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MALADY THAT ENSLAVES PERSONS AND COLONIZES COUNTRIES: RIBA (INTEREST)

The issue of “riba” takes place in different sections in the Qur’an, except for the transitions in independent Ayat, and in the paragraph consisting of the Ayat 275-281 of the Surah Al-Baqara:

 

Surah Al-Baqara 275-281:

275Those who enjoy the riba [income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] will not stand other than the standing of a man whom satan struck with its touch. That is because they say: “Trade is like riba”. But Allah made trade halal/permissible but the riba [income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] haram/forbidden. And whoever is reminded from his Rabb and refrains from what he does, his past is for him and his affair is with Allah. And whoever returns again, then they are the companions of the fire. And they will abide therein eternally.

276Allah removes the riba [income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] and increases the sadaqa/public revenue. Allah does not like those who are ungrateful and sinner.

277Surely, those who believe, do amendatory deeds, establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax will have their reward with their Rabb. And there will be no fear upon them, they will not grieve.

278O you who have believed! If you are believers, enter under the guardianship of Allah and give up what remains of riba.

279If you do not, then know that there will be a defeat; devastation from Allah and His Messenger to you. If you repent, then your capital is yours. If you do not treat unjustly, you will not be treated unjustly.

280If the debtor is in hardship, he must be given time until his ease! If you know, it is better for you to give it as sadaqa.

281And enter under the guardianship of Allah against the day when you will be returned to Allah. Then everyone will be recompensed fully. And they will not be treated unjustly.

In the classical sources, following rumors regarding the justification of these Ayat are available:

 

(About the reason of the Ayah) it is stated as follows: the Ayah was sent down because of the Saqifs. They were the people covenanted through the Prophet (pbuh) that the interest they would receive from people would be granted to them and the interest people would receive from them will be abolished for them. When the maturity of the interests they would receive arrived, they sent word to Mecca in order to collect them. The creditors were the Sons Ab-de of Amr b. and the Sons of Umeyr. The debtors were Sons of Mughirah of Mahzum. Sons of Mughirah said “We’re not going to pay anything because interest has been abolished”. They brought their lawsuit in this regard to Attab b. Esid (the Governor of Mecca of the time). And he informed about the situation to Mohammed (pbuh) in writing. The Ayah was sent down. When Mohammed (pbuh) sent this Ayah to Attab in writing, Saqif learned it and gave up.

So, according to the summary of what Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Juraic, es-Suddî and other told, this is the reason of sending down the Ayat[1]

Supreme Allah brings it as a provision about the persons who suffer troubles to pay back after He enacted the provision that the creditors with interest may receive their goods from those who are able to make the payment, by ordering: “If he/she is in need..,” that they must be given respite until the date on which they would pay back conveniently because when the people of Saqif asked their receivables from the Sons of Mughirah, the Sons of Mughirah stated that they were experiencing inconveniences and said: “We do not possess anything.” They asked to be given respite until the date of taking the delivery of their crops. Upon this, the Ayah of “If he/she is in need…” was sent down[2]

First Rumor: This is an address to the Meccans who do shopping by riba. When they became Muslims during the conquest of Mecca, Allah ordered them to take back not the interest but their own capitals.

Second Rumor: Muqatil said that this Ayah was sent down for four brothers from the Tribe of Saqif: Mesud, Abdi Yaleyl, Hubeyb, and Rebia. They were the sons of ftmr Ibn Umeyr es Saqafî and they were lending to and borrowing from the sons of Mughirah. When the Prophet (pbuh) conquered Taif, all of these brothers became Muslims. And then, they asked their interest from the sons of Mughirah they obtained through riba. Upon this, Allah sent down this Ayah.

Third Rumor: The Ayah was sent down about Abbas and Osman Ibn Affan. They were buying dates in order to take the delivery of them later on but by giving their money in advance. When it was the time of picking the dates, they were collecting them, and then collecting the rest later on, this time excessively. This is the view of Ata and Iqrime.

Fourth Rumor: This Ayah was sent down regarding Abbas and Halid Ibn Velîd. They were conducting riba in order to receive later on excessively. [3]

 

The commentators said about the reason of sending down this Ayah: When Allah said, “Know that you have declared war against Allah and His prophet,” the four brothers of Saqif said, “No, on the contrary, we turn to Allah and repent to Him because we cannot wage war against Allah and His prophet.” This way, they agreed with receiving only their capitals and asked only them from the sons of Mughirah. Upon this, the sons of Mugirah, complained about their monetary inconveniences and said, “Give us respite until we receive our pays.” When they rejected giving respite, Allah sent down His Ayah, “”If (the debtor) is in need, give him/her respite until in better state”. [4]

We are, in order to understand the message of our Rabb accurately, directing ourselves to the Qur’an without remaining under the effect of the rumors stated in the classical resources and starting our analysis with the determination of the principles that were very expressly and clearly stated in the Ayat above:

– Those who enjoy the Riba [Interest; income that is earned without risk, effort] will not stand other than the standing of a man whom satan struck with its touch. That is to say, the people who live on riba are always in the state of “being struck by satan”.

– The reason of such condition of them is because they say: “Trade is like riba”.

– But it is not what they accepted; Allah made trade halal/permissible but the Riba [Interest] haram/forbidden.

– And whoever is reminded from his Rabb and refrains from what he does, his past is for him and his affair is with Allah. That is to say, if the person gives up living on riba, Allah will take it into account.

– And whoever continues to subsist on riba despite these judgments have been delivered to him, they are the companions of the fire. And they shall abide there eternally.

– Allah removes the Riba [Interest] and increases the Sadaqa/public revenue.

– Allah does not like those who are ungrateful and sinner.

– Surely, the reward of those who believe, do righteous deeds, establish Salah [Support financially and spiritually; establish and maintain institutions that enlighten the community] and give zaqah/tax will be with their Rabb. And there will be no fear for them nor will they grieve. That is to say, those who constitute the social aid and support institutions through the infaq/aid organization for the elimination of the conditions that allow “living on that riba” from the life of the society will be awarded.

– If the persons who claim to be believers are truly believers, they must enter under the guardianship of Allah and give up living on Riba [Interest].

 Allah and His Messenger declared war to those who fail to give up living on Riba.

– If those who consume Riba give up doing so, then their capital will be theirs; thus they will not have incurred damage.

– If the debtor is in hardship, he must be given time until his ease! If known, it is better for them to give it as sadaqa.

– Those who comply with these provisions will benefit and be recompensed fully in the Akhirat [Afterlife]. And they shall in no event be treated unjustly.

The word of “Riba” means “increase, proliferation, bloating” [5]

In Arabic, “riba” also means “interest” and, as a law term, it is used as “unreturned excess” acknowledged as one of the rights of the parties and added as a condition in exchange agreements. That is to say, riba covers not only the increases, proliferations, and bloating actions in the monetary transactions but also the increases, proliferations, and bloating actions in the commodity exchange transactions as well.

It is stated in both the classical sources and historical documents that two types of riba, one being “riba al-nasi’ah” and the other “excess riba” were available between the Arabs during the period in which sending down of the Qur’an commenced; that is to say, the money or the excess of the commodity (interest) received in return of the term in lending transactions and the excess created in the advance-paid commodity exchanges are referred to as riba:

 

  1. a) Riba al-nasi’ah (termed interest); this is the type of riba that was more commonly used in the period of Jahiliyyah and means the excesses (interests) received every month throughout the term in return of a loan or commodity with a certain term or lump sum at the end of the term separately from the lent money or commodity.
  2. b) Excess riba; it means the excess amount that takes place in the quantity types of gram, liter, and piece during the exchange of same types of commodities.

There is difference between these two types of riba as “riba al-nasi’ah” stems from termed transactions and the “excess riba” from advance transactions, but both ribas are based on the principle of obtaining “unreturned excess” by one of the parties.

In our opinion, the second step to be taken after determining the lexical meaning in order to understand “riba” accurately must be the analysis of two concepts stated in the first sentence of the Ayah 275 (“Living on riba” and “Devil’s stroke”):

Living on riba: The expression of “Those who enjoy riba” points out the persons who increase, proliferate, and bloat their wealth through the transactions that cause riba. These persons’ living on riba means not “enjoying it materially” the excesses they have created- which could be money or all kinds of commodities-, but their “utilization of the opportunities these excesses provide to them”.

Strike of Satan: As the analysis in regards to this phrase was performed in our article entitled “Satan in the Qur’an/Islam” which is available at the end of the Surah of Sad, we are sharing the respective part of this article hereunder as is:

STRIKE OF SATAN:

 

Surah Al-An’am 71, 72:

71,72 Say: “Shall we invoke those that do not benefit us and do not harm us from among those that are inferior to Allah? Or should we be turned back just like those whom the devils enticed and made them wander on the earth confused while they have companions who invite them to the right and good, saying ‘come to us!’ after Allah has guided us to the righteous path?”. Say: “Surely, the righteous path of Allah is what the true righteous path is. And we have been commanded to be Muslims for Rabb of all universes and to fulfill Salah; establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community and to enter under the guardianship of Allah. And Allah is the One only to Whom we will be gathered”.

 

Surah Mary 83:

83Have you not seen/thought? Surely, We sent devils upon those infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb. They provoke them constantly.

 

Surah Al-Baqara 275:

275Those who enjoy the riba [income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] will not stand other than the standing of a man whom satan struck with its touch. That is because they say: “Trade is like riba”. But Allah made trade halal/permissible but the riba [income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] haram/forbidden. And whoever is reminded from his Rabb and refrains from what he does, his past is for him and his affair is with Allah. And whoever returns again, then they are the companions of the fire. And they will abide therein eternally.

 

The expression of لايقومون الا كما يقوم الّذى يتخبّطه الشّيطان من المسّ [la yekûmûne illa kema yekûmullezî yetehabbetühü’ş-şeytanü mine’l-messi] in the original Ayah means “the person fell through the touch of and whose reason was reduced and whose normal state was broken down by the devil”. But this expression was construed by the commentators as the person “stuck by devil” practically. However, it will be better to provide the original meaning as is in order to ensure that people think “What are the meanings of reduction, falling, and break down by the devil?”

The “Strike of Satan” stated by the Qur’an is the attempt of devils/persons who own the devilish characteristics specified in the above Ayat and to suggest such negativities to and take control of someone. That is to say, it is the possession of a person by the things with devilish characteristics. Then it means that such person is devil stricken. A person struck by the devil;

* Opposes Allah.

* Is shameless, impudent, retrogressed.

* Pursues unfair gains.

* Talks about the things he/she does not know.

* Is fearful about poverty, becoming poor.

* Is extravagant

* Neurotic, spoiled, provoked.

* Is deceived.

* Is transgressed, at odds with surrounding people.

* Is a renegade.

* Is closed to get informed and enlightened.

The fact that any person bears the above traits is the basic canon that he/she was made so by the devil. The people having these traits are described as “He/she has been struck by the devil”, “He/she was deceived; his/her reason was reduced, fallen, by the devil”.

The persons who make a living upon interest /usury are the persons who are in fact continuing their existence by getting under the control of the devil and standing up this way. These persons are, in the expression in Al-Baqara 279, “the persons who have declared war against Allah and His messenger”. In order to understand this issue well, the entire passage containing the Ayah 279 [Ayat 261-281] must be read and contemplated as a whole. The issue is explained in this passage within the relation of contrast between unreturned aid to the needy persons [through sadaqa and infaq/aid] and abuse of the needy persons [riba/interest].

Most of the commentators attributed the warning of the Ayah 279 to the day of Qiyamat [Resurrection] and explained it as “The persons who make a living upon interest stand on the Qiyamat [Resurrection] as if they are unbalanced like the people with epilepsy/struck by devil and it becomes clear in this state of them that made a living upon interest. However, the verbal meaning of the Ayah is not like that. The situation is entirely related with the world. In our opinion, such erroneous comments stem from the acceptance of the expression of devil and strike of satan from outside the Qur’an.

In the expression of the Ayah 275, this state of the people who are struck or deceived by the devil is understood to be due to the fact that they called this situation “Trading is like riba;” in other words, our Rabb qualifies them as “struck by devil” as they deceive themselves this way. However, consideration of “trading” and “riba” which are different from each other in terms of meaning, to be the same thing, must have a justifiable reason for themselves, which can only be the fact that the reason of trading is to earn gains, just like in the transactions that cause riba, and the gains obtained in shopping create an increase, growth, and excess in the entities. That is to say, these people qualified by our Rabb as “struck by devil” allege that the increase, growth, and excess (riba) they obtain as a result of the transactions of their lending and commodity exchange with procurement of “unreturned benefit” to one of the parties, are not different from the gains obtained through shopping.

Our Rabb has, against this idea, first proclaimed that “trading” is legitimate along with all its results by means of making “trading” halal/permissible; that is to say, He brought the profits and excesses (riba) obtained by way of trading outside the scope the prohibition. And then, by making the “riba” that He expressed by highlighting as “riba” in the Ayah, He stated that the prohibited riba is the “unreturned excess” provided to one of the parties in the lending and advance commodity exchange transactions done by those who say “trading is like riba”..

 

What kind of riba is the prohibited “riba”?

Our Rabb exhibited the prohibition in terms of riba for all the beliefs through the revelations he sent down earlier:

 

Surah Ali-Imran 130-132:

130O you who have believed! Do not consume the riba [income earned without effort, service, risk], multiplied many times. Enter under the guardianship of Allah so you may reach salvation. 131And avoid the fire that is prepared for the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb. 132Obey Allah and the Messenger so that you may be shown mercy.

 

In fact this prohibition was brought to the earlier peoples as well. For example, the issue of riba is specified in the present Bible as follows:

 

Deuteronomy 23/ clauses 19, 20:

19 “ You shall not lend upon interest to your brother, interest on money, interest on victuals, interest on anything that is lent for interest.

20 To a foreigner you may lend upon interest, but to your brother you shall not lend upon interest; that the Lord your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land which you are entering to take possession of it.

