Roll Over in Murabahah

Another rule which must be remembered and fully complied with is that murabahah transaction cannot be rolled over for a further period. In an interest-based financing, if a customer of the bank cannot pay at the due date for any reason, he may request the bank to extend the facility for another term. If the bank agrees, the facility is rolled over on the terms and conditions mutually agreed at that point of time, whereby the newly agreed rate of interest is applied to the new term. It actually means that another loan of the same amount is re-advanced to the borrower.

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Some Islamic banks or financial institutions, who misunderstood the concept of murabahah and took it as merely a mode of financing analogous to an interest-based loan, started using the concept of roll-over to murabahah also. If the client requests them to extend the maturity date of murabahah, they roll it over and extend the period of payment on an additional mark-up charged from the client which practically means that another separate murabahah is booked on the same commodity. This practice is totally against the well-settled principles of Shariah.

It should be clearly understood that murabahah is not a loan. It is the sale of a commodity the price of which is deferred to a specific date. Once the commodity is sold, its ownership is passed on to the client. It is no more a property of the seller. What the seller can legitimately claim is the agreed price which has become a debt payable by the buyer. Therefore, there is no question of effecting another sale on the same commodity between the same parties. The roll-over in murabahah is nothing but interest pure and simple because it is an agreement to charge an additional amount on the debt created by the murabahah sale.


Source: Republished with the kind permission of Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani