Why Riba is forbidden
Fatwa No: 85578

  • Fatwa Date:22-4-2004 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 3, 1425
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I want to know why "Riba" taking interest from bank is Haram. Please tell me the process of this; I need to know why.


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.


It is an obligation upon the Muslim to surrender to the Divine Instructions, to adhere to them, to do what is lawful and to avoid what is forbidden, since Islam is based on total submission to Allah, The Exalted, whether or not one knows the wisdom or reason behind the Divine Teachings.

Allah says (what means): {It is not for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided a matter, that they should [thereafter] have any choice about their affair. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly strayed into clear error.} [Quran 33:36]

However, the scholars of Islam mentioned many consequences and bad effects because of dealing with Riba (usury and/or interest). Among them are: (1)- taking other people's property without making effort, (2) exploiting the needy's difficult situation, (3) killing the spirit of co-operation and mercy among Muslims, (4) building financial relations on greediness, (5) establishing rancor between the poor and the rich, and (6) dividing society into exploiters and exploited segments.

Here, we say that Allah, the Exalted, has urged Muslims to give good loans (i.e. without interest) and promised those who give such a loan that He will increase their reward. Such a Divine legislation is made for the sake of establishing co-operation and mercy among Muslims.

In addition to that, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Allaah has cursed the one who consumes Riba (i.e. usury or interest), the one who gives it to others, the one who records it and the one who witnesses it (its transaction).” He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “All of them are equal in sin.” [Muslim]

Allaah Knows best.

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