Does a Muslim Have to Pay Rent?


Dear Steve,

I am a landlord whose Muslim tenants have not paid their rent in six months.

What does the Koran say about repayment of a debt to a non-Muslim person?



Dear Susan,

Well, that’s an interesting academic question but this is a matter first that is covered by your state law.

When it comes to debt and Islam, you should really look at my post and video here.

Not every practitioner of any religion follows the teachings of that religion. There is an old saying that if a salesperson tells you how big of a Christian they are, you should keep an eye on your wallet.

It’s hard to tell from your question if your tenants are saying they can’t pay you because you are a non-muslim or they are just not paying and you are assuming it has something to do with you not being a Muslim.

According to this person, “In Islam, debt is an obligation that needs to be fulfilled,” he says. “Islam takes the matter of debt very seriously and warns against it and urges the Muslim to avoid it as much as possible.”

Missing a complete rent payment is different than the argument that Islam considers interest unjust.

My personal opinion is if the tenant is making a religious objection to paying rent they agreed to in a written and legal arrangement, that’s a misdirection.

Contact a landlord attorney that is licensed to practice law in your state and get some legal advice.

One thing that seems fairly apparent is that electing to not rent to anyone based on their religion can land you in hot water.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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