Pagans of Arabia Discouraged Usury
S j tubrazy
Dr. Hameedullah, based at Paris and widely respected for his piety and scholarship, in his book “Muhammad Rasulullah (Sallallahualaihi wa Sallam) Karachi, paragraph 34, tracing the history of Ka’ba and writing about its repairs/construction/reconstruction at one point of time, somewhere in 605 A.C., when on a tempestuous day sparks of fire were thrown by the wind on the curtains of the Ka’ba, which caught fire and the building was burnt out, and tempest was followed by torrential rains, and these dealt the final blow, so that the building of the Ka’ba crumbled down in heaps, writes that “Contributions were asked from everybody in the town, and it was solemnly announced that for the sacred building only nest money should be offered; prostitutes and usurious peoples were asked not to contribute an bin ” (underlining is mine). This implies that even among the pagans of Arabia, in those dark days of human civilization, usury (interest) was considered to be the money earned by dishonest means. We may also refer to paragraphs 144 and 226 of the same book. In a general meeting of all the population, both Muslim and non-Muslim, convened by the Holy Prophet, a constitution for the State in Madina with Buffer states around, was reduced into writing, constituting the earliest written Constitution of a State, promulgated by its Head, in the world. The Christians of Najran who were highly organized religious people and were more fanatically attached to their faith, sent a delegation to Madina consisting, among others, of a bishop and a vicar (second Priest). They voluntarily acceded to the said Muslim State of Madina, as non-Muslim subjects, and obtained a Charter which conferred on them autonomy, both religious and administrative. It was covenanted that “they need no more pay the interest to their creditors, but only the capital of the loans. Naturally he (the Prophet) asked them not to take interest themselves either in future. All was reduced to writing, and the document has come down to us.