Quran: 2:275- 279 Allah has permitted trading and forbidden ‘Riba’ interest (usury)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Quran: Chapter 3 Sipara ‘Tilkar Rosolu’, Sura: 2 ‘Al Baqarah’, Verse: 275- 279:

Verse 275: Those who devourRiba interest (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’,” where as Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba. So who-so-ever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Riba, shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge); but whoever returns (to Riba), such are the dwellers of the Fire—– they will abide forever therein.

—–Difficult words: Devour: Consume, eat greedily. Usury: practice of charging interest when lending money. The practices of making people pay back more money ‘as interest’ than the money one lends them. Riba: interest (usury). Insanity: Madness. Admonition: Caution, warning, scolding. Trading: Do business, buy and sell deal or contract.

Verse 276: Allah will destroy (deprive of blessings when taking Riba) Riba and will give
increase for Sadaqat (deeds of charity, alms). And Allah likes not the disbelievers, sinners.

Verse 277: Truly, those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) prayers, and give Zakat, they will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

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

Verse 279: 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).

{Disclaimer;  Explanation by Ibne Kathir is researched and written by


 – I just copy-pasted from that site. I only added the date of births, date of deaths of the scholars and the places at which births and deaths took place. I also added some more text color than in the original article.}

Explanation by Ibne Kathir (‘Imad Ad-Din, Isma’il bin ’Umar bin Kathir b. 702 Hijri in Basra, Syria– d. 774 H/ b. 1301 Christian Era– d. 1373CE)

Verse 275:

The Punishment for Dealing with Riba (Interest and Usury)

After Allah mentioned the righteous believers who give charity, pay Zakah and spend on their relatives and families at various times and conditions, He then mentioned those who deal in usury and illegally acquire people’s money, using various evil methods and wicked ways.

Allah describes the condition of these people when they are resurrected from their graves and brought back to life on the Day of Resurrection:

الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لاَ يَقُومُونَ إِلاَّ كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذِي يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ … 

Those who eat Riba will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaytan leading him to insanity.

This Ayah means, on the Day of Resurrection, these people will get up from their graves just as the person afflicted by insanity or possessed by a demon would.

Ibn Abbas 

[samia2010oct- ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas b. 619 CE d. 690 CE.70 AH  ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas was the son of ‘Abbas, an uncle of the noble Prophet. He was born just three years before the hijrah. When the Prophet died, ‘Abdullah was thus only thirteen years old. He passed away at the age of seventy one in the mountainous city of Ta’if. http://sunnahonline.com/library/history-of-islam/299-abdullah-ibn-abbas ]

said, “On the Day of Resurrection, those who consume Riba will be resurrected while insane and suffering from seizures.”

Ibn Abi Hatim

[samia2010oct- Abu Muhammad Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Hatim Muhammad bin Idris al-Razi al-Hanzali, well-known under the name Ibn Abi Hatim, born in al-Rayy (near modern Tehran) in the year 240 H/ 854 CE and died in the same city in the year 327 H/ 938 CE. http://www.sunnipress.com/new/ma/ibnabihatem.htm ]

 also recorded this and then commented, “This Tafsir was reported from Awf bin Malik, Sa`id bin Jubayr, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan.

Al-Bukhari [samia2010oct- Imâm Abû `Abdullâh Muhammad ibn Ismâ`îl al-Bukhârî (b. 194 H Bukhara present day Uzbekistan– d. 256 H Kharteng 809 CE– 869 CE)  http://www.sunnah.org/history/Scholars/imam_bukhari.htm ]

recorded that Samurah bin Jundub said in the long Hadith about the dream that the Prophet had,

فَأَتْينَا عَلَى نَهْرٍ حَسِبْتُ أَنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ: أَحْمَرَ مِثْلَ الدَّمِ، وَإِذَا فِي النَّهْرِ رَجُلٌ سَابِحٌ يَسْبَحُ، وَإِذَا عَلَى شَطِّ النَّهْرِ رَجُلٌ قَدْ جَمَعَ عِنْدَهُ حِجَارَةً كَثِيرَةً،وَإِذَا ذَلِكَ السَّابِحُ يَسْبَحُ مَا يَسْبَحُ، ثُمَّ يَأْتِي ذَلِكَ الَّذِي قَدْ جَمَعَ الْحِجَارَةَ عِنْدَهُ، فَيَفْغَرُ لَهُ فَاهُ فَيُلْقِمُهُ حَجَرًا

We reached a river – 

the narrator said, “I thought he said that the river was as red as blood”-

and found that a man was swimming in the river, and on its bank there was another man standing with a large collection of stones next to him. The man in the river would swim, then come to the man who had collected the stones and open his mouth, and the other man would throw a stone in his mouth.

