The word ‘riba’ as appearing
in Holy Quran is translated in English as ‘usury’ by many translators and
as ‘interest’ by few.
Summarizing the rules for the analysis of riba in a transaction, we might conclude the following:
Riba is only present in a transaction of single produce, generally "the medium of exchange".
Riba is not necessarily time related; it can be on spot or in any time frame.
Riba is the "increase", not " decrease".
Riba is forced; volunteer
extra return from the beneficiary shall not be regarded as Riba.
From Yusufali's translation
2.275: Those who devour usury will not stand except as stand
|.||Printing of paper currency
without the gold base is sort of Riba in reverse as the purchasing power
of money regresses whereas the value of gold coins increases over a long
The word "Riba", in
002.282 O ye who believe! When ye deal with each other, in transactions involving future obligations in a fixed period of time, reduce them to writing Let a scribe write down faithfully as between the parties: let not the scribe refuse to write: as Allah Has taught him, so let him write. Let him who incurs the liability dictate, but let him fear His Lord Allah, and not diminish aught of what he owes. If they party liable is mentally deficient, or weak, or unable Himself to dictate, Let his guardian dictate faithfully, and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her. The witnesses should not refuse when they are called on (For evidence). Disdain not to reduce to writing (your contract) for a future period, whether it be small or big: it is juster in the sight of Allah, More suitable as evidence, and more convenient to prevent doubts among yourselves but if it be a transaction which ye carry out on the spot among yourselves, there is no blame on you if ye reduce it not to writing. But take witness whenever ye make a commercial contract; and let neither scribe nor witness suffer harm. If ye do (such harm), it would be wickedness in you. So fear Allah; For it is Good that teaches you. And Allah is well acquainted with all things. If ye are on a journey, and cannot find a scribe, a pledge with possession (may serve the purpose). And if one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, let the trustee (faithfully) discharge his trust, and let him Fear his Lord conceal not evidence; for whoever conceals it, - his heart is tainted with sin. And Allah knoweth all that ye do.
002.283: If ye are on a journey, and cannot find a scribe, a pledge with possession (may serve the purpose). And if one of you deposits a thing on trust with another, Let the trustee (Faithfully) discharge His trust, and let him fear his Lord. Conceal not evidence; for whoever conceals it,- His heart is tainted with sin. And Allah Knoweth all that ye do.
001.008.449 002.023.468 003.034.299
003.034.344 003.034.379 003.034.382 003.034.386 003.034.440 003.038.499
003.038.506 004.051.028 005.058.159 006.060.064 006.060.067 007.063.259
007.069.493 007.072.845 008.082.840 009.087.171
Volume 1, Book 8, Number
When the verses of Surat "Al-Baqara"' about the usury Riba were revealed, the Prophet went to the mosque and recited them in front of the people and then banned the trade of alcohol.
My father bought a slave who practiced the profession of cupping. (My father broke the slave's instruments of cupping). I asked my father why he had done so. He replied, "The Prophet forbade the acceptance of the price of a dog or blood, and also forbade the profession of tattooing, getting tattooed and receiving or giving Riba, (usury), and cursed the picture-makers."
that the latter said, "Who has change?" Talha said, "I (will have change) when our store-keeper comes from the forest."
Narrated 'Umar bin Al-Khattab:
Allah's Apostle said, "The bartering of gold for silver is Riba, (usury),
except if it is from hand to hand and equal in amount, and wheat grain
for wheat grain is usury except if it is form hand to hand and equal in
amount, and dates for dates is usury except if it is from hand to hand
and equal in amount, and barley for barley is usury except if it is from
hand to hand and equal in amount." (See Riba-Fadl in the glossary).
The Prophet forbade the selling
of foodstuff before receiving it. I consider that all types of sellings
should be done similarly.
The Prophet said, "The selling
of wheat for wheat is Riba (usury) except if it is handed from hand to
hand and equal in amount. Similarly the selling of barley for barley, is
Riba except if it is from hand to hand and equal in amount, and dates for
dates is usury except if it is from hand to hand and equal in amount. (See
that Malik bin Aus said,
"I was in need of change for one-hundred Dinars. Talha bin 'Ubaid-Ullah
called me and we discussed the matter, and he agreed to change (my Dinars).
