ISLAMABAD: The full bench of Federal Shariat Court has reserved judgment in case of Riba free Islamic banking system in Pakistan, according to a statement issued on Tuesday.
The full bench of the Court comprising of Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzai Chief Justice, Justice Dr. Syed Muhammad Anwar and Justice Khadim Hussain M. Shaikh, in exercise of power under Article 203-D of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan continued hearing of the Riba case and reserved for judgment.
It is pertinent to mention that Riba case was remanded by Shariath Appellate Bench Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2002.
The existing bench of the Federal Shariat Court headed by the chief Justice Justice Muhammad Noor Meskanzai took keen and unprecedented interest in this matter.
During the chairmanship of his lordship of the bench thirty four hearings are conducted.
Petitioners, their counsels, jurisconsults, Amicus Curiae, Economists, Experts, scholars, chartered accountants, Attorney General, and Advocate Generals advanced their arguments and the Court heard them with patience.
They also gave suggestions for conversion of the existing banking system into Riba free Islamic Banking system.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) defines Riba as:
The word “Riba” means excess, increase or addition, which correctly interpreted according to Shariah terminology, implies any excess compensation without due consideration (consideration does not include time value of money). This definition of Riba is derived from the Quran and is unanimously accepted by all Islamic scholars.
The meaning of Riba has been clarified in the following verses of Quran (Surah Al Baqarah 2:278-9)
“O those who believe; fear Allah and give up what still remains of the Riba if you are believers. But if you do not do so, then be warned of war from Allah and His Messenger. If you repent even now, you have the right of the return of your principal; neither will you do wrong nor will you be wronged.”
“The origination of term interest dates back to 17th century with the emergence of banking system at global level. Interest means giving and/or taking of any excess amount in exchange of a loan or on debt. Hence, it carries the same meaning/value as that of Riba as defined in the previous question. Further, it is narrated that “the loan that draws interest is Riba”.
There is consensus among the Muslim scholars of all the fiqhs that interest is Riba in all its forms and manifestations.