Q 32: Would you kindly explain the difference between
Riba Al-Fadl (usury of excess, selling an item for another of the same type, on the spot, but in excess) and Riba Al-Nasi'ah (usury of delay, conditional excess for delay of payment)?
Riba Al-Nasi'ah is derived from the Arabic root ''nasa'a'' which means to ''delay" or "defer". This type of Riba falls into two categories:
Charging interest on the loan lent to an insolvent debtor. This category was commonly practiced in the pre-Islamic era. A person, for example, may lend another person a sum of money to be paid back on a specified date. When the date agreed upon is due, the creditor gives the debtor the choice either to repay the debt or defer repayment in return for charging additional interest on the principal.
Exchanging two items of the same type which bear the common cause of Riba Al-Fadl while stipulating deferment of delivery of one or both of the exchanged items. An example of this includes exchanging gold for gold or for silver or exchanging silver for gold while stipulating deferment of delivery.
is derived from the Arabic root "fadl" which means "increase" or "growth". This type of Riba involves increase in either of the two articles subject to exchange. According to Hadith of the Prophet, six things are susceptible to Riba Al-Fad: gold, silver, wheat, barley, dates and salt.It is prohibited to charge interest on such transactions where any of the above things are exchanged for articles of the same type. The same holds true with regard to exchanging two articles which bear the same common cause of prohibition. It is, for example, prohibited to exchange a kilo of gold of inferior quality for half a kilo of superior quality. The same is applicable in the case of exchanging a good type of silver, wheat, barley, dates, or salt for a poor type. (Part No. 13; Page No. 331) It is only permissible to exchange articles of the above mentioned things provided that they are equal in weight and the exchange has to be made in a hand-to-hand transaction.However, it is permissible to exchange a kilo of gold for two kilos of silver provided that it is a hand-to-hand transaction. This is because gold and silver are of different types. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
Gold is to be exchanged for gold, silver for silver, wheat for wheat, barley for barley, dates for dates, and salt for salt, like for like and equal for equal, payment being made hand to hand. If these classes differ, then sell as you wish if payment is made hand to hand.
Muslim from the Hadith narrated on the authority of
`Ubadah ibn Al-Samit (may Allah be pleased with him).
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.