Movin’ On Up

A common sight around Jeddah are buildings that have upper floors added to them after a period of time. This happens frequently when the owner has enough money to build maybe one or two floors to start with, and then a few years later accummulates more money to pay for additional floors added on top of the existing building. Many times the new floors will accommodate the owner’s children and their families, or the space will be rented out to supply additional income for the owner. The idea of charging or paying interest on a bank loan is forbidden in Islam. But there are ways around it. Up front service charges can be applied, or the bank can make the purchase, which is then sold at a profit to the customer who can make payments. Interest earned on a savings account is also considered “haram” (forbidden) in Islam because money made without any action, like buying, selling, making a profit, etc., is wrong. Usury is considered to be exploitation of the poor by Islam and is to be avoided at all costs. Consequently many people here operate on a cash only basis, avoiding the pitfalls which are against Islam that savings and loans tend to represent.


About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Architecture, Buildings, Culture, Middle East, Photo, Religion, Saudi Arabia and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Movin’ On Up

  1. “Usury is considered to be exploitation of the poor by Islam…”

    Actually, “usury” is exploitation of the poor – and is prohibited in all legal systems. The question is “at what rate does interest become usurious?” Saudi Arabia, as is often the case, opts for a stricter definition than other Muslim countries – but it is by no means the only possible interpretation.

  2. Dina says:

    Thanks for this teaching, Susie, very interesting about the money.
    Our ultra-religious have some similar ways to cope with the rules.

    Here too you often see rebar sticking out of the top floor of a house, waiting for some future addition.

  3. leif hagen says:

    Very interesting posting about bank loans and building up additional floors!
    Leif of the one year anniversary Eagan Daily Photo

  4. Yanbulady says:

    Hi Susie,
    I love the way you choose photo’s or topics which I take for granted and no even think about…On this one I would like to add that they also add a floor to their house when marrying a second, third or maybe even fourth wife..

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