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For five years after moving to Houston, Pakistani immigrant Abdul-Jabbar Khan rented an apartment even though he had saved enough money to make a down payment on a house.

The 43-year-old kidney specialist at Methodist Hospital is a devout Muslim, and worried that a conventional mortgage would violate his faith's prohibition against paying interest on loans.

"For a long time I kept on saving money," Khan said. "I kept thinking I would buy a house with cash, but it just never happened."

The doctor feels like he found the literal answer to his prayers in the form of a "lease to own" agreement from American Finance House Lariba of Pasadena, Calif., one of a handful of Islamic mortgage companies in the U.S.


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