Source/Credit: Deseret News
“Riba means interest in Islam, and it has been forbidden,” says Husain, whose debt-free family is an anomaly in America, where the average household has, by some estimates, more than $15,000 in credit card debt and a mortgage of more than $150,000. “Several times it has been expressed that we should not take or pay riba.”
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, explained how hard it is to live riba-free in a nation so saturated with interest lending and borrowing. But he stressed that living riba-free doesn’t mean business is closed for Muslims.
“Essentially you cannot make money with money in Islam,” said Hooper. “But you can trade — after all, the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was a merchant— you just can’t have interest.”
Indeed, the Quran states explicitly: “Those who consume interest cannot stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say, ‘Trade is (just) like interest.’ But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest. So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with Allah. But whoever returns to (dealing in interest or usury) — those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein.”