Interest-based lending: Drive needed to create awareness of Islamic alternatives

Even some prominent scholars are of the view that while charging interest is not permitted in Islam, paying interest on loans is not impermissible. This is a view that demands an analysis from both an intellectual and economic perspective. A scholar argues that those who pay interest do not fall under the category of those who “eat others’ property unjustly” and that they must not also be deemed as “cooperating” in dealing in interest. The Prophetic tradition also prohibits cooperation in matters related to interest-based business. According to the scholar, the payer of interest does not “eat others’ property unjustly.” Hence, he does not commit any sin when he pays interest. This is a flawed argument, as interest-based transactions are by their very nature cooperative in nature.