Posted by: mjaga | April 18, 2011

Ar-Riba

Qur’aanic Verse 2.275:

2.275

Transliteration:

275. Allatheena ya/kuloona alrriba la yaqoomoona illa kama yaqoomu allathee yatakhabbatuhu alshshaytanu mina almassi thalika bi-annahum qaloo innama albayAAu mithlu alrriba waahalla Allahu albayAAa waharrama alrriba faman jaahu mawAAithatun min rabbihi faintaha falahu ma salafa waamruhu ila Allahi waman AAada faola-ika ashabu alnnari hum feeha khalidoona

Translation:

275. Those who consume Ar-Riba514 live not but like those whom Satan makes to stumble on in life, under his spell515. That is because they assert, “Business is just like Ar-Riba.516” And Allah has made business lawful and Ar-riba unlawful. He, then, to whom admonition has come from his Lord and has since abstained from Ar-Riba – to him belongs what happened in the past. And to Allah returns his deed.517 And those who rebel – they shall be inhabitants of the Hell-fire, therein to remain forever.

 

Study Notes:

514. In Verse 30.39, Allah declares, “That which you give at a premium, so that the gain accrued is on account of other people’s properties, possessions or dues, such a gain has no approval of Allah…..” In that Verse, Allah has clearly expressed his disapproval of gains that are rightfully due to others, but manouvoured to be usurped from them in day-to-day human dealings. An example can be given of a factory owner cheating the workers employed, in their salaries, in order to have a fatter profit for him. Such gains, wrongfully usurped from others and disapproved of by Allah in Verse 30.39, are here in this Verse, 2.275, made totally unlawful. And such gains are termed as Ar-Riba, literally meaning the gain/increase, to distinguish it from lawfully obtained gains as through trading, giving services etc. It is unfortunate that most Muslim scholars have given a wrongly restrictive meaning of ‘interest on money lent or borrowed’ to the Qur’aanic term.

515. Under the satanic spell, people become reluctant to believe in any life after death. They therefore tend to believe that this worldly life is the be-all and end-all of human existence. And they try to get the most out of it. With no fear of any divine punishment, they stumble on from one wrong-doing to another, and consume Ar-Riba in order to get rich quickly and enjoy all that money can buy. But the happiness and enjoyment, that they seek, ever eludes them like a mirage.

516. I have no knowledge of the people who said this at the time of revelation of this Verse. But I know people who say this now in this 21st Century (15th Century Hijri). I know people who say ‘Banking business is Ar-Riba‘, whereas Allah has categorically made business lawful and Ar-Riba unlawful. Business is an activity by a person or by a group of persons to make things or services conveniently available to the general public. Manufacturing and trading businesses make goods conveniently available and there are firms, like those of solicitors, who provide services to the general public. Likewise, banking business provides money for needful projects that an individual or a group of individuals undertake, but for which the individual, or the group, doesn’t have all the necessary finance. Banking is therefore a legitimate business fulfilling a social need. Like other businesses, banking business too is legitimately entitled to a reasonable profit for itself. It is also entitled to recover expenses incurred like staff salaries, building rentals etc., on pro rata basis from its clientele. And a bank does recover its expenses plus profit, and calls this recovery as interest. Such interest gets divinely sanctioned when this Verse 2.275 declares that Allah has made business lawful. But the Satan has succeeded in inducing many Muslim scholars in declaring such legitimate interest collected as Ar-Riba! Ar-Riba, I repeat, is wrongful usurpation, during transactions, of other people’s properties, possessions or dues, in terms of Verse 30.39. Ar-Riba is not interest, as such.

517. Whatever Ar-Riba gains people had made before they became aware of the divine prohibition against it, were allowed to be retained with those people, provided they abided by the prohibition thereafter. Their matter is left for Allah Himself to deal with as He wished. Allah, in His mercy, may forgive them – but not those who consciously act against the divine prohibition.

==============================

Mohammad Shafi

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Responses

  1. 1-What is definition of Riba? Without definition how can we decide anything.
    2- Which type of ‘Business Riba’ was present in the time of Rasool(saw), it is important because till we can’t confirm which forms exist how we can say which type is prohibited and which is not.
    Regards,
    Humayun.

    • The Qur’aanic definition is given in my post. 2. The Qur’aan is for all times. Since Qur’aan has given the definition applicable for times, it is not important to know what form existed during Rasool’s time.

