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Prophet Muhammad's generosity in paying back loan, and the prohibition of usury (riba) in Islam!

The sections of this article are:

1-  Prophet Muhammad's character and generosity toward debt.
2-  Allah Almighty's Divine Commands in the Noble Quran
regarding usury (riba).




1-  Prophet Muhammad's character and generosity toward debt:

Let us look at the following narration:

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:  "Allah's Apostle was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Qur'an. Allah's Apostle was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).  (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Revelation, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 5)"

Narrated Ibn Abbas:  "The Prophet was the most generous of all the people, and he used to become more generous in Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night during Ramadan to revise the Qur'an with him. Allah's Apostle then used to be more generous than the fast wind.  (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Virtues and Merits of the Prophet (pbuh) and his Companions, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 754)"

Narrated Abu Huraira:  "Allah's Apostle said, The example of a miser and a generous person is like that of two persons wearing iron cloaks from the breast up to the neck When the generous person spends, the iron cloak enlarges and spread over his skin so much so that it covers his fingertips and obliterates his tracks. As for the miser, as soon as he thinks of spending every ring of the iron cloak sticks to its place (against his body) and he tries to expand it, but it does not expand. The Prophet pointed with his hand towards his throat.  (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Divorce, Volume 7, Book 63, Number 219i)"

Narrated AbuSalamah ; AbuHurayrah:  "The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: The believer is simple and generous, but the profligate is deceitful and ignoble.  (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, General Behavior (Kitab Al-Adab), Book 41, Number 4772)"

Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: "I went to the Prophet in the mosque (the sub-narrator Mas'ar thought that Jabir had said, "In the forenoon.") He ordered me to pray two Rakat. He owed me some money and he repaid it to me and gave more than what was due to me.   (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 8, Number 434)"

Narrated Jabir ibn Abdullah: "The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) owed me a debt and gave me something extra when he paid it.   (Translation of Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 22, Number 3341)"

Narrated Abu Huraira: "The Prophet owed a camel of a certain age to a man who came to demand it back. The Prophet ordered his companions to give him. They looked for a camel of the same age but found nothing but a camel one year older. The Prophet told them to give it to him. The man said, "You have paid me in full, and may Allah pay you in full." The Prophet said, "The best amongst you is he who pays his debts in the most handsome manner."  (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 41, Number 578)"

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported: "Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) owed (something) to a person. He behaved in an uncivil manner with him. This vexed the Companions of the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him), whereupon Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: He who has a right is entitled to speak, and said to them (his Companions): Buy a camel for him and give that to him. They said: We do not find a camel (of that age) but one with better age than that. He said: Buy that and give that to him, for best of you or best amongst you are those who are best in paying off debt.  (Translation of Sahih Muslim, Book 010, Number 3898)"


Good Generosity that the Muslims learned from the Prophet:

Jabir b. 'Abdullah reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: "In case we get wealth from Bahrain, I would give you so much and so much; he made an indication of it with both his hands. Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) died before wealth from Bahrain came, and it fell to the lot of Abu Bakr after him. He commanded the announcer to make announcement to the effect that he to whom Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) had held out promise or owed any debt should come (to him). I came and said: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) had said to me: In case there comes to us the wealth of Bahrain I shall give you so much, and so much. Abu Bakr took a handful (of the coins) and gave that to me once and asked me to count them I counted them as five hundred dinars and he said: Here is double of this for you.   (Translation of Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5731)"

While in Islam a loan has to be paid only in the same amount that it was borrowed in, to avoid exploitation among people as it was the case before Islam where the poor used to be taken advantage of by the rich and powerful to a point where they would even take the poor's wife, daughter, and animals (donkeys, horses, camels, cows, sheeps, etc...) if he fails to pay the debt plus interest in due times, but Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him still displayed great morals and generosity when he paid the man more than what the Prophet owed him.  See the next section.



2-  Allah Almighty's Divine Commands in the Noble Quran regarding usury (riba):

Here is what Allah Almighty Said regarding exploitation of debts, and asking for more than what you loaned (riba) the other person in the Noble Quran:

"Those who devour usury will not stand except as stand one whom the Evil one by his touch Hath driven to madness. That is because they say: "Trade is like usury," but God hath permitted trade and forbidden usury. Those who after receiving direction from their Lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past; their case is for God (to judge); but those who repeat (The offence) are companions of the Fire: They will abide therein (for ever).  (The Noble Quran, 2:275)"

"God will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: For He loveth not creatures ungrateful and wicked.  (The Noble Quran, 2:276)"

"O ye who believe! Fear God, and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if ye are indeed believers.  (The Noble Quran, 2:278)"

"O ye who believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied; but fear God; that ye may (really) prosper.  (The Noble Quran, 3:130)"

"That they took usury, though they were forbidden; and that they devoured men's substance wrongfully;- we have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment.  (The Noble Quran, 4:161)"

"If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time Till it is easy for him to repay. But if ye remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if ye only knew.  (The Noble Quran, 2:280)"

"As a religion which counts obligatory regular charity as one of the `five pillars' on which it is built, Islam cannot be practised without due regard to its social dimension, nor without reference to economic justice. The emphasis in the Qur'an is, however, put upon prevention of the very situation which makes the jubilee a necessity. In line with the Qur'anic demand that “wealth should not only circulate between the rich amongst you” (59:7) Islam categorically forbids the taking of interest to prevent the accumulation of large capital sums. Interestingly, to tolerate wrong-doing, or oppression, is considered as unacceptable as the perpetration of it."  (

"Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the (funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth); for those in bondage and in debt; in the cause of God; and for the wayfarer: (thus is it) ordained by God, and God is full of knowledge and wisdom.  (The Noble Quran, 9:60)"

"Or is it that thou dost ask for a reward, so that they are burdened with a load of debt?(The Noble Quran, 52:40)"

"Or is it that thou dost ask them for a reward, so that they are burdened with a load of debt?(The Noble Quran, 68:46)"







Allah Almighty, Islam, the Noble Quran and Prophet Muhammad - Questions and Answers.

Prophet Muhammad's, peace be upon him, section.

Good Manners in Islam.

The Mercy of Allah Almighty to Mankind and the Wisdom of the age of 40.

What does Allah Almighty say about Justice for all in an Islamic State?

Muslims must never do good and expect worldly gains in return.

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