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What is the ruling on interest?

All praises be to Allaah, Lord and Sustainer of the worlds, and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and upon his family and companions.

Interest is haraam and is one of the major sins in Islam, which can never become halaal at all. There is no argument or difference of opinion on this issue. Whoever makes a difference or dispute on this issue has differed from Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

The seriousness of dealing in interest is shown by Aayaat of the Qura'an and many Ahadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him):

Allaah says;

"O you who believe! Be afraid of Allâh and give up what remains (due to you) from Ribâ (usury) (from now onward), if you are (really) believers."

[Al-Baqarah: 278]

"Those who eat Ribâ (usury) will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaitân (Satan) leading him to insanity. That is because they say: Trading is only like Ribâ (usury), whereas Allâh has permitted trading and forbidden Ribâ (usury). So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Ribâ (usury) shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allâh (to judge); but whoever returns (to Ribâ (usury)), such are the dwellers of the Fire they will abide therein."

[Al-Baqarah: 275]

And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“A man's eating of a dirham of interest is worse than his committing adultery thirty six times”

(reported by Imam Ahmad)

And he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) cursed the one who takes the interest, who gives it, who writes the contract and the two who witness it, and he said these are all equal. Reported by Muslim from Jabir (may Allaah be pleased with him).

One common question is: "Is interest permissible for those who live in a non-Muslim country?"

Whether we live in a Muslim country or a non-Muslim country, interest can never become permissible. In fact, living in this country has a much higher standard of living for many people than if they had to live in a Muslim country. And people who make interest permissible in this country would do the same in a Muslim country because the economic system of Muslim countries is no different from non-Muslim countries.

May Allaah help and guide us to do all that He is pleased with and his Peace and blessings be upon His last Prophet Muhammad