Why has Riba been prohibited by Islam?

Those who engage in riba are told they will fight Allah and His messenger on the day of judgment, but what is the underlining reason for this staunch attitude towards riba?

I think it’s because it is an instrument by which the rich become even more richer at the expense of the poor becoming poorer

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In and of itself there’s nothing wrong with the rich becoming richer - that is why the Qur’an is clearer about profit being halal. But when it’s done at the expense of the rich it becomes exploitative

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When we also understand this in relation to Zakah, the purpose of Zakah is to redistribute wealth in society. And it is a obligation

When we understand that interest inherently does the opposite of what Zakah sets out to achieve then it makes sense why it would be Haram too

One of the reasons why it’s prohibited is because it exploits the poor and tends to make their situation worse not better.


This goes onto to support the reason why there is no barakah in haram money

Riba is prohibited in Islam as it can come with many faults, you cannot expect to have no financial issues or blessings in life with riba. In the Quran it highlights “interest is void of any blessings, while he will bless charity with growth” Allah has stated it as one of the deadliest sins as well as it’s as if you are declaring a war.

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It outlines economic injustice. A rich person can lend money to a poor person with interest. The rich person can profit from the money as they would request for additional money from the borrowed money.

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I think the main reason for the staunch view is that it has significant social impact: it is not just something which impacts a particular person but the ill is experienced across society. Riba can ripple into all aspects of life: food, clothing, etc, as we see today. Hence the impact of the haram is felt by many more than just an individual

In addition, once one is involved with ribs, it sometimes becomes easy for people to not consider it as a major deal. This makes the sin even worse.

Riba is based on greed, it sets up a lender/borrower relationship rather the means of sharing a business.

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In todays society almost everything consists of interest. This makes it hard for muslims to make choices because they may feel like they have no option other than to get a mortgage for example, without realising how sinful ribs is and the importance to avoid it as much as possible.

Agreed. Given the importance of finances in one’s daily activity, it makes a lot of sense why it is seen as such a grave sin

the issue with sin is that when one describes halal what Allah has decreed haram, it is goes beyond (just) committing a prohibited act- it goes to the length of questioning Allah’s wisdom

On the flip side, if one is able to maintain squeaky clean with their financial handles, it translates into a lot of blessings and so following the commands on Allah in this key area brings a lot optimism for the one who follows it up

I agree with the “lender/borrower” relationship. You can see why Islamic rulings are so important and wise. It is so easy to be taken advantage from when you fall into a trap which riba basically is. You can also see it as the lender becomes higher in authority to the borrower. Allah states we’re all equal. No son of Adam is better than another. So many ways to look at it.

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Agreed. Everything involves interest these days. Especially when you’re living in a non Muslim country. It’s hard to avoid. Then when you fall into the trap or you’re taking wishy washy fatwas/advice you’re falling into a further hole by picking and choosing opinions to follow. I mean if you try to be sneaky with riba, that’s a dangerous road to take. Makes a person questionable and wonder how they’re making other decisions in their life. Allah keep us steadfast, ameen.

Many of these people end up refinancing their loans over and over in a never-ending cycle of debt and riba. Usually, these Riba based lenders only ever care about how their money is repaid and no concern of where the money is coming from or what financial hardship the borrower had to endure to repay it.

That’s a good point. Like the normalisation of alcohol and adultery too globally. So normalised that one who doesn’t engage in them is considered and outcast

Absolutely which is the fine line between a major sin and actually Kufr (disbelief)