The explanation of this dream was that the person in the river was one who consumed Riba.

Allah’s statement,

… ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُواْ إِنَّمَا الْبَيْعُ مِثْلُ الرِّبَا وَأَحَلَّ اللّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا …

That is because they say: “Trading is only like Riba,” whereas Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba,

indicates that the disbelievers claimed that Riba was allowed due to the fact that they rejected Allah’s commandments, not that they equated Riba with regular trade.

The disbelievers did not recognize that Allah allowed trade in the Qur’an, for if they did, they would have said, “Riba is trade.” Rather, they said,  إِنَّمَا الْبَيْعُ مِثْلُ الرِّبَا  (Trading is only like Riba) meaning, they are similar, so why did Allah allow this, but did not allow that, they asked in defiance of Allah’s commandments.

Allah’s statement,

… وَأَحَلَّ اللّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا …

Whereas Allah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba,

might be a continuation of the answer to the disbelievers’ claim, who uttered it, although they knew that Allah decided that ruling on trade is different from that of Riba.

Indeed, Allah is the Most Knowledgeable, Most Wise, Whose decision is never resisted. Allah is never asked about what He does, while they will be asked. He is knowledgeable of the true reality of all things and the benefits they carry. He knows what benefits His servants, so He allows it for them, and what harms them, so He forbids them from it. He is more merciful with them than the mother with her own infant.

Thereafter, Allah said,

… فَمَن جَاءهُ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ فَانتَهَىَ فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُ إِلَى اللّهِ …

So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Riba, shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge), meaning, those who have knowledge that Allah made usury unlawful, and refrain from indulging in it as soon as they acquire this knowledge, then Allah will forgive their previous dealings in Ribaعَفَا اللّهُ عَمَّا سَلَف  (Allah has forgiven what is past). (5:95)

On the day Makkah was conquered the Prophet said,

وَكُلُّ رِبًا فِي الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ مَوْضُوعٌ تَحْتَ قَدَمَيَ هَاتَيْنِ، وَأَوَّلُ رِبًا أَضَعُ، رِبَا الْعَبَّاس

All cases of Riba during the time of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic period of ignorance) is annulled and under my feet, and the first Riba I annul is the Riba of Al-Abbas (the Prophet’s uncle).

We should mention that;

the Prophet did not require the return of the interest that they gained on their Riba during the time of Jahiliyyah. Rather, he pardoned the cases of Riba that occurred in the past, just as Allah said, فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُ إِلَى اللّهِ  (shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allah (to judge).

Sa`id bin Jubayr [samia2010oct- Sa`id bin Jubayr also known as Abū Muhammad, was born in KufaIraq in 665 CE44 AH., was a religious scholar, was martyred in the month of Sha’bān, 95 AH. (ca. May 714) at the age of 49.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sa’id_ibn_Jubayr ]

and As-Suddi said that, فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ  (shall not be punished for the past),

refers to the Riba one consumed before it was prohibited.

Allah then said,

… وَمَنْ عَادَ …

But whoever returns,

meaning, deals in Riba after gaining knowledge that Allah prohibited it, then that warrants punishment, and in this case, the proof will have been established against such person.

This is why Allah said,

… فَأُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٢٧٥﴾

such are the dwellers of the Fire ـ they will abide therein forever.

