Can he sell alcohol in order to pay off an interest-based loan?
Praise be to Allaah.
We put this question to Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, may Allaah preserve him, who answered as follows:
He should hasten to pay off the loan so that he will no longer be liable for riba (interest).
Question: but he is not able to do so, and he has no liquid assets. Can he keep the gas station operating until the debts are paid off?
Answer: To sell alcohol and facilitate gambling? That is not permissible.
Question: So should we tell him to break the wine bottles and close down the gambling operation, and just keep the gas station, until the debt is paid off?
Question: If he says, ‘I cannot do that, because the income from selling gas is not enough. The bank is demanding the money and if I do not pay them I will be sent to prison.’ Can he stay as he is until the debt is paid off?
Answer: No, not at all. Alcohol and gambling are not permissible at all.
And Allaah knows best.
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