Interest is Riba

December 04, 2010


This refers to the article “Riba: an epistemological interpretation” by Dr Aqdas Ali Kazmi published in the “Encounter” section (Nov 28). I disagree with the views of the learned scholar. He mentions a verse of the Holy Quran in which Allah has allowed trade and forbidden Riba. He seems to have drawn a wrong conclusion from this verse that Riba means profiteering.

This conclusion would have been appealing if trade and profiteering were the opposites of each other, but that is not the case as profiteering can take place in trade.

I am not justifying profiteering but to say that Riba means profiteering is not correct in my humble opinion.

The real meaning can only be understood if the teachings of the Hadith are kept in view. These teachings very clearly indicate that riba is interest.

Some of our scholars evaluate Islamic teachings as per the western thought and system. If the teachings are in conformity, then they confidently state that Islam also preaches the same thing.

On the other hand, if both are contradictory, then they try to invent or discover a soft meaning out of the teachings by similar conjectures.