Hazrat Jaber (R.A) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ have cursed those who charge interest, those who pay it, those who write documents pertaining thereto, those who keep the accounts of such matters and those who sign as witness. He ﷺ said that they are all equal in this crime.Bukhari, Muslim
Consequence and Sanctity of Usury
Interest of Usury is very common these days. In life we have to face it at every turn. Whether they are business transactions or loan payments; borrowing house or car on lease, seeking of loans from the bank or using credit card for shopping, Interest at every turn has somehow created relationship and is connected to our lives. Few days ago a Muslim country's government launched a new scheme for the welfare of their youth, through which youngsters can easily start their new business. Those who are unemployed also somewhat their future will evergreens. Apparently it is a commendable initiative through which many youngsters will have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams; they will find ways into the development to create a new passion to pursue. But unfortunately the government has adopted interest of usury in this loan scheme also and has forced the youngsters into the menace of this interest.
Interest of usury is that curse about which Allah has also clearly warns in the Holy Quran. In Surah ar-Rum – Chapter: 30, Verse: 39, it is mentioned that interest of usury doesn’t increases money but zaka’at does:
“And whatever you give for interest to increase within the wealth of people will not increase with Allah. But what you give in zakah, desiring the countenance of Allah - those are the multipliers.”Surah ar-Rum – Chapter: 30, Verse: 39
In Surah Al-Baqarah – Chapter: 2, Verse 276; Allah says that I destroys the Interest and gives increment in charity:
“Allah destroys interest and gives increase for charities. And Allah does not like every sinning disbeliever.”Surah Al-Baqarah – Chapter: 2, Verse 276
And in Surah Aal-e-Imran – Chapter: 3, Verse 130; Allah especially addresses His true believers to forbid the Interest of Usury, and have warned about His fear:
“O you who have believed, do not consume usury, doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful.”Surah Aal-e-Imran – Chapter: 3, Verse 130
These are the verses in which Allah has clearly warned about the Interest of Usury, now who disobeys and does not get rid from it; then his punishment and condition during the Day of Resurrection has also been told. In Surah Al-Baqarah – Chapter: 2, Verse: 275; Allah says:
“Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say, "Trade is [just] like interest." But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest. So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with Allah. But whoever returns to [dealing in interest or usury] - those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein.”Surah Al-Baqarah – Chapter: 2, Verse: 275
In hadith regarding the prohibition of Usury, Prophet Mohammad ﷺ has said:
“Abu Hurairah (R.A) narrated that the Prophet Mohammad ﷺ says that the ill affects of interest are of 70 kinds, the last intense of these is like someone committing adultery with his mother.”Ibn Majah, Baihaqi, Mishkat
In another hadith, the burden of Interest and indication of present era is mentioned in this way:
“Hazrat Abu Hurairah (R.A) said that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said that a time will come when, even if a person is able to abstain from interest, he would still be indirectly affected by its evil.”Musnad Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Nasai, Ibn Majah, Mishkat
Prophet Mohammad ﷺ has cursed those who are involved in the transaction of interest:
“Hazrat Jaber (R.A) reported that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ have cursed those who charge interest, those who pay it, those who write documents pertaining thereto, those who keep the accounts of such matters and those who sign as witness. He ﷺ said that they are all equal in this crime.”Bukhari, Muslim
- Now the question that arises, who has taken interest due to unwittingly or negligence then what should they do now?
