Usury from the Medieval Latin usuria, "interest" (from Latin usura "interest") was defined originally as charging a fee for the use of money. This usually meant interest on loans, although charging a fee for changing money (as at a bureau de change) is included in the original meaning.
After moderate-interest loans became an accepted part of the business world in the early modern age, the word has come to refer to the charging of unreasonable or relatively high rates of interest; "excessive interest"; an unconscionable or exorbitant rate or amount of interest; specifically : interest in excess of a legal rate charged to a borrower for the use of money
"When money is lent on a contract to receive not only the principal sum again, but also an increase by way of compensation for the use, the increase is called INTEREST by those who think it lawful, and USURY by those who do not."
(Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, p. 1336).
In the United States,usury laws are state laws that specify the maximum legal interest rate at which loans can be made.
In modern terminology, it is the action or practice of lending money at UNREASONABLY high rates of interest.
The Torahdoes not have a word with the same meaning as USURY because it speaks only of INTEREST.
It prohibits claiming interest on loans whether monetary or in goods between Israelites.
Deut 23:20/21 " You shall not demand interest from your brother on a loan of money or of food or of anything else on which interest is usually demanded. You may demand interest from a foreigner, but not from your brother….".
The Torah allows claiming interest from other peoples since they - the foreign merchants - could not very well be expected to lend money to an Israelitetrader WITHOUT INTEREST .
The Torah considers all loans and interest as binding and freely negotiatedbilateral agreements between consenting people.
Babylonian bankers often charged as much as 20%. When ancient agricultural society was succeeded by a commercial one, the borrowing and lending of money - between Israelites - was made legitimate through a partnership agreement between lender and borrower called Hetter Iska.
It is very important that the reader should be made aware of the following traditions regarding Muhammad and trade:
According to the biogarphy of Muhammad as accepted universally by his followers, he was taken as youth on trading trips by his uncle Abu Talib who had become the guardian of the orphaned Muhammad.(Ibn Ishaq, p81).
He was chosen, at the age of twenty five years, by a forty years old very wealthy merchant woman named Khadija, as her husband. Her caravans traded between Mecca and Busra in the Sham (modern Syria).
The following is the tradition regarding Khadija & Muhammad:
It is said, that when Quraysh's trade caravans gathered to embark upon their lengthy and arduous journey either to Syria during the summer or to Yemen during the winter, Khadija's caravan equalled the caravans of all other traders of Quraysh put together.
Although the society in which Khadija was born was a very male chauvinistic one, she earned two titles: Ameerat-Quraysh, Princess of Quraysh, and al-Tahira, the Pure One.
It is said that when her second husband died, she was sought for marriage by many honorable and highly respected men of the Arabian Peninsula, throughout which she was quite famous due to her business dealings but she was afraid of becoming widowed yet again.
Khadija (who was a businesswoman) needed the services of an honest individual to manage her trade. At that time, Muhammad who was 22 years of age, was recommended as a suitable choice for the job by several notable people of Mecca. Due to his success in various commercial related ventures, Khadija prospered in her business.
With the passage of time, her admiration for Muhammad developed into a deeper affection. When he was 25 years old, she proposed the idea of marriage to him. After he accepted the offer, she married him in the year 595 AD.
*** From the above, one must logically assume that Muhammad had to deal with very important trading transactions, both before and after his marriage to Khadija, that required the use of INTEREST on money, either lent or borrowed.
It is a historical FACT that such commercial agreements and transactions were taking place thousands of years before Muhammad. Hence he must have understood very well that NO BUSINESS could be conducted WITHOUT the use of the medium of INTEREST excepting in the cases of BARTER dealings.
He also may have encountered cases when EXORBITANTInterest rates were either demanded or applied.
In any case, based upon Muhammad's background as a merchant, it is INCONCEIVABLE that he would have PROHIBITED the ordinary use of INTEREST by his followers ***
In the Quran,Interest is called (Rabwa) which is copied from the Hebrew(Ribbith) and is vehemently condemned in (S2:275/9; 3:130).
Unfortunately for his followers, Muhammad died before having had the details of the matter explained. Muhammadan scholars (Ulama) worked out an impressive body of literature on usury to circumvent it 'theologically'.
2:275 "Those who devour usury [ya^ akuloona^l ribwa] will not stand except as stands one whom the Evil One by his touch hath driven to madness. That is because they say: "Trade is like usury but Allah hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. Those who after receiving direction from their Lord desist shall be pardoned for the past; their case is for Allah (to judge); but those who repeat (the offence) are companions of the fire: they will abide therein (for ever).
