By: Tahar, a Telecom Engineer in France
As a young engineer living in Paris, renting was quite expensive. After some years I started thinking about making a real estate investment. I did not know so much about riba and the banking system so I started to investigate. I heard that it was not halal but I also found some arguments justifying that it could be allowed in Islam under some circumstances.
After convincing my heart and my wife that it can be halal in our situation, we decided to go for a mortgage. What stopped me was my father saying to me that he would never enter my house if I did it. For him it was crystal clear that such an investment was riba and thus haram. So we cancelled our project for a while and I started studying the banking and money system more deeply, particularly the position of Islam regarding money, interest, and Islamic finance.
I am now more than convinced that God clearly forbids riba and that it is a very big sin — a war against God, as said in the Quran.
But what about my initial purpose of a real estate investment? By the grace of God, it is achieved now. It is not a solution that is feasible for everybody but it shows that avoiding riba and instead investing is possible. We looked for a job outside Paris and bought a field with our savings. After more years of savings, we designed our future house and subcontracted the structural work.
Then, after many busy weekends and holidays, we realized our dream by saving a lot of labor costs and by learning different areas of housebuilding. It was a great adventure and the best thing is that we have been able to achieve our goal and still avoid the banking system and God’s wrath.
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