Getting to Know Allah

He Despises the Riba-Eaters

The Prophet as Borrower

Judging from the Prophet’s experience as a borrower, it is not inconceivable that, if it could have been done, he would have suggested to Allah that He not only prohibit the charging of interest, but loans altogether; that loans be considered gifts from Him.

God’s Messenger owed much of his success as a merchant to Khadijah, a wealthy older Meccan woman who hired the good-looking, and later married the allegedly illiterate young man, to accompany her caravans to and from Damascus.

After discovering Islam some fifteen years later, the now forty-something Muhammad, God’s latest and greatest Messenger would spend all of his, and his wife’s wealth, on the promotion of his new religion. It was not enough, and he was forced to borrow money to survive. His main source of borrowed funds was his uncle Abbas.

According to Gheorghiu, Abbas’ nephew still owed his uncle the equivalent of twenty ounces of gold, including interest, when he abandoned Mecca for Medina. The Prophet’s uncle Abbas was one of the seventy Meccans captured at the famous battle of Badr.

After much discussion as to whether they should be burnt alive or decapitated by a close Muslim relative to avoid having to pay blood money to the family of the prematurely deceased, the merchant in the Prophet decided, after seeking the angel Gabriel’s advice, that the prisoners, or their family, could pay a ransom to obtain their freedom.

To obtain his freedom, Abbas proposed to his nephew that his ransom be considered the substantial amount of money the Prophet stilled owed him.

God’s Messenger would have none of it. He told his uncle, that he will have to do better than that because, “those twenty ounces of gold, was something of yours that the mighty and powerful Allah, gave to me.” The kin whose money kept his nephew’s dream alive after Khadijah's ran out, paid the additional ransom, and wisely forgot all about the loan.

Repaying a fellow by the name of Jabir:

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah:

I went to the Prophet while he was in the Mosque. (Mis'ar thinks, that Jabir went in the forenoon.) After the Prophet told me to pray two Rakat, he repaid me the debt he owed me and gave me an extra amount.

Bukhari 41.479

The Prophet also borrowed from the Jews:

Narrated Aisha:

The Prophet purchased food grains from a Jew on credit and mortgaged his iron armor to him.

Bukhari 34.282