 

Nehemiah; 5/10th sentence:

10 Moreover I and my brethren and my servants are lending them money and grain. Let us leave off this interest!

 

Exodus; 22/ 25th sentence:

25 “ If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be to him as a creditor, and you shall not exact interest from him.

 

But the Jews who made their target gold considered every way permissible in terms of riba despite the fact that it had been prohibited:

 

Surah An-Nisa 160, 161:

160,161Then, for the unjust behaviors of those who had become Jews, their efforts to avert many people from the path of Allah, that they took Riba [obtaining revenues without effort, service and risk] although it was forbidden to them and their consumption of wealth of the people without right, We made haram/forbidden that which had been made halal/permissible to them. And We have prepared a painful punishment for the infidels; those who consciously denied the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb from among those that had become Jews.

 

As it is seen, riba is a form of gain that some people cannot give up in any way despite its prohibition for very old ages. As those people our Rabb named as “People turning to be Jews” did not wish to be deprived of such types of gains, they resisted against the prohibition imposed and alleged that riba is not different from the gains obtained from trade.

However, in order to see the difference between trading and the transactions that cause riba, it is sufficient to view the stages of both activities roughly:

On the first stage, the person who plans to obtain gains by means of trading first owns the goods by purchasing them. The person who plans to obtain gains from the transactions that cause riba seeks for another person in need in order to lend the commodity or money he/she owns or waits for the needing person to find him/her.

On the second stage, the person who plans to obtain gains by means of trading adds the profit he/she contemplates to obtain to the purchase price of the commodity he/she owns and determines a sales price. In this profit, there are the expenses made since the purchase of the commodity and the fee estimated by the person in return of the service he/she provides. The person who plans to obtain gains from the transactions that cause riba has neither expenditure that will be the source for the transactions of riba that he/she determined nor a service that he/she would quote for. He/she only notifies the amount of the riba together with those who gain profits along with him/her to the person who asks for the amount of riba.

On the third stage, the person who plans to obtain gains by means of trading is obliged to sell his/her commodity not upon the prices he/she determined but upon the price that occurs on the market outside of his/her will. The person who plans to obtain gains from the transactions that cause riba draws up his/her agreement upon the amount of riba he/she determines.

As it is seen, the person who plans to earn by trading and the person who plans to earn from the transactions that cause riba experience the above stages by acting differently and obtaining different results:

– The person who plans to earn by trading receives the respective commodity from the producer and delivers to the consumer through the legal processes he/she carries out with two actions. The profit determined by this person is the return of the service he/she provides but not a guarantee; he/she is under risk.

– The person who plans to earn from the transactions that cause riba continues to receive the excess he/she determines throughout the term, by means of entering into agreements and through the legal process he/she carries out without actions and without any return from any expenditure or service. His/her risk is inability of the borrower to pay the loan and this action has been probably considered beforehand and the risk has been eliminated by way of pledge or a guarantor.

These very important differences between trading and the actions that cause riba apply not only in the commercial field but in all the production activities by exhibiting labor in the sectors of industry and agriculture. That is to say, the profit obtained from the sale of a production carried out through exhibiting manual and mental power and the excess obtained upon the wealth and labor of the debtor by means of lending cannot be considered same.

If an attempt to tell the differences stated above in one sentence is made, it is possible to say this: The labor in trading, industry, and agriculture is “constructive” and the profit obtained in return of labor is halal/permissible but the excess obtained as a result of the transactions that cause riba are “destructive” and the profit obtained this way is haram/forbidden.

With this comparison in mind, it is possible to say the following regarding the characteristics of riba which was prohibited: the “riba” prohibited by our Rabb is the riba obtained not being the return of any cost or service; the riba which means partnering with the earnings of the payer without any risk. In other words, our Rabb has prohibited the “surplus” that is “unreturned” and “riskless”.

 

“Why was Riba prohibited?”

In an attempt to seek an answer to this question, an Ayah must at all times be remembered:

 

Surah An-Najm 39:

39The truth is, there is nothing for man except what he strives for.

 

In the above Ayah, it is stated that the earnings obtained easily, without labor, risk and working do not have any value before our Rabb. Our Rabb defines earnings obtained this way in other Ayat as “consuming goods with unfair ways” and qualifies them as “people’s homicide of themselves”.

 

Surah Al-Baqara 188:

188Do not consume each other’s wealth for false reasons. Do not transfer your wealth to the authorities in order that you may consume consciously a portion of the wealth of people in sin.

 

Surah An-Nisa 29:

29O you who have believed! Do not consume one another’s wealth among yourselves unjustly -except for business you make with your consent-, do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is very merciful to you.

Our Rabb stated that people can get rid of such behaviors to which He attracts attentions as the “order of devil” and which He proclaimed as a “danger” only by means of applying infaq/aid:

Surah Al-Baqara 268:

268Satan intimidates you with poverty and commands you immorality. Allah, on the other hand, promises forgiveness and abundant bounty. And Allah is the All Encompassing, the Most Merciful, the One Who knows best.

 

Surah Al-Baqara 195:

195And spend your wealth for the cause of Allah/provide sustenance for your relatives first and then others, do not put yourselves in danger with your own hands and do good deeds. Indeed, Allah likes those who do good deeds.

 

In addition, Allah does not want properties and wealth to be under the control of a particular group in a society:

 

Surah Al-Hashr 7, 8:

7,8And the Fai [revenues yielded without fighting and making any effort] Allah has given to His Messenger from the people of that city belong to Allah, the Messenger, those poor who have immigrated – and they have been expelled out of their lands and deprived of their wealth while seeking for the bounty and acceptance of Allah, and they help Allah and His Messenger. They are the ones who are the righteous-, orphans, the needy and travelers so the luxury brought by the power; the authority will not only be for the rich among you. Whatever the Messenger has given you, take it immediately. And whatever he has forbidden you, turn away from it. And enter under the guardianship of Allah. Indeed, Allah is the One Whose punishment/penalty is very severe.

 

As can be easily understood from the Ayat given above, Supreme Allah wishes the people to whom He gave wealth to avoid behaviors that allow them to keep the surpluses they have or to increase them more and more, to spend such excesses granted to them by means of infaq/aid, and not to make any attempt to provide unreturned earnings as real earnings are acquirable by working and laboring, and He warns that contrary behaviors will mean “people’s endangering of themselves” even “killing themselves”.

At this point, we believe that every Muslim person must ponder about the scopes of “trading” that was made halal/permissible and “riba” that was made haram/forbidden by Allah because the issue has substantial importance as the “people do not give up riba have waged war against Allah and His messenger. A person fighting against Allah and His messenger will certainly be devastated as Allah and His messengers will be absolute victorious:

 

Surah Al-Mujadila 21:

21Allah has written: “Indeed, I and My messengers will prevail”. Indeed, Allah is the One Who is competent over everything, the most exalted, the most powerful, the most honorable, the invincible/the subduer.

Scope of “Riba”

We deem it useful to start to analyze the determination of the scope in this crucial subject with the types of riba that have been applied in the period when the Qur’an was sent down.

Regardless of whether they depend on money or commodities, in all the transactions of the “riba al-nasi’ah” as the difference between the amounts of the commodities given and received is constituted upon a term; that is to say, this type of riba stems from a transaction of a termed lending; the gains acquired from such transactions are entirely “unreturned surplus;” therefore, they are “riba”. For example, just like the fact that all kinds of excess amount (interest) received back in addition to the borrowed principal money is “unreturned surplus”, a riba; when someone gives 10 bushels of wheat in return of 12 bushels in six months’ time, 2 bushels’ amount between the quantities is “unreturned surplus”, a riba.

In the commodity exchanges made in advance, where “excess riba” is in question, appearance of “unreturned surplus”, a riba, does not seem reasonable because; regardless of whether they are different or in the same type, since the prices of the goods will be taken into account in the exchange of two commodities, it will be meaningless that an “unreturned benefit” will take place for the advantage of any of the parties. For example, if the price of 1 Kg date is 20.-TL, 1 Kg edible olive is 10.-TL and 1 Kg olive-for-oil is 5.-TL, a person who wishes to buy 1 Kg date and olive will buy 2 Kg edible olive or 4 Kg olive-for-oil. In such transaction, it is not possible to say that the difference between the amounts is “unreturned”. Or a person who possesses 1 Kg edible oil wishes to exchange it with olive-for-oil, he/she will demand 2 Kg olive-for-oil because it is very natural that the owner of the commodity with high value demands more of the goods with lower value against one measure of his/her own goods. Moreover, if the owner of the goods with high value does not prefer such exchange and sells his/her own goods first in return of money by way of trading and then purchases the other goods from elsewhere in return of money, he/she would buy the goods with lower value in the same amount. That is to say, if there is no deception, this exchange is commercial shopping. Therefore, the difference that occurs for the benefit of the owner of the goods due to the difference of quality between the amounts, during the exchange of same-type goods, must not be taken into account as “riba”.

According to us, major element of “that riba” is the surplus (interest) taken in the lending transactions in return of either money or commodity. There are those who define interest as “the most addictive form of riba” (Prof. Dr. Mehmet Yazıcı), which we define today as “the major element of riba”. Despite the fact that interest is within the scope of riba that was made haram/forbidden by our Rabb is unquestionable, some people put the issue of whether it is possible to deem some interactions with interest applied today as “mandatory state” on the agenda of a debate and endeavored to take interest out of the scope of prohibition through some thoughts like “interest prevents money’s devaluation against inflation” or “it is the rental of money”. Some, who never attached importance to Allah’s prohibition of it, asserted that interest is one of the most important instruments of economical development. However, interest, as stated by our Rabb, is a danger for persons, families, and countries, and has always been a trouble. A glance at our near history will be sufficient to understand what kind of trouble interest is:

The Ottoman Empire received foreign debt by way of istiqraz (bond issuance) for the first time in 1854 in order to mitigate the monetary burden inflicted by the Crimean War. The foreign debts increased rapidly through the incentive of the European capital, which sought investment areas, and as a result of expenses made for some innovations. Between the years of 1854 and 74, foreign debts were received 15 times through istiqraz. The total of the debt reached 5.297.676.000 golden francs and annual interest of it became 300 million francs. When the Ottoman Empire was unable to pay even the interest of these debts, it announced that it would pay half of the installments matured in October 1875. But it was able to pay these installments only for the period of three months and the payments were suspended completely in March 1876. … Later on, the Ottoman Empire suspended the payments of its domestic debts constituted by the short-term loans and advances given by the bankers of Galata. Through the agreement entered into on 22 November 1879, stamp, distillery, fishing, salt, and tobacco were left to the creditors against the interest and capital of these debts for the period of 10 years. … (Ana Britannica, v:11, p:22)

As in the example of the Ottoman Empire, the debt and interest incurred by states are paid by the public that is, in fact, unable to make use of that money. Even sometimes the burden of rescuing some account owners by means of payment of the bankrupt credit institutions from the coffers of the state are charged on the public that is once again outside the relations of granting and receiving debts. These are the conditions that cannot be explained by anything other than “cruelty”.

When it comes to the effects of interest, number one element of “riba”, on the individuals; it is possible to say that it really poses deadly impact on people in spiritual terms:

Interest constraints people from working. It is because the people with money will earn more easily by depositing it for interest without laboring and taking risk, they may not need to work. This condition causes social mobility to fall and productivity to decrease. The person who receives debts works and earns but a person who receives interest from the earnings of such person is fed without working. However, increase of the wealth of a country can only be possible by working and producing more and more in every field. In some, lesser labor will bring lesser labor.

Interest eliminates helping and solidarity in societies. Earnings easily acquired and without risk, like interest, generally push humans toward selfishness. Hence, those people who have savings that they can help others prefer to deposit their money for interest instead of giving their money to their brothers and sisters who are in need. For unblocking the road to “help people in need” ordered by Allah, it is required that interest is rejected and the earnings obtained this way are not relied on.

Interest makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. Except for those who make speculative investments in the long-term inflation periods with high rates, it is not possible to see anyone who receives loans and pays interest to be rich, because the ratios of interest are determined by those people who have money and these people determine the ratios of interest in the manner that they will themselves have the lion’s share pro rata the earnings ratios allowed by the economical environment. That is to say, ratios of interest always correspond to the bigger part of the average unearned income that can be obtained in that environment. Thus the investor who receives loans with interest is allowed not to be reach but only to be continue his/her life; in other words, to sustain indebtedness. If the debtor is not an investor but a person in need, a poor person, it is already clear that such person will be poorer and poorer by means of paying interest. Therefore, interest makes the rich richer and the poor poorer as it is the cause of and maintains the ambiance where a small minority lives in wealth and the majority lives in poverty in a society. Moreover, it is inevitable that such order would gradually turn to be a hell for the low earning group that constitutes the majority of the order because the interest-seeking wealthy ones in these societies become more and more anxious about their lives and wealth as they get richer and richer and apply more diverse ways of cruelty in order to safeguard them.

Interest prevents a servant of Allah to thank and makes him/her ungrateful toward Allah. The wealthy people who are rendered people with surplus by Allah must thank Allah by paying the equivalent of their surplus by way of zaqah/tax, sadaqa and infaq/aid. But the person attracted by interest, which is an easy and riskless gain, tends to interest instead of transferring the return of the blessings given by Allah to the addresses designated by Allah and fails to carry out his/her duties by being entrapped. Knowing that the possibility that man can easily be entrapped this way is very high, as He is the Rabb of him, says in the Ayah 276 of the Surah Al-Baqara, “Allah eliminates riba and increases sadaqa. Allah dislikes ungrateful persons and sinners”, promising that riba, which also covers interest, will not bring any good to any person, because the sadaqa and infaq/aid will be returned more and more in the world and in the Akhirat [Afterlife], along with His threat that He would destroy it, and reminding once again the fact that humans must prefer thankfulness instead of ungratefulness. What is sated in the Qur’an as “Adam’s tasting from the tree for which Allah said ‘do not approach’ and his immediate starting of stowing” figuratively is actually this issue.

