Riba (Usury) is of two major kinds:
Riba An-Nasia - Interest on lent money
Riba Al-Fadl - Taking a superior thing of the same kind of
goods by giving more of the same kind of goods of inferior quality, eg.,dates
of superior quality for dates of inferior quality in great amounts.
definition of Interest, the literal meaning of interest or Al-Riba
as it is used in the arabic language means to excess or increase. In the
Islamic terminology interest means effortless profit or that profit which
comes free from compensation or that extra earning obtained that is free
of exchange. Riba has been described as a loan with the condition that the
borrower will return to the lender more than and better than the quantity
As muslims, our main concern when it comes to financial transactions is to
avoid Riba in any of its forms, despite the fact that the basic foundation
of the world economics and finance today is that of riba and dealing in usury.
foretold us of a time when the spread of riba would be so overwhelming that
it would be extremely difficult for the muslim to avoid it. This situation
calls for muslims to be extra cautious before deciding on what money payment
of financial methods to use in any personal or business transaction.
To make sure that we are safe from Riba, we have to learn which transactions
lead to it.
Interest in Pre-Islamic
HafizIbn hajr writes in his commentary of Sahih Bukhari (Fathul Bari), Vol.
Imam Malik reports on the authority of Zaid Ibn Aslam that in the period
of ignorance (pre-Islamic times) interest was changed according to the following
scheme. One person had a right to the property of another person. It may
have been a general right because of the amount lent or the price of something
purchased or in any other form. A time was set when the claim would be
settled.When the appointed time arrived the creditor would ask the debtor
if he wanted to settle the claim or pay interest with an extension of time.
If the claim was settled then there was no increase in the payment. Otherwise
the debtor would increase the amount payable and the creditor would extend
the period further.
Hadith - Sahih Bukhari, Volume
3, No. 299; Narrated Aun bin Abu Juhaifah, r.a.
My father bought a slave who practised the
profession of cupping, (My father broke the servants instruments of cupping).
I asked my father why he had done so. He replied, "The Prophet forbade the
acceptance of the price of a dog or blood, and also forbade the profession
of tatooing, or getting tatooed and receiving or giving Riba (Usury), and
cursed the picture makers."
Hadith - Sahih Bukhari, 2.468,
Narrated Samura bin Jundab, r.a.
He speaks of in a dream related to the Prophet
(SAW) that there is a river of blood and a man was in it, and another man
was standing at its bank with stones in front of him,facing the man standing
in the river. Whenever the man in the river wanted to come out , the other
one threw a stone in his mouth and caused him to retreat back into his original
was told that these people in this river of blood were people
who dealt in Riba (usury).
The Noble Qur'an - Al-Baqarah
275. Those who eat Ribâ (usury) will
not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person
beaten by Shaitân (Satan) leading him to insanity. That is because
they say: "Trading is only like Ribâ (usury)," whereas Allâh
has permitted trading and forbidden Ribâ (usury). So whosoever receives
an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Ribâ (usury) shall not
be punished for the past; his case is for Allâh (to judge); but whoever
returns [to Ribâ (usury)], such are the dwellers of the Fire - they
will abide therein.
276. Allâh will destroy Ribâ (usury)
and will give increase for Sadaqât (deeds of charity, alms, etc.) And
Allâh likes not the disbelievers, sinners.
277. Truly those who believe, and do deeds
of righteousness, and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât),
and give Zakât, they will have their reward with their Lord. On them
shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
278. O you who believe! Be afraid of Allâh
and give up what remains (due to you) from Ribâ (usury) (from now onward),
if you are (really) believers.
279. And if you do not do it, then take a notice
of war from Allâh and His Messenger but if you repent, you shall have
your capital sums. Deal not unjustly (by asking more than your capital sums),
and you shall not be dealt with unjustly (by receiving less than your capital
280. And if the debtor is in a hard time (has
no money), then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay, but if you
remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know.
