by Asma bint Shameem
O my Muslim Brothers and Sisters, Allaah, the Lord of the Worlds, is talking….talking to you and me, His slaves….ordering us that RIBAA (interest) is Haraam.
“O you who believe! Fear Allaah and give up what is still due to you from Ribaa if you are (truly) believers.” (al-Baqarah:278)
And then He WARNS us:
“And if you do not do it, then take a notice of WAR from Allaah and His Messenger.” [al-Baqarah:279]
Did we read the Ayah carefully?? Maybe, we should read it again.
What does it say??
It says that if we do not give up ribaa (usury), then we should take a notice of war from Allaah and His Messenger (صل اللہ عليه و سلم)
AT WAR?!! With WHOM?? With ALLAAH and His Messenger (صل اللہ عليه و سلم) !!??
In the Qur’aan, Allaah does not declare war on anyone except the people who deal in ribaa.
Do we even know what it means to be at war with Allaah and His Messenger (صل اللہ عليه و سلم)??
Do we even understand??
The person at war with Allaah and His Messenger (صل اللہ عليه و سلم) will be given a weapon on the Day of Judgment; it will be said to him: “Now fight Allaah and His Messenger!!! (Ibn Katheer)
O Allaah save us from that !!
The one at war with Allaah and His Messenger (صل اللہ عليه و سلم) is CURSED in this Dunya and in the Hereafter. He is DOOMED. There is no happiness, no peace, no NOTHING for him. He is nothing but…. a LOSER.
And yet, we continue to deal in interest….continue to defy the Almighty… continue to satisfy our desires….continue to be at war with Allaah and His Messenger (صل اللہ عليه و سلم)!
Where are we going??
What is the matter with us??
Is this world and its TEMPORARY pleasures more important than the pleasure of our Lord, the One Who sustains us and gives us everything….and, I mean, everything??
Are we not scared of meeting Him??
What will we do when we will be given a weapon to fight??
Can we even DARE????
Can we even hope to SURVIVE???
“Those who eat Ribaa will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaytaan leading him to insanity.” [Baqarah: 275]
In other words, on the Day of Resurrection, these people will get up from their graves just as the person who is insane or as someone possessed by a demon would. Ibn `Abbas said, “On the Day of Resurrection, those who consume Ribaa will be resurrected while insane and suffering from seizures.” And just look at the ahaadeeth regarding this major, MAJOR sin!!
1) Interest condemns a person to severe punishment:
The Prophet (صل اللہ عليه و سلم) said:
“Last night I saw two men who came to me and took me out to a holy land. We set out until we came to a river of blood in which a man was standing, and on the bank of the river there was a man with stones in front of him. The man who was in the river came and wanted to get out, but the other man threw a stone in his mouth and he went back to where he had been. Every time he wanted to get out, he threw a stone in his mouth and he went back to where he had been. I said, ‘What is this?’ He said: ‘The one whom you saw in the river is the one who consumed ribaa.'” (Bukhaari)
2) Interest dooms a person to HELL:
The Prophet (صل اللہ عليه و سلم) said:
” ‘Avoid the seven sins that doom a person to Hell.’ They said: O Messenger of Allaah, what are they?’ He said: ‘Shirk, magic, killing a soul whom Allaah has forbidden us to kill,consuming ribaa (interest), consuming orphans’ wealth, running away from the battle field, and slandering chaste, innocent believing women.’ ” (Bukhaari, Muslim)
3) ALL (direct or indirect) dealings of Interest are Haraam:
The Messenger of Allaah (صل اللہ عليه و سلم) cursed ten people:
the one who consumes ribaa, the one who pays ribaa, the one who writes it down, the two who witness it, the one who makes it lawful, the one for whom it is made lawful, the one who withholds charity, the one who does tattoos and the one for whom tattooing is done.” (Muslim)
4) Interest is WORSE than ZINAA:
The Prophet (صل اللہ عليه و سلم) said:
” A dirham which a man consumes as ribaa knowingly is worse before Allaah than THIRTY-SIX ACTS OF ZINAA.” (Ahmad, Tabaraanee- saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’).
5) Interest is like COMMITTING ZINAA with one’s own MOTHER!!!
And he (صل اللہ عليه و سلم) said:
” There are seventy-two types of ribaa, the least of which is like a man committing incest with his own mother.” (Tabaraanee– saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’).
We are disgusted with even the thought of such horrific acts. Yet, despite all the warnings, all the ahaadeeth we read, all the lectures we hear on this topic, we continue to be disobedient….we continue to indulge in our desires, completely disregarding its consequences.