As it is seen, interest, starting with the psychologies of persons, alters their work lives and subsistence and causes their family order to overturn. Gradual increase of such individuals in the society brings closer that society toward danger and drags the country containing such society having turned to be the slaves of interest toward colonization, the fire, as in the Ottoman example above, as a result of consuming its underground and aboveground wealth.

In sum, interest, in regards to its outcomes, is one of the biggest factors that render the poor slaves and the countries colonies.

However, “riba” cannot be downscaled to interest because, as we stated above, our Rabb has prohibited not interest but “unreturned” and “riskless” surplus. Therefore, Muslims must not be socially deviant for self-delusion like staying away only from interest and consuming other unreturned excesses that fell into the scope of “riba”. However, unfortunately people found “riba” indispensable and those who did not want to leave this sweet earning made themselves believe that what they did was not within the scope of the “riba” prohibited by Allah, by means of reducing the concept of “riba” into the concept of interest and of excluding the “riba” they earned from the nature of interest through the implementations called muamalat al shariah.

If what was told is true, invention of the Islamic law-based solutions (!) that constitute the basis of this type of implementations referred to as muamalat al-shariah and defined as “The transaction that must be carried out in order to ensure that the creditor obtains benefit that cannot be considered as interest from the debtor” dates back to the very old days, the 700s. For example, one of these implementations that contain various methods is as follows: “If the owner of the fund wishes to receive 13 drachmas in return of the 10 drachmas, then he would sell and deliver a commodity for 13 drachmas to the party who would be indebted. The person who would be indebted sells and delivers that commodity to a third person in return of 10 drachmas. Then the third person sells the commodity to the initial owner by receiving the money in advance. Then, he gives the 10 drachmas as the amount of the goods he has just purchased to the person who would be indebted. This way, the commodity returns to the initial owner; that is to say, to the counterparty, in return of 10 drachmas and the counterparty will be indebted for 13 drachmas before him”. [6]

As it is seen, these applications that have concepts, even in definition, like “creditor, debtor, and acquiring interests” related with the transactions of lending are nothing in essence but ensuring that the debtor pays excess amount as much as the interest to the creditor through chicanery trading transactions. It is just that the payments are not made in the name of interest. Some perverted understandings, products of feeblemindedness, that think that they meander the prohibition of Allah through such behaviors referred to as “meandering of law” in the language of law, unfortunately continue their existence. For example, some circles invented a concept called “banking without interest” and are making payments under the name of “profit share” to those companies that invest money on them among the companies that they incorporated through this assertion despite the fact that the raison d’être of the banking system is interest. These profit shares are paid quarterly, semiannually, and annually to according to the preferences of people and it is very interesting that the payments in relation with such terms are always in the same amount. That is to say, all the companies partnered (?) by these banks without interest through the moneys they have collected conduct their collections always in the same periods and, thus, acquire their profits in accordance with the payment terms they have announced and always have profits with same ratios. However, it is not possible for all these companies to distribute their profits in compliance with the profit sharing terms announced by these interest-free banks and to render their profits distributable even though they can possibly take their profits into account as distributable profits by envisaging all their expenditures. In this case, the payments made by these companies in the name of profit share can only by called “unreturned benefit”. Another issue that confirms this opinion of us is that these interest-free banks distribute the profit shares always at the same ratio as if they are distributing the shares of only one company despite their announcement that they partner with multiple companies.

In our opinion, another important element of “riba” is speculation. Describing speculation as “Purchasing of the commodities that will be subject to price change in the future beforehand in order to obtain profits making use of the price gap”, Encyclopedia of Economy lists the major price change expectations as war, famine, and inflation. As it is seen, profit expectation in speculation is not based on any labor or service but only on price increase. Moreover, it is expected that this price increase would take place due to disasters that will cause devastation of many people. It is clear that the profit to be obtained from the trade hoping such gain will not be the type of profit of trading made halal/permissible by our Rabb.

There is a factor of “riba” in whose essence, there is the understanding of providing profits from the increases in prices, like speculation but much uglier than it, and it is the infamy referred to as “profiteering” or “jobbery”. The feature of this behavior, which makes it uglier than speculation, is that the commodity purchases conducted are in the amount that they will directly affect the increase of the price of those commodities by inflicting scarcity of them.

Whether it is named speculation or profiteering, the reason for the inclusion of such behaviors within the scope of “riba” is, according to us, that both behaviors are oriented to obtain gains without working because our Rabb considers anything obtained in the ways other than working “nil”.

When viewed from this angle, it is beneficial for those who hope to obtain gains from the currency deficits that will develop against the money of their own country in the future, by investing their surpluses granted by Allah to them on the moneys of foreign countries, or for the companies that partner with companies through commodity exchanges considering not their prospected profits but their prices that will take place within the market scrutinizing their activity areas, to revise their soul-searching. It because, the foreign currency purchases with the expectation of currency deficit are not different from speculation and the stock certificates received from such a gambling house as stock exchange that have turned to be the toys of the major capital owners are not in the form of a partnership in a real sense.

Another action of procurement of “riba” that has been adopted in our country during the recent years is carried out through the institution called Futures Exchange. The material, the subject matter of these transactions that are seemingly in the form of future oriented purchase and sale agreements, can be in the form of “commodity” or in the currencies of different countries. The parties of the agreement are the persons who give the purchase and sale orders and the institutions that provide them with such environment. In these transactions, the persons who give the purchase and sale orders are by no means real purchasers or sellers. They neither buy nor sell the commodities specified in the agreement when the maturity date arrives in a real sense. They only collect or pay the contractual amounts. In summary, these transactions are not in relation with true trading but a kind of gamble played upon the estimation of the prices of some objects that will take place in the future and these transactions are unrelated with the trading made halal/permissible by our Rabb. However, some ideas asserted regarding the stock exchanges, some of the significant elements of the religion of capitalism, that there is a risk will take place in the stock transactions as the future prices are not known and the gains to be received from the risky transactions cannot be considered same as that of the previously determined interests. In our opinion, the people with this opinion must be asked first: “Is gambling, which consists completely of risk, will be considered halal/permissible according to this logic?” And then they must be remembered that the principal feature that distinguish halal/permissible earning from the gains obtained from the “riba” transactions is not risk but “whether it is in return of labor”.

 

Banking and Islam

Banks are the finance institutions that have adopted utilization of the funds they collected from the depositors in return of interest in the transactions of discount, lending, and other financial transactions also in return of interest as their principal business. That is to say, interest is an indispensable element and unique source of banks. Interest is at the same time one of the gears required for the revolution of the system wheels of the religion of capitalism within the economical order. Within this relationship, banks are indispensable parts of the capitalist economies.

In Islam, “riba” and thus interest, number one factor of “riba” have been made haram/forbidden without question. According to this circumstance, in fact, it is possible that the capitalist order where interest is necessary for the revolution of the system wheels and banking system that was established on the basis of interest to ensure the continuation of this order tally with Islam. But unfortunately, on the contrary, in almost every country where the majority of the people are Muslims, capitalist system has been preferred and the Muslims in those countries have become experiencing the religion of Islam and the religion of capitalism altogether, which are exactly opposite each other. In this case, some softening in terms of rules was needed for eliminating the contrasts between the two religions but somehow these attempts of softening were always made on the religion of Islam by asserting discourses like “as required by development” or “inevitable to be implemented”. The endeavors in this regard reached so indiscernible forms and dimensions that the meanings of the concepts have changed, the persons appointed as authorities were made give fatwa, and finally the religion of Islam has been transformed into the form that it is applied in the manner that is quite different from what Allah had revealed.

Attempts in regards to interest have turned to be almost assaults. On one hand, some people with the titles of ulama produced Islamic law-based solutions (!) to interest through some deceptions as we have exemplified above and, on the other hand, the people with capitalist mentality struggled to deceive the already blurred minds of the people through wordings like, “Retention of lent money in the hands of the debtor for a long time is the return of the money that will be received extra (interest) because if the lent money had received in the hands of the lender during that period, the lender would receive earnings by trading” or “If the borrower is receiving earnings using the borrowed money by conducting trade or investment, what is wrong with when he/she gives a particular ratio of the earnings to the principal owner of the money?” Approaches of both the people with titles from the ulama and the people with capitalist mentality resemble interest with the trading profit, which was made halal/permissible, and try to equalize them and exclude them from the state of prohibition imposed by Allah and are in the form of the war waged against Allah and His messenger. In other words, the reason of these devil stricken persons for risking a war against Allah and His messenger is to have Muslims apply interest, indispensable element of the religion of capitalism. However, as those Muslims who act mindfully by obeying Allah’s order will instantly notice, there is serious contradiction between the implementations in Islamic law-based solutions and what is accepted by the people with capitalist mentality. The mentality that deems “in the muamalat al shariah”, in return of making the debtor conduct certainly harmful trading, interest is “the return of the debtor for his deprivation of commercial activities” or “the share that is payable from the profit obtained by the borrower to the lender equitably” does not take losses into account. That is to say, if the borrower incurs losses from the business carried out utilizing the loan, this situation is compliant with the “muamalat al shariah” but it is never possible to accept this in the system with interest because in the system with interest, it is absolute provision that the a named excess is to be paid in return of the lent money and, even if the borrower incurs damages, he/she is to pay his/her debt and respective interest by selling his/her belongings as necessary. In fact, such application of the system with interest, as the phrase goes, is nothing but receiving the money of a chicken, a hen, or a rooster from a person who has broken a borrowed egg by saying, “it would be a chicken, a hen, or a rooster”.

Those people who liquefy the prohibition of Allah through their comments in their endeavor to have the Muslims apply interest even partially asserted another opinion like: “The interest which is haram/forbidden is the interest received from the loan given to the poor. There must not be a problem with depositing money to the bank and with receiving interest from the bank because the bank and the banker are not poor”. Of course, it is not possible to accept this thought in Islamic grounds as well because Allah did not introduce the prohibition upon the condition that whether the payer is strong or not. That is to say, interest is not a legal gain regardless of the lender, whether it be rich, poor, bank, or any other entity. In addition, as the banks use the money they have collected in the lending business, the people who deposit money for this reason to the banks become a party to the transaction of gaining money from money, which was made haram/forbidden by our Rabb.

When the issue is viewed in terms of those people who receive loans from banks voluntarily, the unwanted and ugly results of interest will appear more clearly. If the person who borrows money from the bank is a poor person, this means that he/she is receiving the loan for meeting any of his/her need and the bank grabs his/her earnings and labor pro rata the interest as he/she pays back more than what he/she needs. If the person who withdraws loan from the bank is a rich person using the money for an investment, he/she reflects the expense of interest to the cost of his/her business and makes the faultless consumer pay back the interest this way.

As it is seen, in fact, banking business, whose heart beats with interest, inflicts damage on public directly or indirectly; that is to say it behaves them cruelly. Accordingly, depositing money in the banks that are incorporated on the basis of interest means being an occasion for the increase and continuation of badness and cruelty. However, main objective of the religion of Islam is to rescue people from cruelty, theft, and abuse. Hence, it is not possible that interest and the interest-based banking system tally with Islam.

Solution

The religion of capitalism is an economic order that dominates substantial majority of the world today. This religion is based on the principle of “the big fish eats the little one”. Therefore the religion of capitalism is exactly the opposite the religion of Islam in terms of both morality and consciousness. Despite this fact the persons who allege that they are Muslims endeavor to find a place within the principles of capitalism, instead of creating the system and institutions wanted by Allah, which indeed an embarrassing behavior. The behavior that befits Muslims is to constitute an economic system that is suitable for the lifestyle recommended by Allah but, first to exclude themselves from “riba” to get rid of the position of being “the enemy of Allah and His messenger”.

Our Rabb did not withhold His blessings as well, as in every subject, and showed the ways of creating the system and institutions for salvation expressly in the Qur’an, by not letting people search and find what the families and the countries are to do form the calamity, the trouble, of “riba”.

 

Surah Al-Ma’idah 12:

12And surely, Allah took the solemn covenant of Israelites. And We sent from among them twelve supervisors/leaders. And Allah said: “I am surely with you. If you establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, believe in My messengers, support them and loan Allah a good loan, I will definitely remove your evil deeds and admit you into the gardens of Jannah [Heaven/Paradise], underneath of which rivers flow. And whoever among you disbelieves; consciously denies the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb after this, he has certainly gone astray from the righteous path”.

 

Surah At-Taghabun 17, 18:

17,18And if you loan Allah a good loan, He will multiply it for you and forgive you. And Allah is the One Who repays best, forbears much, knows the unseen and the unheard best, the One Who is the most exalted, the almighty, the most honorable, the invincible/the subduer, the best law maker, the One Who precludes corruption best/makes incorruptible.

 

Surah Al-Baqara 219:

… And they ask you what they should spend for the cause of Allah. Say: “Spend the excess”. Thus Allah makes clear His Ayat for you so you may give thought.

 

Surah At-Tawbah 34, 35:

34O you who have believed! Surely, many of the rabbis/scholars and priests consume the wealth of the people unjustly and avert them from the path of Allah. And as for those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend them for the cause of Allah/provide sustenance first for their relatives and then others, give them the tidings of a painful punishment immediately!

35On that day, gold and silver that they have been hoarding will be heated in the fire of Jahannah [Hell] and their foreheads, flanks and backs will be seared with them: “This is that which you have hoarded for yourselves. Now taste that which you have been hoarding!”.

 

Surah Al-Hadid 11:

11Who is the one who will loan Allah a good loan so He may multiply for him many times! And a noble reward will be for him as well.