*** Since Allah permitted TRADE, and TRADE cannot function without INTEREST, then logic dictates that in Muhammmad's mind, USURY meant actually EXORBITANT rates of interest.
2: 276 Allah will deprive usury[ribwa] of all blessing but will give increase for deeds of charity: for He loveth not creatures ungrateful and wicked. 277 Those who believe and do deeds of righteousness and establish regular prayers and regular charity will have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. 278 O ye who believe! fear Allah and give up what remains of your demand for usury if ye are indeed believers.
3: 130 O ye who believe! devour not usury [ribwa] doubled and multiplied; but fear Allah; that ye may (really) prosper.
*** The fact that in the verse above the terms"...doubled and multiplied..." is used with such vehemence, could have only applied to EXORBITANT INTEREST RATES ***
4: 160 For the iniquity of the Jews [al latheena Hadoo] We made unlawful for them certain (foods) good and wholesome which had been lawful for them; in that they hindered many from Allah's way.
4: 161That they [the Jews] took usury [la rabwa]though they were forbidden; and that they devoured men's substance wrongfully; We have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment.
#3552 Riba (literally 'usury' or 'interest') is prohibited, for the principle is that any profit which we should seek should be through our own exertions and at our own expense, not through exploiting other people or at their expense, however we may wrap up the process in the spacious phraseology of high finance or City jargon. But we are asked to go beyond this negative precept of avoiding what is wrong. We should show our active love for our neighbor by spending of our own substance or resources or the utilization of our own talents and opportunities in the service of those who need them. Then our reward or recompense will not be merely what we deserve. It will be multiplied to many times more than our strict account. According to Commentators this verse specially applies to those who give to others, whether gifts or services, in order to receive from them greater benefits in return. Such seemingly good acts are void of any merit and deserve no reward from Allah, since He knows the real intention behind such ostensibly good deeds #
*** TheQuran - as usual - FALSELY, IGNORANTLY and of course ERRONEOUSLYACCUSEStheJewsof breaking their ownLawregarding interest.
There is no concept of 'usury' in the Torah since lending with interest is a bilateral agreement between two parties invariably between a 'Jew' and a non Jew.
Interest,CONTRARYto the Quranic verse above wasNOT FORBIDDEN at all, especially between an Israeliteand a stranger.
Deuteronomy 23:" 20. You shall not lend upon interest to your brother;interest of money, interest of foodstuff, interest of any thing that is lent upon interest;21. To a stranger you may lend upon interest;but to your brother you shall not lend uponinterest; that the Lord your God may bless you in all that you set your hand to in the land where you are entering to possess"
It should be understandable that since a non Jew would only lend aJewwith interest, then the reciprocal should also be valid. Muhammad copied the precept of not taking interest from each other in the group (Muhammadan Muslims) from the Torahbut died before he was able to explain its details and applications.
His ignorant, unlearned and generally illiterate followers, because they lacked guidance, extended it in a very illogical and impractical manner to cover all financial transactions.
That is why the Muhammadans need a huge and convoluted strategy to take 'interest' without calling it so. Thus trying to defy the logic that
"A rose by any other name, is still a rose".
Although interest is prohibited - under Sharia' law - for the allegedly noble reason that all earnings should be as the result of one's own sweat and effort, none the less, and based upon their own historical records, Muhammad and his followers found much simpler ways of enriching themselves:
by dispossessing,enslaving, conquering and plundering others of their produce and wealth.
In modern times the Muhammadans have created an elaborate methodology to circumvent this prohibition and disguise it in an 'Islamic' cloak of terms and financial arrangements but with exactly the same results, which is, to either pay or receive interest but under other names.
It beggars belief that Muhammad - who was after all a trader under his wife Khadija - would prohibit interest especially concerning his own Quraysh trading tribe.
There is absolutely no doubt that Rabwa could only have meant interest, to be prohibited among the Believers(2:276-9), in emulation of the rules that prohibited the People of Israel from doing so (Exodus 22:25 & Deut 23:19).
What the Muhammadan records prove is, that when it was applied to those who were not his followers - UNBELIEVERS - such as theJews and Christians to start with, he demanded and EXTORTED in many cases 50% of their produce without any physical or financial input from himself or his followers' side. The Zoroasterians, later suffered the same fate.This of course was and is not considered by the Muhammadansas an unfair or unjust deal.
