In Islam, a loan (qard) is considered a gratuitous contract, and providing a loan to a person in need is a recommended (mandub) act for which a lender is rewarded. The gratuitous nature of the loan contract is emphasised in various hadiths which also prohibit the lender from deriving any stipulated benefit from the loan he has provided. Loans that generate conditional benefit to the lender are considered usurious. The practice of usury (riba) is inextricably tied to the loan and debt where a lender charges the borrower an additional amount. The main focus of this research paper is to provide a critical discussion on the ruling that prohibits the lender from deriving conditional benefit from the loan, and its related issues. We have examined, in the light of juristic opinions, the status of different types of stipulations that would entitle the lender to various types of pecuniary and nonpecuniary benefits.
Regarding the stipulation that a borrower should compensate the lender for inflation, we have argued that a creditor is entitled to the return of his money based on the original purchasing power of the currency at the time when the loan was provided. However, this should be resorted to only in cases of hyperinflation when the value of the currency is drastically depreciated.
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