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Location: IM
Website: http://t.co/t2gUcDyMtC


The huge debt that currently burdens many people has arisen from loans that have charged interest and have not shared risk between the lender and the borrower and have, therefore, contravened the two most fundamental principles of Islamic finance. Islam commands us to refrain from charging interest and to share financial risk, seek to avoid the concentration of wealth and the economic exploitation of the weak and thereby prevent situations such as the current debt crisis from arising in the first place. The core belief in Islamic finance is that money should not in itself be an earning asset; therefore Islam prohibits any and all forms of interest. There are several passages in the Qur’an which clearly condemn the practice of interest (referred to in Arabic as riba) Christian and Jewish theologies also maintained traditions against usury. In the Old Testament, for example, it says: “If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury. If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down” Exodus (22: 25-26). In other words, not only is one not supposed to charge interest, but also if the collateral for a loan is in the form of a necessity like a coat, one must make sure that the borrower can still make use of it when it is needed. Anti-interest sentiment in the West existed as far back as Aristotle and was reinforced by the great Roman Catholic theologians, such as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. There are further references against interest in Leviticus (25:35-37) and Deuteronomy (23:20). However, modern Christian and Jewish scholars have reinterpreted the term from its original meaning of “all” interest to “excessive” interest.