Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
As is common knowledge, interest-based transactions and the taking or giving of loans on interest is completely, decisively and categorically forbidden (haram) in Islam, hence there can be no justification for it. The evidences for its prohibition and sternness are clear and well-known in the Qur’an and Sunnah. To reject the prohibition of Riba is considered disbelief (kufr) and to be involved in it a major sin.
Explain to your friend that taking of loans on interest is a major sin, regardless of whether the loan is to start a business or otherwise. He must look for permitted alternatives in order to initiate his business, for which he may refer to some Islamic banks or financial institutions.
It should be remembered here, however, that if one initiated a business by taking interest-based loans, and gained profit on lawful (halal) business, the profit earned would be Halal, although the act of taking interest-based loans was unlawful.
Your friend says that he earns the money by working hard, hence if his business is lawful, the money and income gained will be lawful (halal) even if the business was initiated with an interest based loan. However, he must repent to Allah Most High and abstain at once from taking further loans on interest. May Allah guide us all, Ameen.
And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK
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