In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Tafseer Al-Baqarah Ayaat 276 – 277
Ayah 276 – Allah Does Not Bless Riba
The word yamhaqu [يَمْحَقُ] is from the root letters meem-Ha-qaf and it means “to eliminate or abolish or deprive something of a blessing.”
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says He destroys Riba, either by removing this money from those who eat it, or by depriving them of the blessing, and thus the benefit of their money. Because of their Riba, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala will torment them in this life and punish them for it on the Day of Resurrection.
In Surah Al-Ma’idah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
قُل لَّا يَسْتَوِي الْخَبِيثُ وَالطَّيِّبُ وَلَوْ أَعْجَبَكَ كَثْرَةُ الْخَبِيثِ ۚ
“Say, ‘Not equal are the evil and the good, although the abundance of evil might impress you.’” (5: 100)
In Surah Al-Anfaal, He says,
وَيَجْعَلَ الْخَبِيثَ بَعْضَهُ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ فَيَرْكُمَهُ جَمِيعًا فَيَجْعَلَهُ فِي جَهَنَّمَ ۚ
“…and place the wicked some of them upon others and heap them all together and put them into Hell.” (8: 37)
And in Surah Ar-Rum,
وَمَا آتَيْتُم مِّن رِّبًا لِّيَرْبُوَ فِي أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ فَلَا يَرْبُو عِندَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَا آتَيْتُم مِّن زَكَاةٍ تُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَ اللَّهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُضْعِفُونَ
“And whatever you give for interest to increase within the wealth of people will not increase with Allah. But what you give in zakah, desiring the countenance of Allah – those are the multipliers.” (30: 39)
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Increases Charity
“And gives increase for charities,” means that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala makes charity grow, or He increases it. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu said that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,
مَنْ تَصَدَّقَ بِعَدْلِ تَمْرَةٍ مِنْ كَسْبٍ طَيِّبٍ، وَلَا يَقْبَلُ اللهُ إِلَّا الطَّيِّبَ، فَإِنَّ اللهَ يَتَقَبَّلُهَا بِيَمِينِهِ، ثُمَّ يُرَبِّيهَا لِصَاحِبِهِ، كَمَا يُرَبِّي أَحَدُكُمْ فَلُوَّهُ حَتَّى تَكُونَ مِثْلَ الْجَبَل
“Whoever gives in charity what equals a date from honest resources, and Allah only accepts that which is good and pure, then Allah accepts it with His Right (Hand) and raises it for its giver, just as one of you raises his animal, until it becomes as big as a mountain.”
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends the ayah by saying, “Allah does not like every sinning disbeliever,” meaning He does not like he who has a disbelieving heart who is a sinner in tongue and action. Those who consume Riba are not satisfied with the permissible and pure resources that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala provided them. Instead, they try to illegally acquire people’s money by relying on evil methods. This demonstrates their lack of appreciation for the bounty that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala provides.
Ayah 277 – Allah SWT Praises those Thank Him
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala praises those who believe in His Lordship, obey His commands, thank Him and appreciate Him. They are those who are kind to His creation, establish prayer and give charity due on their money. Allah informed them of the honor that He has prepared for them and that they will be safe from the repercussions of the Day of Resurrection.
What is the connection of this ayah with Riba? When a person deals with Riba, he is disobeying Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We have learned that falling in one sin leads to falling into another sin and so on. When a person pays interest on his credit card bill, he then buys a car on credit and then a home mortgage. He falls deep and deep into Riba. His entire focus is on himself, however, when a person does righteous deeds his focus is broad. He spends on himself as well as on others, and stays away from anything that displeases Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
-An earning of Riba has no barakah [blessing] in it. People get loans and then it takes them years to pay off the interest despite everyone in the family working to pay it off. On the other hand, when a person spends in the way of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sincerely, he witnesses barakah in his wealth.
-We have learned earlier that the word kafir is not limited to disbelievers but it encompasses everyone who is ungrateful. A person is not content with what he has, he wants more which is why he consumes Riba.
-Zakat is a mean of attaining Allah’s pleasure while Riba incurs the curse of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. (May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protect us, ameen.) Zakat is given to the needy and Riba is given to the well-off. Giving zakat gives a person blessings in this world as well as the next whereas a life of Riba makes one’s life constricted and will result in punishment in the next life, as well. Zakat leads to economic stability whereas with Riba wealth is concentrated in a few hands only.
–People want bigger and beautiful houses in this world, and to attain this they will always go for mortgage. Houses of Jannah are bigger and beautiful for which all we have to do is be patient in this world and do righteous deeds. Be Jannah focused. Aim for the reward that is with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala don’t fall into haram for a temporary pleasure.
–Be delighted with the knowledge that whatever is with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is guaranteed and secured. A restricted life in this world for the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala can get us a happy and tranquil life in the Hereafter.رَبِّ ابْنِ لِي عِندَكَ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّةِ
“My Lord, build for me near You a house in Paradise.” (ameen)
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