      • 1- No, there is no definition in your post from Quran.
        2- After this aayat revealed what type of Riba dealing people left? it is not important to know? why?

      • 1. Yes, there is! You deliberately want to be blind to it. 2. I have given the reason in my last comments. Read it again.

      • 1- I have read it brother. If you have no answer no problem, but it is fact that you have not quoted any definition of Riba from Quran.
        2- You never provide any reason. Islam is for all times, so first know which Riba was at that time so may be this banking system is similar Riba that exist at that time.

        You just want that you write something and people accept that.
        When you say something people accept that as Quran and when people present something you reject by saying that show me exact aayat.
        Reagrds,
        Humayun.

      • 1. You are not a baby Brother to be spoon-fed. The fact is you do not want to see it. I am not surprised. You even deny that Qur’aan has given any definition of Ar-Riba. And Qur’aan says it has explained everything. 2. Ar-Riba as defined in the Qur’aan is the same at all times. It is the same now as it was then.

        Had the remaining part of your comments been a mirror you would see your own face there. That part is a good description of you yourself.

        Wassalam, M. Shafi

  2. I am intrigued by the statement which translates as

    “Business is just like Ar-Riba.”
    Allahtala has not denied the statement , but says that that business (or trading as some others translate) is permitted while ribba is not.
    30.39 is the first of the verses on riba and in it is the defination ; the defination as I understand it, fits the endgoal of both the Trading activity and also of the activity called riba…… but yet Allahtala has permitted one and banned the other.
    Our duty is to follow the commandments of Allahtala, even if we do not understand the logic or the reasoning behind such commandments.
    The defination of business/trading as given above in point 516 is fine with a slight correction viz the activity mentioned therein should be a legitimate and permissible activity which should not primarily be meant for harming any individual or group or else robbers and muderers working on behalf of mafia or Dons will claim that they are also involed in business

    Mohammad Shafi responds:
    Business (bai’a) is a dealing/transaction contracted between two or more parties with mutual consent. Robbing & murdering cannot therefore come under the category of ‘business’.

    • ‘Interest based business’ is a business, but that is illegal in Islam.
      So, (in your quoted verse) when Kuffar says that why Allah(swt) has banned Riba while it is a type of business, so Allah(swt) is saying that this is prohibited.
      Because of this very reason I am asking again and again that what was system of Riba at that time so that we can know what is made illegal at the time of Prophet(saw) at least that should be prohibited now, but Mr. Shafi is just giving verdict that what he has said is final word while he has not given any definition from Quran on which we can test any business of it being Riba or not, and has not told that which type of Riba exist at that time which were prohibited.
      Regards,
      Humayun.

  3. Wealth and the labour are equal and justified.

    If an investor is investing 1 million Rs. for say 100 workers. They should be considered 101 participants in the business. The nett income must be divided into 101 participants. The investor must also serve along with the workers at any designation.

    But if the investor thinks he has more share in %age because he has invested the money therefore he will get more share of income at the cost of those workers,
    is called Capitalism which is Al Ribaa.

    Capitalism(Nizame Sarmayadary) and Nizame Rabubiyyat are opposite to each other.

    Untill and unless capitalism is changed into Nizama e Rabubiat no bodycan be exempted from Al Ribaa

    So capitalist System is Al Rabaa.

    In most of the countries capitalism is taught which is in best interest of the capitalists.

    BBA, MBA,CA and other such economic education is the same.
    That is why there can be no soulution for the survival of the common man.
    Economists always calculate the eveil designs against the poor peoples

  4. The author doesn’t understand what Riba is. Selling a $100 note for $103 is what the bank does. From where can we bring the $3 since we cannot print the money. The bank produces the money and gives it at a higher value to everyone. Thus no one will be able to pay it back in cash. This shortfall is termed as “interest” and when it exceeds a certain level, the financial crisis takes place. But the crisis only affects the conventional banks and islamic banks remain unaffected because they do not deal in Riba !!

    Mohammad Shafi responds:
    Your understanding of Ar-Riba is what other humans tell you about it. You are just parroting their mistaken views. And my understanding of it is the result of years of in-depth Qur’aanic studies.
    Do not be just a parrot mr ahmer.

