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Is it permissible to join a ‘stokvel’?

Q: A trend these days is being part of a ‘stokvel’. There are different kinds of groups for this and one of them is you join for R200 and make R1200 according to the number you are appointed to on a list of names. Is this permissible?

A: It is permissible for a group of people to enter into an arrangement whereby each of them contribute an equal monthly contribution to a pool each month and one of the participants is granted these funds as a lump sum each month. However, the following should be borne in mind:

Each person’s contribution should be equal and timely. Interest may not be charged in case some participants delay in payment.

Each person’s contribution is regarded as a loan to the participant who enjoys use of the collective funds for that month.

Whoever has use of the funds is required to pay back this loan. Should such a person pass away before the end of the period, the amount outstanding is a debt on such person’s estate.

To avoid disputes, a basic written agreement should be in place for this purpose and it should be reviewed by a competent Aalim.

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best
Darul Ihsan Fatwa Department

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