What is Riba / Usury and is it mentioned in the Quran?
Riba is an Arabic word, derived from the verb ‘raba’ which literally means ‘to grow’,‘inflate’ or ‘excess’. The same fictional meaning has occurred in many instances in the Quran.
Here are the main verses of the Quran where Allah specifically mentions about Interest and the results of being involved in usury.
- Surah Rum, verse 39
“And whatever you give for interest to increase within the wealth of people will not increase with Allah . But what you give in zakah, desiring the countenance of Allah – those are the multipliers. (30: 39)
- Surah Nisa, verse 161
“And [for] their taking of usury while they had been forbidden from it, and their consuming of the people’s wealth unjustly. And we have prepared for the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.” (4: 161)
- Surah Imran, verses 130-2
“O you who have believed, do not consume usury, doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful. Fear the Fire (of hell), which has been prepared for the disbelievers. Obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy.” (4:130-132)
- Surah Baqarah, verses 275-81
“Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say, “Trade is [just] like interest.” But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest. So whoever has received a warning from his Lord and ceases may have what is past, and his affair rests with Allah. But whoever returns to [dealing in interest or usury] – those are the inhabitants of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein.” (275)
“Allah destroys interest and gives increase for charities. And Allah does not like every sinning disbeliever.” (276)
“Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give zakat will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” (277)
“O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers.” (278)
“And if you do not, then be informed of a war [against you] from Allah and His Messenger. But if you repent, you may have your principal – [thus] you do no wrong, nor are you wronged.” (279)
“And if someone is in hardship, then [let there be] postponement until [a time of] ease. But if you give [from your right as] charity, then it is better for you, if you only knew.” (280)
“And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be treated unjustly.” (281)
Let’s not take these words from Allah lightly and act upon this guidance. We are in a time where Riba is very common practice, and it is very easy to fall into the trap as there are many misconceptions of Islamic Banking. Keep faith in Allah and make Dua that he helps us overcome and difficult obstacles we have in life when it comes to this topic.