Interest – A socio-economic evil


In the recent years, a good number of well known Muslims economists and financial experts are advocating Interest and interest based system theories ignoring the instructions in the book of divine guidance i.e. the Quran and without keeping in mind the de-merits of interest for the society; the ultimate loss in this world and also the here-after. They argue that interest is inevitable due to inflation and relative factors. These specialists should develop strategies for controlling inflation and the mechanism whereas it is no good to promote another socio-economic evil as a solution.

The Quran categorically prohibits all activities which may lead to norishing the interest based system. Being a deep-rooted evil, same as wine, interest was also gradually prohibited as it needed much time in view of the human psychology. Let us see what Quran says about (Riba) Interest.

In Surah Rum ayah 39 in reference to Riba (interest)

And that which you give in gift (to others), in order that it may increase (your wealth by expecting to get a better one in return) from other people’s property, has no increase with Allah, but that which you give in Zakat seeking Allah’s Countenance then those, they shall have manifold increase.30:39

In Surah Al-Imran Ayah 130 as an unpleasing thing that it would lead to final loss

O you who believe! Eat not Riba (usury) doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful. 3:130

In Surah An-Nisa Ayah 161 as a reference to previous nations and repurcussions thereof.

And their (Jews) taking of Riba (usury) though they were forbidden from taking it and their devouring of men’s substance wrongfully (bribery, etc.). And We have prepared for the disbelievers among them a painful torment. 4:161

The Final prohibition in Surah al Baqarah, Ayahs 275, 276, 278, 279


Those who eat Riba (usury) 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 Riba (usury),” whereas Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba (usury). So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Riba (usury) shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge); but whoever returns ­[to Riba(usury)], such are the dwellers of the Fire – they will abide therein. 2:275

Allah’s displeasure

Allah will destroy Riba (usury) and will give increase for Sadaqah (deads of charity, alms, etc.) And Allah likes not the disbelievers, sinners. 2:276

Warning for giving up and stoppage in future.

O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah and give up what remains (due to you) from Riba (usury) (from now onwards), if you are (really) believers. 2:278

Verdict – Notice of War from Allah and His Messenger:

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). 2:279

Who others will be culpable for supporting Riba (Interest):

In light of one of the Ahadith of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH); Hazrat Jaber (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah cursed the devourer of (Riba) usury, its payer, its scribe, and its two witnesses. And he said that they are equal (in sin). (Muslim)

Interest – A socio-economic evil
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