New Africa Radio Logo
W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


A.M. Journal

Muhammad Speaks

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


QUESTION: What is the Muslim position, or what would be our position on the stock market?

WDM: I understand by that he means playing the stock market. And he's connecting usury with the stock market.

Usury is the asking for or demanding of extremely high returns on money that you lend out to someone. So you're living on the high interest that you collect off of money that you lend out. That's the original meaning of usury.

Muslims call any interest on money usury. But in former days, the situation was criminal because many people who had a little wealth would be made pen-nyless. Skilled persons would entice these people to borrow money. "Here's the money" • and then they would charge very high interest.

QUESTION:   Would  that  in  contemporary society be like what we would call a loan shark?

WDM: That's right.

It's not quite what we have today. There's a degree of that in today's system. But not in the banking system or in the stock market.

QUESTION: So that's a distinction. I was thinking about "loan shark" in terms of the gangster mentality that we talk about.

WDM: That's right. All of that was there too. If you didn't pay, they would take your property and even physically assault you.

QUESTION: That was that extra protection that we start to see in the Quran talking about the need to recognize this usury, not just as any old ...... But the recognition that if you get involved with this you're likely to lose more than just the few dollars you have. But by virtue of the usury circumstance that these people would charge you, you're really entering into a slavery kind of thing.

WDM: That's true. And I believe that's why interest was outlawed by the Prophet. Because interest at that time was unfair, terribly unfair. The principle of interest in itself is usury. Speculation in the business field is not.

But here, something more interesting comes out; that is, the association of the term "Jahcubite,' which is a term that I coined.

If they run into Jacobite in the encyclopedia or in history books they're not to confuse that Jacobite with the term that I coined (Jahcubite).