 

Surah Al-Ma’idah 2:

2O you who have believed! Do not disrespect the evidences of Allah, the haram/forbidden month, sending food to those who fulfill hajj [pilgrimage], marks attached to the animals that are sent so those who fulfill hajj [pilgrimage]/those who receive high theological education therein will eat and those who wish to fulfill duty of hajj [pilgrimage]/visit Bayt al-Haram seeking for the favor and approval of their Rabb. When the restriction upon you has been released/when you have completed your duty of hajj [pilgrimage], then hunt. Do not let your hatred to a people for having forbidden you from Masjid al-Haram lead you to transgress. Help each other in “being righteous” and entering under the guardianship of Allah, do not help each other in committing sins and animosity. And enter under the guardianship of Allah. Indeed, Allah is the One Whose punishment/penalty is very severe.

 

Surah Al-Ma’idah 48:

48And We have revealed to you the Book/the Qur’an with the truth that confirms, defends and protects a part of the Torah which it contains. Then, judge between them by what Allah has revealed. Do not follow their desires and inclinations by going astray from the truth that has come to you. And We have determined for each of you a roadmap/collective principles of life and a wide, illuminated path. If Allah had willed, He would have made you one community with a leader yet He did not so He may wear you down/test you in what He has given upon you. Therefore, race to the good. To Allah is your return all together. Then, He will inform you about that over which you differed.

 

Surah Ali-Imran 103, 104:

103And cling firmly onto the rope of Allah all together/guard yourselves with the rope of Allah, do not become divided and remember the favor of Allah upon you: When you were enemies to each other and Allah brought your hearts together. Then you became brothers by His favor. You were on the edge of a fire pit and He saved you from there. Thus Allah makes clear His Ayat/evidences/signs for you so you may follow the righteous path you are guided.

104And let there be a group of people with a leader from among you who invite to good, instruct good that is accepted by all, preclude evil via Wahy [Revelation] and common sense. And they are the ones who will reach salvation.

 

Surah Al-Baqara 45, 46:

45-46And seek help through patience, Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. –Surely, seeking help through patience and Salah is very difficult for all other than those who show respect; who believe from the bottom of their hearts that they will meet their Rabb and they will be returned to Him.-

 

Surah Al-Baqara 153:

153O you who have believed! Ask for help through patience and Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; enlightening the community]. Indeed, Allah is with those who have patience.

 

Surah Al-Baqara 195:

195And spend your wealth for the cause of Allah/provide sustenance for your relatives first and then others, do not put yourselves in danger with your own hands and do good deeds. Indeed, Allah likes those who do good deeds.

 

Surah Al-Baqara 245:

245Who is the one who loans Allah a good loan so Allah may multiply it for him many times over. Allah restricts and gives abundance as well. And you will be returned only to Him.

 

Surah Al-Asr 1-3:

1-3Condition of the humanity in the age you live is the evidence that, all people are definitely in absolute loss, damage, depression, agony except for those who believe, do amendatory deeds, advise each other the truth; make it primary task/remind each other, advice each other patience; make it primary task/remind each other.

 

Surah Al-Ankabut 45:

45You, recite/follow what has been revealed to you from the book and establish Salah [establish and maintain the institution that supports financially and spiritually; enlightens the community]. Indeed, Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; the institution that enlightens the community] prevents from transgression, evil. And remembrance of Allah is indeed greater. And Allah knows that which you do and produce.

 

Surah Mary 59-61:

59-61A bad generation came after them, and they took away Salah [supporting financially and spiritually; striving to enlighten the community] from their lives. And they followed their desires. Therefore, they all, except those of them who have repented and believed and done righteous deeds, will be punished for their transgression. Then those of them who repent and believe and do righteous deeds will enter Jannah [Heaven/Paradise]; to the gardens of Eden which Rahman [Allah; the One Who shows great mercy on the earth to all living beings that He created] promised to His servants – even though they did not see – and they will not be treated unjustly at all. Surely, His promise will certainly be fulfilled.

 

Surah Fatir 5, 6:

5O mankind! Surely, that which Allah has promised to fulfill is true. Then, do not let this simple worldly life delude you. And do not let that deceiver deceive you with Allah. 6Surely, the satan is an enemy for you. Therefore take him as your enemy as well. Surely, satan calls his followers to be among the companions of the blazing fire.

 

Surah Al-A‘la 14-17:

14-17The one who purifies himself, who fulfills Salah; supports others financially and spiritually; strives to enlighten the community mentioning the name of his Rabb will definitely save himself. But you prefer that simple worldly life. Yet, Akhirat [Afterlife] is better and ever lasting.

 

The Ayat given above are some of the hundreds of Ayat that orders sustaining of Salah, Zaqah/tax, and Sadaqa, some of the ways of getting rid of “riba”. With this Ayat, our Rabb orders the believers of Islam to get organized and create unions, to spend their surplus for the sake of Allah, and race in doing good deeds and favors by creating the social support and aid organizations and expressly states that those people who fail to do so will pose sorrow and danger to their societies and live life of hell in the world, and that those people who commit kenz (people who do not bring their moneys out for circulation by keeping them in cubes, under cushions, in safes, and banks) will be punished. Hence, the solution for the persons, families, and countries to get rid of the trouble of “riba” is to conduct deeds through these Ayat and to carry out the tasks ordered by Allah with these Ayat.

For example, Muslims can bring together their surpluses granted by Allah to them in the light of these Ayat instead of depositing them for speculative investments and interests. They may establish partnerships where audits are carried out by the public authority and no abuse is allowed. This way, these people will have created new job possibilities for the unemployed and ensure that money in their hands will bring benefit to others as well. Later on, they may establish social aid and support institutions as well as charities oriented to infaq/aid through the gains obtained from such partnerships and lend money to those Muslims who are in need thanks to such organizations without interest and as qarz al-hasen (Islamic loan). Of course, in the lending done from such social aid organizations, if the borrower is really unable to pay back his/her debt, it must be possible to erase the debt and even to provide more monetary reinforcement to the borrower as required by the recommendation of Allah. Also from these charities, the short-term requirements of the tradesmen must be fulfilled and accordingly prevent the Muslims from entering into the grip of the banks and usurers. In the event that there still is idle money in these charities, new companies can be founded in legitimate ways using these forms and new more charity organizations by means of the revenues obtained from the activities of these companies and it can be ensured that this productive circulation continues by growing.

However, in order to make sure that such system can be operable, actions must be taken first in the family circles and the establishment of the system must be realized by growing along the neighborhood, village, and province because success can, as ordered by our Rabb, only be obtained through the self-correction of persons one by one.

In such as system, neither interest, nor stock exchanges, not another form of “riba” is needed; more accurately, no type of “riba” will be required because the public authority has to establish institutions that can carry out the works such as collection of surpluses in the hand of the public and present them for the utilization of the partnerships that will make use of them in their investments, for the continuation of such economic order, without any interest. These institutions will not only be able to carry out the works done by the banks and stock exchanges of the capitalist system on behalf of people but also fulfill the transactions of the traders and people such as collection of checks and deeds and remittances not within the order of theft, just like that of the banks of today, but in return of respective charges, or free of charge if no such charge is applied.

The first objection that will be raised by the mentality that adopted the religion of capitalism and got used to get fed by the unjust gains of this religion, regarding the conductibility of such a system will probably in regard to failure of not taking inflation into account because, according to this mentality, interest is an instrument that balances the negative impacts of inflation and especially the small owners of savings might be subject to injustice in an economy without interest.

According to some theories, inflation that is defined in economy as “Collective increase of money supply, monetary revenues or the prices” (Ana Britannica, v:11, p:266) exhibits forms like “cost”, “demand”, “excess”, “concealed” and “structural” in regards to source of such increase, the stages it has experienced, and the level of development of countries (Encyclopedia Economy, v:1, p:393). As can be understood from its definition, inflation is absolutely related with the economical system and in the form of an “unwanted increase”. That is to say, inflation is an unwanted product of the irregularities within the economic system. This means that if there are no irregularities within the economic order, nothing like inflation can be of any talk. For example, if there is no interest applied in an economy, “high level of interest”, one of the most important reasons of inflation, would be automatically eliminated. Or, if the people of a country direct themselves toward conducting state-planned investments with their surpluses, instead of speculative purchases, no one can be afraid of inflation related with the increase in demands. Or in a country where import and export are conducted in supervision; that is to say, where foreign trade is in balance; devaluation, another reason of inflation, will never be in question. In summary, if the public of a society sincerely obeys Allah’s orders and establish an economic order where such orders are dominant, no transactions causing “riba” with the excuses such as inflation will not be in question and, thus, the risk of waging a war against Allah and His messenger will be eliminated for everyone.

Another topic that must be emphasized in this issue is the use of measures in the form of foreign currency, valuable mines, and commodities in the interpersonal lending transactions in fear of incurring damages due to inflation. In such cases, the issue must be analyzed through the eyes of the debtor because the creditor who is afraid of incurring losses may be protecting himself/herself through this way but the protection is fulfilled by the debtor and the party that incurs losses due to inflation is the debtor. In other words, the creditor, who is stronger than the debtor, makes the ever-weak debtor pay the penalty of the disordered economy. It is clear that such behavior does not comply with the words of our Rabb He expresses as: “If the debtor is in hardship, he/she must be given time until his ease! If known, it is better for them to give it as sadaqa!” It is because our Rabb states through this expression that the Muslims must take the risk of loss for their brothers and sisters. Accordingly, Muslims must not do such deeds in fear of incurring losses. Moreover, they must adopt it as their principle that they must never give up lending money, which is a worse behavior.

We are concluding the analysis of this a little longer analysis in regards to Riba, by reference to the importance our Rabb attaches to it, by underlining the expressions of Prof. Dr. Mehmet Yazıcı in the symposium in which he took part as a “negotiator”, held by Ensar Foundation in 1986, entitled “Financing Issues in the Economy of Islam” and we recommend our sisters and brothers to pay attention specifically to the last sentence of this expression.

“… Islam is a religion and this religion has a unique order of economy. Banking is concept and institution in the economical orders that are outside of the Islamic order of economy. In the Islamic order of economy, there is no such concept and institution. Hence, there cannot be “Islamic banking…” The struggles to Islamize some institutions and concepts that are opposite Islam contradict Islam. This attitude is wrong. Please forgive me but, one must not be surprised if scientific meetings entitled “Islamic Winemaking” are organized if the things go this way… Interest is haram/forbidden in Islam. In the Islamic order of economy, interest and interest based banking and similar institutions have no place. In the Islamic economics, financing problems are solved especially by means of partnerships. Islam praises all kinds of partnerships. In the Islamic societies, ways of establishing partnerships through small savings for trading and production of goods and services must be sought. A good Muslim cannot already have substantial savings”. [7]

 

 

                                                                                       Hakkı YILMAZ

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                                                                                       www.istekuran.net

 

[1] KURTUBI

[2] KURTUBI

[3] RAZI

[4] RAZI

[5] Lisan al-Arab; 4/ 54-56, rbv atc.

[6] Financing Issues in the Economy of Islam, Ensar Publications, Istanbul 1992, p: 316, 317

[7] Financing Issues in the Economy of Islam, Ensar Publications, Istanbul 1992, p:463-465

REINCARNATION

Uncle Hakki,

As you know, majority of India is Hindu. There are millions of Indians in the US as well.

There is a Caste system and reincarnation belief in Hinduism. It is a system that promises the lives that are not exactly fair would receive their rewards in the afterlife in order to control the people from the lower caste. There are also people in our country who believe in such things and say, “Is this the justice of Allah?” failing to believe in the Akhirat[Afterlife].

How can we enlighten the friends who believe in this; which verses can we exhibit to them?

Be in Allah’s safekeeping,

Murat

 

Dear Murat, greetings!

One of the realities of the fact that the Akhirat [Afterlife] exists is that the justice, which was not realized in the world for various reasons, is ensured and the people receive the recompense of their deeds (Surah Yunus 4, Surah Ahzab 73, Surah Ta-Ha 15 etc.). We have explained this through the verses in our articles and TV shows.

But our Rabb[1] does not want justice to be left to the Akhirat [Afterlife] only. He commands court trials and punishment in the world as well. He also adds that He recompensed and will recompense some of the crimes (as a taste) on earth as well (Surah Rum 41).

 

Surah Ar-Rum 41:

41Corruption has emerged on the land and at the sea because of that which they have earned with their hands to make them taste some of which they have done so that perhaps the people will return.

 

With reference to the subject of reincarnation, we stated some of our findings in our analysis on the Surah Hud.

We explained this issue in our scrutiny about the Surah Al-Kahf (In the Companions of Al-Raqim and Al-Kahf section) in details.

It is in sum as follows:

First, attention must be paid to the 21st verse to understand the issues of Companions of “Al-Kahf” and “Al-Raqim” well:

 

Surah Al-Kahf 21:

21Thus We made them knowledgeable so they might know that the promise of Allah is truth and there is no doubt about the day of Qiyamat [Resurrection]. When they disputed among themselves about their affairs. They said: “Build a simple structure over them. Their Rabb knows them better”. And those who prevailed over their affairs said: “We will certainly build over them a masjid [schools that would prove the existence of Akhirat [Afterlife] ]”.

 

As seen, the reason to adopt the Companions Al-Kahf and Al-Raqim as a subject matter is that they are the scientific proof that the promise of Allah is the truth and there will be no doubt about the Qiyamat [Resurrection].

 

Companions of Al-Kahf and Al-Raqim were not narrated to us as a parable. It is not considerable that the past parables would be proofs for the Qiyamat [Resurrection] in the future. The fact that the verbs used in the narration are given in the present and future tenses is because what is narrated is not about the past but the future.

 

MEANINGS OF COMPANIONS OF AL-KAHF AND COMPANIONS OF AL-RAQIM AS WORDS:

الكهفKahf

“الكهف Kahf” means a big and large hollow [cave] on a mountain. Smaller of it is referred to as a ” غار Gar”.[2]

 

الرّقيم Raqim

The word “Raqim” is from “rqm” root and means “writing”. Hence it is mentioned in the Qur’an as “Kitabun merqum [book written]” (Surah Al-Mutaffifîn 9, 20). “Raqim” is “written, numbered”. With it, “plate; epigraph, inscription” are meant. Some said that Raqim is a mountain with a cave on it; some said that it is the name of the province where the Companions of Al-Kahf lived; while some others viewed it as the lead epigraph on which the names of the Companions of Al-Kahf are inscribed”.[3]

The most suitable meaning of the word is the meaning of “Inscription; epigraph, writing, written plate”.