    • To simplify our quest, we turn to the Scripture to
      understand the meaning of interest (Riba).
      “And from among His signs is that you see the land
      still, then, as soon as We send down the water upon
      it, it shakes and grows (Rabat). Surely, the One who
      revived it can revive the dead. He is capable of all
      things.” (Qur’an 41:39)
      Here, we read that the land, once it is fed by water,
      will grow (Rabat). This growth is given no measure, nor
      quantity, nor percentage.
      Thus, in the simplest terms, we find that interest (Riba)
      is any growth. Th is understanding is confirmed in verse
      30:39 , which speaks of interest as being a ‘growth’
      in the money of the people:

    • Parroting or not, if argument is correct then that should be accepted.
      Especially if people who accept this definition of Mr. Ahmar are 100 times more then you then what is the reason that you think there is no one of your caliber in those hundereds?
      While fact is that you never told definition of Riba and what type of business was there at the time of Rasool(saw) which was prohibited after this revealation.
      Regards,
      Humayun.

      • Brother – I am afraid you are not reading what brother Shafi has written in the main article above, and responses to you. You are stuck in your mind and are desperate to time travel back beyond a century to see exactly what was being done then. In otherwise you do not believe that the Qur’an is for all times and, you do not believe the Qur’an, when it says that it is complete, perfected, and explains everything. If you now say, “I do believe”, then you are contradictng yourself.

        Allah has given us a mind to think. Please. I implore you. Use your mind.

        Mr Aga’s commentary is very well thought out, thoroughly researched, and the only way to dispute it is by saying “oh but most people would disagree”. Let them.

        Until we all return to the pristine scripture that is the Qur’an, and remain stuck in convoluted, contradicting ahadith, we will never reach our required state.

      • Oh one more thing.. just because there are 100 times more people saying that Mr Aga is wrong, it doesn’t make them right. There is only one right and the rest is wrong.

      • Brother Humayun,
        You wrote “…Parroting or not, if argument is correct then that should be accepted. Especially if people who accept this definition of Mr. Ahmar are 100 times more than you”

        Majority is not a criteria to settle the issue:

        Have you ever pondered as to why Muslims are always in the minority?

        Why is it that those who worship God alone are always in the minority?

        Why is it that those who strive to follow God’s commandments, to create balance and harmony, to avoid evil mischief are always in the minority?

        You are the best community ever raised among the people: you advocate righteousness and forbid evil, and you believe in God. If the followers of the scripture believed, it would be better for them. Some of them do believe, but the majority of them are wicked. (3:110)

        When our revelations are recited to them, clearly, those who disbelieve say to those who believe, “Which of us is more prosperous? Which of us is in the majority?” (19:73)

        If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They follow only conjecture; they only guess. (6:116)

        The majority of those who believe in God do not do so without committing idol worship. (12:106)

  5. Salam brother Shafi Agha,

    It’s great to see the all-important topic of al-riba come back to the forum. I still have your e-book on Riba which I got some years ago. I consult it sometimes becasue, in my opinion, it is an extensive Qur’an-based research on the topic and I benefited quite a bit from it.
    Of course, the Qur’an gives timeless and precise definition of the Riba which is good for times to come. The fundamental element of ‘exploitation of basic necessities of life’ has to be factored into any Qur’an-based just economic policy formulation that should be fair to all parties concerned, expecially the loaner and borrower. The Qur’an emphasizes justice in all dealings and 2:282, the longest verse of the Qur’an, seems to lay a great stress on the financil fairness.
    May Allah reward you for the good work you are doing for us all.

    Irfan

    • Jazak Allah khairan

      • Me too. I too still have your e-book and I must say…. it opened up my eyes to the simple truth (huq) that Allah has given to us in the Qur’an. It is so logical, so wise, so timeless the way Allah describes Riba and the prohibition. Alhamdulillah.

        Also, brother Aga I would say it was expected that people would disagree with you, but please do not be disheartened because mashaAllah you are doing a great service here to those to whom this blog reaches. I read it regularly and have also been studying the Qur’an now for about 3 years. Not as regularly as I would like, but at least 2 hours a week.

        It is a shame that the ummah is not yet there.

  6. The Quran tells us that we should not consume others people’s money illicitly and earn money by “ribaa” (4:161)

    Mohammad Shafi responds (in bold):
    4.161 tells us that the Jews took Ar-Riba (the Riba), though they were prohibited from taking it.

    and that people should not increase their wealth by “ribaa” (30:39).

