with Allahﷻ on the Day of Judgment, must ask themselves this question before they take any interest-based loan. We must ask if we have Imaan or not. It is as simple as that.
As for the desire to leave an inheritance for your children, see what Allahﷻ said in Sura Al Kahf, which you must have read today. It relates specifically to leaving an inheritance for your children. Let us remember that the Qur’an came to be acted upon. Not simply to be read for Thawaab. Allahﷻ said:
وَأَمَّا ٱلْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَـٰمَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِى ٱلْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُۥ كَنزٌ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَـٰلِحًا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَن يَبْلُغَآ أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُۥ عَنْ أَمْرِى ذَٰلِكَ تَأْوِيلُ مَا لَمْ تَسْطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْرًا
Kahf 18: 82 “And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and under the wall was a treasure that belonged to them, and their father had been a righteous man. So your Rabb willed that these children should come of age and retrieve their treasure, as a mercy from your Rabb. I did not do it ˹all˺ on my own. This is the explanation of what you could not bear patiently.”
The best inheritance you can leave your children is your dua coming from a life lived by earning and eating Halaal. We indulge in doubtful matters or in Haraam and then wonder why we have sickness, accidents, loss and so on. Please remember that Allahﷻ declared Riba to be Haraam and declared war on the ones who deal in it. Rasoolullahﷺ cursed the borrower, lender, recorder, and witnesses and said they are all the same. When something is mentioned without the details of its parts, it applies to all parts. If any part was excluded, it would have been mentioned. Both in the Ayah and the Khutba of Rasoolullahﷺ, Riba is prohibited totally. Anyone who deals in interest, is saying by his action, ‘O Allahﷻ, I don’t believe that you can take care of me, so I must take this loan to take care of myself and if that means war with you, then I am ready.’ Let us not fall into the trap of Shaytaan because after we die, there’s no escape.