Usury and Interest

The Holy Quraan says: “Believers! Fear Allah and waive what remains outstanding of usury, if you are truly believers. If you do not, then take notice that you are at war with Allah and His Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). If you repent, you may have only your principal loans, neither inflicting nor suffering injustice.” (2: 278,279)

The Quraanic verse is clear in requiring a lender to get back only what he has advanced. (It takes into account all usury, regardless of the extent; whether nominal or exorbitant.) The Holy Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has disapproved of selling two measures of low quality dates for one measure of high quality dates, because he considered that as usury. He told his companions to do each transaction separately for cash, so that there is no element of usury in the deal.

Usury means an addition over and above the principal thing lent. In other words, it is excess, according to legal standard of measurement and weight, in one of two homogenous articles in which such excess is stipulated as an obligatory obligation on one of the contracting parties. Usury includes all kinds of interest whether the rate is high or low and whether the interest is or not added to the principal sum after fixed periods.

The following are, therefore, the ingredients of usurious transactions:

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HOUSE

Sayyidah Ayesha (radi Allahu anha) reported that Sayyiduna Jibra’eel (alaihis salaam) made a promise with Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) to come at a definite hour. The hour came but he did not visit him. The Prophet of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) had a staff in his hand which he threw on the floor and said: “Never has Allah or His Messengers (Angels) ever broken their promises”. Then he cast a glance and by chance found a puppy under his cot and said: “Ayesha (radi Allahu anha), when did this dog enter here?” She said: “By Allah, I don’t know.” He then commanded and it was turned out. Then the Angel came inside and Allah’s Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said to him: “You promised me and I waited for you, but you did not come.” He said: “It was the dog in your house which prevented me to come, for we Angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or picture.” (Muslim)

Sayyiduna Abu-Talha (radi Allahu anhu) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Angels do not enter a house in which is found a dog or a statue.” (Muslim)

Sayyidah Ayesha (radi Allahu anha) reported: We had a curtain on which were portraits of birds. Whenever a visitor came, he found them in front of him. Thereupon, Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said to me, “Change them, for whenever I enter the room I see them and it brings to my mind the pleasures of worldly life.”

PICTURES AND PAINTINGS

Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn-e-Omar (radi Allahu anhuma) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: ‘Those who paint pictures would be punished on the Day of Resurrection and it would be said to them, “Breathe soul into what you have created.” (Muslim)

The Hadith pertaining to the preparation of pictures whether with the help of colour, paint or pencil or photographic cameras, declare this art to be unlawful in Islam. The reasons of the Sharee’ah are so eloquent and clear in regard to the prohibition of making pictures that they need no comment and elucidation.

That person is missing the mark who says that this prohibition comes under the category of disapproval and is not absolutely unlawful and the stress which had been laid upon its prohibition was because of the fact that idolatry had been quite recently curbed, but now when idolatry has been exterminated and Islam has spread everywhere, the is no need of stressing its forbiddance with full force. This reason for adopting a lenient attitude toward preparation of pictures is quite invalid for in the Hadith the treason put forward for the unlawfulness of the pictures is this: Those who prepare pictures would be asked to breathe soul on the Day of Resurrection in these pictures made by them. And when they would not be able to do this, they would be punished. In the above-mentioned Hadith, the reason for the forbiddance of preparing the pictures of living bodies has been given and that is the vain ambition of the artist in competing with Almighty Allah in His act of creation.

The other reason for the forbiddance of pictures is that it has led to the cult of idolatry in the past and the present too though with a variation of name. There is a Hadith reported on the authority of Sayyidah Ayesha (radi Allahu anha), which explains the attitude of mind that paves the way for idolatry. Sayyidah Ayesha (radi Allahu anha) reported that the Beloved Nabi (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said about the people of the Book: “Whenever any pious person amongst them died they built a house of worship at the place of his grave and then made his picture. These are the most wretched creatures in the sight of Allah.”

DRESS

Islam has laid stress on proper dressing. Sayyiduna Ibn-e-Abbas (radi Allahu anhuma) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Eat whatever you wish and wear whatever you desire unless there is extravagance or false pride.” (Bukhari)

Sayyiduna Anas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) liked to wrap himself in Hibrah which was a stripped shawl manufactured in Yemen. (Bukhari, Muslim)

Sayyiduna Jaabir Bin Samrah (radi Allahu anhu) reported: “I saw the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) wrapping in red-striped shawl in a moonlit night. I looked the face of the Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) and then at the moon and I found the Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) prettier than the moon”.  (Tirmidi)

Sayyiduna Abu Burdah (radi Allahu anhu) reported: “I visited Sayyidah Ayesha (radi Allahu anha) who took out for us a small blanket full of patches and a coarse lower garment and swore in the Name of Allah  that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was wearing these clothes when he breathed his last”. (Bukhari, Muslim)

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Allah will not grant him His sight of Mercy who wears a wrapper so low that it touches the ground.” (Bukhari) Same reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The portion of the wrapper, which is lower than the ankle, is in Fire.” (Bukhari)

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Beloved Habeeb (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) cursed the man who wears the ladies dress and cursed the woman who wears the gent’s dress. (Abu Da’ood) We can use the silk in bed-sheets and pillows. Tassar is also a kind of coarse silk and is as unlawful as the fine silk, Kashi silk and China silk. The cloth made of jute which appears to be like silk can be used but the theologians say that religious leaders should keep away from wearing these as people would think that they are wearing silk. We can use buttons of gold and silver but these buttons should not have the chain of the same metal.