Allah Almighty has also provided instructions about this in the Holy Quran. In Surah Al-Baqarah – Chapter: 2, Verses: 278 – 280 Allah says:
“O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers. (278) And if you do not, then be informed of a war [against you] from Allah and His Messenger. But if you repent, you may have your principal - [thus] you do no wrong, nor are you wronged. (279) And if someone is in hardship, then [let there be] postponement until [a time of] ease. But if you give [from your right as] charity, then it is better for you, if you only knew. (280)”Surah Al-Baqarah – Chapter: 2, Verses: 278 – 280
- 1. In these verses, firstly in verse 278 Allah has strictly ordered for a redemption of Interest especially to His rightly believers, to abandon the Riba that people still owe you as it is now strictly forbidden. This Ayah was revealed about Bani `Amr bin `Umayr, a sub-tribe of Thaqif, and Bani Al-Mughirah, from the tribe of Bani Makhzum, between whom were outstanding transactions of Riba leftover from the time of Jahiliyyah. When Islam came and both tribes became Muslims, Thaqif required Bani Al-Mughirah to pay the Riba of that transaction, but Bani Al-Mughirah said, "We do not pay Riba in Islam.'' `Attab bin Usayd, the Prophet's ﷺ deputy on Makkah, wrote to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ about this matter. This Ayah was then revealed and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ conveyed this verse to `Attab. They said, "We repent to Allah and abandon whatever is left of our Riba'', and they all abandoned it.
- 2. Secondly, the punishment for his disobedience is made clear in verse 279. This verse serves as a stern threat to those who continue to deal in Riba after Allah has revealed clear signs to its prohibition.
Hazrat Ibn Abbas (R.A) said the pawnbroker on the Day of Resurrection will be asked to take up their weapons and be willing to fight with Allah. He also says “Whoever kept dealing with Riba and did not refrain from it, then the Muslim Leader should require him to repent. If he still did not refrain from Riba, the Muslim Leader should cut off his head”.
But, if you repent, you shall have your capital sums means you will receive only what you lent without increase or decrease. Messenger of Allah ﷺ gave a Farewell sermon during the Hajj, saying
“Verily, every case of Riba from the Jahiliyyah is completely annulled. You will only take back your capital, without increase or decrease. The first Riba that I annul is the Riba of Al-`Abbas bin `Abdul-Muttalib, all of it is annulled.”
- 3. Thirdly, in verse 280 it’s ordered to give borrowers a time. Means a person strapped and unable to pay your loan give him time to pay after a certain period of time. During the time of Jahiliyyah, when the debt came to term, the creditor would say to the debtor, "Either pay now or interest will be added to the debt.'' Allah has forbidden this in the verse. In Tabarani's hadith its mentioned that
“The person who wants the shade of the Throne of Allah on the Day of Judgment, should either give time or forgive the debtor.”Tabarani
In Musnad Ahmad, it’s recorded that
“Whoever gives time to a debtor facing hard times, will gain charity of equal proportions for each day he gives.”Musnad Ahmad
In another hadith its mentioned,
“Whoever gives time to a debtor facing hard times, will earn charity multiplied two times for each day he gives.” Hazrat Buraydah (R.A) said, “O Messenger of Allah! I heard you say, `Whoever gives time to a debtor facing hard times, will gain charity of equal proportions for each day he gives.' today you says ‘two times’?” He replied, “He will earn charity of equal proportions for each day (he gives time) before the term of the debt comes to an end, and when the term comes to an end, he will again acquire charity multiplied by two times for each day if he gives more time”.
Hazrat Abu Qatada (R.A) had once come in secret to ask about the loan from a person who owed him and used to hide himself whenever he asks for. One day, Abu Qatadah (R.A) came looking for the debtor at his house and a young boy came out, and he asked him about the debtor and found out that he was eating. Abu Qatadah (R.A) said in a loud voice, “O Fellow! Come out, for I was told that you are in the house.” The man came out and Abu Qatadah (R.A) asked him, “Why are you hiding from me?” The man said, “I am having a hard time financially, and I do not have any money.” Abu Qatadah (R.A) said, “By Allah, are you truly facing a hard time?” He said, “Yes.” Abu Qatadah (R.A) cried and said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah say, Whoever gives time to his debtor, or forgives the debt, will be under the shade of the Throne (of Allah) on the Day of Resurrection.” (Sahih Muslim)
We ask Allah to protect us from the burden of interest and guide us to earn and eat halal. Ameen!
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