We found an interesting article on Kuwait Times this morning. It seems that the Kuwaiti parliament is debating whether or not to “write” off interest on government loans to its citizens. It has been claimed for decades that interest is forbidden in Islam–either charging it or paying it.
As a result of that portion of Shariah doctrine, both the lender (in this case the government) and the borrower are doing something unislamic.
Nevertheless, at some point, the Kuwaiti government decided it was just fine to charge interest on loans evidently.
How can this happen? Well, maybe it’s the fact that, according to some Muslims, there is no justification for a prohibition on interest under Shariah. They maintain that the prohibition is against usury, which is far removed from the basic practice of charging interest.
The Kuwait times article even quotes a fatwa from a Saudi scholar:
“…according to a Fatwa issued by noted Saudi cleric Ibn Uthaimeen, issuing interest in a loan is compliant with Sharia law.”
This is a controversy that seldom sees the light of day in the Islamic media…