When “Kahf” and “Raqim” words are compounded with the word of “اصحابAshab”, the meanings of “ اصحاب الكهفAshab Al-Kahf [Companions of the Great Cave] and “ اصحاب الرّقيم Ashab Al-Raqim [Companions of the Inscription]” come to the surface.

This means that in this passage, some events that will take place in the “Grand Cave” are narrated. There will be things going on between those working in the “Great Cave” and the “Companions of the Inscription”. When the verses where events that will take place in the cave are examined, it will be seen that it is not a big cave, “mountain hollow”, but a laboratory and soundproof studio.

It is necessary for us to remember some information notified earlier by our Rabb to His servants for we can understand correctly the Companions of Al-Kahf and the Companions of Al-Raqim. It is because that information is the baseline and first step of what will be mentioned hereunder. We think it is obligatory to provide the information we mentioned in the analysis of the Surah Hud, not as a summary but as a whole because of its close relation with the issue:

Surah Hud 6 :

6There is no creature on the earth, small-large, whose provision is not upon Allah. Allah knows its permanent dwelling and temporary settlement. All is in an explicit book.

 

In this verse where the relation between Allah and the living beings is highlighted, it is stated that Allah provided every moving living thing on earth with its sustenance, that He knows where they are placed and they dwell, and that, thus, He has control on all of them at all times.

Mentioned in the verse, the word “ دابّة dabbah” means all kinds of moving living entities including the small ones such as viruses and bacteria. From the expression of the verse, it is understood that Supreme Allah is the guarantor for the provisions of all the living things regardless of whether they are small or big, at sea or on earth.

In our analysis of Surah An-Naml 82, where the word of “Dabbah” was first mentioned, we scrutinized it and we stated what kind of wrong beliefs appeared when giving wrong meanings to the word, in details. Hence, we would be satisfied here by recommending that our remarks about the real meaning of the word of “dabbah” in the Qur’an, as well as about the nature of the pile of hearsays around that word are read again.

 

THE WORDS OF ” مستقرّ MUSTEKARR” AND ” مستودع MUSTAWDA”

In the verse, the word of “el-mustekarr” means “a permanent settlement”, and “al-mustawda’” means a “temporary place”. The fact that Allah knows the “permanent” and “temporary” places of the living beings means the fact that the places where both the living beings are entrusted and then settled are known by Allah. Regardless of the extent of the alteration of these places, this would not constitute a change of circumstance [or “difficulty”] in terms of Allah’s knowing. For example:

– Anyone can move to another city or country other than the one he lives in due to certain reasons; but wherever he may go, Allah knows where he exactly is.

– The place where a man will die may be different from the place where he sleeps every night; however, Allah knows the both.

– A sperm cell is created within the body of the father then it replaced into the ovary of the mother. Allah knows exactly where that cell is at any given moment.

– A bacteria is formed at a place and then penetrated to bodies of other creatures and becomes active there. Allah knows where that bacterium is and what its activities are.

Our Rabb says as follows:

 

Surah Al-An’am 59 :

59Keys to the unseen, the unheard, the past and the future are only with Him. No one knows them except Him. He also knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not even a leaf falls but that He knows it. No grain is there within the darkness of the earth and no moist or dry thing except that it is within an explicit book.

 

The Ayah (verse) in question supports another meaning in addition to those we mentioned above. It is that “Allah knows where a man will temporarily dwell with his information and without vanishing until the day of resurrection”. In order to explain this meaning in more details, following verses must be remembered:

  1. Verse:

 

Surah Al-Qiyamat 13 :

13That day, man will be informed with that which he sent ahead and what he left behind.

 

The word “اليوم   Yevm” was used in the Qur’an not only as a “day” but also as a “phase, session, and stage”. This term refers in the Qur’an sometimes to a “moment” sometime “many years”. For example, in Surah Al-Rahman 29, “yevm” means a “moment” while it means “many years” in Surah Hud 7 and Surah Fussilat 9, 10.

In our opinion, “that day” in these verses, is the day on which the events above take place and the disbelievers look for places to flee by saying “Where is the place to flee!”, that is to say, eyes open wide, the lunar eclipse takes place, and the sun and the moon merged; is the moment of the death.

At that moment, “the final moment”, the biologic “chips” [nerve cells acting as a memory] placed within men during the creation act their duties and present the recorded information to the vision of the person. Now the person is with his conscience and started to feel the punishment of what he had done in his conscience. Hence, the period in which a person will be both a witness and informant against himself started with that moment of death. Of course, this process will continue in the Akhirat [Afterlife] as well.

Our opinion that the memory cells will take office and notify what a person has done without any missing point has been supported by scientific researches as well. Dr. Pınar Uysal Onganer says in one of her articles:

“…Salk Institute Biology Department’s neuro-biologists in California published their findings in “Neuron” magazine regarding the issue. They proved in their experimental studies that even though we believe that we did not take the umbrella because we forgot that we took it, our brain was able to remember it as a matter of fact. … Dr. Thomas D. Albright and his team studied the ‘nerve cells signals in the Inferior Temporal Cortex [ITC] to understand what happens in the brains of monkeys. ITC is the area responsible for the ‘visual identification’ and remembering of the brain. It was demonstrated that electrical stimulation of this region caused visual hallucinations experienced in the past. In addition, it is thought that ITC has a role in the storage of the visual memory and recall of it when necessary”.[4]

 

Surah Al-An’am 61, 62 :

61And Allah maintains sovereignity over His servants and sends protectors upon you. And when the death comes upon any of you, Our messengers take his life, with nothing more nothing less; remind him one by one what he did in the past and what he failed to do while being obliged to. 62Then they will be returned to their real God, Allah. Be careful, judgment belongs only to Him and He is the swiftest of accountants”.

 

The word in the above verse that we translated as “Protectors” is stated in the original text as “Hafaza”. The root meaning of this word is “protection”. It is specifically attention calling that “Hafaza” which means “Protectors”, and “Hafiza” which means “memory”, are derived from the same root. As it is seen, the verse proves the presence of the cells [memories] that act as a memory in the build of a human. Because the “muhafazas [protectors]” about which Allah informed His servants that He would send to them during taking their lives, are the memories which inform humans about what they did and what they failed to do, that is to say, give the Z reports to them about their lives.

 

Surah Qaf 2-4:

2,3But they wonder that a warner has come to them from among themselves; and the infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb said: “This is an amazing thing! When we have died and have become dust? This is a distant return”.

4Indeed, We know what the earth diminishes of them. And with Us is a book that records and guards very well.

 

This verse is the response of the deniers, “When we have died and become dust? This is a distant return”. The fact that the deniers think that resurrection is something that is impossible stems from the fact that they do not know the reality of creation and all parts of the creation in details [their lack of knowledge]. If all the secrets of life were discovered, resurrection after death would not seem distant from their minds. However, Supreme Allah knows these secrets and creates accordingly:

 

Surah Ya-Sin 79, 80:

79,80Say: “The One Who formed them the first time will resurrect them. And He is the One Who knows every formation very well. He is the One who made fire/oxygen from a green tree for you. Now, you burn oxygen.

 

The issues like what happens to those who turn into dust decaying after death, what constitutes the entities, the nature of the ties between the pieces constituting the entities, what disappears and what do not disappear from such pieces, what remains present by changing their forms [maintain their existence] are the secrets that only our Rabb can know. Our Rabb knows these issues regarding the entities perfectly and maintains all the secrets regarding life in His own science. As it is specified in the verse that all the information regarding creation are maintained, the fact that people die and mix into the earth after decaying does not mean they vanish. Restart of life from this dust [matter] took place once previously and continues to take place constantly.

Considering the three verses above, the last meaning we gave above regarding the words of “al-mustaqqar” and “al-mustawda” can be explained as follows:

In the build of a human, there are memory cells that record every event about him. Even the possibility for all the cells to have a memory property is not so distant. Such memory cells carry out their functions at the moment of death and ensure the realization of taking life. From the expression in the verse, our subject matter, which is, “He [Allah] knows its permanent dwelling and temporary settlement”, it is understood that such cells do not mix into earth and disappear as a result of death and that Allah knows the location of these protectors [memory cells] that carry the records of the entire lives of humans.

This fact brings a new explanation to some events on which attempts are made to describe them by means of reincarnation. As it is known, some people who assert that they had experienced another life before they came to life and give some significant details regarding that life. Such cases that are attempted to be rendered the basis for the belief of Tenasuh [Immigration of the Soul] cannot be given as a proof that a person lived in different bodies in the course of time because a person who died can neither come back to life nor transit into a new life. There is no doubt about that. However, if there are those who are not liars, charlatans and not with a pathological personality are sorted out from among those who claim that they lived other lives in the past, how would their condition be explained?

In the verse, our subject matter, it is stated that our Rabb is the tracker of everything and no phenomenon, event, and object is out of His knowledge and control. Within the framework of the meaning, which we envisage, of this verse, the event can be explained as follows:

“It is possible that the memory cells belonging to a person who lived centuries ago enter the body of any person by way of digestion or breathing and stay there, and then the person remembers such records in the memory cells as if they were his own past and tells them to others”.

After all these long explanations, we can say by the permission of Allah that “Companions of Al-Raqim” are the persons who bear the memory cells [inscriptions] of the past people, which have never been and will never be lost. Companions of Al-Kahf are the brave ones who decipher the cells belonging to others carried by such people in a calm ambiance, a laboratory or a studio, by way of hypnosis, and who scientifically prove that they have not and will not be lost and our Rabb maintains everything without being eliminated.

Now, in the light of these data, we can analyze the other paragraphs of the passage:

The ayat 10 and 12 are the summary of the narration regarding the Companions of Al-Kahf and Al-Raqim. Companions of Al-Kahf head for their workplace to conduct their research and continue their works here. These are of the believers. They are supplicating to Allah to reach their objectives. Allah sends them Companions of Al-Raqim. They, as understood from the expression of “Thereafter, We cast over their ears in that great cave for many years”. in the verse 11, that they continue their works for many years in calm, isolated ambiance. Then they succeed. They learn the period from which Companions of Al-Raqim carried memory cells. Finally, this event is one of the substantial proofs of resurrection as stated in the verse 21.

Surah Al-Kahf 13, 16, 14, 15:

13-16We will relate to you the important news of the Companions of Al-Kahf and the Companions Al-Raqim in truth. Indeed, they were a few young men who believed in their Rabb. And We increased them in guidance: “Now that you have abandoned them and that which they worship other than Allah, then seek refuge in that great cave so your Rabb may spread out for you His mercy and facilitate your affairs and prepare that which is beneficial”.

14,15And We made their hearts firm when they rose up and said: “Our Rabb is Rabb of the heavens/universe and the earth. We do not invoke those that are inferior to Him as deity otherwise we would speak nonsense. Those who have taken gods from among those that are inferior to Allah are our people. Why do they not bring clear evidence about the gods that they have taken? Who can do more wrong; act more against his own good than the one who invents a lie about Allah?”.

 

In this group of verses, starting of the Companions of Al-Kahf to work has been narrated. As understood from the verse, a group of believing young people stands [starts work] saying “Our Rabb! Grant us a mercy from Yourself and give us maturity and thoughtfulness in our affair” and our Rabb provided them with the opportunity by saying “Now that you have abandoned them and that which they worship other than Allah, then seek refuge in that great cave so your Rabb may spread out for you His mercy and facilitate your affairs and prepare that which is beneficial”.

Ayah 16 is a part of the ayah 13 in terms of both technical and semantic grounds. Hence, we gave the verses 13 and 16 together.

 

Surah Al-Kahf 17-20:

17And you will see that outcome is good when a work is done compliant with revelation; otherwise it will be nonsense. They were in a wide open space from it. This is among the evidences/signs of Allah. Whomever Allah guided, then he has followed the righteous path he was guided. And whomever Allah led astray, then you will never find a Familiar Person who would guide him.

18And if you had seen the Companions of Al-Raqim, you would have thought that they were awake. Yet they were asleep. And We turned them to the right and the left. And their dog extended its forelegs at the entrance. If you had known about their situation well, you would have moved away from them, fleeing and you have been filled with fear in awe.

19,20And We sent the companions of inscription so they might question among themselves. A speaker from among them said: “How long have you remained?”. Others said: “We have remained for a day or a fraction of a day”. Others from among the companions of the inscription: “Your Rabb knows better how long you have remained. Now send one of you with this silver money of yours to the city, let him look to whatever food is cleaner, let him bring you food from it. And let him treat politely and let not him make one be aware of you. Indeed, if the people of the city prevail over you, they will stone you to death or return you to their religion/lifestyle. In that case, you will never reach the salvation eternally”.

In these verses, works of the Companions of Al-Kahf take place. Companions of Al-Kahf are, through the hypnosis method they have applied, deciphering the records, belonging to the person who lived in the past, in the inscriptions [memory cells] carried by the Companions of Al-Raqim. This way, the Qur’an’s miracle and the fact that Allah’s promise is the truth and there is no doubt about the Qiyamat [Resurrection] are scientifically manifested.

In the verse, the expression of “And you will see the sun inclining right side of their cave when rising and passing away from them to the left of them when setting” states the position of these things happening from the angle of the Qur’an.

The sun mentioned here is not the Sun, which is a star, but the Qur’an as a metaphor. We have explained earlier in our note on the Surah “Ash-Shams” that the word of “Ash-Shams [Sun]” meant the Qur’an as a metaphor. Yes, if what goes on here is crosschecked through the Qur’an; that is to say, if what happens are scrutinized through the Qur’an, it will be seen that the direction on the right hand side was taken [a good work has been done]. If not viewed through the angle of the Qur’an, then, this time, the left hand direction would be taken [it will remain as an unfortunate, meaningless event and the studies will be wasted.] We have explained that the word “Right” means “good” and “Left” means “ominous”, earlier under the title of “Companions of Al-Maymanah and Companions of Al-Mesh’amah”.

