Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I agree with you when you say that we have to use our intelligence and common sense where in Quran it is not explained in detail. So using similar argument, don't you think banking interest as prevelant today also should be argued in similar manner. As there was no banking concept during that time, Quran is silent on the same . And what ever is written in Quran regarding interest is interest taken from poor to whom money is lent for their survival.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and who-ever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah has specifically prohibited all forms of usury (riba) in the Holy Quran, and interest is only a part of usury. There were all sorts of interest-based transactions available even at the time of the Prophet (saws). Among those were where the money was lent on interest to the poor for their survival, to where some traders used to borrow money from rich financiers on interest for their business and trade dealings. Allah and His Messenger (saws) declared all types of interest-based transactions haraam!
Allah and His Messenger have condemned riba or usury in extremely strong terms, and let no scholar or economist or the modern educated muslim tell you otherwise!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 274-276:But those who devour riba become like the one whom Shaitaan has bewitched and maddened by his touch. They have been condemned to this condition because they say, Trade is just like riba, whereas Allah has made trade halaal and riba haraam. Henceforth, if one abstains from taking riba after receiving this admonition from his Lord, no legal action shall be taken against him regarding the riba he had devoured before: his case shall ultimately go to Allah. But if one repeats the same crime even after this, he shall go to Hell, where he shall abide forever! Allah deprives riba of all blessing and develops charity, and Allah does not like an ungrateful, sinful person.
Allah says further in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 278:O Believers!, fear Allah and give up that riba which is still due to you, if you are true believers. But if you do not do so, then you are warned of the declaration of war against you by Allah and His Messenger!
Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Even though usury be much, it leads in the end to penury."
Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Usury has seventy parts, the least important being that a man should marry his mother."
The Prophet (saws) said: If anyone intercedes for his brother and he presents a gift to him for it, and he accepts it, he approaches a great door of the doors of usury.(Thus, bribery is also a part of riba)
The Prophet (saws) said, "Avoid the seven great destructive sins. The people enquired, "O Allah's Apostle! What are they? "He said, "1. To join others in worship along with Allah, to practice sorcery, 2. to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause, (according to Islamic law), 3. to eat up riba (usury), 4. to eat up an orphan's wealth, 5. to give back to the enemy and 6. fleeing from the battlefield at the time of fighting, and 7. to accuse chaste women, who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.
(The Prophet (saws) included riba in one of the Seven Destructive Sins. If we read the other sins which accompany the list, one can imagine what is the magnitude of the sin of riba)
Ali heard Allah's Messenger (saws) cursed those who took usury, those who paid it, those who recorded it, and those who refused to give sadaqah.
The Prophet (saws) prophesied: A time is certainly coming to mankind, when only the receiver of usury will remain, and if one does not receive it, some of its vapour will reach him.
(Unfortunately, we live in those times today. The Prophet (saws) said that a time will come, when even if one tries his utmost to stay away from riba, the whole society and surroundings will be so much engrossed in riba, that some of its vapour or dust will reach this pious person.)
There are many Islamic scholars and good muslim economists who have developed the concept of Islamic banking, based on the principles of Shariah. It is still in its infant stage, and if Allah blesses it, it will be a good medium for the muslims in the future generations to work upon.
But in light of the clear aayahs and the traditions of the Messenger of Allah (saws), the currently available interest-based conventional banking system is absolutely forbidden in Islam.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,