Riba

EDIT: Please read this to know how this discussion started. This is one of the posts that I promised to do:

Allah says: O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah and give up what remains (due to you) from Riba (from now onward), if you are (really) believers. And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allah 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 sums) [2:277, 278]

The Prophet (SAW.) said: “Allah has cursed a person who consumes Riba, the person who gives it, the person who writes it down and its two witneses. All are equal in sin.” [ Muslim ]

Two more ahadith talk about Riba in a lil more detail (Sahih Bukhari):

No. 2585 – Narrated Abu Huraira, The Prophet (SAW) said, “Avoid the seven great destructive sins.” The people enquire, “O Allah’s Apostle! What are they? “He said, “To join others in worship along with Allah (SWT), to practice sorcery, to kill the life which Allah (SWT) has forbidden except for a just cause, (according to Islamic law), to eat up riba, to eat up an orphan’s wealth, to give back to the enemy and fleeing from the battlefield at the time of fighting, and to accuse, chaste women, who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.

No. 1960 – Narrated Samura bin Jundab: “The Prophet (SAW) said, “This night I dreamt that two men came and took me to a Holy land whence we proceeded on till we reached a river of blood, where a man was standing, and on its bank was standing another man with stones in his hands. The man in the middle of the river tried to come out, but the other threw a stone in his mouth and forced him to go back to his original place. So, whenever he tried to come out, the other man would throw a stone in his mouth and force him to go back to his former place. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ I was told, ‘The person in the river was a riba-eater.”

Now the Qur’an and the hadith talk about Riba (interest) in the sense as it was being practiced by the Arabs in the time of jahiliya. If you notice, the word riba itself has not been defined anywhere in the Qur’an. (The only definition that I have been to find is here). Thus, majority of muslims take all types of interest as Riba and consider it completely haram. On the other hand, there is also a section of muslims which only consider compound interest to be riba. This most probably comes from a verse in the Qur’an:

O you who have believed, do not consume usury, doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful. [3:130]

Whatever the case may be, we cannot blame people from refraining, as much as is possible, to stay from all sorts of interest. As far as I am concerned, I consider compound interest to be the root of evil here. It must be noted that Riba is one of the major sins for which there is (widely accepted by most scholars) no forgiveness:

  • Shirk and Qunut (losing hope in Allah’s mercy)
  • Black magic
  • Unjustly eating wealth of orphans
  • Murder
  • Accusing someone of adultery or fornication without solid proof
  • Fleeing from battleground
  • Riba
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38 thoughts on “Riba”

  1. Ok, sorry!, my bad! I was the one being unjustly obnoxious!

    But ther is not much to really say to this post! Yeah, we all know Riba is haram! And I would say that this recession is the sign of this sytems being a failure as well, this and all other recessions!

    We are greedy people, surely you know that!

  2. I’m sorry I don’t know your name. You should have posted these Ayaas and Hadiths along with the previous post I guess. Then people would have been even more convinced. But still I am glad that you have taken pain to find them and then share them with us.

    May Allah Bless You.

  3. Yeah… I have, The difference between profit given in Islam as very simple, Any profit which does nt carry the risk associated with the failure of investment is Riba!

  4. @ Afaque
    there are very few here who know my name πŸ™‚
    anyway, I have updated the two posts to link them to each other. I hope that would be helpful.

    @ Safi
    precisely, and the profit that we get from banks basically is fixed and has no risk associated…making it interest

    @ Uni
    i hope it was this simple. I keep my money in the current account too. Its actually quite confusing cuz this way I am not taking interest myself but the bank itself is investing my money (i dont even know where the money is invested, many of the businesses where the money would be invested would be haram too) and gets interest on it. Now, as I dont take interest, the money they have generated is now with the bank and it is up to them to invest it further and well, you get the idea. This does mean my money is being used to generate interest anyway and it might be compound interest in a lot of cases.

  5. Just one thing on current accounts. Its not necessary that one wont get interest on current account. I get interest on all my current accounts which is a bugger. Everymonth I have to hand away the interest. I cant even opt out from because the banking system in U.K gives it to you by default.

    Khair, I think the best we can do is manage it accordingly…..

  6. As safi said we all know riba is haram…

    U rightly said that weather we keep a money in current account or saving its been utilized to generate interest. It is better that we don’t take that interest by keeping money in current account rather than saving.

    A thought just struck me…y don’t we keep minimum cash…let me elaborate. We can keep “most” of our money in form of an item in locker. Bank won’t be able to generate interest on it.

    As far as i can think best item to keep is Gold…it always varies with the current economic situation and due to this there is very chance we will not have a loss…even if it d evaluate well then everything in the world will d evaluate.

    It will be hard to keep ones saving in this way but still we can think about it….right???

  7. @ Asad
    thats the thing, in fact thank you for bringing it up..once you have the interest in hand, then you have to know how to use it sensibly! most people would just let it grow as part of their income.