Our Rabb informed in the Qur’an once again that the miracles of the Qur’an would appear from other worlds and within ourselves.

 

Surah Fussilat 53 :

53We will show them Our evidences/signs in other worlds and within themselves until it becomes clear that it is the truth. Is it not sufficient that your Rabb is witness over all things?

 

Details regarding this issue were given previously in the analysis of the Surah Fussilat.

In the verse 18, the method of deciphering the memory codes carried by the Companions of Al-Raqim is specified. As understood, the method of code deciphering in question will be conducted by way of hypnosis. The fact that they will be deemed awake by those who see them, despite being put to sleep, marks a hypnotic situation. Their movement to the right and the left although they are sleeping demonstrates this.

The expression in the Ayah 19 of “And, we sent them [the Companions of the Inscription] so they might question among themselves”, states the help of our Rabb to the Companions of Al-Kahf; the fact that He made them find the persons on which they will be working and studying.

The verb “بعث bease” in the original of the verses 12 and 19 has been translated generally as “resurrected”. We have translated the same verb in both verses as “send”. Hence we gave that which in the verse 12 the meaning of “We sent”, and of “We sent” and “send” to those in the verse 19. The reason for this is that the Arabic grammar rules require doing so, as follows:

 

بعث BEASE

This word means in the dictionary “sending alone or along with a person”.[5] When the Qur’an is viewed, it is seen that this word is used to mean “sending” rather than “resurrection”. In fact, the meaning of “resurrection” of the word results from its connotation of “sending from the grave”. In addition, there are many verses in the Qur’an, where sending a messenger is expressed with the verb of “ بعث bease”. We will give examples from a few verses on the meaning of sending a “person” and a “group:”

 

Surah Al-Maidah 12:

12And surely, Allah took the solemn covenant of Israelites. And We sent from among them twelve supervisors/leaders. And Allah said: “I am surely with you. If you establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], give zaqah/tax, believe in My messengers, support them and loan Allah a good loan, I will definitely remove your evil deeds and admit you into the gardens of Jannah [Heaven/Paradise], underneath of which rivers flow. And whoever among you disbelieves; consciously denies the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb after this, he has certainly gone astray from the righteous path”.

 

Surah An-Nisa 35:

35If you fear dissension between wife and husband, then send to them an arbitrator from among the close people of the husband and an arbitrator from among the close people of the wife. If the wife and the husband truly desire to reconcile, Allah will give reconciliation between them. Indeed, Allah is the One Who knows very well, is the One Who knows well inner and hidden sides of everything.

 

Surah Al-An’am 65:

65Say: “He is the One Who is able to send punishment from above you and from beneath your feet or to divide you into clans and make you taste the resentment of one another”. Look, how We diversify/explain in detail Our Ayat so they may understand very well.

 

Surah Al-Isra 4, 5:

4And We decreed to Israelites in the Book that: “You will definitely make corruption on the earth/be defeated twice and rise again with a great haughtiness”. 5And when the time of the first of them came, We sent upon you Our mighty servants and they wandered among the houses, searching. And it was a promise that must have been fulfilled.

 

Surah at-Tawbah 46:

    46Had they intended to set out, they would certainly have made some preparations. Yet Allah did not like that they were sent and He kept them back. –And it was said: “Sit with those who sit!”.-

 

In the verses 19 and 20, it is stated that two groups from those people whose memory cells they carried were deciphered and who lived in the same age were determined and that they spoke to each other by asking questions to each other when hypnotized.

These two groups of the Companions of the Inscription carry the records of the period where the criminals were killed by stoning. Two groups are behaving as if they lived in that era, because of the memory cells belonging to the past period, they carried; that is to say, they are thinking that the conditions of that period are ongoing.

Surah Al-Kahf 21:

21Thus We made them knowledgeable so they might know that the promise of Allah is truth and there is no doubt about the day of Qiyamat [Resurrection]. When they disputed among themselves about their affairs. They said: “Build a simple structure over them. Their Rabb knows them better”. And those who prevailed over their affairs said: “We will certainly build over them a masjid [schools that would prove the existence of Akhirat (Afterlife)]”.

 

In this verse, our Rabb explains why He assigned the Companions of Al-Kahf and had them conduct researches. It is understood that our Rabb would bring the knowledge recorded in the entrusted cells in the Companions of the Inscription to the surface in order for the people to understand Allah’s promise regarding the gathering and resurrection is truth and would ensure that everyone hears and knows it.

The brave ones who conduct such a study discuss about what they could do after this works among themselves. Some consider to continue it without expanding it a lot, while some others– whose opinion would eventually take place – to build a masjid [a place of submission, being convinced; that is to say, a school that would make everyone believe in resurrection after death and ensure that everyone sees this with their own eyes, by means of sharing this issue with everyone and conducting it in a continuous manner] on them.

Dear Murat

It is not a question according to the Qur’an that a deceasing person comes back to life in another body (human-animal) in order to maturate (Surah Al-Mu’minun 99, 100).

 

Surah Al-Mu’minun 99, 100:

99,100And when death comes to one of them, he said: “My Rabb! Send me back so I may do righteous deeds in that which I have left”. Certainly not as he thinks! This surely is a word he is saying. There will be a barrier behind them until the day when they will be resurrected.

 

Surah Fatir 36-38:

36And those infidels; those who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb; the blazing fire of Jahannah [Hell] will be for them. It is not decreed about them so they may die. Nor will the fire of Jahannah [Hell] be lightened from them. Thus We recompense the infidels; those transgressing ones who consciously deny the divinity of Allah and the fact that He is Rabb. 37And they will cry out there: “Our Rabb! Let us free so we may do better deeds than what we did”. – Did We not grant you life enough for whoever thinks would think. And a warner came to you. Then taste it! Now there is no helper either for those who did wrong; acted against their own good by associating others with Allah. –

38Surely, Allah is the One Who knows the unseen, unheard and unfelt of the heavens/universe and the earth. No doubt that He is the One Who knows best what is in the chests.

 

Surah al-An’am 27, 28:

27If you could see when they are made to stand upon the fire, they will say: “Oh, if only we were returned to the world, we have not denied the Ayat of our Rabb and we have become of the believers!”.

28Rather, what they have been concealing has now been disclosed. If they were returned, they would definitely return to that which was forbidden to them. Yes, they are truly liars.

 

If we can learn the source, proofs, documents and knowledge of such beliefs of Hindus well, we can analyze that belief and demonstrate its incongruities with the Qur’an.

My knowledge in this regard is encyclopedia based and I have no more knowledge … But it became my obligation to be knowledgeable and to be interested in the subject from now on…

Hakkı YILMAZ

                                                                                                   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

                                                                                                   www.istekuran.net

 

[1] Rabb means “The One Who disciplines and educates, One Who guides his creations to a certain target/targets within the frame of a schedule, one who programs and manages the development”. This word, in absolute terms, is used for Allah alone. As to humans, it is used in such forms as “the rabb of the house”, “the rabb of the workplace”, etc. The English term closest to this term in the context of meaning is “boss”. While having a meaning close to rabb, this word does not cover the meaning of rabb entirely as it is used only in the commercial context. For this reason, since we did not have the possibility to explain the term rabb with multiple words, we had to leave it in its original Arabic form. Therefore, our readers should keep the above mentioned definition in their minds.

[2] Lisan al-Arab, v: 7, p: 751

[3] Lisan al-Arab, v.4 , p. 220-222
[4] From the Science and Technique supplement of Cumhuriyet newspaper dated 11 February 2006
[5] Tebyin-ul Qur’an; v. 1, p. 449, 450; Taj al-Arus; v.3, p. 170, 171. “ba’s” art.

PROFIT, RENT, FEE, INTEREST AND KENZ

The concepts we used as the title of our article are the issues that concern the Muslims very closely and are worth narrating in hundreds of pages. Hence, our valuable Islamic law scholars have expressed these issues in volumes throughout history. We will try to present the issues very briefly and clearly in encyclopedic scales.

In order for us to distinguish these concepts we used as the titles from each other, we are presenting them in summary:

 

FEE (Ujrah)

“Fee” means the “amount designated for a job done”. That is to say, fee is the return of labor. This means that if a person works, he/she is entitled to remuneration in return of his/her working. In this context, the name of a person who works is a “worker”.

A person who works for a person or an organization for a particular time or on a daily, weekly, annually basis is referred to as a “private worker”, and the person who works for everyone, such as traders or small-scale artisans are called “common workers”. Both of them deserve a wage by the sweat of their brow.

When worked without cheating and wasting the shift, the earning obtained in return is a halal (legitimate, permissible) earning. Even if the time of a worker is spent in vain without working during the working hours and the time in which he/she is at work for the reasons that do not result from him/her, his/her earning is halal/permissible, like those of the public servants or factory workers.

Fee was not specified through any ayah (verse) by Allah. The fee for a person is determined according to the nature of the job, the risk factor at work, whether the employee is qualified and local and economical conditions as well as complying with the justice and fairness, in the amount that it will fulfill the compulsory expenditures of the employee for the comfortable living of himself/herself and his/her dependants, through the mutual agreement of the employer and the employee under the superintendence of the public authority. In this case, following ayat (verses) are taken into account.

 

Surah At-Talaq 6:

6Lodge those women in a part of your home according to your capacity and do not do anything to oppress them which may harm them and you. If they are pregnant, spend on them/provide sustenance until they deliver their burden. Then if they breastfeed for you, give them their payment and confer among yourselves in a way that is acceptable for all. And if you are in discord, then another woman will breastfeed whose payment will be upon the father.

 

Surah Al-Qasas 25- 27:

25Then one of two women shyly came to Moses. She said: “Indeed my father invites you so that he may pay you for having watered”. Moses came to her father and told him the story. Her father said: “Do not fear, you are safe from that people who did wrong; acted against their own good by associating others with Allah”.

26One of his two daughters said: “O my father! Hire him. He surely is the best and the most powerful and the most trustworthy of those who can be hired”.

27And father of the women said: “I wish to wed you with one of my two daughters on the condition that you work for me for eight years in which hajj [pilgrimage] is fulfilled. But if you complete it to ten, then it is from you; I would not wish to give you any difficulty. If Allah wills, you will find me from among the righteous”.

 

Surah An-Nahl 90:

90Indeed, Allah commands justice, doing good deeds and giving to people; traveling paupers –who have been expelled out of their homes and deprived of their wealth while seeking for the gifts and acceptance of Allah, and they help Allah and His messenger. He forbids immorality, evil deeds and transgression. He reminds you so you may reason and take lessons.

 

Surah Al-A’raf 85-87:

85-87Surely We sent to Midian their brother Shu’ayb as a messenger. He said: “O my people! Worship Allah, no deity is for you but Allah. There came a clear evidence from your Rabb[1]: Do the weighing and measuring accurately, do not deprive people from their due rights, do not cause corruption on the earth after being corrected; if you are those who believe, this is better for you! Do not sit on every path, threatening, averting the believers from the path of Allah and seeking the deviation of that path. Remember you were few but He made you many. And see how was the end of the corrupters! And if a group among you has believed in that which was sent with me and a group has not believed, then be patient until Allah judges between us. And He is the best of those who judge”.

 

According to the historical documents, the Prophet has conducted the applications in the manner that the worker would conveniently make a living, acquire a house through savings, get married and provide a vehicle. He reprimanded any excess or shortage from these measures. A living standard was determined here. Muslims must take these measures into account in their whereabouts.

 

(RIBA) INTEREST

The word of “Riba” means “increase, multiplication, bloating” (Lisan al-Arab; 4/ 54-56, rbv art.)

The word of “riba” in Arabic means “interest” in English and it is also used as a law term with the meaning of “unreturned excess” that is considered to be the entitlement of one of the parties in the exchange contracts and stipulated as a condition during entering into an agreement. That is to say, riba covers not only the increase, multiplication and bloating in monetary businesses but also the increase, multiplication and bloating in the transactions regarding swapping of commodities (detail regarding the issue is given in “Tebyinu’l Qur’an [Manifestation of the Qur’an]” and the articles on our website)

 

PROFIT

Profit is the “A margin added to the purchase price or cost of goods when selling them, proliferation in trade”. That is to say, profit is the result of exchanging goods. Its meaning in Arabic is “Ribh” and takes place in the Qur’an in Surah Al-Baqara 16, with the expression of: “They are the ones who have purchased going astray for the righteous path so their business has brought no profit and they have not been the ones who followed the righteous path that they were guided”.

Without profit, there can be no economical life in question. Hence, our Rabb ordered in Surah Al-Baqara 275 as follows: “….But Allah made trade halal/permissible but the riba [income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] haram/forbidden …”

Trade and exchanging goods are done in order to obtain profits or fulfill a requirement. As trade is legitimate, profit is naturally legitimate too; it is not forbidden.

The religion of Islam did not stipulate a standard profit limit in a particular ratio and left it for the designation through the natural conditions and moral measures. Profit limits generally take place automatically in line with the rules of supply and demand and within the free competition principles. However, in order to safeguard this principle and prevent the abuse of basic needs; some precautions were stipulated. Prohibition of riba [income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort], closure of the ways of unfair/unreturned benefits and application of lowest price fixing when necessary can be listed among such precautions.

Our Rabb has given the following warnings in this regard:

 

Surah An-Nisa 29:

29O you who have believed! Do not consume one another’s wealth among yourselves unjustly -except for business you make with your consent-, do not kill yourselves. Indeed, Allah is very merciful to you.

 

Surah Al-An’am 150-153:

150Say: “Now, bring your witnesses who will testify that Allah has absolutely forbidden this”. If they testify despite this, do not testify with them. And do not follow the vain, transitory desires of those who deny My Ayat and who do not believe in Akhirat [Afterlife]. And they equate with their Rabb.

151Say: “Come, I will recite you what your Rabb has tabooed; made untouchable to you”.