“Have you seen he who took his desire for a god? With knowledge, Allah has led him astray, setting a seal upon his hearing and heart, and has made a veil over his eyes, who then shall guide him after Allah? Will you not then remember!” (al-Jaathia:23)
Isn’t this world and whatever’s in it a mirage and a test for the believers?
But, somehow, we deliberately close our eyes on the evidence and come up with ALL the excuses in the world.
And then we wonder why there is no peace in our lives? Why our kids are out of control? Why we suffer from anxiety and depression? WHY THERE IS NO BARAKAH?
Some excuses we come up with:
1. But, I NEED a house/car/loan etc.
The fact that a person may need a house or car, or to get married, or any other need, does not give him the excuse to do something that Allaah has forbidden. Why do we have to BUY a house? We can always rent.
Why do we have to have a big, fancy house if we can’t afford it? We can always make do with a reasonable place.
Is it worth bringing on Allaah’s wrath? Just think about it.
“Say: “Not equal are Al-Khabith (evil things) and At-Tayyib (good things), even though the abundance of Al-Khabith may please you”. (Surah al-Ma’idah:100)
2. I only did it for my wife/kids
Our family might thank us now, but THEY WILL CURSE US ON THE DAY OF JUDGMENT….because the Prophet (صل اللہ عليه و سلم) said:
“The flesh and body that is raised on unlawful sustenance shall not enter Paradise. Hell is more deserving to the flesh that grows on one’s body out of unlawful sustenance.” (Ahmad)
And you know what? We will curse them too….if we dealt with ribaa because of them, when we will face Allaah and answer Him.
” O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allaah. And whosoever does that, then they are the LOSERS.” (Al-Munaafiqoon:9)
3. But isn’t there a fatwa that says it’s okay….?
What is haraam is that which has been forbidden by Allaah and His Messenger صل اللہ عليه و سلم(), and what is halaal is that which has been permitted by Allaah and His Messenger (صل اللہ عليه و سلم). Just because some SAY it is okay, when there is no dire necessity, doesn’t make wrong right or right wrong. The Prophet (صل اللہ عليه و سلم) has told us that there will come a time when the people will permit that which Allaah has forbidden, such as adultery, alcohol and musical instruments. That does not mean that these haraam things will then become halaal.
“And say not concerning that which your tongues put forth falsely:`This is lawful and this is forbidden,’ so as to invent lies against Allaah. Verily, those who invent lies against Allaah will never prosper” [al-Nahl:116]
4. If it was so wrong, Allah would have punished me long time back….
Just because Allaah is giving us a chance to repent and fix ourselves, doesn’t mean that it is okay with Allaah for us to do haraam.
Remember this hadeeth of the Prophet (صل اللہ عليه و سلم):
” Whenever Allaah intends to do good to a servant, He hastens to punish him in this world. And whenever Allaah intends evil for a servant, He postpones the punishment until the Day of Judgment.” (Tirmidhi)
Some Common Ways we deal in Ribaa
— By taking interest-based LOANS for houses/business/cars, etc. OR helping someone get such interest-based LOANS, even if we didn’t take that loan ourselves.
— Putting money in interest-based BANK ACCOUNTS (even if we give away the interest),
— Working for such banks (even if we don’t deal directly with ribaa),
— Working for a MOTGAGE COMPANY
— Working as a LOAN OFFICER, — Having a balance on our CREDIT CARD that charges interest, etc.
O my Brother/Sister….Ribaa is haraam according to the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and scholarly consensus.
We should be content with that which Allaah and His Messenger ( صل اللہ عليه و سلم) have permitted, and refrain from that which Allaah and His Messenger (صل اللہ عليه و سلم) have forbidden. We should not be deceived by the spread of ribaa in every place. We should not let the Shaytaan lead us astray, pulling us by our desires.
We need to repent now …..For, by Allaah, if we repent sincerely, He will forgive us.
We have to make our intention NOW, not tomorrow, not even this evening……
We should do it NOW to get out of ribaa and He will find a way out for us, for sure. Because that’s what He promised.
I pray that we are not from THE ONES WHO TURN AWAY when reminded of their Lord’s verses.
“Who is greater in evil than he who, when reminded of the verses of his Lord, turns away from them and forgets what his hands have sent before him? We have placed veils over their hearts lest they should understand it, and there is heaviness in their ears. Even if you call them to guidance, they will never be guided.” (Kahf:57)
“Surely, in this there is a Reminder for he who has a heart or listens attentively while witnessing.” (Qaaf:37)
And Allaah knows best.