Sat 19 Jm2 1435 - 19 April 2014

Cash back awards for users of credit cards

In reference to Question 3402: Some Credit Card companies give you bonus or cash back award on the usage of the credit card, is the cash back award 'halaal' or is it 'riba'? Also, if one buys fix Certificates -- the capital is used by the government in business and projects -- and get a fixed profit of a certain percent, e.g., let say 6%, then is this profit comes under the category of 'Riba'?
Please explain these two questions in the light of Qur'an and Sunnah.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly: dealing with interest-based banks is not permissible except in cases of necessity, because it is a kind of cooperation in sin and transgression. Their giving awards to encourage people to deal with them is a kind of encouraging people to do haraam things and comes under the rulings on such things. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… Help you one another in Al-Birr and Al-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety), but do not help one another in sin and transgression” [al-Maa’idah 5:2]

Secondly: guaranteed profits are not permissible, because the basic principle in sharee’ah is that .... and that one accepts that if there is the chance of making a profit, there is also the chance of losing. If the government borrows money from the people and gives them a fixed profit, these are interest-based bonds which are forbidden, and it is not permissible to deal with them at all. And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
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