What is the definition of riba?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Q: What is the definition of riba?


A: In Shariah, riba refers to any conditional excess in exchange of a deferred payment or any excess in wealth or benefit which is conditioned in the business transaction and is not in lieu of anything. At times the condition is not explicit, however it is understood through the ‘urf’ (i.e. the business trend and usage). Similarly in Shariah the fuqaha regard the profit acquired through un-Islamic means in the law of riba e.g. the profit acquired through an invalid business transaction i.e. bai’ e faasid.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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