Posted on April 23, 2024

Halal Mortgages in Federal Budget About ‘Being Equal’ for Muslims, Providers Say

Anis Heydari, CBC, April 20, 2024

Federal budget references to mortgage products aimed at Canadian Muslims have members of the community celebrating, along with the mortgage providers that look to serve them, despite a lack of detail from the government on what is to come.

In Tuesday’s budget documents, the federal government indicated that it’s “exploring new measures to expand access” to financing methods such as “halal mortgages.”

The budget provided few details about the plan, other than to say the government had been consulting “financial services providers and diverse communities” and that an update would come in the 2024 fall economic statement. Despite no specifics, it was a welcome addition to the budget for the Muslim community.


Several firms in various Canadian provinces offer halal mortgages. Halal is an Arabic word that translates in English to “permitted” or “allowed” under Islamic law.

These mortgages are deliberately structured to adhere to both Canadian law and the belief systems of many Muslims. Interest, which is referred to in many Islamic texts as “riba,” is forbidden.

Although interest isn’t charged, there are still costs associated with halal mortgages. In many cases, the costs are higher than those associated with conventional mortgages, and the mortgages are often not available at the branches of mainstream financial institutions.


Muslims looking for a halal mortgage are still going to be paying carrying costs for a loan to purchase their home.

Providers in the industry said these costs can be higher because while there is demand, there are fewer providers — and some halal mortgage providers are unable to foreclose due to religious restrictions, which can increase what some financiers assess as risk.

That could be changing with the federal announcement, say executives with Islamic mortgage provider Eqraz Inc., based in Oakville, Ont. The company has said there’s already a positive impact just from the five sentences in the federal budget regarding halal mortgages.

“I’m already seeing traction in our favour,” said Zuhair Naqvi, the firm’s founder and CEO, adding he believes that a mention in high-profile federal policies leads to credibility.


Naqvi said this is not about elevating Islamic mortgages above non-religious financial products or those that target members of other faiths.

“Halal mortgages do not provide a privilege to us,” Naqvi said, adding it’s about “being equal to non-Muslims.”