He took the gold pieces in his hands and fidgeted with them, and then said,
"Wait till my storekeeper comes from the forest." 'Umar was listening to
that and said, "By Allah! You should not separate from Talha till you get
the money from him, for Allah's Apostle said, 'The selling of gold for
gold is Riba (usury) except if the exchange is from hand to hand and equal
in amount, and similarly, the selling of wheat for wheat is Riba (usury)
unless it is from hand to hand and equal in amount, and the selling of
barley for barley is usury unless it is from hand to hand and equal in
amount, and dates for dates, is usury unless it is from hand to hand and
equal in amount"
I heard Abu Said Al-Khudri saying, "The selling of a Dinar for a Dinar, and a Dirham for a Dirham (is permissible)." I said to him, "Ibn 'Abbas does not say the same." Abu Said replied, "I asked Ibn 'Abbas whether he had heard it from the Prophet s or seen it in the Holy Book. Ibn 'Abbas replied, "I do not claim that, and you know Allah's Apostle better than I, but Usama informed me that the Prophet had said, 'There is no Riba (in money exchange) except when it is not done from hand to hand (i.e. when there is delay in payment).' "
Allah's Apostle employed
someone as a governor at Khaibar. When the man came to Medina, he brought
with him dates called Janib. The Prophet asked him, "Are all the dates
of Khaibar of this kind?" The man replied, "(No), we exchange two Sa's
of bad dates for one Sa of this kind of dates (i.e. Janib), or exchange
three Sa's for two." On that, the Prophet said, "Don't do so, as it is
a kind of usury (Riba) but sell the dates of inferior quality for money,
and then buy Janib with the money". The Prophet said the same thing about
dates sold by weight. (See Hadith No. 506).
A man displayed some goods
in the market and took a false oath that he had been offered so much for
them though he was not offered that amount Then the following Divine Verse
was revealed:-- "Verily! Those who purchase a little gain at the cost of
Allah's covenant and their oaths . . . Will get painful punishment." (3.77)
Ibn Abu Aufa added, "Such person as described above is a treacherous Riba-eater
(i.e. eater of usury
The Prophet 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, to practice sorcery, to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause, (according to Islamic law), to eat up Riba (usury), 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.
Volume 5, Book 58, Number
When I came to Medina. I met Abdullah bin Salam. He said, "Will you come to me so that I may serve you with Sawiq (i.e. powdered barley) and dates, and let you enter a (blessed) house that in which the Prophet entered?" Then he added, "You are In a country where the practice of Riba (i.e. usury) is prevalent; so if somebody owe you something and he sends you a present of a load of chopped straw or a load of barley or a load of provender then do not take it, as it is Riba."
When the Verses of Surat-al-Baqara
regarding usury (i.e. Riba) were revealed, Allah's Apostle recited them
before the people and then he prohibited the trade of alcoholic liquors.
When the last Verses of Surat-al-Baqara
were revealed. Allah's Apostle went out and recited them in the Mosque
and prohibited the trade of alcoholic liquors.
When the last Verses of Surat-al-Baqara were revealed, the Prophet read them in the Mosque and prohibited the trade of alcoholic liquors. "If the debtor is in difficulty, grant him time till it is easy for him to repay.." (2.280)
Narrated 'Aisha: When the
last Verses of Surat-al-Baqara were revealed, Allah's Apostle stood up
and recited them before us and then prohibited the trade of alcoholic liquors.
The last Verse (in the Quran)
revealed to the Prophet was the Verse dealing with usury (i.e. Riba).
This Verse:--"Whether you
show what is in your minds or conceal it.." (2.284) was abrogated.
A man from the companions
of Allah's Apostle who I think, was Ibn 'Umar said, "The Verse:--"Whether
you show what is in your minds or conceal it...." was abrogated by the
Verse following it."
The Prophet cursed the lady
who practices tattooing and the one who gets herself tattooed, and one
who eats (takes) Riba' (usury) and the one who gives it. And he prohibited
taking the price of a dog, and the money earned by prostitution, and cursed
the makers of pictures.
'Umar delivered a sermon on the pulpit of Allah's Apostle, saying, "Alcoholic drinks were prohibited by Divine Order, and these drinks used to be prepared from five things, i.e., grapes, dates, wheat, barley and honey. Alcoholic drink is that, that disturbs the mind." 'Umar added, "I wish Allah's Apostle had not left us before he had given us definite verdicts concerning three matters, i.e., how much a grandfather may inherit (of his grandson), the inheritance of Al-Kalala (the deceased person among whose heirs there is no father or son), and various types of Riba(1 ) (usury) ."
that he had bought a slave whose profession was cupping. The Prophet forbade taking the price of blood and the price of a dog and the earnings of a prostitute, and cursed the one who took or gave (Riba') usury, and the lady who tattooed others or got herself tattooed, and the picture-maker.
