Mufti E Vawda
Allah is the Creator of man, and as such, knows man better than man knows himself. Allah
is also independent of His creation. He does not need man in the least bit. Yet, purely out of
unselfish love and mercy, Allah has provided man with guidance of that which is in the best
interest of man. Every single injunction of Allah is founded on complete and perfect wisdom.
Man, with his limitations, cannot be expected to fully fathom the rationale behind the various
commands of Allah. It is his duty to simply submit and unflinchingly obey.
Among the various commands of Allah is the prohibition of Riba (interest). This scourge in
society is not regarded by most (including many Muslims) to be a vice. Yet society prefers to
learn of the detrimental effects of this inherently oppressive economic system the hard way.
Allah warns us in the Holy Qur’aan:
الَّذِینَ یَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لاَ یَقُومُونَ إِلاَّ كَمَا یَقُومُ الَّذِي یَتَخَبَّطُھُ الشَّیْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّھُمْ قَالُواْ إِنَّمَا الْبَیْعُ مِثْلُ الرِّبَا وَأَحَلَّ اللَّھُ الْبَیْعَ
وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا فَمَن جَآءَهُ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِّنْ رَّبِّھِ فَانْتَھَى فَلَھُ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُ إِلَى اللَّھِ وَمَنْ عَادَ فَأُوْلَائِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ھُمْ فِیھَا خَالِدُونَ
[ [البقرة: 275
Those who eat Riba will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing
of a person beaten by Shaitan leading him to insanity. That is because they say: “Trading
is only like Riba”, whereas Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba. So
whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Riba shall not be
punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge); but whoever returns [to Riba], such
are the dwellers of the Fire – they will abide therein forever. (275)
Whilst the full extent of this insanity will be manifest on the Day of Qiyaamah, even in this world
we occasionally get a glimpse of such mental derangement. Consider the following news report
appearing in the New Age newspaper.
R1000 for a house!
De Wet Potgieter
A young single mother’s dream of owning her own house turned into a nightmare when the bank
repossessed the property and sold it for a mere R1000.
Celina Makhwayiba, a data capturer at Assupol Life in Johannesburg, tried in vain to find out from
Absa how it was possible that the house she had bought for R195000 was sold for such a low
price. “I can’t even buy an empty stand for such a laughable price,” Makhwayiba told The New
Age this week.
Absa now demands that she pays the balance of the money plus interest back to them.
“I’m financially ruined and I need answers from them,” she said. She only found out that the
property was sold for such a low price when she discovered she was blacklisted.
Makhwayiba’s sad story started three years back when she decided to buy her first house in Delft
in Cape Town and Absa in Tyger Valley granted her a bond for R195000.
Before she moved in she discovered that the house was in a bad shape and she requested Absa
to fix it, but the bank said she had to take out another loan to fix the damages herself.
“I thought Absa would advise and assist me, but they only insisted that I pay back the bond,”
She then asked Absa to take back the property because she couldn’t afford to fix the house on
her salary.She also wanted to know from Absa how was it possible for them to grant her a bond without
checking the quality of the property, but to no avail.
Makhwayiba moved to Gauteng last year and changed to another bank when she saw that Absa
had deducted a monthly amount of R2600 from her account for six months.
“I never heard from them again until I discovered I was blacklisted,” said Makhwayiba.
Earlier this year, Absa wrote a letter to her saying that the property was attached in May 2010
and it was sold three months later.
“The proceeds of the sale did not settle the full outstanding balance and you incurred the shortfall
balance of R268 239.98 which you remain liable for the payment of,” Abda’s Lindiwe Rantsane
told Makhwayiba. She is the ombudsman liaison officer for retail bank collections.
It was only in follow-up email correspondence that Makhwayiba finally managed to get an answer
from Absa about the price that her house was sold for.
“The records indicate that the property was sold for R1000.00 on August 27, 2010 (the net
realisable value was set at R1000.00),” Absa responded in an email to her.
“It’s impossible. It doesn’t make any sense for a house of R195000 to be sold for 1000,”
Makhwayiba mailed back to Absa. She didn’t get an answer.
Absa spokesperson Patrick Wadula on Wednesday confirmed to The New Age that he received a
list of questions regarding Makhwayiba’s plight and had passed it on to the customer complaints
section for comment. After two days, The New Age has not received a reply.
Such incidents are not astounding to those imbued with Imaan and who have complete trust and
confidence in the Wisdom of Allah . However, what is most disturbing is the legalisation of
Riba in the guise of Islamic terminology by so called “Islamic Banks”. May Allah save one and