Interest Is Considered As Sin Nevertheless Commercial Banking Reliant On It: A Detailed Study in the Context of Major Religions in the World


This paper is unique in the sense that authors are raising a very sensitive issue of interest which is prohibited in almost all divine religions. We do not claim ourselves as an authority on religious matters however have taken the courage raise discussion among scholars and intellectuals to find a way where conventional banking harmonizes with economies that consider interest contradictory to religious thoughts.  This paper is simply looking into different religions’ point of view about interest and explores whether all or some factors of conventional banking contradict with religious values. In case we identify there are few factors that contradict with religious values then could these factors be replaced to integrate major divine religions’ economics thoughts. Interest is a very interesting thing; almost in all major religion Interest isSin including Judaism, however one side in Judaism, the Torah and Talmud encourage the granting of loans if they do not engage interest, on the other hand the halakhah [applicable Jewish law] on the subject of without charge loans pertain only to loans through the other Jews but it is tolerable to provide loans with Interest to non-Jews. Commercial Banking legal inference of all theories of Interest are based on that money has been treat as an article of trade. It is, therefore, squabble that just as a merchant can sell his article of trade for a higher price than his expenditure, he can also sell his money for a higher price than its face value, or just as he can rent his property and can have some remuneration against it. Commercial Bank can also let somebody to use its money and can claim some kind of remuneration thereupon. As per Encyclopedia Britannica, “In Old English law, the taking of any compensation whatsoever was termed usury. With the spreading out of trade in the 13th century, however, the requirement for loan amplified, dictated an amendment in the characterization of the word. Usury then was functional to overpriced or unconscionable Interest charges. In 1545 England set an officially permitted or upper limit interest; every sum in glut of the upper limit was usury. The practice of setting a legal maximum on Interest rates was later followed by most states of the United States and most other Western nations.”

Keywords: Commercial Banking, Interest, Legitimate, Sin, Usury

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 28-40 (Download PDF)

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