A man gives money to someone else to take abroad, then convert it to the local currency, and hand it to his family. Is this allowed? Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī

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Question: A man comes to a businessman and gives him some money; for example, a quantity of Saudi Riyals, for him to take to his family who live in another country — to be handed over in the local currency, such as the Yemeni Riyal. Is this allowed?

Answer: This is not allowed. Buying currency with another currency is allowed even if there is different quantities being exchanged, but if there is any delay in exchanges the sums, it is prohibited.[1] So giving someone the Saudi currency in Saudi Arabia, and then he later converts it to the currency of Yemen in Yemen (to be returned to your family), this is not allowed because it is ribā nasī’ah (delayed usury: where one currency is exchanged for another currency to be recieved at a later time). To free oneself from this dilemma, a person can write a cheque in the Yemeni currency to handed over to his family in Yemen; or he can hand over the money in Yemeni Riyals, to be then taken and given to his family.

Source: Fathul-Rabbil-Wudood fil-Fatāwa war-Rasāīl war-Rudood 2/68 of Al-‘Allāmah Ahmad ibn Yahyā Aali Shabīr An-Najmī (rahimahullāh).

Abu Khadeejah: Likewise, a person can send the local currency (Saudi Riyals for example) to his family via another person. Then his family can go to the bank or the money exchange and have it immediately converted to the local currency (such as the Yemeni Riyal). In these methods, there is no delay in recieving the exchanged currency.

[1] The exchange of one currency to another must be done there and then, without delay. So, if a person needs to exchange US Dollars to UK Pounds, then this is allowed; but the transaction must done immediately there and then without delay. The reason why in the question above, it is prohibited to give Saudi Riyals to a person who will then return later to give your family Yemeni Riyals, is because you are, in essense, buying Yemeni Riyals from him for Saudi Riyals, and he delays in delivering the Yemeni Riyals. This delay is not permissible and is called delayed usury (or interest).


  1. أحسن الله إليكم
    Can someone in Saudi send an agent to, e.g., get Saudi Riyals converted into Yemeni Riyals from a local Saudi bank? They are both in the same city but there would still be some delay in handing over the exchanged money to the owner, even if it takes only an hour.
    السلام عليكم وجزاكم الله خير الجزاء

    • السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
      Yes, this is allowed. For example, you give 1000 Saudi Riyals to your son or neighbour, and you ask them to go to the money exchange (or bank) and exchange that for UK Pounds. The exchange at the bank (or money exchange) will be immediate. Then they return and give you the UK Pounds. This is allowed.

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