Hence, based entirely upon all the evidence and background of Muhammad, logic and reality dictate that his followers got it all wrong because he did not live long enough to explain what he meant and in their ignorance came to wrong and stupid conclusions ***
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "Usury has seventy parts, the least important being that a man should marry his mother." Ibn Majah and Bayhaqi, transmitted it in Shu'ab al-Iman.
*** When the term 'usury' is also used in the above context, and no commercial transaction or INTEREST is involved, then this can only confirm that its meaning applies to exceptional cases pertaining to totally IMMORAL, and or UNJUST circumstances, such as, EXORBITANTINTEREST RATES ***
Al-Tirmidhi HadithHadith 2829Narrated byAli ibn AbuTalib
Ali heard Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) curse those who took usury, those who paid it, those who recorded it, and those who refused to give sadaqah. And he used to prohibit wailing. Nasa'i transmitted it.
Al-Tirmidhi HadithHadith 2830Narrated byUmar ibn al-Khattab
The last verse to be sent down was that on usury, but Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) was taken without having expounded it to us; so leave aside usury and whatever is doubtful. Ibn Majah and Darimi transmitted it.
*** Al Tirmidhi's comment to "...so leave aside usury and whatever is doubtful" is one among the most astute regarding the subject of usury.
He is implying that, since Muhammad had not detailed its meaning, 'Muhammadan scholars' should not make a huge and uninformed issue of it ***
Sunan of Abu-DawoodHadith 3035Narrated byAbdullah ibn Abbas
The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) concluded peace with the people of Najran on condition that they would pay to Muslims two thousand suits of garments, half of Safar, and the rest in Rajab, and they would lend (Muslims) thirty coats of mail, thirty horses, thirty camels, and thirty weapons of each type used in battle. Muslims will stand surely for them until they return them in case there is any plot or treachery in the Yemen. No church of theirs will be demolished and no clergyman of theirs will be turned out. There will be no interruption in their religion until they bring something new or take usury. Isma'il said: They tookusury.
*** Muhammad and his followers were the first
ORGANIZED CRIME SYNDICATE
in history. They were only interested in acquiring the wealth and produce of others without having to work for it themselves.
In the case of Najran above, the reader should be made aware that the Christians of Najran were NATIVE ARABS and not FOREIGNERS. They were as ancient as any of the other Arabs including the upstart Muhammad and his fellow thugs.
These Arabs had converted to the religion of Christianity, willingly, without force or coersion, but Muhammad and his followers, the so-called 'Muslims', took it upon themselves to terrorise, humiliate and denigrate these Sons of Arabia just because they refused to follow Muhammad's version of Islam.
Of course, Muhammad and his followers did the same to the JudaizedArabian tribes as well as to the Pagan Arabs ***
Sunan of Abu-DawoodHadith 4858Narrated bySa'id ibn Zayd
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The most prevalent kind of usury is going to lengths
in talking unjustly against a Muslim's honour.
*** Once more is the term 'usury' used without any relationship to INTEREST ***
Sahih Muslim HadithHadith 3856Narrated byAbuHurayrah
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Dates are to be paid for by dates, wheat by wheat, barley by barley, salt by salt, like for like, payment being made on the spot. He who made an addition or demanded an addition, in fact, dealt in usury except in case where their classes differ. This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Fudayl ibn Ghazwan with the same chain of transmitters, but he made no mention of (payment being) made on the spot.
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 1.449Narrated byAisha
When the verses of Surat "Al-Baqara"' about the usury (Riba) were revealed, the Prophet went to the mosque and recited them in front of the people and then banned the trade of alcohol.
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 3.294Narrated byAbu Said
We used to be given mixed dates (from the booty) and used to sell (barter) two Sas of those dates) for one Sa (of good dates). The Prophet said (to us), "No (bartering of) two Sas for one Sa nor two Dirhams for one Dirham is permissible", (as that is a kind of usury). (See Hadith No. 405).
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 3.379Narrated byIbn Umar
The Prophet said, "The selling of wheat for wheat is Riba (usury) except if it is handed from hand to hand and equal in amount. Similarly the selling of barley for barley, is Riba except if it is from hand to hand and equal in amount, and dates for dates is usury except if it is from hand to hand and equal in amount. (See Riba-Fadl in the glossary).