Volume 2, Book 23, Number
Whenever the Prophet finished the (morning) prayer, he would face us and ask, "Who amongst you had a dream last night?" So if anyone had seen a dream he would narrate it. The Prophet would say: "Ma sha'a-llah" (An Arabic maxim meaning literally, 'What Allah wished,' and it indicates a good omen.) One day, he asked us whether anyone of us had seen a dream. We replied in the negative. The Prophet said, "But I had seen (a dream) last night that two men came to me, caught hold of my hands, and took me to the Sacred Land (Jerusalem). There, I saw a person sitting and another standing with an iron hook in his hand pushing it inside the mouth of the former till it reached the jaw-bone, and then tore off one side of his cheek, and then did the same with the other side; in the mean-time the first side of his cheek became normal again and then he repeated the same operation again. I said, 'What is this?' They told me to proceed on and we went on till we came to a man Lying flat on his back, and another man standing at his head carrying a stone or a piece of rock, and crushing the head of the Lying man, with that stone. Whenever he struck him, the stone rolled away.
The man went to pick it up and by the time he returned to him, the crushed head had returned to its normal state and the man came back and struck him again (and so on). I said, 'Who is this?' They told me to proceed on; so we proceeded on and passed by a hole like an oven; with a narrow top and wide bottom, and the fire was kindling underneath that hole. Whenever the fire-flame went up, the people were lifted up to such an extent that they about to get out of it, and whenever the fire got quieter, the people went down into it, and there were naked men and women in it. I said, 'Who is this?' They told me to proceed on. So we proceeded on till we reached a river of blood and a man was in it, and another man was standing at its bank with stones in front of him, facing the man standing in the river. Whenever the man in the river wanted to come out, the other one threw a stone in his mouth and caused him to retreat to his original position; and so whenever he wanted to come out the other would throw a stone in his mouth, and he would retreat to his original position. I asked, 'What is this?' They told me to proceed on and we did so till we reached a well-flourished green garden having a huge tree and near its root was sitting an old man with some children. (I saw) Another man near the tree with fire in front of him and he was kindling it up. Then they (i.e. my two companions) made me climb up the tree and made me enter a house, better than which I have ever seen. In it were some old men and young men, women and children.
Then they took me out of this house and made me climb up the tree and made me enter another house that was better and superior (to the first) containing old and young people. I said to them (i.e. my two companions), 'You have made me ramble all the night. Tell me all about that I have seen.' They said, 'Yes. As for the one whose cheek you saw being torn away, he was a liar and he used to tell lies, and the people would report those lies on his authority till they spread all over the world. So, he will be punished like that till the Day of Resurrection.
The one whose head you saw being crushed is the one whom Allah had given the knowledge of Quran (i.e. knowing it by heart) but he used to sleep at night (i.e. he did not recite it then) and did not use to act upon it (i.e. upon its orders etc.) by day; and so this punishment will go on till the Day of Resurrection. And those you saw in the hole (like oven) were adulterers (those men and women who commit illegal sexual intercourse). And those you saw in the river of blood were those dealing in Riba (usury). And the old man who was sitting at the base of the tree was Abraham and the little children around him were the offspring of the people. And the one who was kindling the fire was Malik, the gate-keeper of the Hell-fire. And the first house in which you have gone was the house of the common believers, and the second house was of the martyrs. I am Gabriel and this is Michael. Raise your head.' I raised my head and saw a thing like a cloud over me. They said, 'That is your place.' I said, 'Let me enter my place.' They said, 'You still have some life which you have not yet completed, and when you complete (that remaining portion of your life) you will then enter your place.' "
The query [usury] generated the following matches:
Complete Sahih Muslim
001.0161 007.2803 010.3854
010.3856 010.3857 010.3859 010.3871
Book 010, Number 3687:
Book 010, Number 3689:
Book 010, Number 3839:
The query [usury] generated the following matches:
Partial Sunan Abu Dawud
019.3035 022.3325 022.3327 022.3328 022.3343 023.3454 023.3534 041.4858
Book 19, Number 3035:
The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) concluded peace with the people of Najran on condition that they would pay to Muslims two thousand suits of garments, half of Safar, and the rest in Rajab, and they would lend (Muslims) thirty coats of mail, thirty horses, thirty camels, and thirty weapons of each type used in battle. Muslims will stand surely for them until they return them in case there is any plot or treachery in the Yemen. No church of theirs will be demolished and no clergyman of theirs will be turned out. There will be no interruption in their religion until they bring something new or take usury. Isma'il said: They took usury.
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: A time is certainly coming to mankind when only the receiver of usury will remain, and if he does not receive it, some of its vapour will reach him. Ibn Isa said: Some of its dust will reach him.