‘Not to associate anything with Him,

to do good to mother and father – treat them good,

not to kill your children out of poverty/being made poor, -We provide for you and them.-

not to approach apparent and concealed of evil,

not to kill a soul which Allah has forbidden except by right, -These are what He brought upon you as a liability so you may use your reason.-

152And do not approach orphan’s property, -But until he reaches the age that he is able to distinguish between good and evil, you can approach in a way which is best and spend in the appropriate way.-,

weight in justice and equity and give full measure, -We never burden anyone other than what he is able to; other than what is within his capacity.-

be just when you speak even if it is against someone close to you,

and fulfill the covenant of Allah.’ –These are what Allah brought upon you as liabilities so you may be reminded and take lessons.-“

153And surely, this is My path, straight. Follow it right away. And do not follow other paths so it will not take you away from His path. These are what Allah brought upon you as liabilities so you may enter under the guardianship of Allah.

 

Surah Al-Isra 35:

35When you measure, measure fully and use a straight weigh. This is better and more proper in consequence/implementation.

 

Surah Ar-Rahman 7-9:

7-9And He formed the heavens/universe and raised it and placed the scale/measurement/balance so you may not transgress in scale/measurement/balance. Establish the measure with justice and equity, do not damage the scale/measurement /balance.

 

Surah Hud 84-86:

84-86We sent to Median their brother Shu’ayb as a messenger. Shu’ayb said: “O my people! Worship Allah. There is no other deity but Him for you. Do not decrease from the measure and the scale. Indeed, I see you in prosperity. And I fear the punishment of a day that will encompass for you. O my people! Establish justice and equity when you measure and weigh. Do not deprive things of the people and do not commit abuse on the earth as corrupters. If you are believers, what remains from Allah/what He bestows you as benefit is better for you. And I am not a protector over you”.

 

Surah Al-Mutaffifin 1-3:

1-3Woe to those frauds who measure fully when they purchase from the people for themselves but measure less when they measure or weight!

Through these ayat, objective was set to create sturdy commercial morality and lying, cheating, deception, covering up the defect of a sod commodity or praising it with the non-existing qualities were prohibited and express, realistic and reasonable measures were developed.

Despite them, required precautions to be taken by the public authority as the abandonment of the merchants uncontrolled could cause abuse and exploitation of needs are within the scope of the directives of Allah.

RENT

Rent is the “return of utilizing something that can be utilized (land, plot, building, workplace) for a particular period”. And this return is directly proportional with the utilization. The rent of a land that yields prolific crops is more than the land that is infertile. The rent of a place of business that highly productive is more than the less productive one. The rent of a dwelling promising to live under better conditions is higher than an ordinary dwelling.

According to the economists, the reason for rent is dearth. That is to say, persons are unable to acquire an abode, land, residence and workplace in their locale as they are controlled by speculators or to have the means to purchase the rental object.

 

KENZ

“Kenz” means “Treasure, riches, valuable goods remained hidden underground; money or gold” in the dictionary.

As a term, it means: “All kinds of mandatory needs (havaic al-asliyah) surplus values, money, gold, silver, foreign currency, commodities and properties that are not included in the production, employment and trade and kept under cushions and safes”.

 

Mandatory Needs (Havaic al-asliyah):

Havaic al-asliyah means the “financial possibility that will provide one year subsistence of a person after the house where he/she will dwell throughout life, the furniture of that house, winter and summer clothes, and paraphernalia required for his/her working ambiance as well as after the procurement of the vehicle and compensation of debts.” The vehicle and the dwelling must be in moderate value and in the measures that would not pose luxury.

Our Rabb ordered that the surplus of all the values that need to be in circulation is to be provided as infaq/aid and warned that those who commit “kenz” and fail to provide infaq/aid will be punished in the world and in the Akhirat (Afterlife).

 

Surah Al-Baqara 195:

195And spend your wealth for the cause of Allah/provide sustenance for your relatives first and then others, do not put yourselves in danger with your own hands and do good deeds. Indeed, Allah likes those who do good deeds.

 

Surah At-Tawbah 34-35:

34O you who have believed! Surely, many of the rabbis/scholars and priests consume the wealth of the people unjustly and avert them from the path of Allah. And as for those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend them for the cause of Allah/provide sustenance first for their relatives and then others, give them the tidings of a painful punishment immediately!

35On that day, gold and silver that they have been hoarding will be heated in the fire of Jahannah [Hell] and their foreheads, flanks and backs will be seared with them: “This is that which you have hoarded for yourselves. Now taste that which you have been hoarding!”.

 

Surah Al-Baqara 219-220:

219,220They ask you about that which confuses, intoxicates the mind/causes intoxication of the mind and the games of chance. Say: “In them is great sin yet some benefits for the people. But in the world and in Akhirat [Afterlife], their sin is greater than their benefits”. And they ask you what they should spend for the cause of Allah. Say: “Spend the excess”. Thus Allah makes clear His Ayat for you so you may give thought. They ask you about the orphans as well. Say: “For them ‘improvement’ is the best. If you mix with them, then they are your brothers. Allah knows the corrupter from the amender. If Allah had willed, He would have put you in difficulty. Surely, Allah is the One Who is the most exalted, the most powerful, the most honorable, the invincible/the subduer, the best law maker, the One Who precludes corruption best/makes incorruptible.

Some asserted that stocking the goods for which zaqah/tax has been given will not be “kenz”. This idea is, as can be understood from Surah Al-Baqara 177 manifestly, not an accurate view.

 

Surah Al-Baqara 177:

177It is not “being righteous” to turn your faces to east and west. But, “the righteous people” are the ones who believe in Allah, the day of Akhirat [Afterlife]/the Last Day, angels, the Book, prophets; who give their wealth to relatives, orphans, needy, travelers and paupers and the ones who do not have freedom even though they love wealth and who give their wealth by loving Allah and who establish Salah [establish and maintain the institutions that support financially and spiritually; enlighten the community], who give zaqah/tax. And they are the ones who fulfill their promise when they promise and who have patience in the times of hardship, illness and war. They are the ones who are true. And they are the ones who have entered under the guardianship of Allah.

 

As seen, in this ayah (shown underlined) spending of zaqah/tax and goods; infaq/aid took place separately. While Muslims need food, employment and procurement, it is not Muslim-like attitude to save wealth through gold, silver, foreign currency and cash as well as second and third homes, vacation homes leaving the values that must be in circulation inactive. Muslims may, instead of “Takathur (race of adding more and more, piling up, multiplying)” turning the world into hell together with the persons belonging to the religion of capitalism; work a lot and race in giving charities whereby turn the world into heavens and be one of the “muqarrabun” in the Akhirat[Afterlife].

 

Surah Saba 37:

37And it is not your wealth and your children that will bring you closer to Us. But whoever believes and does amendatory deeds, it is those for whom will be many times more recompenses for what they did. And they will be safe in their upper mansions.

 

Surah Al-Mu’minun 56-62:

55,56Do they think that We bestow upon them of the wealth and sons so We may hasten them in good deeds? Rather, they are not able to perceive.

57-61Surely, those who shake, fearing to be away from their Rabb for the deep admiration and respect to Him, those who believe in the Ayat of their Rabb, those who do not associate others with their Rabb, those who give what they give while their hearts are in awe for they will return to their Rabb; they are the ones who hasten in good deeds and who go ahead for good deeds.

62And We do not burden any one other than what he is able to; other than what is within his capacity. And with Us is a book that speaks the truth and they will not be treated unjustly.

 

Surah Muhammad 36-38:

36Surely, this simple life in the world is only diversion and amusement. If you believe and enter under the guardianship of Allah, Allah will give you your rewards, will not ask you for your wealth.

37If Allah asked you for your wealth and forced you for that, you would withhold. And He would expose your hatred.

38So, you are the ones who are invited to spend for the cause of Allah. Despite this, some of you withhold. And whoever withholds, only withholds from his own self. And Allah is free of need, you are the needy. If you turn away, Allah will replace you with another people. And they will not be the likes of you.

 

Surah Al-Hadid 7-11:

7Believe in Allah and His Messenger. Spend from that which He has made you possessors for the cause of Allah/provide sustenance first for your relatives and then others. And as for those from among you who believe and spend; there will be a great reward for them.

8And what is it with you that you do not believe in Allah while the Messenger has invited you to believe in your Rabb? But, He has taken a ‘solemn covenant’ from you that you would believe –if you are the believers-.

9Allah is the One Who has revealed explicit Ayat to His servant to bring you out from all darkness into the light. And surely, Allah is very compassionate, very merciful to you.

10Why do you not spend for the cause of Allah although the heritage of the heavens/universe and the earth belongs to Allah? Not equal are those from among you who spent before the conquest and fought. They are greater in degree than those who spent and fought for the cause of Allah afterwards. Yet, Allah has promised all of them “the best”. And Allah is aware of what you do.

11Who is the one who will loan Allah a good loan so He may multiply for him many times! And a noble reward will be for him as well.

 

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INTEREST AND PROFIT

In order to see the differences between trade profit and the transactions that cause riba[income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort], it is sufficient to view the stages of both activities roughly:

On the first stage, the person who plans to obtain gains by means of trading first owns the goods by purchasing them. The person who plans to obtain gains from the transactions that cause riba[income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] seeks for another person in need in order to lend the commodity or money he/she owns or waits for the needing person to find him/her.

On the second stage, the person who plans to obtain gains by means of trading adds the profit he/she contemplates to obtain to the purchase price of the commodity he/she owns and determines a sales price. In this profit, there are the expenses made since the purchase of the commodity and the fee estimated by the person in return of the service he/she provides. The person who plans to obtain gains from the transactions that cause riba[income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] has neither expenditure that will be the source for the transactions of riba[income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] that he/she determined nor a service that he/she would quote for. He/she only notifies the amount of the riba together with those who gain profits along with him/her to the person who asks for the amount of riba.

On the third stage, the person who plans to obtain gains by means of trading is obliged to sell his/her commodity not upon the prices he/she determined but upon the price that occurs on the market outside of his/her will. The person who plans to obtain gains from the transactions that cause riba[income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] draws up his/her agreement upon the amount of riba he/she determines.

As it is seen, the person who plans to earn by trading and the person who plans to earn from the transactions that cause riba[income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] experience the above stages by acting differently and obtain different results:

The person who plans to earn by trading receives the respective commodity from the producer and delivers to the consumer through the legal processes he/she carries out with two actions. The profit determined by this person is the return of the service he/she provides but not a guarantee; is under risk.

The person who plans to earn from the transactions that cause riba[income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] continues to receive the excess he/she determines throughout the term, by means of entering into agreements and through the legal process he/she carries out without actions and without any return from any expenditure or service. His/her risk is inability of the borrower to pay the loan and this action has been probably considered beforehand and the risk has been eliminated by way of pledge or a guarantor.

These very important differences between trading and the actions that cause riba[income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] apply not only in the commercial field but in all the production activities by exhibiting labor in the sectors of industry and agriculture. That is to say, the profit obtained from the sale of a production carried out through exhibiting manual and mental power and the excess obtained upon the wealth and labor of the debtor by means of lending cannot be considered same.

If an attempt to tell the differences stated above in one sentence is made, it is possible to say this: The labor in trading, industry and agriculture is “constructive” and the profit obtained in return of labor is halal/permissible but the excess obtained as a result of the transactions that cause riba[income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] are “destructive” and the profit obtained this way is haram/forbidden.

With this comparison in mind, it is possible to say the following regarding the characteristics of riba[income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] which was prohibited: the “riba”prohibited by our Rabb is the riba obtained not being the return of any cost or service; the riba which means partnering with the earnings of the payer without any risk. In other words, our Rabb has prohibited the “surplus” that is “unreturned” and “riskless”.

When it comes to the effects of interest, number one element of “riba”, on the individuals; it is possible to say that it really poses deadly impact on people in spiritual terms:

Interest constraints people from working. It is because the people with money will earn more easily by depositing it for interest without laboring and taking risk, they may not need to work. This condition causes social mobility to fall and productivity to decrease. The person who receives debts works and earns but a person who receives interest from the earnings of such person is fed without working. However, increase of the wealth of a country can only be possible by working and producing more and more in every field. In some, lesser labor will bring lesser labor.

Interest eliminates helping and solidarity in societies. Earnings easily acquired and without risk, like interest, generally push humans toward selfishness. Hence, those people who have savings can help others prefer to deposit their money for interest instead of giving their money to their brothers and sisters who are in need. For unblocking the road to “helping people in need” ordered by Allah, it is required that interest is rejected and the earnings obtained this way are not relied on.

Interest makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. Except for those who make speculative investments in the long-term inflation periods with high rates, it is not possible to see anyone who receives loans and pays interest to be rich, because the ratios of interest are determined by those people who have money and these people determine the ratios of interest in the manner that they will themselves have the lion’s share pro rata the earnings ratios allowed by the economical environment. That is to say, ratios of interest always correspond to the bigger part of the average unearned income that can be obtained in that environment. Thus the investor who receives loans with interest is allowed not to be reach but only to be continue his/her life; in other words, to sustain indebtedness. If the debtor is not an investor but a person in need, a poor person, it is already clear that such person will be poorer and poorer by means of paying interest. Therefore, interest makes the rich richer and the poor poorer as it is the cause of and maintains the ambiance where a small minority lives in wealth and the majority lives in poverty in a society. Moreover, it is inevitable that such order would gradually turn to be a hell for the low earning group that constitutes the majority of the order because the interest-seeking wealthy ones in these societies become more and more anxious about their lives and wealths as they get richer and richer and apply more diverse ways of cruelty in order to safeguard them.

