Islamic Economics Institute

Wednesday Academic Dialogue

Is ayat al-riba the last revealed verse of the Qur’an?

Abdul Aziz Islahi
Islamic Economics Institute
King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, KSA

Wednesday April 6, 2014, (2-06-1435H)


 It is reported from Umar b. al-Khattab that "the last object revealed is the verse of Riba, and the Prophet (pbuh) departed without explaining it for us. So abandon what is (clear) Riba and what is doubtful." The report has opened doors in our age to various definitions of interest. The report appeared to me unconvincing in the light of teachings on Riba found in the Qur'an and Sunnah. There seems to be some gaps in understanding and reporting of the saying. What Riba is a common knowledge - charging extra amount on loans in lieu of time given for use.  This has been known since ancient days. It was prohibited in all revealed scriptures. There are reasons to believe that it was never allowed in Islam. To say that the Prophet departed without making clear what Riba is and without implementing its prohibition is against the Qur'anic assertion that the Prophet's mission was to explain whatever is revealed.There are stronger statements that the ayat al-Riba was revealed in early Madinah period at the end of Surat al-Baqarah.

As far the report related to Umar b. al-Khattab is concerned, it has been said that its one of the reporters used to mix up things. Moreover, the word "last revealed" has many interpretations.

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Last Update 4/9/2014 12:10:45 PM