Could someone explain the reason for usury being forbidden in Islam?

Some background: I have some money, which I could take advantage of right now. Giving up this money, in the form of a loan would surely mean an opportunity cost for me, as time might not be entirely homogeneous for all. Moreover, I could simply place the money (safely) in my pocket. In this case, I am accepting a certain risk of default on part of the lender, which at most might eliminate the money, and at least cause some inconveniences to recover the money. If these basic costs are not covered by the loan, no incentive remains for lending money, which at large would slowdown the economy and disable wealth shift from the wealthier middle-age population to the more-in-need youth.

2 Answers 2


Usury/Riba is forbidden in Islam (3:130) because it is very cruel/harsh on the person that took the lone.

Usually a person that is desperately poor takes a lone but when he has to give back multiples times of what he took after a set time, it is going to be very hard upon him to return the Usury.

In Islam circulation of money amongst society is done through Zakat and alms and is very important so all the members of society can live an easy life.

Usury only makes the poor more poor and the rich more rich.

The factors such as the lender is loosing the opportunity in which he could have used that lended money or devaluation in the real value of his money does not mean that person should take interest.

I don't think taking interest would bring back the opportunity that the lender lost.

Increase/Decrease of money's value both occur.Loss and Gain is from Allah.

If something is set Haram by Allah, It doesn't harm or benefit Allah rather it is only for humanity's benefit.

  • 1
    Thanks, but the same could be said about virtually any economic activity. For example is it correct to enforce a restaurant to cook for the poor without compensation? How does this not generalize to the loaner? Aug 31, 2022 at 15:52
  • You can not enforce anyone to do non-mandatory alms/donation. Please elaborate "How does this not generalize to the loaner".
    – AbduRahman
    Aug 31, 2022 at 17:08
  • I mean that it seems like as you could not force the cook to sell his possessions, in this case food, for free, or even without some profit, even when there are hungry people in need for this food, you should not be able to force a lender to give his money for free (or even without interest). Aug 31, 2022 at 17:33
  • Taking Usury is Haram in Islam and a Muslim can not take interest for lending money. A lender can not be forced to give his money for a set time whether with interest or without interest.
    – AbduRahman
    Aug 31, 2022 at 17:44

Riba is haram because Allah says so (Quran 2:275-279), there does not need to be any justification for it as commands are primarily given to test compliance. And Allah is not bound to make His commands beneficial for people in worldly terms.

If you wish to benefit from your savings there are halal alternatives such as trade and business. And if you do not have time then there are halal alternatives like partnerships (Musharika or Mudarabah) where the investor can become a silent partner. Or Ijarah where a person can buy an asset and then give it on rent.

Allah does not mention any 'reason' for forbidding Riba, but some scholars suggested the following wisdoms:

  • In a personal loan, charging interest is exploitation of the situation of the borrower.

  • Lending, in Islam, is meant to be an act of kindness. Charging interest makes it a way to earn money.

  • Interest discourages giving loans as a favor. And if interest is lawful then the needy people will have a hard time finding anyone willing to give them a loan without interest. In the absence of interest more idle funds will be available to them.

  • In a business loan, the lender shares the profit but does not share the loss. The lender also receives a fixed payment regardless of the amount of profit that the borrower earns. This is unfair and harmful to the borrower.

  • Regarding the wisdoms, note the following:1-Selling anything is some kind of "exploiting"(e.g. food is sold to the hungry),2-You could also give items to another human as a gift, this should not prevent selling items. Why should money be any different?3-Why do you think that giving money should be an act of favor? Why is this not so for other physical items? Note that interest leads to increased desire for people to lend, which increases the investment in an economy Sep 3, 2022 at 8:06
  • 4-Lending money is different from a partnership, and the lender may not be interested in the business plan (as long as he could evaluate the risk of the borrowers default). Sep 3, 2022 at 8:06

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