Book 23, Number 3454:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: If anyone makes two transactions combined in one bargain, he should have the lesser of the two or it will involve usury.
Book 41, Number 4858:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: The most prevalent kind of usury is going to lengths in talking unjustly against a Muslim's honour.
The query [usury] generated the following matches:
Complete Malik's Muwatta
031.31.16.28 031.31.16.34 031.31.16.35 031.31.16.37a 031.31.17.38 031.31.18.39 031.31.19.44 031.31.26.63 031.31.31.70 031.31.32.71 031.31.38.84 031.31.39.86 031.31.43.93 031.31.43.95 032.32.3.4
Book 31, Number 31.16.28:
Book 31, Number 31.16.34:
Book 31, Number 31.16.35:
Book 31, Number 31.16.37a:
Malik said, "According to the way things are done among us there is no harm in selling gold for gold, and silver for silver by counterpoising weight, even if 11 dinars are taken for 10 dinars hand to hand, when the weight of gold is equal, coin for coin, even if the number is different. Dirhams in such a situation are treated the same way as dinars."
Malik said, "If, when counterpoising gold for gold or silver for silver, there is a difference of weight, one party should not give the other the value of the difference in silver or something else. Such a transaction is ugly and a means to usury because if one of the parties were permitted to take the difference for a separate price, it could be as if he had bought it separately, so he would be permitted. Then it would be possible for him to ask for many times the value of the difference in order to permit the completion of the transaction between the two parties.
Malik said, "If he had really been sold the difference without anything else with it, he would not have taken it for a tenth of the price for which he took it in order to put a 'legal front' on the transaction. This leads to allowing what is forbidden . The matter is forbidden."
Malik said that it was not good when counterpoising to give good old gold coins and put along with them unminted gold in exchange for worn kufic gold, which was unpopular and to then treat the exchange as like for like.
Malik said, "The commentary on why that is disapproved is that the owner of the good gold uses the excellence of his old gold coins as an excuse to throw in the unminted gold with it. Had it not been for the superiority of his (good) gold over the gold of the other party, the other party would not have counterpoised the unminted gold for his kufic gold, and the deal would have been refused.
"It is like a man wanting to buy three sa of ajwa dried dates for two sa and a mudd of kabis dates, and on being told that it was not good, then offering two sa of kabis and a sa of poor dates desiring to make the sale possible. That is not good because the owner of the ajwa should not give him a sa of ajwa for a sa of poor dates. He would only give him that because of the excellence of kabis dates.
"Or it is like a man asking some one to sell him three sa of white wheat for two and a half sa of Syrian wheat, and being told that it was not good except like for like, and so offering two sa of wheat and one sa of barley intending to make the sale possible between them. That is not good because no one would have given a sa of barley for a sa of white wheat had that sa been by itself. It was only given because of the excellence of Syrian wheat over the white wheat. This is not good. It is the same as the case of the unminted gold."
Malik said, "Where gold, silver and food, things which should only be sold like for like, are concerned, something disliked and of poor quality should not be put with something good and desirable in order to make the sale possible and to make a bad situation halal. When something of desirable quality is put with something of poor quality and it is only included so that its excellence in quality is noticed, something is being sold which if it had been sold on its own, would not have been accepted and to which the buyer would not have paid any attention. It is only accepted by the buyer because of the superiority of what comes with it over his own goods. Transactions involving gold, silver, or food, must not have anything of this description enter into them. If the owner of the poor quality goods wants to sell them, he sells them on their own, and does not put anything with them. There is no harm if it is like that."
Book 31, Number 31.19.44:
Malik said, "No one should buy a specified animal when it is concealed from him or in another place, even if he has already seen it, very recently or not so recently, and was pleased enough with it to pay its price in cash."
Malik said, "That is disapproved of because the seller makes use of the price and it is not known whether or not those goods are found to be as the buyer saw them or not. For that reason, it is disapproved of. There is no harm in it if it is described and guaranteed."
Malik said, "Our opinion is - and Allah knows best that was because he wanted to sell them to the person from whom he had bought them for more than the price for which he bought them. Had he sold them to some one other than the person from whom he had purchased them, there would not have been any harm in it."
Malik said, "The generally agreed on way of doing things among us concerning making an advance for slaves, cattle or goods is that when all of what is to be sold is described and an advance is made for them for a date, and the date falls due, the buyer does not sell any of that to the person from whom he has purchased it for more than the price which he advanced for it before he has taken full possession of what he has advanced for. It is usury if he does. If the buyer gives the seller dinars or dirhams and he profits with them, then, when the goods come to the buyer and he does not take them into his possession but sells them back to their owner for more than what he advanced for them, the outcome is that what he has advanced has returned to him and has been increased for him."
