Lessons from Holy Qur'an

Prohibition Of Usury

Prohibition Of Usury
Surah ‘Aali ‘Imran (The Family Of ‘Imran, Chapter – 3)
Verse – 130 of 200, Section –14 (Part – 4)

O ye who believe! Devour not usury, doubling and quadrupling (the sum lent). And observe your duty to Allah, that ye may be successful.

Yaaa-‘ayyu-hallaziina ‘aa-manuu laa ta’-kulur-Ribaaa ‘az-‘aafam-muzaa-‘afah. Wat-taqullaaha la-‘allakum tuflihuun.


During the recitation about the Battles of Badr and ‘Uhud , now prohibition of the usury is being mentioned. Apparently, no relation is visible between above both matters, but there are many causes of their connection. Two important reasons out of them are being stated as under:

  1. Due to devouring the usury, unkindness and cordial weakness increases, because:

a. Spirit of obedience and loyalty comes to an end due to eating up greedily unlawful earning.

b. Avarice and misery arises in the human being due to devouring the usury.

  1. According to a history, aim of one by one revelation of the verses about above-mentioned two matters (restriction on eating up the Usury, and the Battles of Badr and ‘Uhud) is that, the frequent usury matters of Muslims used to be with the Jews at that time. Therefore, it was very difficult not to concern with them, and during the event of the Battle of ‘Uhud the Jews Hypocrites had trespassed intensely. So the Muslims were admonished that they should leave bargaining of the usury. Otherwise, willing or not willing relations with these deceivers would remain established due to the usury, which would become cause of loss in future.

‘az-‘aafam-muzaa-‘afah – (doubling and quadrupling) it does not mean “Devour not usury, doubling and quadrupling on the sum lent, but a little”. The fact is that during the times of ignorance, usury was devoured likewise moneylenders, banks and commercial organizations get interest upon their capital now a days, that is to say; they lend one hundred $ and that is increased doubling and quadrupling (due to compound interest). It is characteristic of the Usury that the people, who are poor, they become poorer to poorest and who are rich, they become more and richest. This doubling and quadrupling of usury has been pointed out in this verse.

A usurer, who gets unlawful gain from the poor and indigent people due to their weakness, he does not bear any kind of labor but eats up greedily earning of his lent money. Likewise, at first his own body’s parts become disable. On the other side, he becomes cause to do in-efficacious the labor of borrower. Labor and hard working of the borrower becomes valueless. He hands over/surrenders his earnings after hardships in the form of interest to the lender. Besides this, the helpless debtor/borrower falls into the disgrace economically, socially and morally. Moreover, the person who lends the amount becomes lover of ease, dull and lazy. The spirit to strive and struggle in the Way of Allah Almighty, to sacrifice and to sympathize with the creature of Allah Almighty goes to the end from his breast. He gets all sorts of comfort and other people work hard. Others earn and he eats. Poverty of the poor person increases. And at the same time wealth of the rich and lordship increases.

Transliterated Holy Qur’an in Roman Script & Translated from Arabic to English by Marmaduke Pickthall, Published by Paak Company, 17-Urdu Bazar, Lahore, Lesson collected from Dars e Qur’an published By Idara Islah wa Tableegh, Lahore and tran slated Urdu to English by Muhammad Sharif.