Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Guidance Residential and like minded mortgage companies doing riba-free business?

One of our brothers in Islam was looking to buying a house by the help of Islamic finance. But he was confused and curious about the existing Islamic home finance companies. There are many other brothers like him.

Guidance Residential is a company that boasts about financing billions of dollars worth of houses in USA. Besides, they are helping people working with them, by providing jobs, Guidance's activities are being questioned.

Ulema say that they are not following Islamic shariah law about financing houses. Many brothers already bought their houses with Guidance Residential. Many others with limited ability, are trying to buy houses with Islamic finance. Both these groups of brothers are now in dilemma about what they should do.

The general explanation the company gives us is - it is kind of rent to buy. The portion of ownership between Guidance and the home-buyer is calculated. According to the agreement the home-buyer is buying back the ownership of the house with monthly installments or mortgage payments, plus paying rent to Guidance for the company's portion of ownership. This explanation seems to be good as far as Islamic finance is concerned.

But ulema say, they're not doing, what they're saying. First of all they are calculating home-buyers' payments by interest rate. So, different home-buyers get different interest rates. Second accusation is - Guidance resells their mortgages. And also offer refinance for the same house that is under their account. Third accusation against Guidance is - they are working for conventional banks, i.e. they are investing money in Islamic home finance from Bank of America or other such banks.

Because of these accusations common Muslim brothers are suffering from confusion and dilemma as they want to buy houses with limited ability. Others are staying away from companies like Guidance Residential because they fear Allah and don't want to take any chance about it.

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