Usury is Worse than Adultery

Usury is Worse than Adultery

22008- حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ حَدَّثَنِى أَبِى حَدَّثَنَا حُسَيْنُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ حَدَّثَنَا جَرِيرٌ – يَعْنِى ابْنَ حَازِمٍ – عَنْ أَيُّوبَ عَنِ ابْنِ أَبِى مُلَيْكَةَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ حَنْظَلَةَ غَسِيلِ الْمَلاَئِكَةِ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « دِرْهَمُ رِباً يَأْكُلُهُ الرَّجُلُ وَهُوَ يَعْلَمُ أَشَدُّ مِنْ سِتَّةٍ وَثَلاَثِينَ زَنْيَةً ».

From Hanzhala, (he said that) the Messenger of Allah said, “One dirham obtained from usury transaction, and used by a person who knew that it was a result of usury, the sin of it is more terrible than (the sin of, -ed) committing adultery for thirty six times.” (Narrated by Ahmad, in hadith no. 22008)

Rebuttal for some people who valued this hadith as a weak hadith:

This hadith is also narrated by Daruquthni 3/16.

It was also written by al Haitami in “Majmauz Zawaid”, in which he commented, “This hadith was narrated by Ahmad and Thabrani in “Mu’jam Kabir” and “Mu’jam Ausath” and the narrators in Imam Ahmad’s narration were the ones who narrated in the valid book of Bukhari and/or Muslim.”

Suyuthi also valued it as a valid hadith. But it was claimed as a false hadith by Ibn al Jauzi thus he wrote it in his book that was specialized in collecting the false hadith, which title is “‘al maudhuat’.

This evaluation of Ibn al Jauzi was rebutted by Ibn Hajar al Asqalani in his book, ”al Qoul al Musaddad fi Dzabb ‘an al Musnad’ after he cited this hadith in that book, with his own chain of narration.

Daruquthni stated that the truth is the text of this hadith belongs to Kaab al Ahbar, a tabeen, not to the Prophet.

His reason was because both Ayub and Laits Ibn Abi Sulaim narrated the hadith from Ibn Abi Mulaika, from Abdullah Ibn Hanzhala with the status of marfu’ (considered as the saying of the Prophet). Whereas n the other side, Abdul Aziz Ibn Rafi’ narrated it from Ibn Abi Mulaika, from Abdullah Ibn Hanzhala, from Kaab al Ahbar as his own statement.

More precisely regarding this opinion is that Ayub’s version is a stronger narration, particularly because his was supported by Laits’ narration. Hence, this hadith is a valid hadith from the Prophet (See: “al Mujtaba fi Ahkam wa Akhthar Riba” by Abdurraqib Ibn Ali Ibn Hasan al Ibi, page 58, published by Dar Atsar Shan’a, Yemen).

Content of the Hadith

This hadith shows to us that the sin of committing usury is a very terrible sin because it equals to the crime of committing thirty six times adultery, whereas even committing one of it is a very horrible crime, what if it is done for many times?

Therefore, if that is the sin resulted from corrupting one dirham, then what about thousands that come from that usury? No doubt that it is definitely worse.

I believe that we all agree that a woman shouldn’t work as a prostitute to earn for her living, even with the reason of poor financial condition. If that is our saying against the sin of adultery, then it makes sense if we also say strictly that poor economic condition is not a legal reason for one to involve in usury practice.

Author: Ustadz Aris Munandar, M.PI.*

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