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Basic Important Things You Should Know About Riba " usury " and Examples

The nature of the economic situation in this country has since turned many people into one sort of business or another. But as a Muslim you need to have a basic knowledge of rules governing business transactions especially in regards to riba.

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There is always reason behind every single article I wrote and what pushed me to write this article is when I came across this: " In the Quran, Allah does not declare war on anyone except those who deal in riba". And this is confirmed in the following verse:

" O you who believe, fear Allah and give up what remains for your demands for riba, if you are indeed believer. If you do it not, take notice of war from Allah and His Messenger. " ( Q 2: 278-279)."

So from this Surah you know the issue of riba in the Quran came with such seriousness that deserves your total consideration.

Almost every business transactions involve borrowing and lending and this is where riba is mostly found.

Most of our business men and women don't know what riba is, never mind to know, then how can they avoid it? And the dangers of consuming riba is too big to be ignored. The question now is what is riba?

In Islam riba simply means unjust exploitation gains made in trade or business, this equates to English word " usury " or interest. Though, this definition will not be enough to make a person understand what really riba is ,hence, the need for some basic and simple explanations that would help you understand it, and why its consumption is one of the greatest of sins.

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Quran prohibited contract that specifies fixed return to the lender, on the ground that it provides unearned profit to the borrower, and this is what riba really is.

However, to many, riba is when a person buys commodities and sells it at exorbitant prices, the person who does this could only be seen as not being merciful to people. And the prophet (saw) said, Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to people.

And as for the the riba it is divided into two types " Riba al- Nasiyya and Riba al-Fadl.

What Is Riba Al-Nasiyya?

Example of riba al-nasiyya is when you loan ₦5000 from someone and then on the payday, you pay ₦ 5200 after one or two weeks depending on the agreement. And this additional amount is mere because of the time increase.

What Is Riba Al-Fadl?

And riba al-fadl is the " unequal exchange " example, it is haram ( prohibited) to exchange ₦20 for ₦10, as it happens when someone wants a new naira note he goes to the bank or some individuals to get it, and in the process he has to pay additional amount for the exchange instead of equal amount to be paid for equal quantity. If you engage in practice of this type you involve in riba.

It is also prohibited to exchange one bag of rice for two bags of rice, example if the one bag of rice is of low quality. though, this practice may be rare but it could still happen in the business ,example when your neighbor in the market who sells the same product you are trading in, has a recent supply of that product which attracts more customers, thus, you decide to buy from him but in exchange of your old products and he tells you to give two items for one of his new products despite being same product only that yours is old and attracts lower patronage.

To make the above explanation even more clearer let me give you another example. If you go to your friend house and you see his mobile phone which is not different from yours ( commodities of same kind) and for some reasons you want exchange your phone with his, and you both agreed. If one of you delay the delivery, this is another form of riba.

furthermore, if you go to someone with $1000 for Nigeria Naira exchange instead of him to give you on the spot, for some reasons he delays until later or next day, this is another form of riba called ( Riba Attaakhira).

It is riba because of the delay involved. The person who brought you the money might have some urgent issues to solve.

Another example is when you go to your friend in the market and ask him to give you some money to buy bundles of clothes on condition that he ( the lender) would get ₦200 for each bundle after the sell. Both of you involve in the act of riba.

The Consequences Of Riba

There is no other consequence as far as I know than Allah to wage war on you. And on Judgement's Day people will rise quickly from their graves except those who dealt in riba, they will keep standing up and falling down like those who are beaten by Satan. As Allah says in the Quran:

" Those who consume riba can not stand ( on the Day of Resurrection) except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That because they say, " Trade is just like riba; But Allah has permitted trade and forbidden riba ( usury).

So I believe you have been hearing about the scenario of The Judgement Day, in which even those standing are not comfortable , then what about those who can not stand?

Do you know that all major crimes like killing people, adultery and fornication, stealing, have all specific punishment, but Allah did not mention the penalty for consumption of riba. Because all types the punishment available on this earth is not enough for the crime of consuming riba.

In the hadith, the prophet (saw) said Allah has cursed who consumes riba, the one who gives it, the one who witnessed it and the one who write down the transaction. ( Muslim).

The only when riba is allowed is when one is desperate. If you have no money and no 0alternative and there is potential difficulty or even death this is when it becomes temporarily allowed and even at that point you need to consult a scholar who is knowledgeable enough to pass a verdict on major issues like riba. And majority of the scholars are not in support of this.

Finally, you now have the idea of some basic important things you should know about riba as a Muslim which include an exchange of money of the same denomination where the quantity exchanged is not equal, and also where two commodities ( of the same kind) either the quantity is not equal or the delivery of one side is deferred. And you also learn how enormous the crime of dealing in riba is and the circumstances surrounding the possibility of taking riba in time of desperation.

However, note that this is just like highlight that will guide you to at least know what is riba, the types, examples and warnings and to encourage you to avoid it as well as seeking more knowledge about it.

May Allah guide us and increase in our knowledge.

Allah knows best.

If you read this, don't forget to like and share as you may also help many to learn and be saved from the dangers of riba.

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