    @ Awais
    Precisely the point that I wanted to talk about πŸ™‚
    I didnt think of keeping cash in lockers, but making sensible investments was definitely something I had in mind. Obviously, gold is something you can invest on…you dont lose anything even cuz of inflation.
    Secondly, we could perhaps put in a lil more effort. Perhaps buy a plot, make a small house on it and give it out on rent. This way we are getting halal income through rent and we have also provided jobs to certain people for a specific period of time.
    If possible, we could extend this concept and start a small business, generating jobs and keep the money in rolling. Ofcourse there’s the risk of loss but as it is said “with great risk comes great profit”

  8. Well, lockers also have some security risks associated with them and the biggest disadvantage is accessibility issues…

    There is a system here in singapore where you pay at a counter and get that cash filled in your cash card, you can use it pretty much on anything, even vending machines. Its good, but then again, it wont work in pakistan as you have a crap load of security issue there.

    I had an Idea way back when. We first need to establish a ssecure environment in Pakistan, Especially in big cities like karachi, where petty crimes are so rampant, because almost everything depends on such a secure environment. After that, infrastructure and economic and financial systems can be revamped. Otherwise, it just like building a tower over a faulty foundation.

  9. Security issues for the lockers…..as far as my knowledge goes…every locker has its equivalent financial value. if u have something in the locker and there is a bank robbery then that equivalent value is “paid” to u. Now problem in pakistan is that ppl keep valuables more than locker’s value. and hence some issues rises on it. Its simply an issue created by an individual in order to save a bit on yearly rent.

  10. Lockers can be well dodgy. The idiot bankers charge for everytime you access it. I have my will and some other docs in a locker (I get free access to it coz I work for the same bank)they charge 15 quid for every visit to lockers. That is surely a rip off.
    Property used to be a safe investment but not anymore, specially in the current credit climate. I have some properties on rent for about 2 years and the value of the properties have gone down. Value of one house has gone down by nearly 15% :-(. I think gold has been very secure over the years and its easier to get hands on. Business and property require so much time and one can get dragged away in tax evading matters..”Shaitan kabhi bhi shaitani ker wa sakta hai…lol”

  11. No man, I mean security issues as in Dacoits scout the place, see who has lockers, go to their place, take hostage their families until you return with the contents of your locker!

  12. I just read this hadeeth let me quote it here…

    Narrated Jabir Bin Abdullah (RA): In the year of the conquest of Makka, I heard Allah’s Messenger( SAW), saying, β€˜Allah and His messenger made illegal the trade of alcoholic liquors, dead animals, pigs and idols.’ The people asked,’ O Allah’s Messenger! What about fat of dead animals, for it was used for greasing the boats and the hides; and people use it for lights?’ He said,’ No, it is illegal.’ Allah’s Messenger(SAW) further said,β€˜ May Allah curse the Jews, for Allah made the fat (of animals) illegal for them, yet they melted the fat and sold it and ate its price.”

    -Al Bukhari

    It says alot… i mean today riba and interest is being soo advertised on televisions, that it is mortifying that people have stopped considering it as a something which was made illegal. We’re doing everything that the Bani Israel did and still we think we wont be punished… same thing – Inviting Allah’s wrath upon ourselves…

  13. I was going to do a post on this too lol, but im kinda lazy these days.

    Theres a hadith that says that there will come a time where riba will somehow touch everyone [Paraphrased by me – dont quote exact words or else I’ll get accounted!]

    It meant that there will come a time, where people will be indirectly, somehow, be involved with riba even if its not to their wishes. Scare, eh?

  14. I agree about the security issues in Pakistan, we all saw how ppl rooted the ATM machines!

    The banking and business fraternity will always resist a change in the system!

    btw…u said that investing in gold knowing that you dont lose anything because of inflation…so according to the definition above, is it right? i mean, there is no risk here isnt it? correct me if im wrong though, i dunno abt the gold market

  15. @ safi
    can we change the society? No! What we can do is try changing lil changes in our lives.
    Debit cards can now be used quite easily in Pakistan. Obviously, a theila wala wont accept one but otherwise it can be used to buy a lot of stuff.
    UBL has also introduced a ‘prepaid’ sort of a card too. I dont exactly know how it works but i think it works pretty much like the cash card you are talking about.

    @ SAWJ
    I seem to be on jihad against a lot of things. And u havent found a cave for me as yet, dude!

    @ princefino
    chances have to be taken even if that involves risk of loss. Thats how it has to be!

    @ Safi
    personally, i wouldnt keep cash in a locker anyway. Too much hassle

    @ farooq
    you could name ur kids this way: hiba and riba πŸ˜›

    @ Asma
    thats the sad part. we are advertising riba, we are proud of it, we are adamant to say that it is wat is causing our downfall!!

    @ Purple
    I just put up a few ahadith together as everyone wanted me to write something on this. I am really looking forward to your post πŸ™‚

    @ Anas
    if u just save your money in a current account, which means if you have 1 lakh in your account today, cuz of inflation, its worth would only be 80k next year. but if you have gold, you dont exactly have to worry about that. well u know the price of gold keeps going up so if you buy some gold today, with a higher price next year, the worth will still remains the same.

  16. Ofcourse we have to but everyone has to have an open mind about things. We have to stop shutting our mind’s at the initial stage of thing. There is a process of everything and let the processes follow and then may be they will all bring good results. We need a change and for changes to happen we all have to take a step back and let things take its course….

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