‘Say NO to Usury’
To borrow upon Usury, bringeth on Beggary.
At times, when life becomes difficult without money, when it is difficult to find a piece of bread for the children, people will easily and readily fall into the hands of Usury. Something, which could keep them from falling deep down. But is this a shelter? A safe solution? Or is it just a brutal monster, wrapped in a beautiful cover, pretending to be a shelter?
When poverty threaten the people from above and below, they really have no choice. They will take anything – even a poisoned, stale bread to fill the empty stomach and soothe the crying baby. And Usury is that – poisoned, stale bread. It will not taste good when they eat and it will not keep them alive, at least not for a long time. Slow poison, killing from within. Slowly splurging every single coin they earn from them. That is what Usury will do to us, if we take the first step towards it.
One time is enough to make their life a living nightmare. One time is enough to make them never stand back, again.
What is Usury? Or Interest? Or Daylight robbery, as I call it? What is it?
According to Wikipedia, Usury is the practice of making unethical or immoral monetary loans intended to unfairly enrich the lender. A loan may be considered usurious because of excessive or abusive interest rates or other factors, but according to some dictionaries, simply charging any interest at all can be considered usury. Someone who charges usury can be called a usurer, but the more common term in English is loan shark.
All the religions forbid this cruel practice, which snubs the poor people further down, and raise the rich people further up.
Some verses from Qur’an against Riba…
“Allah will destroy Riba (usury) and will give increase for Sadaqah (deeds of charity, alms, etc.) And Allah likes not the disbelievers, sinners.”
-(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:276)
“You who believe! Be afraid of Allah and give up what remains (due to you) from Riba (usury) (from now onward), if you are (really) believers.”
-(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:278)
“And if the debtor is in a hard time (has no money), then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay, but if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know.”
-(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:280)
Some biblical verses against Usury…
“If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him.”
– Exodus 22:25
“You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother, interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything that is lent for interest.”
– Deuteronomy 23:19
But, of course, when people are afflicted with poverty, banks or the loaning company is the first step they will take. Because, they know they are guaranteed with the money and there will be no rejection or a negative response. Yes, they will face the tune later on, but they are willing to save their children or lives with what they can get.
What can we do to help these people?
What can we do to save them from the hand of this vicious and cruel snake?
To lend them money, without interest… To say no to Usury (Extortion).
Here is a small step taken by my dad >>
‘Beautiful Loan’ is a scheme started by my dad before some years in a small scale. We are not prosperous enough to be a sole benefactor for this system. So, my dad collected a decent amount from my family members and others, who are willing to help out needy people and started this scheme. It’s not that big – the amount, but it is sufficient to help people at times of need.
There is a certain amount in the bank – or in this case, in my mom’s closet. This money is circulated between the people who are in need. They must offer something for security purposes (a small ring, a gold pendent etc.), to make sure they pay back the money they have borrowed.
When they return the money back, their possession will go back to them.
You may think, this sounds just like loaning. Of course, this is loaning. Not charity, but with a slight change – a slight change that can make so many lives better.
Borrowed money = Money paid.
The money the people borrow and the money they pay back is the same, no matter how long they take to pay it. And if they can’t pay it, due to some valid reason, the amount they borrowed will be attested as Charity and their possession will be returned back.
Since the time it has started, I have seen so many people who come with a depressed look and go back with a smile.
There is this big notebook to pen down the name, address, amount, things placed for security and the date borrowed. I have often written in that notebook and felt proud while doing so. It gives a satisfaction to help people, at least in some way.
You can’t imagine the big smile I wear when I hear words like ‘thank you.’ ‘It really helped.’ It fills my heart with bliss and peace.
So why not create a beautiful bank in your house as well, at least to help some family members who are not faring well? Small step is okay, than not taking any step, right?
Come on, go and start a small bank… – ‘No interests‘ should be your mantra.