Definition of Riba from Quran and Hadeeth
Fatwa No: 402736

  • Fatwa Date:28-8-2019 - Thul-Hijjah 27, 1440
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Sir Assalamu Alaikum
Please I need definition of interest/Riba/Usury with quotations from the sacred Quran and or from authentic Hadith. May almighty Allah bless you


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

Riba in linguistic means excess/surplus. Allah Says (what means):

• {And you see the earth barren, but when We send down upon it rain, it quivers and swells.} [Quran 22:5]

• {Because one community is more plentiful [in number or wealth] than another community.} [Quran 16:92]; meaning more in number. We say so and so Arba (verb in Arabic) on so and so, meaning increased [something] for him.

Riba in Islamic terminology means an "increase in special things", as defined by Ibn Qudaamah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him in Al-Mughni.

There are two kinds of Riba: Riba Al-Fadhl and Riba An-Nasee'ah.

Riba Al-Fadhl is taking a superior thing of the same kind of goods by giving more of the same kind of goods of inferior quality. [As defined in Lughatul Fuqahaa’ Dictionary – page 218]

‘Ubaadah ibn As-Saamit  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Gold for gold, silver for silver, wheat for wheat, barley for barley, dates for dates, and salt for salt, the analogous by their analogous, the same amount by the same amount exchanged immediately from hand to hand. But if these kinds are different, then trade as you wish provided that this is done (exchanged immediately) hand to hand.” [Muslim]

The second kind is Riba An-Nasee'ah, which is an increase in the loan (amount due) in return for a delay in payment.

Malik related that Zayd ibn Aslam  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Usury in the Jahiliyya (Pre-Islamic Era of Ignorance) was that a man would give a loan to a man for a set term. When the period was due, he would say, 'Will you pay it off or increase me?' If the man paid, he took it. If not, he increased him in his debt and lengthened the term (time-period) for him.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 90254 and 88034.

Allah knows best.

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