Page 693 - Riyad-us-Saliheen

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It is very sad indeed that in emulating the western societies, Muslims have also founded their economy on the
system of interest. The westernized rulers of the Muslim countries are not making any effort to emancipate their
countries from this curse, nor do the people of these countries now have any passion to save themselves from it. In
fact, a large majority of them borrow and lend money on interest through the bank without any regard to the Islamic
injunctions in this respect.
Given below are some points for the consideration of those Muslims who want to protect their Faith and religion and
save themselves from the curse of interest.
The word used for interest in the Qur'an is Ar-Riba which means excess. In Shari`ah, it is the measure of excess in
one thing when two things are exchanged in some bargain; or in the case of a loan, an increased amount of the loan
at the time of its payment. Ar-Riba is of two kinds:
First, Riba Al-Fadl: To take more in exchange of one commodity in the event of barter of two similar commodities.
Second, Riba An-Nasi'ah: To take a larger return of one thing while two identical things are bartered. But in this
case the larger return is effected after a fixed period of time.
In Islamic jurisprudence, assets are of two types. One type is of commodities and the other is of the mode of price
for exchanging commodities called Thaman Then every type has a class of varieties. For example, food grains are a
type of assets and rice, wheat, etc., are its varieties. Similarly, silver, gold, etc., are varieties of the second type of
assets. Coins, currency notes, company shares, etc., can also be considered varieties of this type in contemporary
This Hadith has injunctions in respect of both types of assets. Six things mentioned in the Hadith are gold, silver,
wheat, barley, dates and salt. Some religious scholars have restricted the matters relating to interest to these six
things only and do not regard increase or decrease in other things as usury, while going by analogy the majority of
scholars and jurists have included other things also in this list. (For instance, all the food grains whether they are
calculated in terms of weight or measure, or which have - like gold and silver - the quality of being Thaman, or
according to some scholars and jurists which are capable of being stored).
Thus, to sum up, these two types of assets have four varieties:
1. Commodities which are sold by weight.
2. Commodities which are sold by measure.
3. Commodities which can be stored.
4. Commodities which are used as Thaman in sale and purchase.
In all such matters the position of interest-bearing and interest-free things would be as under:
1. When commodities to be exchanged are of the same `type' and `variety,' any increase or decrease in them will be
unlawful, as will be their sale on credit; for example, exchange of wheat with wheat and rice with rice. It is essential
that these things are equal in measure and/or weight, and are in actual possession.
2. If two things to be exchanged are of the same `type' but of a different `variety,' any increase or decrease in them is
permissible. Their sale on credit is, however, not lawful. For instance, the exchange of one kilogram of silver with
two grams of gold, or the barter of one kilo barley with half a kilo wheat, or the exchange of one dinar with four
riyals. If such a bargain is on cash basis it will be fair, but any credit in this case is not correct.
3. When the two things to be exchanged are not of the same `type' and are also different in `variety,' then any
increase or decrease in them is permissible and their sale on credit is also allowed. For example, exchange of one
kilogramme of wheat with a gram of gold, bargain of one kilogramme of dates with ten Tola (
about 116 grams
silver. Any increase or decrease in them is permissible, as is their sale on credit