Assalamualaikum SS Mufti. I would like to ask; what is the ruling of lending money to a friend who makes income through prostitution? It is because, he fails to pay his house rent for the past 2 months.
Is it permissible for me to lend money to him or is this considered as cooperating towards evildoing? Hope for an explanation.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Generally, it is permissible for a Muslim to help other Muslims who need help including financial aid whether through a gift, sadaqah or a loan. In the above situation, loan is given for daily usage like paying house rent. So, it is permissible.
However, the permissibility may change into haram if one knows by certainty that the debtor will spend the money towards sinning like purchasing supplies related to prostitution, intoxicants, drugs and etc.
At the same time, the creditor should take this situation as a chance to advise his friend to leave wrongdoing and sinful acts, because befriending a sinner with contentment without having any intention and effort to give advice is something prohibited in the religion.
Prostitution and fornication undeniably a great sin known by all Muslims. Its prohibition is clearly stated in the Quran through His saying:
وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنَىٰ ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاءَ سَبِيلًا
And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.
Surah al-Isra’ (32)
Ibn Kathir explains in his tafsir that Allah prohibit His servants from committing zina and actions which may lead to it through the causes and calls towards it.
Refer Tafsir al-Azim (5/72)
Sheikh Dr Yusuf al-Qaradhawi said: If we analyze, all Abrahamic religion had decided on the prohibition of adultery and refuted it greatly. The latest religion among them is Islam. Religion relentlessly prohibits zina because it will cause harm to one’s lineage, cause baby dumping, defame the relatives’ honor, wreck silaturrahim among family members, spread fatal disease like HIV, make lust overpowers everything as well as degrading one’s moral.
(Refer: al-Halal wa al-Haram fi al-Islam, 267-268)
Besides, Islam relentlessly prohibits the doing that the doer not only deserve a punishment in the Hereafter, but also in the world, in which a specific great punishment is given to the adulterers like stoning, caning and expel.
The Concept of Lending
Next, helping others like providing financial aid is a commendable act in Islam, especially to help those in hardships and sufferings in facing their daily life.
This encouragement is based on the saying of Allah SWT:
مَّن ذَا الَّذِي يُقْرِضُ اللَّـهَ قَرْضًا حَسَنًا فَيُضَاعِفَهُ لَهُ أَضْعَافًا كَثِيرَةً ۚ وَاللَّـهُ يَقْبِضُ وَيَبْسُطُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned.
Surah al-Baqarah (245)
Loan to Allah other than sadaqah generally means lending money among humans. Among the greatest wisdom of the sanctioning of giving financial aid to others is due to habits of humans to not ask from other unless when in desperate situation.
So, when the religion acknowledges lending as one of the ways to fulfill others’ needs, it is considered as a commendable act rather than sadaqah because in sadaqah, there is a big possibility that the receiver is not in desperate situation at that time.
This virtue is also mentioned in a hadith narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar RA that the Prophet PBUH said:
الْمُسْلِمُ أَخُو الْمُسْلِمِ، لاَ يَظْلِمُهُ وَلاَ يُسْلِمُهُ، وَمَنْ كَانَ فِي حَاجَةِ أَخِيهِ كَانَ اللَّهُ فِي حَاجَتِهِ، وَمَنْ فَرَّجَ عَنْ مُسْلِمٍ كُرْبَةً فَرَّجَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ كُرْبَةً مِنْ كُرُبَاتِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَمَنْ سَتَرَ مُسْلِمًا سَتَرَهُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ
"A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor. Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother, Allah will fulfill his needs; whoever brought his (Muslim) brother out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection, and whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection"
Sahih al-Bukhari (2442)
Lending Money to a Prostitute
Pertaining to the above situation, we are of the opinion that it is not wrong for a person to lend money to his friend who is in desperate situation and need of the aid even if he or she is a prostitute.
This is because, helping others specifically towards good like helping someone to get enough food and drinks, settling one’s immediate debt like house rent and etc. is a permissible act, and even highly encouraged in religion.
However, the permissibility may change into makruh or even haram if the creditor is certain that the debtor will use the money to loiter around or be involved in any prohibited transaction like purchasing sex appliances to do zina, gambling, buying intoxicants and etc.
(Refer: al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, 6/103)
At the same time, aid given when one in desperate situation should be one of the factors and causes for them to listen to the advice given from the one who offers the aid due to the feeling of indebtedness.
It is unreasonable for a Muslim to let his brother who is in need being left unentertained merely due to the sins he committed. Besides, feeling content befriending a sinner without having any intention and effort to advise him is something prohibited in the religion.
In a hadith narrated by Abi Sa’id al-Khudry RA, the Prophet PBUH said:
لاَ تُصَاحِبْ إِلاَّ مُؤْمِنًا وَلاَ يَأْكُلْ طَعَامَكَ إِلاَّ تَقِيٌّ
Associate only with a believer, and let only a God-fearing man eat your meals.
Sunan Abu Dawud (4832)
Based on the above hadith, it is clearly stated that merely helping a sinner without having any intention of giving da’wah is something prohibited because it shows our support upon the act. It should come with the intention and effort of da’wah to call towards good and prevent bad.
When commenting on the meaning “and let only a God-fearing man eat your meals”, author of Aun al-Ma’bud (9/2116) cited the opinion of Imam Khattabi Rhm that the prohibition from feeling content to befriend non God-fearing is due to that eating with them regularly may instill love among them.
The alternative which is among the wise and thoughtful way is by helping them in giving financial aid and spiritual input as well as inner strength through sincere advice and guidance so that they may be out of this sinful act. This is the true character of a dai’e.