Islam frees its followers to engage in any business and financial transaction. It’s because financial transaction is very crucial to our life. Nowadays we do at least one financial transaction per day. Not to mention the long term transaction that we have to commit for a long time.
However, as a Muslim we have the Qur’an and the Sunnah as our main resources and guideline. Therefore we have to make sure that everything we done shouldn’t be across with what stated in both the Qur’an and the Sunnah. And that’s including the business and financial transaction we are engaged with.
Those rules and guideline made to keep the objective of Shari’ah. While the objective of Shari’ah made to keep the public interest. Muslim have to follow all the rules in order to keep the life be in harmony, and to get the blessing from Allah. Because after all, Allah’s blessing is the most important thing that all Muslim want.
There are three main elements that have to be avoided by all Muslim in any financial transaction they made. They are Riba, Gharar, and Maisir. Sadly these three elements are still practiced in most modern conventional transaction. In fact some Muslim still enjoy engaging with them for certain reason. Some of them don’t understand that what they’re doing is wrong. For example, they heard about Riba, but they don’t get the concept of Riba or why is it prohibited. But some people, they know that they are doing the wrong thing, but simply ignore and make excuses just because they can’t let it go.
The following pages are the elaboration of the prohibited elements. It includes the definition, the source of the prohibition, and some other related explanation. It is hoped that by reading this, people can get more knowledge about what they are engaged with. And furthermore start to become aware and avoiding the elements.
The Main Prohibited Elements
1. The element of Riba
1. Definition of Riba
According to Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman, Riba means usury or interest. In Arabic, the word Riba (الرب) means increase, whether in good or bad thing. While in Shari’ah terminology (Islamic law), Riba can be defined as: - An increase of one of two items in transaction, or
- An increase in a return of a debt
Riba is considered as one of the seven major sins (Al-Saba al-Mubiqat) which are: believing in gods other than Allah; magic; murder; riba/usury; unlawfully taking orphans’ money; fleeing from the battlefield; and accusing chaste, pious women.
2. Prohibition of Riba in the Qur’an and the Sunnah
There are numbers of verse in the Qur’an that consist the prohibition of Riba. They came in text revealed on stages. Below are those verses in the order of their revelation, as cited by Muhammad Ayub: • Surah al-Rum, verse 39
“That which you give as Riba to increase the people’s wealth increases not with God; but what which you give in charity, seeking the goodwill of God, multiples manifold.” (30: 39)
• Surah al-Nisa’, verse 161
“And for their taking Riba although it was forbidden for them, and their wrongful appropriation of other people’s property. We have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment.” (4: 16)
• Surah Al-e-Imran, verse 130
O believers, take not doubled and redoubled Riba, and fear Allah so that you may prosper. Fear the fire which has been prepared for those who reject faith, and obey Allah and the Prophet so that you may get mercy.” (3: 130)
• Surah al-Baqarah, verse 275-281
- “Those who take Riba shall be raised like those who have been driven to madness by the touch of the Devil; this is because they say: ‘Trade is just like interest’ while God has permitted trade and forbidden interest. Hence those who have received the admonition from their Lord and desist, may keep their previous gains, their case being entrusted to God; but those who revert, shall be...
References: Muhammad Ayub. (2007). Understanding Islamic Finance. England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Riba Al-Fadl. Kuwait Finance House Official Website. Retrieved on February 25, 2011 from http://www.kfh.bh/en/corporate-banking/corporate-finance/riba-al-fadl.html
Riba Al- Nasiah
Riba in Bible. La Riba Bank Official Website. Retrieved on February 25, 2011 from http://www.lariba.com/knowledge-center/riba-bible.htm
Riba in Torah
Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman. What Islam Says About Riba? Retrieved on February 25, 2011 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaUOtm7MP_c
 Muhammad Ayub, 2007, Understanding Islamic Finance, pp 44-47
 Bada 'i As-Sonai 'e, Al-Kasani, 5/263 ; Al-Mabsut, Al-Sarakhsi, 3/194
 Muhammad Ayub, 2008, Understanding Islamic Finance, pp
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