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Riba and interest in Islamic jurisprudence: seeking the path to consensus

Zahid Siddique (Department of Economics, S3H, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Muhammad Abubakar Siddique (School of Islamic Banking and Finance, IIIE, International Islamic University Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan)

International Journal of Ethics and Systems

ISSN: 2514-9369

Article publication date: 23 January 2024




The purpose of this study is to explain the opinions of the Muslim jurists available in the fiqh books so that they may be compared with the approaches adopted by modern scholars for defining the concept of riba. It is argued that the method of jurists was different from the one adopted by the modern Muslim jurists and Islamic economists. The new method dichotomizes riba into those of the Quran and Sunnah. On the contrary, jurists of four Sunni schools considered the Quran and Sunnah in this regard as a single whole, and they saw Sunnah as the elaboration of riba. By explaining the similarities shared by different fiqh schools, it is explained that there is no need for a definition of riba.


The paper uses the method of content analysis. The authors have consulted the authentic fiqh manuals of the four Sunni fiqh schools to substantiate the objectives.


One of the major findings of this paper is that interest charged in loan transactions, including bank loans, is riba according to the four Sunni fiqh schools. Moreover, the paper also shows that the similarities among the four Sunni fiqh schools are far more significant than the often-highlighted disagreements among them regarding the concept of riba. The methodology adopted by modern Muslim scholars seems to add confusions around the concept of riba.

Research limitations/implications

The paper discusses views of only four Sunni fiqh jurists.


The paper explains the common methodology followed by the jurists for understanding riba, the significant similarities resulting from their common method, the link between the concept of riba and different types of financial transactions within the framework of the jurists and that combining several fiqh schools at a time is a contradiction-ridden methodology.



Siddique, Z. and Siddique, M.A. (2024), "Riba and interest in Islamic jurisprudence: seeking the path to consensus", International Journal of Ethics and Systems, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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