281. And be afraid of the Day when you shall
be brought back to Allâh. Then every person shall be paid what he earned,
and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.
The Noble Qur'an - Al-Imran
O you who believe! Eat not Ribâ (usury)
doubled and multiplied, but fear Allâh that you may be successful.
The following three ahadith have been taken from Mishkat-ul-Masabih
under the section of interest and the English translation has been taken
from its English version written by Al Hajj Moulana Fazl Karim (218-227
Hazrat Jabir r.a. has reported that the Messenger
cursed the devourer of usury, its payer, its scribe and its two
witnesses. He also said that they were equal (in sin).
Hazrat Abu Hurairah r.a. reported that the
said : A time will certainly come over
the people when none will remain who will not devour usury. If he does not
devour it, its vapour will overtake him.
Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiyallahu anhu reported
that the Messenger of Allah
said: I came across some people in the
night in which I was taken to the heavens.Their stomachs were like houses
wherein there were serpents,which could be seen from the front of the stomachs.
I asked :O Gabriel! Who are these people? He replied these are those who
devoured usury. [Ahmed,Ibn
Hazrat Al-Khudri radiyallahu anhu reported
that the Prophet
said: Gold in exchange for gold, silver
in exchange for silver, wheat in exchange for wheat, barley in exchange for
barley,dates in exchange for dates, salt in exchange for salt is in the same
category and (should be exchanged) hand to hand, so whoever adds or demands
increase he has practised usury. The giver and taker are the
After reading the above, it is apparent to us that interest is haram
(prohibited). How could anybody even take the time out to think about
a matter in which Allah has declared war on the user and his Beloved Prophet
cursed him? As sensible people we can understand that what our Creator has
chosen for us is for our own prosperity and benefit.
Islam has encouraged men to earn their own provision and provide for their
families. The condition is that the earning has to be according to the
Shariah. These rules can be found under the heading of trade in the
books of jurisprudence. Interest is amongst those conditions which all dealings
must be free from.
Imam Abu Hanifah has ruled that if the measurement system (volumetric or
in compounds) is the same and the two items are in the same category, then
they should be sold in the same amount and direct not in credit otherwise
interest will be found.
Imam Shafee says that if the items are valuable and could be considered
food then there is the chance of interest.
Imam Malik says that if the items are valuable and are edible then interest
is a subject.
of Islamic Banks & Financing
Action Items for
Giving and taking
interest is Islamically unlawful.
A person who takes
interest does not gain anything in reality but through the explanation of
the Quran verse.
In reality the money
through riba just goes to waste and the person does not even realize it,
and a person who gives money in the path of Allah, in whatever form it may
be, actually gains although in reality it may seem as though he is losing
Every person should
take all necessary precautions in their financial and social dealings. If
a person neglects in keeping a watchful eye on financial dealings, this
negligence will slowly spread to other aspects of religion, having a very
Interest is hazardous
and should be abstained from in all manners. If anybody has a case
they wish to solve then they should contact a knowledgeable person in this
deen of Islam and present their problem as well as in all cases every individual
should continue to seek Allahs forgiveness and guidance.
In order to own
a credit card and avoid paying riba, you must make payment on purchases before
the statement comes in, i.e. send the credit card company the check for payment
as soon as you make the purchase. If you are too tempted and unable
to purchase things without immediately paying for them (and thereby will
be charged interest), don't use them or don't even have them. Fear
As a reminder to us
all, Allah(SWT) has told us in the Quran [2:279] if we dont give
up interest , we must take notice of a war from Allah!
Are you ready to go
into battle against Allah(SWT)?
Will you and your army
of feeble credit cards be sufficient to do battle with Allah(SWT)?
How can you justify
doing something thats Haram?
Muslims who are in
debt and do not want to participate in riba, or those who need financial
advice are encouraged to consult with Islamic Finance
companies and banks.
Remember... Allah, subhana watala,
sees everything we do!