Concept of Usury in Islam
Praise be to Allah the Lord of the worlds, he permitted trade and forbade usury. May the commendations and peace of Allah be upon the last of the messenger. He explained the ruling on usury, warned against usury and cursed the giver, taker and accountant of usury. These commendations and peace extend to his household, companions and all those who follow them till the day of recompense.
The Promise of Shaitan
The ruling on usury (ribaa) in Islam shouldn’t need serious explanations. The disbeliever know the Islamic ruling on usury let alone the one who claims to be a Muslim. However, ignorance and carefree attitudes of our time have overpowered many and made them deviate to the path of destruction laid by Shaitan the chief deceiver.
Shaitan promised to lead the offspring of Adam astray as Allah said:
[Iblis] said: “because you have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on your straight path
Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them as thankful ones (i.e. they will not be dutiful to you).” [al-A’araf: 16-17]
He indeed fulfilled this promise, in every generation, only a few are dutiful to Allah, the majority follow Shaitan as Allah said:
[And indeed Iblis (satan) did prove true his thought about them, and they followed him except a group of true believers (in the Oneness of Allah)] (Saba: 20)
One of such traps and thoughts of Shaitan is Usury. Shaitan has made usury a trivial matter to many, more trivial than a mosquito bite rather more trivial than an ant stealing from a warehouse of sugar! We ask Allah for safety from usury.
Ruling on Usury from the Quran
In reality usury is a great sin in the religion of Islam which is the only religion that leads to salvation this is because usury is transgression against the legislations of Allah the creator of the seven heavens and the seven earths, it is also a transgression on the rights of other humans. The one who ponders on the effects of usury in the world we live today will bear witness to this fact. We seek Allah’s protection from the evils of our time.
Allah the most high clearly prohibits usury in His Book:
[O you who believe eat not usury (ribaa) doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful]. [Aal-Imraan: 130)
Allah also promises the consumers of usury an evil experience on the day of recompense:
[Those who eat usury (ribaa) will not stand (on the day of resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaitan (satan) leading him to insanity. That is because they say: “trading is only like usury (ribaa)”. Whereas Allah has permitted trading and forbidden usury. So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Usury shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge). But whoever returns [to usury]. Such are the dwellers of the fire- they will abide therein.]
Ruling on Usury from the hadith
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنهـ عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال:
اجتنبوا السبع الموبقات, قالوا يا رسول الله وما هن قال الشرك بالله والسحر وقتل النفس التي حرم الله إلا بالحق وأكل الربا وأكل مال اليتيم والتولي يوم الزحف وقذف المحصنات الغافلات المؤمنات
رواه البخاري ومسلم وأبو داود والنسائي
Abu Hurayrah (Allah be pleased with him) said:
The messenger of Allah (commendations and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
Avoid the seven destroyers! They (the companions) said: “O messenger of Allah! What are they?” He (commendations and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
Associating partners with Allah (Shirk), Magic, taking a soul which Allah has prohibited except justly, eating usury, eating the orphan’s wealth, fleeing from the battle ground and accusing chaste and innocent believing women of promiscuity.
(Bukharee, Muslim, Abu and Nasai)
وعن سمرة بن جندب رضي الله عنهـ قال قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم رأيت الليلة رجلين أتياني فأخرجاني إلى أرض مقدسة فانطلقنا حتى أتينا على نهر من دم فيه رجل قائم وعلى شط النهر رجل بين يديه حجارة فأقبل الرجل الذي في النهر فإذا أراد أن يخرج رمى الرجل بحجر في فيه فرده حيث كان فجعل كلما جاء ليخرج رمى في فيه بحجر فيرجع كما كان فقلت ما هذا الذي رأيته في النهر قال آكل الربا
رواه البخاري هكذا في البيوع مختصرا وتقدم في ترك الصلاة مطولا
Abu Samrah bn Jundub (Allah be pleased with him) reported that:
The messenger of Allah peace and commendations of Allah be upon him said:
Last night, two men came to me, they took me out to a holy land, we proceeded till we came across a river of blood, there was a man standing in it and another man standing on the bank of the river with stones in his front. Whenever the man in the river tried to get out the man on bank threw a stone in his mouth till he returned to where he was, whenever he tried to get out the man threw a stone in his mouth till he returned to where he was.
I said, what is this that I saw in the river? They said that is the eater of usury.
وعن ابن مسعود رضي الله عنهـ قال لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم آكل الربا ومؤكله
رواه مسلم والنسائي ورواه أبو داود والترمذي وصححه وابن ماجه وابن حبان في صحيحه كلهم من رواية عبد الرحمن بن عبد الله بن
Ibn Mas’ood reported that:
The messenger of Allah (commendations and peace of Allah be upon him) cursed the eater and giver of usury.
(Muslim and Nasi)
وعن جابر بن عبد الله رضي الله عنهما قال لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم آكل الربا ومؤكله وكاتبه وشاهديه وقال هم سواء
رواه مسلم وغيره
Jabir bn Abdillah (Allah be pleased with father and son) reported:
The messenger of Allah (commendation and peace of Allah be upon him) cursed the eater, giver, accountant and witness of usury. He said they are equal.
Please Repent from Usury
So ponder –o servant of Allah- on the above verse of the Holy Quran and reflect on it. Allah is more merciful to you than yourself, father and mother. He promises you absolute forgiveness if you shun the sin of usury and sincerely for His sake not because it is illegal in your country or because you are not making profit from it or other worldly reasons, rather shun it for the sake of Allah alone you will get absolute forgiveness, love and mercy from Allah as he says:
Except those who repent and believe (in Islamic monotheism) and do righteous deed, for those Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-forgiving Most Merciful]
” إنك لن تدع شيئا لله عز وجل إلا بدلك الله به ما هو خير لك منه “.
وسنده صحيح على شرط مسلم.
السلسلة الضعيفة:َ 1/62
The messenger (commendations and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
Surely, you will not leave anything out of Allah’s piety except that Allah gives you what is better than it
Ahmad: 20739, Sheikh Albany said: “it is Authentic and fulfils the condition of Soheeh Muslim” (silsilah Dhaeefah: 1/62)
This is a promise from Allah as conveyed to us by His messenger (commendation and peace of Allah be upon him). If you leave usury for the sake of Allah, He will give you a better replacement in this world and the hereafter. In this world, he will give tranquility, peace, security and most importantly He will plant His love in your heart and increase you in faith.
Imam Ibn Qayyim says:
If the thief feared Alalh and abandoned stealing the wealth ffor the sake of Allah, Allah would have given him its like which is permissible or rather a better permissible replacement.
As Allah says:
And whosoever fears and Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a good way for him to get out (from every difficulty)
And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine
We ask Allah to soften our hearts and make it easy for us to follow His commandments and to stay away from his disobedience He is indeed Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. May the commendations and peace of Allah be upon the last and seal of the messengers, his household, companions and all those who follow their path till the day of recompense.