What happens to the one who buys stuff with interest (riba)?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
"Allāh has prohibited ribā [i.e. interest]" (Qur'ān, 2:275) and dealing with it is a major sin. Jābir raḍīAllāhu ʻanhu narrated the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ cursed the one who consumes ribā, the one who pays it, the ones who write it down, and the one who witnesses it (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, ḥadīth 1598).
Money consumed through ribā is harmful both in this life and the next, and there is harsh punishment for the one who deals with ribā.
- Allāh says: "O you who have believed, fear Allāh and give up what remains [due to you] of interest if you should be believers. And if you do not, then be informed of a war [against you] from Allāh and His Messenger" (Qur'ān, 2:278-279). How can there be any possibility of success for a person who is in a war against Allāh?
- "Allah destroys interest and gives increase for charities" (Qur'ān, 2:276). Money earned through ribā is devoid of any barakah (blessing).
- The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have described the case of a man who travelled widely, had dishevelled hair and a dusty appearance, and he raised his hands in supplication, begging from Allāh. The man exhibited many characteristics which would normally make supplication (duʻā) more likely to be accepted from a person. However, this man had earned and consumed ḥarām, so the Prophet ﷺ described that his duʻā was less likely to be responded to (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim, 1015).
- There is punishment in al-barzakh (the interval between death and the Day of Resurrection) for the person who consumed ribā, as explained by Imām Ibn Ḥajar regarding the meanings of ḥadīth 1386 and 7047 in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī.
- Allāh says: "Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stand who is being beaten by Satan into insanity" (Qur'ān, 2:275).
- Allāh says "whoever returns to [dealing in interest or usury] – those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein” (Qur’ān, 2:275). He also says: “And the punishment of the Hereafter is more severe and more enduring [as compared to this world]” [Qur’ān, 20:127].
- The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said: "There is no flesh raised that sprouts from the unlawful except that Hellfire is more appropriate for it." (Jāmiʻ al-Tirmidhī, ḥadīth 614)
Only Allah knows best
Written by Shaykh Umer Khan
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham