An essential condition in the orthodox definition of riba is stipulated excess in a loan or debt. This essential condition is traced to al-Jassas. Understanding this issue of stipulated excess is critical to understanding riba. In this paper the stipulated excess in connection with al-Jassas as well as its implication for defining riba and prohibition of interest is examined. A critical examination of the subject shows that pre-Jassas discourse about riba did not include stipulated excess as an essential condition and al-Jassas' changing of the conditions in defining riba is not corroborated by the textual evidences he used.
With the emergence and growth of the Islamic finance industry, Muslims now have at their disposal comprehensive Sharīʿah-compliant financial services. However, the notion of Sharīʿah compliance has rarely been deconstructed; essentially, it constitutes a prohibition-driven enterprise. While avoidance of the forbidden (ḥarām) is fundamentally important, Islam encompasses a great deal more than the impermissible. Approaching relevant issues from the perspective of Sharīʿah compliance, where legal aspects are overemphasized, leads to legalism where the principles, norms and values based on the Qurʾān and Sunnah are largely ignored or compromised. Limiting itself to merely avoiding the ḥarām has significantly handicapped the industry from identifying and endeavouring to address synergistically the broader socio-economic challenges. In this article, a modified conceptualization based on a more nuanced framework of ‘Islam-compliance’ is proposed and explored, especially from the perspective of value-orientation in Islam. The notion and framework of Islam compliance has broader implications beyond Islamic finance.
The centrality of Sharīʿah as a term and concept, together with its ubiquitous usage, reflects present Muslim understanding of their religion. Existing research indicates this Sharīʿah-based conception represents a later historical development. However, earlier studies have not documented contemporary understanding and use of the term in the primary sources of Islam. This has important implications regarding the imparting of sacredness according to its traditional conceptualization. Based on comprehensive research and close examination of the Hadith literature in particular, this represents the first work to examine whether and to what extent the term Sharīʿah was used by the Prophet and his companions. The present investigation makes the case for fundamentally re-evaluating the role of the Sharīʿah in understanding Islam, and argues that this is necessary in order for a positive impact on contemporary Muslim societies and their relationship with the rest of the world to occur.