Interest prevents a servant of Allah to thank and makes him/her ungrateful toward Allah. The wealthy people who are rendered people with surplus by Allah must be grateful to Allah by paying the equivalent of their surplus by way of zaqah/tax, sadaqa and infaq/aid. But the person attracted by interest, which is an easy and riskless gain, tends to interest instead of transferring the return of the blessings given by Allah to the addresses designated by Allah and fails to carry out his/her duties by being entrapped. Knowing that the possibility that man can easily be entrapped this way is very high, as He is the Rabb of him, says in the Ayah 276 of the Surah Al-Baqara, “Allah removes the riba [income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] and increases the sadaqa/public revenue. Allah does not like those who are ungrateful and sinner” promising that riba [income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort], which also covers interest, will not bring any good to any person, because the sadaqa and infaq/aid will be returned more and more in the world and in the Akhirat [Afterlife], along with His threat that He would destroy it, and reminding once again the fact that humans must prefer thankfulness instead of ungratefulness. What is stated in the Qur’an as “Adam’s tasting from the tree for which Allah said ‘do not approach’ and his immediate starting of piling up” figuratively is actually this issue.

As it is seen, interest, starting with the psychologies of persons, alters their work lives and subsistence and causes their family order to overturn. Gradual increase of such individuals in the society brings closer that society toward danger and drags the country containing such society having turned to be the slaves of interest toward colonization, the fire, as in the Ottoman example above, as a result of consuming its underground and aboveground wealth.

In sum, interest, in regards to its outcomes, is one of the biggest factors that render the poor slaves and the countries colonies.

However, “riba”[income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] cannot be downscaled to interest because, as we stated above, our Rabb has not prohibited interest but “unreturned” and “riskless” surplus. Therefore, Muslims must not be socially deviant for self-delusion like staying away only from interest and consuming other unreturned excesses that fell into the scope of “riba”. However, unfortunately people found “riba” indispensable and those who did not want to leave this sweet earning made themselves believe that what they did was not within the scope of the “riba” prohibited by Allah, by means of reducing the concept of “riba” into the concept of interest and of excluding the “riba” they earned from the nature of interest through the implementations called muamalat al shariah.

 

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INTERESTKENZ AND RENT

As there was no scarcity of land and building as well as of material pro rata population in the period during which the Qur’an was sent down, there was no manifest ayat in regards to “Rent”. Thus, this issue is studied within the framework of the other provisions specified in the Qur’an.

Some alleged that “rent” and “riba” [income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] are not the same things and that there are some differences in between in terms of both process and revenues and developed examples as follows:

– In rent, the proprietor of the property does not disconnect its relation from the property once he/she lets it out on hire. He/she is interested in both the utilization of the property by the tenant and the condition of the property. In interest, the person who lends the money is not interested in the manner of using the money. What is important is the receipt the principal sum and its interest without interruption.

– In the case of rent, if it is not possible to use the rental property and to fulfill the objective of renting it as a result of a malfunction, the proprietor is obliged to repair and rectify the defect. In this case, although the rental object is in the hands of the tenant, he/she would not pay the rental fee during the idle period. In the case of money received through interest, the debtor always pays the interest regardless of whether he/she utilizes the money or not.

– In rent, the title, size and benefits of the rental property is determined by the proprietor. That is to say, the control of the rental property is in the hands of the owner. Therefore, the area and purpose of using the property is certain. This is not the case when it comes to interest. The control of the money received with interest is in the borrower. The area, manner and purpose of use of the money do not concern the owner of the principal amount. Hence, it is possible to abuse capitals.

– Payments made in return of rental fee are considered to be expenditures being paid from the revenues and not included in the price of costs in the production. Interest financing costs are added to the production cost. This cost is reflected to the consumer. This way, it is to the detriment of the consumers, generally the poor.

– In the case of rent, there is the possibility of incurring losses in addition to the probability of profits. This condition, the use of capital in the businesses that yield rental income, does not create a class of idle people who waste their time. In interest, there is no possibility for losses. The person who gives the money with interest guarantees his/her money through the ways like hypothec, guarantors etc. This features an idle and parasite class of people who waste their times in the society.

– In the case of rent, the tenant pays back the return of the benefit obtained from the rental object, dwells in the house, produces at work and farms on the land. In the case of interest, no direct utilization of the received money is in question. The money is not eaten, drunk or dwelled in etc. However, in the event that the money is used in trade or production, then there is the utilization of that money. But, it is still not guaranteed to provide profit or benefits in trade or production. In the case of interest, the profit and the amount of the profit are guaranteed in advance.

– The rental properties do not become more and more valuable at all times; they are even subject to wear and tear. Accordingly, rent is the return of depreciation as well. However, in the money lent for interest, no depreciation, decaying and getting older is in question. In an environment without inflation, there is no difference between the old money and new money in terms of purchase power. That is to say, the new money and the old money have the same value.

 

However, the theses asserted above do not fully accord with the realities of life:

– Lenders, just like landlords, do not risk their money by tracing the condition of the borrower in every and all respects and ask the credits they provide to be given back in any case of discrepancy.

– Even though the damages on the rental property not stemming from the tenant are paid back by the property owner, no condition of not paying the rental fee during the troubleshooting period is in question in practice. For example, it is not possible to see an application of not asking of rental fee during the repair of the roof of a store whose roof is leaking by the owner, in the real life.

– Even if the manner of using the rental property is predetermined, it is not possible to prevent the tenant from conducting other illegal businesses in that workplace subsequently. Or, if the tenant is a malevolent person, he/she may conduct some activities without the knowledge of the owner. On the other hand, it is possible to conduct quite benevolent businesses like constructing a school with the money received through interest.

– The allegation that the rental revenues are not added to the production cost is never in line with realities because the rental expenditures are added to the costs just like the interest expenditures and reflected into the sales price of the goods or services.

– The fact that the person whose property is rented incurs loss due to such transaction is a thing that has never been encountered in practice. Occurrence of loss from the rental transaction for the owner can only be possible if the rental fee is not paid and this condition is already guaranteed through the preliminary received deposits and trustees and loss incurred by the proprietor is prevented this way. On the other hand, the idea that the rental transaction will not create an idle class is not realistic either, because the number of the people who live idly through the rental revenues of the real estate properties they have is never a little.

– The allegation that the money will not be subject to losses in the course of time is an exact fantasy because it is an indispensable truth that money is devalued through inflation even in the most developed economies. In addition, the possibility that the property of the owner can gain extremely high value for the reasons like the modification of the zoning plan or the direction of urban development invalidates the allegation that the property is subject to devaluation through depreciation in the course of time.

In summary, the allegations such as above that are not harmonious with real life do not eliminate the reality that “Earnings provided by rental property, land or commodity as well as interest are revenue provided by capital that has the potential of converting into goods or assets. The person who rents his/her property obtains revenues without labor as of the date of rentingHence, they are not different from each other.

Therefore, acquisition of surplus houses, lands, workplaces etc. and obtainment of rental fee from them clearly emit the smell of Kenz and Riba [income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort].

 

Solution

The religion of capitalism is an economic order that dominates substantial majority of the world today. This religion is based on the principle of “the big fish eats the little one”. Therefore the religion of capitalism is exactly the opposite the religion of Islam in terms of both morality and consciousness. Despite this fact the persons who allege that they are Muslims endeavor to find a place within the principles of capitalism, instead of creating the system and institutions wanted by Allah, which indeed is an embarrassing behavior. The behavior that befits Muslims is to constitute an economic system that is suitable for the lifestyle recommended by Allah but, first to exclude “riba” to get rid of the position of being “the enemy of Allah and His messenger”.

Our Rabb did not withhold His blessings as well, as in every subject, and showed the ways of creating the system and institutions for salvation, by not letting people search and find what the families and the countries are to do to get rid of the calamity, the trouble of “riba” and “kenz” manifestly in the Qur’an (Surah Al-Ma’idah 12, Surah At-Taghabun 17, 18, Surah At-Tawbah 34, 35, Surah Al-Baqara 45, 46, 153, 195, 219, 245, Surah Hadid 11, Surah Al-Ma’idah 2, 48, Surah Ali-Imran; 103, 104 Surah Al-Asr 1-3, Surah Al-Ankabut 45, Surah Mary 59-61, Surah Fatir 6, Surah Al-A’la 14-17).

The Ayat given above are some of the hundreds of Ayat that orders sustaining of Salah[Support financially and spiritually; establish and maintain institutions that enlighten the community], Zaqah/tax, and Sadaqa, some of the ways of getting rid of “riba” and “kenz”. With these Ayat, our Rabb orders the believers of Islam to get organized and create unions, to spend their surplus for the sake of Allah and race in doing good deeds and favors by creating the social support and infaq/aid organizations and expressly states that those people who fail to do so will pose sorrow and danger to their societies and live life of hell in the world and that those people who commit “kenz” (people who do not bring their moneys out for circulation by keeping them in cubes, under cushions, in safes and banks) will be punished. Hence, the solution for the persons, families and countries to get rid of the trouble of “riba” and “kenz” is to conduct deeds through these Ayat and to carry out the tasks ordered by Allah with these Ayat.

For example, Muslims can bring together their surpluses granted by Allah to them in the light of these Ayat instead of depositing them for speculative investments and interests. They may establish partnerships where audits are carried out by the public authority and no abuse is done. By conducting trade whose legitimacy is unquestionable in the religion of Islam or by establishing a Mudarabah/Muqarazah partnership (A Labor-capital partnership crated, with one party providing capital and the other employment), they might attempt to provide production, employment and profits.

This way, these people will will create new job possibilities for the unemployed and ensure that money in their hands will bring benefit to others as well. Later on, they may establish social aid and support institutions as well as charities oriented to infaq through the gains obtained from such partnerships and lend money to those Muslims who are in need thanks to such organizations without interest (qarz-ı hasen). Of course, in the lending done from such social aid organizations, if the borrower is really unable to pay back his/her debt, it must be possible to erase the debt and even to provide more monetary reinforcement to the borrower as required by the recommendation of Allah. Also from these charities, the short-term requirements of the tradesmen must be fulfilled and accordingly prevent the Muslims from entering into the grip of the banks and usurers. In the event that there still is idle money in these charities, new companies can be founded in legitimate ways using these forms and new more charity organizations by means of the revenues obtained from the activities of these companies and it can be ensured that this productive circulation continues by growing.

However, in order to make sure that such system can be operable, actions must be taken first in the family circles and the establishment of the system must be realized by growing along the neighborhood, village and province because success can, as ordered by our Rabb, only be obtained through the self-correction of persons one by one.

In such as system, neither interest, nor stock exchanges, not another form of “riba”[income that is earned easily without risk, working and effort] is needed; more accurately, no type of “riba” will be required because the public authority has to establish institutions that can carry out the works such as collection of surpluses in the hand of the public and present them for the utilization of the partnerships that will make use of them in their investments, for the continuation of such economic order, without any interest. These institutions will not only be able to carry out the works done by the banks and stock exchanges of the capitalist system on behalf of people but also fulfill the transactions of the traders and people such as collection of checks and deeds and remittances not within the order of theft, just like that of the banks of today, but in return of respective charges, or free of charge if no such charge is applied.

We have stated above that the reason for renting is famine. The religion of Islam brought principles that eliminate “famine”. There is no famine in the areas where the principles of Islam are applied. The religion of Islam has eliminated the reasons of famine. Some of them are:

  • The religion of Islam has forbidden the circulation of wealth among the wealthy people as a means of power and prevented the creation of speculators and cartels within the society.

 

Surah Al-Hashr 7, 8:

7,8And the Fai [revenues yielded without fighting and making any effort] Allah has given to His Messenger from the people of that city belong to Allah, the Messenger, those poor who have immigrated – and they have been expelled out of their lands and deprived of their wealth while seeking for the bounty and acceptance of Allah, and they help Allah and His Messenger. They are the ones who are the righteous-, orphans, the needy and travelers so the luxury brought by the power; the authority will not only be for the rich among you. Whatever the Messenger has given you, take it immediately. And whatever he has forbidden you, turn away from it. And enter under the guardianship of Allah. Indeed, Allah is the One Whose punishment/penalty is very severe.

 

In hundreds of ayat, salah [Support financially and spiritually; establish and maintain institutions that enlighten the community], substitution of salah, zaqah/tax, infaq/aid and sadaqa were ordered and it was stipulated that they are to be used to provide equal work, food, education and training to everyone by means of using them. The Muslims will create sufficient workplaces, educational institutions and social support institutions, thus will not suffer from famine to have land, plot, residences.

 

Surah At-Tawbah 60:

60Truly, as an allocation/an obligation from Allah, the sadaqa/public revenues are only for the poor, the needy/the unemployed, the officials who work for that matter/public servants, those whose hearts to be encouraged to Islam, unfree slaves, those in heavy debt, those in the path of Allah [soldiers, students and teachers] and the stranded travelers. Allah is the One Who knows all best, the One Who is the best law maker.

 

In addition to this ayah, hundreds of Salah [Support financially and spiritually; establish and maintain institutions that enlighten the community], infaq/aid, and zaqah/tax ayat must be taken into account.

The religion of Islam prevented people from piling up in particular settlements and stipulated that Allah’s world is vast and that they can create settlements in suitable areas not to cause famine but to get rid of it.

 

Surah Al-Baqara 60:

60And when Moses asked for water for his people and We said to him: “Implement your experience upon your stonehearted people!”. Then, twelve groups/people of cities were divided into many directions from his stonehearted people. The people of each city learned/marked where they would obtain their water. –Eat and drink from the provision of Allah and do not transgress on the earth by causing corruption.-

 

Allah knows the truth best.

                                                                                                   Hakkı YILMAZ

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[1] Rabb means “The One Who disciplines and educates, One Who guides his creations to a certain target/targets within the frame of a schedule, one who programs and manages the development”. This word, in absolute terms, is used for Allah alone. As to humans, it is used in such forms as “the rabb of the house”, “the rabb of the workplace”, etc. The English term closest to this term in the context of meaning is “boss”. While having a meaning close to rabb, this word does not cover the meaning of rabb entirely as it is used only in the commercial context. For this reason, since we did not have the possibility to explain the term rabb with multiple words, we had to leave it in its original Arabic form. Therefore, our readers should keep the above mentioned definition in their minds.