BEARD

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Glorious Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Five things are from the traditions of the Prophets of the old: circumcision, removing the hair below the navel, trimming the moustaches, cutting the nails and removing the hair from armpit”. (Bukhari, Muslim)

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Trim your moustaches and grow your beard and follow not the fire-worshippers”. (Bukhari, Muslim)

Sayyiduna Zaid Bin Arqam (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Beloved Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “He who does not trim his moustaches is not of us”. (Tirmidi, Nisai)

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “He who does not shave off the hair from the abdomen and does not cut his nails and does not trim his moustaches, is not of us”. (Muslim)

Sayyiduna Anas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the maximum exemption for shaving off the hair from the abdomen and armpit and for cutting nails and for trimming the moustaches is forty days. (Muslim)

Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Don’t pluck white hair, as it is the light of a Muslim. He who grows grey as a Muslim, Allah will write for him virtue and rub off his sins and raise him in status.” (Abu Da’ood)

Sayyiduna Ka’b Bin Murrah (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Glorious Prophet of Islam (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “He who grows old in Islam, the old age will serve him as a light on the Day of Resurrection.” (Tirmidi, Nisaai)

Sayyiduna Omar (radi Allahu anhu) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has forbidden shaving off the hair from the neck. (Tabraani)

Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Habeeb of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has forbidden women from shaving off the head. (Nisaai)

Sayyiduna Ali (radi Allahu anhu) says it is better to start cutting nails from the little finger of the right hand, then the middle finger, followed by the thumb, then the ring finger, and lastly, the pointer. In the left hand start from the thumb, then the middle finger, and then the little finger, then the pointer, and lastly, the ring finger.

The above is a complicated way and a difficult one for the common men to remember. There is another easy method of cutting the nails, also reported from Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). That is to start cutting the nails from the pointer of the right hand and finish with the little finger. Then start cutting the nails of the left hand beginning from the little finger and finish with the thumb and finally cut the nails of the right thumb. (Durr-e-Mukhtar)

Eating one’s nails is highly abominable and may cause leprosy. (Alamgiri)

SHOES

He advised mankind to wear shoes and socks, as they are protectors of feet. He advised women to wear shoes different from those of the males.

Sayyiduna Jaabir (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Make a general practice of wearing sandals, for a man is riding as it were when he wears sandals.” (Muslim) The meaning is that wearing of sandals makes movements easier and protects the feet from roughness or thorns on the road. So it is compared to the riding on an animal.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: When one of you puts on sandals, he should first put in the right foot, and when he takes off he should take off the left one first, or he should put them on together or take them off together.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Don’t walk in one sandal; wear either both or take off the two”. (Bukhari, Muslim) The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) has prohibited wearing the shoes in standing position except the shoes, which have no laces. (Tirmidi)

Manners of Drinking

Sayyiduna Anas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that Allah’s Messenger (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) used to take three breaths in a drink. (Agreed) Muslim added in a narration: He used to say that it is highly thirst removing, most conducive to health and most digestive.

Sayyiduna Abdullah Ibn-e-Abbas (radi Allahu anhuma) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) prohibited drinking from the mouth of a skin-carrier. (Agreed)

Sayyiduna Abu Sa’eed Khudri (radi Allahu anhu) reported that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) forbade drinking by upsetting the water-pots. And he added in a narration: ”And its upsetting is to upset its head and then to take drink from it”. (Agreed)

Sayyiduna Anas (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) prohibited a man to drink in a standing posture.  (Muslim)

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra (radi Allahu anhu) reported that the Glorious Prophet of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “None of you shall drink standing. Whoever forgets, let him vomit.” (Muslim)

Sayyidah Umm-e-Salmah (radi Allahu anha) reported that the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever drinks in a silver cup, the Hell-Fire will flow in his belly with noise.”(Agreed)

Sayyiduna Hudhaifah (radi Allahu anhu) reported: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) say, “Don’t put on silk and embroidered silk, and drink not in cups of gold and silver, and take no food in plates made thereof, because they are for them (unbeliever) in this world and they are for you in the next world”. (Agreed)

Sayyiduna Ibn-e-Abbas (radi Allahu anhuma) reported that the Holy Prophet of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) forbade to take breath or to give out breath in drinking pot. (Abu Da’ood)

In another narration he reports: The Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: Don’t take drink in one breath like the drinking of camel, but take drink twice or thrice and utter “Bismillah” when you drink and utter “Alhamdu Lillah” when you finish.

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