Riba is a strongly prohibited act in Islam economic. It described by the term usury in Quran and Hadith. The usury in money loan in Islam which brings more advantage to the loaner by increasing the amount of money involved, multiple times than the original ones. The practice of is nowadays done by the conventional banking methods, even though the Islamic law is still prohibited until today.
As reported by Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“On the night of Ascension I came upon people whose stomachs were like houses with snakes visible from the outside. I asked Gabriel who they were. He replied that they were people who had received interest.” – Ibn Majah
Indeed, Allah will not prohibited of something unless it is not good for Ummah. And there are many good reasons why riba is strongly prohibited that it mentioned both in the Holy Quran and Hadith many times.
Here are among the reasons of prhibition of riba in Islam:
1. Debt is Causing Burden to Others
Whether it’s for personal or for the society, debt is giving a huge burden for the borrower. When people involve themselves in debt, it means they have been in a difficult situation an meet the dead ends everywhere. Also the fact has spoke that debt could even cause killing and suicide. When they feel like the burden of living in debts is too much and they feel like can’t take it anymore, they choose to end their lives. It happens everywhere, including in a modern country.
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2. It Against the Spirit of Brotherhood
The Islamic spirit of brotherhood is quite clear: all Muslim should be the brother of another Muslims. Brother means family, and family should help each other when in needs. It’s where the spirit lies, to help each other. But riba is indeed far from helping. Instead of helping, loaning money with interest makes the burden even bigger. It’s not helping at all.
3. Riba is a Greedy Act
Riba is surely an act full of greed, multiplying the amount of money in a completely wrong way. Greed is not allowed in islam, as it’s not the trait of Muslim. Stay away from all the greedy act, including the riba. Riba are based on greediness, hard heartedness and selfishness.
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4. Riba May Cause a Major Inflation
Riba affects the economic in a bad way. It may cause the inflation, and it’s quite dangerous for the economy. In fact, riba is one of the major contributor of the inflation.
5. Riba Disadvantage the Borrower
It’s an unfair transaction in economy because riba is benefiting only for the loaner or the owner of the money. Whereas for the borrower, riba is only disadvantaging them. In the beginning they get the money, but afterwards they should pay in the bigger amount than they borrow in the first place. It makes the situation even harder than before.
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6. Riba Creates Monopoly in the Society
Monopoly is also prohibited in Islam. While riba itself is prohibited in Islam, it also cause monopoly in some ways. How riba can creates monopoly because of its unfair aftereffect for both party involved in the transaction. They wealthy is rewarded by more money, while the poor is getting nothing but paying the money that they are not indebted.
7. Riba Makes the Distribution of Wealth Uneven
As riba only advantageous for the wealthy, it makes the distribution of the wealth become uneven as well. To make a balanced, stable society, the distribution of wealth should be even. It against the principle of the economics.
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8. Riba Teaches a Muslim Not to Work Hard
Through riba, a Muslim can be wealthier without having to work hard. Unlike the ethics of Islam, where a Muslim should work hard to create sustenance in their lives. But by riba, someone can be wealthier by lending their money, and they put the burden to the other person to make themselves wealthier. This act is surely not allowed by any means in Islam.
9. Riba Causes a Bad Relation Among People
Riba can caused rift and faction in the society. They can be divided by the unfair transaction and it can be dangerous for the society in the future.
Also read: Prohibition of Speculation in Islam
10. Riba is Giving More Power to the Rich
As riba would only benefited the rich, it gives even more power to the rich people. As they get wealthier, their power increase and it will be become even more unfair for the poor.
How to Avoid Riba
In the modern society, it’s hard for Muslims to stay away from riba, because nowadays the practice of riba is concealed in many ways. But a good Muslim will try his best to avoid the practice of riba. There are certain ways how to avoid riba, because there are many good reasons of prohibition of riba in Islam:
- Involving ourselves in a economic contracts that are free of riba practice, such as money loan, saving in a bank accounts, and other kind of payments.
- Borrow money from person, not from bank or other financial agents who is using interest.
- Deal only with Islamic bank and Islamic financial agents. Make sure to ask clearly about riba before making any transaction.
Those are all the good reasons of prohibition of Islam. Riba is indeed unlawful act that all Muslims should avoid with their best. May all of us can be a good Muslim. Amin.