Evil Of Devouring Usury

Question

I wanted to understand why God Almighty has said that people who deal in usury are at war with God and his Prophet (pbuh)? Why God and his Prophet (pbuh) are not at war with rapists, murderers, hypocrites and other culprits? Why interest is so heinous a crime compared to other misdeeds?


Answer

The referred to verses are as follows:

"Believers! Fear Allah and give up what remains of your demand for interest. If you do it not, beware of war from God and His Prophet. And if you repent, then you can have your principal amount. Neither will you be allowed to deal unjustly nor will you be dealt with unjustly." (2:278-279)

Pondering over the above verses makes it clear that it is not gaining usury itself that puts the person at war with God and the Prophet (pbuh). What makes the person at war with God and his prophet (pbuh) is him disobeying direct instruction of God out of arrogance and rebellion, that is, without any genuine excuse, in particular if that instruction relates to the health of society and justice. In the society that God is directly addressing and instructing in the above verses, led by the prophet (pbuh), the usury transactions are started to be completely removed from the system. In such society no one has any excuse to commit usury.

In other words, when God gives a direct instruction to a society and when the members of the society have no excuses to ignore that instruction, the only reason that a person decides to disobey the instruction can be his arrogance and rebellious attitude towards God. It is this arrogance and rebellious attitude that puts the person at war with God and the prophet (pbuh). If one has the same arrogant and rebellious attitude with regard to another directive of the Almighty, specifically one that has direct damaging effect on the society and involves injustice, then one is in the position of being at war with God and His prophet (pbuh).

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