Malik said, "If someone advances gold or silver for described animals or goods which are to be delivered before a named date, and the date arrives, or it is before or after the date, there is no harm in the buyer selling those goods to the seller, for other goods, to be taken immediately and not delayed, no matter how extensive the amount of those goods is, except in the case of food because it is not halal to sell it before he has full possession of it. The buyer can sell those goods to some one other than the person from whom he purchased them for gold or silver or any goods. He takes possession of it and does not defer it because if he defers it, that is ugly and there enters into the transaction what is disapproved of: delay for delay. Delay for delay is to sell a debt against one man for a debt against another man."
Malik said, "If someone advances for goods to be delivered after a time, and those goods are neither something to be eaten nor drunk, he can sell them to whomever he likes for cash or goods, before he takes delivery of them, to some one other than the person from whom he purchased them. He must not sell them to the person from whom he bought them except in exchange for goods which he takes possession of immediately and does not defer."
Malik said, "If the delivery
date for the goods has not arrived, there is no harm in selling them to
the original owner for goods which are clearly different and which he takes
immediate possession of and does not defer."
Book 31, Number 31.38.84:
Malik said, "The disapproved of way of doing things about which there is no dispute among us, is that a man should give a loan to a man for a term, and then the demander reduce it and the one from whom it is demanded pay it in advance. To us that is like someone who delays repaying his debt after it is due to his creditor and his creditor increases his debt." Malik said, "This is nothing else but usury. No doubt about it."
Malik spoke about a man who loaned one hundred dinars to a man for two terms. When it was due, the person who owed the debt said to him, "Sell me some goods, whose price is one hundred dinars in cash for one hundred and fifty on credit." Malik said, "This transaction is not good, and the people of knowledge still forbid it."
Malik said, "This is disapproved of because the creditor himself gives the debtor the price of what the man sells him, and he defers repayment of the hundred of the first transaction for the debtor for the term which is mentioned to him in the second transaction, and the debtor increases him with fifty dinars for his deferring him. That is disapproved of and it is not good. It also resembles the hadith of Zayd ibn Aslam about the transactions of the people of the Jahiliyya. When their debts were due, they said to the person with the debt, 'Either you pay in full or you increase it.' If they paid, they took it, and if not they increased debtors in their debts, and extended the term for them."
Section: Debts and Transfer Debts in General
Malik spoke about the case of a man who advanced dinars or dirhams for four specified pieces of cloth to be delivered before a specified time and when the term fell due, he demanded delivery from the seller and the seller did not have them. He found that the seller had cloth but inferior quality, and the seller said that he would give him eight of those cloths. Malik said, "There is no harm in that if he takes the cloths which he offers him before they separate. It is not good if delayed terms enter into the transaction. It is also not good if that is before the end of the term, unless he sells him cloth which is notthetypeof cloth for which he made an advance.
Book 31, Number 31.32.71:
Malik said, "There is no good in two for one of one sort with delayed terms. There is no harm in taking two of one sort for one of another on delayed terms, if the two sorts are clearly different. If both sorts resemble each other but their names are different, like lead and black lead, brass and yellow brass, I disapprove of taking two of one sort for one of the other on delayed terms."
Malik said, "When buying something of this nature, there is no harm in selling It beforetaking possession of it to some one other than the person from whom it was purchased, if the price is taken immediately and if it was bought originally by measure or weight. If it was bought without measuring, it should be sold to someone other than the person from whom it was bought, for cash or with delayed terms. That is because goods have to be guaranteed when they are bought without measuring, and they cannot be guaranteed when bought by weight until they are weighed and the deal is completed. This is the best of what I have heard about all these things. It is what people continue to do among us."
Malik said, "The way of doing things among us with what is measured or weighed of things which are not eaten or drunk, like safflower, date-stones, fodder leaves, indigo dye and the like of that is that there is no harm in bartering all those sort of things two for one, hand to hand. Do not take two for one from the same variety with delayed terms. If the types are clearly different, there is no harm in taking two of one for one of the other with delayed terms. There is no harm in selling whatever is purchased of all these sorts, before taking delivery of them if the price is taken from someone other than the person from whom they were purchased."
Malik said, "Anything of
any variety that profits people, like gravel and gypsum, one quantity of
them for two of its like with delayed terms is usury. One quantity of both
of them for its equal plus any increase with delayed terms, is usury."