Abu Dawud [samia2010oct- Imam Abu Dawud Sulaiman ibn Ash`ath ibn Ishaq ibn Bashir ibn Shaddad ibn `Umar ibn `Imran al-Azdi Sajastani, born in Sajistan, Khurasan, in 202 A.H., 817 CE, died on Friday 16th Shawwal 275 A.H., 889 CE, at the age of 72. http://www.sunnah.org/history/Scholars/imam_abu_dawud.htm ]

recorded that Jabir said,

“When الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لاَ يَقُومُونَ إِلاَّ كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذِي يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ   (Those who eat Riba will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like a person beaten by Shaytan leading him to insanity) was revealed, the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ لَمْ يَذَرِ الْمُخَابَرَةَ فَلْيُؤْذِنْ بِحَرْبٍ مِنَ اللهِ وَرَسُولِه

Whoever does not refrain from Mukhabarah, then let him receive a notice of war from Allah and His Messenger.”

Al-Hakim [samia2010oct- Muhammad ibn `Abd Allâh ibn Muhammad ibn Hamdûyah, Abû `Abd Allâh al-Dabbî al-Tamhânî al-Naysabûrî al-Shâfi`î, also known as Ibn al-Bayyi` (b. 321AH/ 933 CE – d. 405 AH/ 1014 CEhttp://sunnah.org/wordpress/2008/07/18/al-hakim-al-naysaburi/ ]

also recorded this in his Mustadrak, and he said,

“It is Sahih according to the criteria of Muslim, and he did not record it.”

Mukhabarah (sharecropping), farming land in return for some of its produce, was prohibited.

Muzabanah, trading fresh dates still on trees with dried dates already on the ground, was prohibited.

Muhaqalah, which refers to trading produce not yet harvested, with crops already harvested, was also prohibited.

These were prohibited to eradicate the possibility that Riba might be involved, for the quality and equity of such items are only known after they become dry.

The subject of Riba is a difficult subject for many scholars. We should mention that the Leader of the Faithful, Umar bin Al-Khattab, said,

“I wished that the Messenger of Allah had made three matters clearer for us, so that we could refer to his decision:

…. the grandfather (regarding inheriting from his grandchildren),

…. the Kalalah (those who leave neither descendants nor ascendants as heirs) and

…. some types of Riba.”

Umar was referring to the types of transactions where it is not clear whether they involve Riba or not.

The Shariah supports the rule that;

…. for any matter that is unlawful, then the means to it are also unlawful, because whatever results in the unlawful is unlawful, in the same way that whenever an obligation will not be complete except with something, then that something is itself an obligation.

The Two Sahihs recorded that An-Nu`man bin Bashir 

[samia2010oct- Full name al-Nu’man bin Bashir ibn Sa’d b. Tha’labah b. Jilas(Khilas) b. Zayd b. Malik b. Tha’laba b. Ka’b b. 1 AH/623 CE (Medina), d. 65 AH/685 CE (Hims)[ Killed ] Areas of interest; Recitation/Quran, Narrator [ ع , Qadhi(Judge), Governor http://muslimscholars.info/m/manage.php?submit=scholar&ID=274 ]

said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

إِنَّ الْحَلَالَ بَيِّنٌ وَإِنَّ الْحَرَامَ بَيِّنٌ، وَبَيْنَ ذَلِكَ أُمُورٌ مُشْتَبِهَاتٌ، فَمَنِ اتَّقَى الشُّبُهَاتِ اسْتَبْرَأَ لِدِينِهِ وَعِرْضِهِ، وَمَنْ وَقَعَ فِي الشُّبُهَاتِ وَقَعَ فِي الْحَرَامِ، كَالرَّاعِي يَرْعَى حَولَ الْحِمَى يُوشِكُ أَنْ يَرْتَعَ فِيه

Both lawful and unlawful things are evident, but in between them there are matters that are not clear. So whoever saves himself from these unclear matters, he saves his religion and his honor. And whoever indulges in these unclear matters, he will have fallen into the prohibitions, just like a shepherd who grazes (his animals) near a private pasture, at any moment he is liable to enter it.

The Sunan records that Al-Hasan bin Ali [samia2010oct- Hasan, the grand son of the Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him b. 3 AH/625 CE, Medina. d. 49 AH/669 CE, Medina at age 46 years. http://www.ismaili.net/histoire/history03/history349.html %5D

said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

دَعْ مَا يَرِيبُكَ إِلَى مَا لَا يَرِيبُك

Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.

