All types of riba are prohibited, not just what is doubled and multiplied
Fatwa No: 300412

Question

Does the Holy Quran contain any contradictions? One of my friends suggests that Surah Al-Baqarah verse 275 forbids us to consume all types of interest. On the other hand, Surah Al-Imran verse 130 forbids to consume interest partially: {O you who have believed, do not consume usury, doubled and multiplied, but fear Allaah that you may be successful.} Does the last surah indicate that only 'doubled and multiplied' interest is prohibited and simple interest allowed? I am confused by his suggestion. Please, answer me.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

There is no contradiction at all in the Quran except for those of whom Allaah blinded their sight and put a seal over their hearts because of the diseases of desires and misconceptions that they have. We ask Allaah to protect us from this and make us firm on His Religion.

To clarify the matter that you have asked about: the meaning of the verse in which Allaah says (what means): {O you who have believed, do not consume usury, doubled and multiplied.} [Quran 3:130] is clarifying the reality [what is happening] and not that the prohibition is only restricted to the case when the usury is doubled. Therefore, this verse does not contradict the verse in Chapter Al-Baqarah [Quran 2].

Ibn ‘Atiyyah said in al-Muharrar al-Wajeez:

His [Allaah’s] saying {doubled} is an indication to the repetition of doubling year after year as they used to do, so this term [i.e. doubled] confirmed the heinousness and ugliness of what they used to do. It is for this reason that it stated the case of doubling in particular, but Allaah has forbidden all types of usury; this is Mafhoom al-Khitaab (understanding of the concept of the context, i.e. understanding the meaning of a word with both certainty in judgment that is expressed verbally and what is perceived silently) because the riba (interest) that is not mentioned has the same ruling as that which was mentioned. Also, all types of riba includes doubling or increasing in different ways whether due to the material (of goods by giving more of the same kind of goods of inferior quality whether the things exchanged are food or something else), or due to delay (in repayment of money) and so forth.” [End of quote]

Besides, Ash-Shawkaani said in Fat-h al-Qadeer:

His [Allaah’s] saying {doubled and multiplied} is not to restrict the prohibition as it is known that riba is prohibited in any case, but this was mentioned due to what they used to do in riba, as they used to practice riba to a limited term, and when the limited term came, then they would increase a proportion on which they agree in the amount of money and then extend the term of the loan. They used to do this again and again [i.e. renew the term of loan again and again] until the person who lends with riba takes many times the amount of the loan that he had lent at the beginning. The wording of the verse is a reference that doubling is repeated year after year, and the exaggeration in this statement [doubled and multiplied] means the confirmation of the reprimand.” [End of quote]

Therefore, the saying of Allaah {doubled and multiplied} is not a restriction of the forbidden usury so that it contradicts the general prohibition of riba, but it is a description of what the people used to do at that time. It should be noted that the rulings and texts should be looked at in their totality, and one should not look at a single text without looking at the remaining texts in the same context. Ash-Shaatiby said in a Al-I’tisaam, “Many a time you may see the ignorant people challenging and objecting either with void evidence, or restricting themselves to a valid evidence, while avoiding to take into consideration other pieces of evidence.

We ask Allaah not to lead our hearts astray after he had guided us to faith.

Allaah knows best.

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