Enjoying Free Services against given Loan.

17 Feb 2019 Ref-No#: 1367

Aslamo-alaekum.

As we all know ‘Riba/Usury’ is ‘Unjustified increment in borrowing or lending money, paid in kind or in money above the amount of loan’.

If someone takes loan ($1000) from you and pay you back the same amount which is ($1000) after one year, but he offers you some ‘FREE SERVICES or BENEFITS’ during this period of 1 year due to the loan he took.
Like he could be your driver/security guard etc. He does not take ‘Salary/Charges/Fee’ of his service during one year as he offered at the time of taking loan.

So my question is that, ‘Are these ‘FREE SERVICES’ which someone takes/enjoys against the loan he has given, also falls in the category of loan or not’ ??

Same scenario applies on some banks, which offers us ‘FREE Safe deposit lockers’ without any fee/charges on a condition if we deposit some amount in bank as a ‘SECURITY FEE’ which is refundable on any time whenever we vacant that locker. We know they will use our money in any business which will provide them profit more than the fee of locker and they are not in loss.
But this security fee which we give to bank is neither investment which is going to produce business for us and going to give us profit nor fee which is going to be consumed, this looks like loan which we have given to bank which is refundable by bank on any time in any condition.

So taking this free service of ‘FREE Safe deposit lockers’ against our deposited money falls in Riba category or not, Hilal for us or Haram????

Need help and advice.

Jazak-Allah

Answer

Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

It is not permissible for a creditor to take any benefits from a debtor. It is reported in a Hadith,

عن عمارة الهمداني قال: سمعت عليا يقول: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: كل قرض جر منفعة فهو ربا (أخرجه الحارث – 1 / 500)

“Every loan that reaps benefit is a form of interest.” (Musnad al-Harith, 1/500)

 In another narration it comes,

عن يزيد بن أبى يحيى قال سألت أنس بن مالك فقلت : يا أبا حمزة الرجل منا يقرض أخاه المال فيهدى إليه فقال قال رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم-إذا أقرض أحدكم قرضا فأهدى إليه طبقا فلا يقبله أو حمله على دابة فلا يركبها إلا أن يكون بينه وبينه قبل ذلك (أخرجه البيهقي في السنن الكبرى – 5/ 350)

Yazeed bin Abi Yahya said: “I asked Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him): ‘What if a man gives his brother a loan, then (the borrower) gives him a gift?’ He replied by saying, ‘The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said: ‘If anyone of you borrow something then he gives (the lender) a gift or gives him a ride on his animal, he should not accept the gift or the ride, unless they used to treat each other in that manner from before.’” (Sunan al-Kubra, 5/350)

The great Tabi’, ‘Ataa said,

عن عطاء ، قال : كانوا يكرهون كل قرض جر منفعة (أخرجه ابن أبي شيبة في مصنفه – 6/ 180)

“They (Sahabah) detested any loan which brings with it additional benefits” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba, 6/180)

From the above it is clear that if a person gives a loan, he cannot demand additional services and benefits, like taking the services of a security guard, driver etc.

As for the bank, it will depend entirely upon the contract. If the bank is informing the depositor upfront that the funds which you are depositing is a security fee, then it is clear that this would not be a loan, but rather a Rahn (collateral). If the bank uses this Rahn, then the sin is upon them for abusing the Rahn.

Alternatively, the security boxes could be considered as a Hibah (gift) from the bank. Binding the bank to give the rewards which is a Shart Faasid (incorrect condition) in the Hibah. In Hibah, the Shart Fasid falls off and the Hibah is complete. Accordingly, the depositor cannot use his legal right to demand the gift.

Another way of looking at it is that many scholars are of the view that “money deposited into one’s bank account does not constitute a loan at all. The true purpose behind placing funds into one’s account is so that the bank fulfils certain tasks on behalf of the account holder such as paying off one’s creditors. Otherwise, what would be the purpose of paying a multitude of bank fees when one simply intends to loan money to the bank? Simply put, you loan the bank money and on top of it, the bank charges you a fee! In terms of Shari’ah, we may say that the bank is an employee (ajīr) of the account holder who is paid wages (ujrah) in the form of bank fees for managing one’s money. The fact that the bank uses one’s money for their own purpose will be classified as dishonesty (khiyānah) from the side of the bank since it is outside the control of the account holder (i.e. musta’jir). Based on this explanation, since the entire procedure does not involve a loan, the question of Ribā does not even come up .”(http://askimam.org/public/question_detail/29009)

From the afore-mentioned it is clear that there are various ways which the contract could be designed. The best would be to ask the Islamic board of the bank for further explanations, or to send the contract to the local ‘Ulama in your country and ask them to explain the ruling in light of the contract.

References

وحدثنا أبو يوسف عن أبي حنيفة عن حماد عن إبراهيم أنه كان يكره كل قرض جر منفعة  )  الأصل للشيباني  –   3/ 22)

قال محمد رحمه الله في كتاب الصرف: إن أبا حنيفة كان يكره كل قرض جر منفعة قال الكرخي: هذا إذا كانت المنفعة مشروطة في العقد بأن أقرض عادلية صحاحاً أو ما أشبه ذلك، فإن لم تكن المنفعة مشروطة في العقد، فأعطاه المستقرض أجود مما عليه فلا بأس به   (المحيط البرهاني في الفقه النعماني  – 7/ 126)

 (و) فيها (القرض لا يتعلق بالجائز من الشروط فالفاسد منها لا يبطله ولكنه يلغو شرط رد شيء آخر فلو استقرض الدراهم المكسورة على أن يؤدي صحيحا كان باطلا) وكذا لو أقرضه طعاما بشرط رده في مكان آخر (وكان عليه مثل ما قبض) فإن قضاه أجود بلا شرط جاز ويجبر الدائن على قبول الأجود وقيل لا بحر (رد المحتار – 165 / 5)

فظهر أن الأولى بالقبول هو الفرق بين المشروط وغير المشروط، وأن المشروط أعم من أن يكون صراحة أو حكما لكون المعروف كالمشروط.فإلى الله المشتكى من صنيع جهلاء زماننا يشترطون الإذن في الرهن أو يقصدون ذلك، وأنه لولاه لما ارتهنوا ذلك، ويظنون جوازه أخذا من قول الفقهاء يجوز بالإذن، وشتان ما بين مرادهم ومرادهم (الفلك المشحون فيما يتعلق بانتفاع المرتهن والمرهون – ص: 39)