What is riba interest usury.

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

As Salam Aleikum Brother

 

May Allah reward you for your kind efforts; my question is to know what is riba, and are there diverse forms of riba, if so what are there.

The reasion behind this question is that when one lives in a country whre there are only commercial saving banks, can a muslim places an account in these kind of bank and share the profit with the bank or can he borrow money from these banks?

 

Salam

 

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Answer:

 

What is riba interest usury

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your Question: my question is to know what is riba

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 274-276:

But those who devour ‘riba’ become like the one whom Shaitaan has bewitched and maddened by his touch.   They have been condemned to this condition because they say,  “Trade is just like ‘riba”,  whereas Allah has made trade halaal and ‘riba’ haraam.   Henceforth,  if one abstains from taking ‘riba’ after receiving this admonition from his Lord,  no legal action shall be taken against him regarding the ‘riba’ he had devoured before:  his case shall ultimately go to Allah.   But if one repeats the same crime even after this,  he shall go to Hell,  where he shall abide for ever!   Allah deprives ‘riba’ of all blessing and develops charity, and Allah does not like an ungrateful,  sinful person.

 

A ‘trade’ by its very nature involves two different commodities…..One buys a kilo of rice (one commodity) for say $2.00 (another commodity)…that is a ‘trade’.  If one who buys the kilo of rice for $2.00 and sells the rice for $3.00, the $1.00 is his profit in the ‘trade’, which is absolutely lawful in Shariah.

 

But if one buys a kilo of rice (one commodity) on loan with the promise or undertaking that after a specified period of time he will pay back the loan to the owner with two kilos of rice (same commodity)….that would constitute the abomination of ‘riba’ in the Sight of Allah Subhanah!  It absolutely does not matter if the promise or undertaking is to pay back the 1.0kg of rice with 1.01kg of rice, or 1.1kg, or 1.5 kg, or even a 100kg of rice….as long as the undertaking is to pay back with an increase to the loan in the same commodity, it would constitute as ‘riba’ in the Sight of the Lord!

 

Allah says further in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 278:

O Believers!,  fear Allah and give up that ‘riba’ which is still due to you,  if you are true believers.   But if you do not do so,  then you are warned of the declaration of war against you by Allah and His Messenger!

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisa verse 161:

That they took ‘riba’,  although they were forbidden.  And that they devoured men’s substance wrongfully.   We have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment (of Hell Fire)!

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imraan verses 130-132:

130    O ye who believe! Devour not ‘riba’ doubled and multiplied; but fear Allah; that ye may (really) prosper.

131    Fear the Fire which is prepared for those who reject faith.

132    And obey Allah and the Messenger; that ye may obtain mercy.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 30 Surah Rome verse 39:

39      That which ye lay out for ‘riba’ through the property of (other) people will have no increase with Allah: but that which ye lay out for charity seeking the Countenance of Allah (will increase): it is these who will get a recompense multiplied.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 276:

276    Allah will deprive ‘riba’ of all blessings, but He will give increase for deeds of charity: for He loveth not creatures ungrateful and wicked.

 

Your Question: ….and are there diverse forms of riba, if so what are there.

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2826        Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Usury has seventy parts, the least important being that a man should marry his mother."

 

Although every transaction which constitutes increase in the exchange of the same commodity is considered ‘riba’, in light of the above guidance of the Messenger of Allah (saws), the abomination of ‘riba’ has innumerable facades…..and every single type, derivation, and manifestation of ‘riba’ (including usury, interest, etc.) is absolutely and categorically forbidden for the believers who sincerely believe, trust, fear, and have faith in Allah and the Last Day.

 

Your Question: The reasion behind this question is that when one lives in a country whre there are only commercial saving banks, can a muslim places an account in these kind of bank and share the profit with the bank or can he borrow money from these banks?

If one has no other option to safeguard one’s cash, and especially in this day and age one wishes to use the services of a commercial bank, there is absolutely no harm in utilizing the services offered by the banks, provided one does not indulge in the ‘riba’ element offered by the banks.

 

It would not be permissible and lawful for a believer who sincerely fears Allah and the Last Day to take or consume the ‘interest’ offered on their deposits by the banks; nor would it be permissible and lawful for the believers to take an interest-bearing debt or loan from the banks…..the dealing in any transaction which has even a ‘sniff’ of the abomination of ‘riba’ is absolutely and categorically forbidden to the believers who sincerely fear Allah and the Last Day.

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 2829        Narrated by Ali ibn AbuTalib

Hadrat Ali (r.a.) bin Abi Taalib said he heard Allah's Messenger (saws) invoke the curse of Allah on those who took ‘riba’, those who paid it, those who recorded it, and those who refused to give sadaqah.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 

 

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