Showing how grave this sin really is. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said :
“Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) classified it among the seven major sins “Volume 8, Book 82, Number 840”:
Narrated Abu Huraira
The Prophet said, “Avoid the seven great destructive sins.” They (the people!) asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What are they?” He said, “To join partners in worship with Allah; to practice sorcery; to kill the life which Allah has forbidden except for a just cause (according to Islamic law); to eat up usury (Riba), to eat up the property of an orphan; to give one’s back to the enemy and freeing from the battle-field at the time of fighting and to accuse chaste women who never even think of anything touching chastity and are good believers.”
Hazrat Jabir radiyallahu anhu has reported that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallm cursed the devourer of usury, its payer, its scribe and its two witnesses. He also said that they were equal (in sin). (Muslim)
Some Hadith on Islamic transactions (muamalah)
Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiyallahu anhu reported that the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallm said: A time will certainly come over the people when none will remain who will not devour usury. If he does not devour it, its vapour will overtake him. (Ahmed, Abu Dawood, Nisai, Ibn Majah.)
Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiyallahu anhu reported that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallm said : Usury has got seventy divisions. The easiest division of them is a man marrying his mother. (Ibn Majah)
Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiyallahu anhu reported that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallm said: I came across some people in the night in which I was taken to the heavens. Their stomachs were like houses wherein there were serpents, which could be seen from the front of their stomachs. I asked: O Gabriel! Who are these people? He replied these are those who devoured usury. (Ahmed, Ibn Majah)
Hazrat Ali radiyallahu anhu reported that he heard the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallm cursing the devourer of usury, its giver, its scribe and one who refuses to give Zakat and he used to forbid mourning. (Nisai)
Hazrat Umar bin Al-Khattab radiyallahu anhu reported: the last of what was revealed was the verse of usury. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallm was taken and he had not explained it to us. So, give up usury and doubt. (Ibn Majah, Darimi)
Hazrat Abdullah bin Hanzalah radiyallahu anhu (who was washed by the angels) reported that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallm said: A dirham of usury that a man devours and he knows is greater than 36 fornications. (Ahmed, Darqutni)
Baihaqi reported from Ibn Abbas radiyallahu anhu in shuabul iman. He added and said: (as for) one whose flesh has grown out of unlawful food, the fire is more suitable for him.
Some Muslims may argue that only the taking of interest is prohibited. But one Sahih Hadith says
“ Hazrat Jabir r.a. has reported that the Messenger of Allah cursed the devourer of usury, its payer, its scribe and its two witnesses. He also said that they were equal (in sin).” (Mishkat-ul-Masabih)
After narrating all these verses from the Qur’an and relating all the Ahaadith it is apparent to us that interest could never be legal and halal. How could anybody even take the time out to think about a matter in which Allah has declared war on the user and his Beloved Prophet sallallahu alaihe wasallm has cursed him? As sensible people we can understand that what our creator has chosen for us is for our own prosperity only.
Imam Adh-Dhahabi in his book, “The Major Sins” narrates some of the statements of the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) concerning riba:
“Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Mas ‘ood (may Allah be pleased with him) reported his father as saying: “When zina (adultery and fornication) and riba appear in a place, Allah orders its destruction.”
Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The one who takes and the one who gives riba will go to the fire.”
Why Islam Prohibits Riba
The Prohibition of riba in Islam has its origins in the Qur’an and the authentic traditions (hadith) of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). It is based on Allah’s infinite wisdom that He deems an action as obligatory or prohibited. After pondering over the texts concerning riba in both the Qur’an and Sunnah, Muslim scholars have given several reasons and suggestions as to why Allah may have enforced such laws on the Muslims. The following are some reasons proposed by Muslim Scholars:
- Riba is a sure gain without any possibility of loss, hence all the risk is taken by the borrower, rather than sharing the risk and the profits
- Riba retards economic growth and development.
- Riba is one of the major contributors of inflation.
- Riba negates the culture of brotherhood and sympathy.
From a moral and spiritual point, riba is clearly based on greed, selfishness, parsimony, narrow-mindedness and hard-heartedness. It nurtures the same evils in the money lender.