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 3.382Narrated byIbn Shihab
that Malik bin Aus said, "I was in need of change for one-hundred Dinars. Talha bin 'Ubaidullah called me and we discussed the matter, and he agreed to change (my Dinars). He took the gold pieces in his hands and fidgeted with them, and then said, "Wait till my storekeeper comes from the forest." 'Umar was listening to that and said, "By Allah! You should not separate from Talha till you get the money from him, for Allah's Apostle said, 'The selling of gold for gold is Riba (usury) except if the exchange is from hand to hand and equal in amount, and similarly, the selling of wheat for wheat is Riba (usury) unless it is from hand to hand and equal in amount, and the selling of barley for barley is usury unless it is from hand to hand and equal in amount, and dates for dates, is usury unless it is from hand to hand and equal in amount.' "
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 3.506Narrated byAbu Said al Khudri
Once Bilal brought Barni (i.e. a kind of dates) to the Prophet and the Prophet asked him, "From where have you brought these?" Bilal replied, "I had some inferior type of dates and exchanged two Sas of it for one Sa of Barni dates in order to give it to the Prophet to eat." Thereupon the Prophet said, "Beware! Beware! This is definitely Riba (usury)! This is definitely Riba (Usury)! Don't do so, but if you want to buy (a superior kind of dates) sell the inferior dates for money and then buy the superior kind of dates with that money."
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 3.841Narrated byAbdullah bin Abu Aufa
A man displayed some goods in the market and took a false oath that he had been offered so much for them though he was not offered that amount.
Then the following Divine verse was revealed:
"Verily! Those who purchase a little gain at the cost of Allah's covenant and their oaths . . . Will get painful punishment." (3.77)
Ibn Abu Aufa added, "Such person as described above is a treacherous Riba-eater (i.e. eater of usury)."
*** The Hadiths are an incredible source of information regarding the 'revelations' to Muhammad.They repeatedly show, by using the mantras:
" ...and then it was revealed.."
"... and then Allah revealed..."
"... then the following divine verse was revealed..."
WhichPROVE without a shadow of a doubt that these alleged 'revelations' were MADE to ORDER, always AFTER theEVENT had taken place, by, whenever and wherever Muhammad wanted to convey any of his messages to his followers.
The FACTthat the Quranic versions of the Biblical stories, quotes, events and names are almost invariably WRONG and CONTRARY to the Bible, make it impossible to accept that the Quran could heve been 'revealed' by any FALLIBLE and IGNORANT divinity ***
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 5.159Narrated byAbu Burda
When I came to Medina, I met Abdullah bin Salam. He said, "Will you come to me so that I may serve you with Sawiq (i.e. powdered barley) and dates, and let you enter a (blessed) house that in which the Prophet entered?" Then he added, "You are in a country where the practice of Riba (i.e. usury) is prevalent; so if somebody owes you something and he sends you a present of a load of chopped straw or a load of barley or a load of provender then do not take it, as it is Riba."
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 6.67Narrated byIbn Abbas
The last Verse (in the Qur'an) revealed to the Prophet was the Versedealing with usury (i.e. Riba).
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 7.493Narrated byIbn Umar
'Umar delivered a sermon on the pulpit of Allah's Apostle, saying, "Alcoholic drinks were prohibited by Divine Order, and these drinks used to be prepared from five things, i.e., grapes, dates, wheat, barley and honey. Alcoholic drink is that, that disturbs the mind." 'Umar added, "I wish Allah's Apostle had not left us before he had given us definite verdicts concerning three matters, i.e., how much a grandfather may inherit (of his grandson), the inheritance of Al-Kalala (the deceased person among whose heirs there is no father or son), and various types of Riba (usury)."
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 7.829Narrated byAbu Juhaifa
The Prophet forbade the use of the price of blood and the price of a dog, the one who takes (eats) usury the one who gives usury, the woman who practises tattooing and the woman who gets herself tattooed.
Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 7.845Narrated byAbu Juhaifa
that he had bought a slave whose profession was cupping. The Prophet forbade taking the price of blood and the price of a dog and the earnings of a prostitute, and cursed the one who took or gave (Riba') usury, and the lady who tattooed others or got herself tattooed, and the picture-maker.
*** Studying the sample of Hadiths above regarding what constitutes USURY, not one of them makes sense or commercial logic taken as they are here.
What one should ask is, since Muhammad died BEFORE he EXPOUNDED the details of what Usury meant, then where do all the above incredibly stupid and illogical Hadith rules come from? ***