There is no difference between a Muslim and a
non-Muslim in the matter of prohibition of Ribā. But there is a difference in
the one who charges Ribā on the loan he gives and the one who gives Ribā on the
loan he receives.
Essentially, it is taking Ribā, rather than giving it,
that has been prohibited and condemned in the Qur’ān (for example, 2:275-280;
3:130 & 30:39). In none of the related verses, the borrower has been condemned.
In fact, the Qur’ān strongly urges the lender to deal leniently with the
borrower who is in straitened circumstances.
When the borrower has no reasonable excuse to borrow on
Ribā and he does that deliberately, merely to get an edge, even he is guilty of
co-operating in an evil.
It follows from the points made above that:
a) The Government of Pakistan should fulfil the
international financial obligations made in the past as fulfilling the covenant
is a religious obligation (5:1), and Pakistan, in its present situation, is not
‘co-operating’ in Ribā, rather as a borrower in dire straits is forced by
circumstances to borrow on Ribā.
b) The government should gradually try to bring the
country out of the situation where it has to borrow on Ribā, or even borrow for
c) The government should also try to reform the
society and its institutions to such an extent that no reasonable excuse is left
for any one to borrow on Ribā.
d) Charging or taking Ribā, whether from a Muslim or
a non-Muslim, cannot be allowed in any case.