    30.39 is the defining Verse for Ar-Riba. The word used here is not Ar-Riba, but riban meaning ‘by way of gain or profit’. The increase/gain defined here is referred to as Ar-Riba in all other Verses (including 4.161) on Ar-Riba and prohibited in Verse 2.275.

    Now if I took a loan from any fiancial institution say 50 laks,to own a flat and if I can sell it for 75 lakhs after 3 year , Iam gaining 25 lakhs by utilizing other people’s money.So here I need to give a share from my earnings to the financial institution, this is not interest. This may be trading.
    In another case a poor man borrowed some money to meet his personnel needs ( for eg: feeding his family, or his daughter’s marriage) he is not gaining any financial benefits from the money he borrowed. Here both the parties knows the purpose of borrowing and lending and agree with him some terms that (in addition to returning the principal to you) he will also reimburse you for your costs (for example the costs of having a certified check issued, or the costs of having the account electronically transferred to him) plus for the rate of inflation, you get at the end exactly what you gave out at the beginning. So you have not earned any “other people’s money” and you have not “increased your wealth.” So you can do this and follow the Quranic commands

    [2:282] O you who believe, when you transact a loan for any period, you shall write it down. An impartial scribe shall do the writing. No scribe shall refuse to perform this service, according to GOD’s teachings. He shall write, while the debtor dictates the terms…………….”

    [2:280] If the debtor is unable to pay, wait for a better time. If you give up the loan as a charity, it would be better for you, if you only knew.

    If, on the other hand, you agree that the debtor should pay you a certain amount over your costs, or a certain percentage over your costs, or a fixed interest rate higher that the inflation rate (e.g. 10 percent annually and the inflation was only 2 percent, so you would have as profit the 8 percent differential), in each of these cases you would increase your net worth (wealth) by earning other people’s money. So if you do any of this, you disobey GOD.

  7. [Quran 2:280] If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time Till it is easy for him to repay. But if you remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if you only knew.

    Bukhari Volumn 005, Book 058, Hadith Number 159.
    —————————————–
    Narated By Abu Burda : 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.”

    Mohammad Shafi responds:
    Do not base your judgment on decisions taken over 1400 years ago in circumstances you are not fully aware of. Take your decision in your own circumstances in the light of the Qur’aan, which is valid for all times.

  8. 1400 years old – what a comment.
    Quran says;

    وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ النساء؛٦٤
    We have not sent from Prophets except he should be followed with the will of Allah(swt).

    وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ ۖ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ الحشر ٧
    whatever Rasool give to you take that and from which he stops so stop from that and fear from Allah…

    رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا بِمَا أَنزَلَتْ وَاتَّبَعْنَا الرَّسُولَ فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ ال عمران؛٥٣
    O our lord, we believe what you have revealed and we followed Prophet so write our names in accepters.

    مَّنْ يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللّهَ وَمَن تَوَلَّى فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا النساء؛٨٠
    He who follows Rasool infact follow Allah …

    • Those who follow the Qur’aan, follow the RASOOL.

      • أَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَـٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ أَفَأَنتَ تَكُونُ عَلَيْهِ وَكِيلًا – الفرقان – 43
        (O Prophet) Have you seen the one who has made his desires his God?

        I think now it is clear to everyone that for Mr.MuhammadShafiAgha Quran is not the base, base is his own desires and then he find something in Quran that can fulfill that.
        Like he said ‘who follow Quran follow the Rasool’, while Quran is saying ‘who follow Rasool follows Allah’.
        What more I can say to the one who leaves aayat and presents his own thinking.

        Regards,
        Humayun.

      • What can I say to one who obeys hearsays about the Rasool when the Qur’aan tells him to obey the Rasool?

      • Sahih Ahadith in our hands are hearsay (or anything other then Quran will always be hearsay)? Quran saying so? or it is just your misjudgement and lack of informtaion?
        Reagrds,
        Humayun.

      • Allah knows better who is misjudging or has lack of information between the two of us. And who is it that judges a particular *hadeeth* as *sahih* or fabricated. It is only humans that do that and to err is human. Only Allah cannot err. And He has incorporated all *sahih ahaadeeth* in the Qur’aan. So follow the Qur’aan; you cannot err then. In Verse 45.6 Qur’aan says, “… What *hadeeth* other than Allah and His Verses will they believe in?”


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