Ahmad [samia2010oct- Imam Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Hambal (b. 164 A.H. Baghdad /780 CE. – d. 241 A.H. Baghdad / 855 CE) http://www.renaissance.com.pk/mjuletfor96.html ]

recorded that Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said that Umar said,

“The Ayah about Riba was one of the last Ayat to be revealed, and the Messenger of Allah died before he explained it to us. So leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt.”

Ibn Majah [samia2010oct- `Abdullah Muhammad bin Yazid bin `Abdullah titled as Ibn Majah was born in 209AH/824 AD in Qizwin, and died on 22nd of Ramadan al-Mubarik 273 AH/ 18th of February, 887 AD at Qizwin and was buried there. http://munirahmadmughal.hubpages.com/hub/Ibn-Majah-Muhaddith ]

recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

الرِّبَا سَبْعُونَ حُوبًا، أَيْسَرُهَا أَنْ يَنْكِحَ الرَّجُلُ أُمَّه

Riba is seventy types, the least of which is equal to one having sexual intercourse with his mother.

Continuing on the subject of prohibiting the means that lead to the unlawful, there is a Hadith that Ahmad recorded in which Aishah said,

“When the Ayat in Surah Al-Baqarah about Riba were revealed, the Messenger of Allah went out to the Masjid and recited them and also prohibited trading in alcohol.”

The Six collections recorded this Hadith, with the exception of At-Tirmidhi  [samia2010oct- Imam Abū ‛Īsa Muḥammad ibn ‛Īsa ibn Sawrah ibn Mūsa ibn al Ḍaḥḥāk al-Sulamīat-Tirmidhī (b. 209 AH in Khurasan– d. 279 AH at Bawag /824 CE- 892 CE) http://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/about ].

The Two Sahihs recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَعَنَ اللهُ الْيَهُودَ، حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الشُّحُومُ فَجَمَلُوهَا فَبَاعُوهَا، وَأَكَلُوا أَثْمَانَهَا

May Allah curse the Jews! Allah forbade them to eat animal fat, but they melted it and sold it, eating its price.


[samia2010oct- Ali ibn Abu Talib b. 600 CE, Makkah d. 661 CE / 40 AH, Kufa, Iraq.  http://ourislamonline.tripod.com/ali.htm ]

and Ibn Mas`ud 

[samia2010oct- People called him “Ibn Umm Abd“Ñthe son of the mother of a slave. His real name was Abdullah and his father’s name was Mas’ud. From “Companions of The Prophet”. http://www.sunnah.org/history/Sahaba/masud.html ]

narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَعَنَ اللهُ آكِلَ الرِّبَا وَمُوكِلَهُ وَشَاهِدَيْهِ وَكَاتِبَه

May Allah curse whoever consumes Riba, whoever pays Riba, the two who are witnesses to it, and the scribe who records it.

They say they only have witnesses and a scribe to write the Riba contract when they want it to appear to be a legitimate agreement, but it is still invalid because the ruling is applied to the agreement itself, not the form that it appears in. Verily, deeds are judged by their intentions.

Explanation by samia2010oct: The difference between trading and usury is undoubtedly very big and basic which cannot be mistaken.

In trading all the faculties of a person for e.g. physical strength, mental strength, emotional strength all types of faculties bestowed upon a person by Allah All-Mighty are used by the person. One has to work hard, one has to acquire some skill, training and education, one has to go through some level of risks, and one has to balance his income and expenditure in trading system of income. The hard work and the risk involved makes trading ‘Halal’ acceptable by Allah the All-Giver.

Whereas in interest and usury system of income one only has to lend money to a needy, who is already unable to cope with his expenditures that’s why he is asking for a loan, and the lender takes back double or whatever the rate be of the money he lend originally. So this way the lender is doing nothing other than exploiting a poor person. On the part of the
lender no hard work is involved, no education or skill is involved, no risk is involved. There is no limit on his expenditures because he is not working hard to earn it. Money is coming easily to him so he has no value for it. He falls victim of bad habits, bad behavior and ruins himself. He is no more a productive member of society. In the Hereafter too he goes to Hell Fire forever.


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