Interest (Riba) is Prohibited
Allah prohibits His believing servants from dealing in Riba and from requiring interest on their capital, just as they used to do during the time of Jahiliyyah. For instance, when the time to pay a loan comes, the creditor would say to the debtor, “Either pay now, or the loan will incur interest.” If the debtor asks for deferment of the loan, the creditor would require interest and this would occur year after year until the little capital becomes multiplied many times. Allah also commands His servants to have Taqwa of Him so that they may achieve success in this life and the Hereafter. Allah also threatens them with the Fire and warns them against it, saying,
(And fear the Fire, which is prepared for the disbelievers. And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy.) 3:131,132.
The Encouragment to Do Good for which Paradise is the Result
Allah encourages His servants to perform righteous deeds and to rush to accomplish the acts of obedience. Allah said,
(And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the Muttaqin (the pious)) 3:133.
Just as the Fire was prepared for the disbelievers. It was reported that the meaning of Allah’s statement,
(as wide as the heavens and the earth) draws the attention to the spaciousness of Paradise. For instance, Allah said in another Ayah, while describing the couches of Paradise,
(lined with silk brocade) 55:54, so what about their outer covering It was also said that Paradise is as wide as its length, because it is a dome under the Throne. The width and length of a dome or a circle are the same in distance. This is supported by what is found in the Sahih;
(When you ask Allah for Paradise, ask Him for Al-Firdaws which is the highest and best part of Paradise. From it originate the rivers of Paradise, and above it is the Throne of the Most Beneficent (Allah).)
This Ayah 3:133 above is similar to Allah’s statement in Surat Al-Hadid,
(Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord (Allah), and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the Earth) 57:21.
Al-Bazzar recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and asked him, about Allah’s statement,
(Paradise as wide as the heavens and the Earth) 3:133; “Where is the Fire then” The Prophet said,
(When the night comes, it overtakes everything, so where is the day) The man said, “Where Allah wants it to be.” The Prophet said,
(Similarly, the Fire is where Allah wants it to be.) This Hadith has two possible meanings. First, when we do not see the night during the day, this does not mean that the day is not somewhere else, even though we cannot see it. Such is the case with Hell-fire, for it is where Allah wants it to be. The second meaning is that when the day overcomes this part of the world, the night overtakes the other part. Such is the case with Paradise, for it is in the utmost heights above the heavens and under the Throne. The width of Paradise is, as Allah stated,
(whereof is as the width of the heaven and the Earth) 57:21.
The Fire, on the other hand, is in the lowest of lows. Therefore, Paradise being as wide as the heavens and Earth does not contradict the fact that the Fire exists wherever Allah wills it to be.
Allah said, while describing the people of Paradise,
(Those who spend (in Allah’s cause) in prosperity and in adversity) 3:134, in hard times and easy times, while active (or enthusiastic) and otherwise, healthy or ill, and in all conditions, just as Allah said in another Ayah,
(Those who spend their wealth (in Allah’s cause) by night and day, in secret and in public) 2:274 These believers are never distracted from obeying Allah, spending on what pleases Him, being kind to His servants and their relatives, and other acts of righteousness. Allah said,
(who repress anger, and who pardon men;) 3:134 for when they are angry, they control their anger and do act upon it. Rather, they even forgive those who hurt them. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,
(The strong person is not he who is able to physically overcome people. The strong person is he who overcomes his rage when he is angry.)
This Hadith is also recorded in the Two Sahihs. Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(He who gives time to a debtor or forgives him, then Allah will save him from the heat of Jahannam (Hell-fire). Behold! The deeds of Paradise are difficult to reach, for they are on top of a hill, while the deeds of the Fire are easy to find in the lowlands. The happy person is he who is saved from the tests. Verily, there is no dose of anything better to Allah than a dose of rage that the servant controls, and whenever the servant of Allah controls it, he will be internally filled with faith.)
This Hadith was recorded by Imam Ahmad, its chain of narration is good, it does not contain any disparraged narrators, and the meaning is good.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Sahl bin Mu`adh bin Anas said that his father said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Whoever controlled rage while able to act upon it, then Allah will call him while all creation is a witness, until He gives him the choice of any of the Huris (fair females with wide, lovely eyes – as mates for the pious) he wishes.)
Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith, which At-Tirmidhi said was “Hasan Gharib”.
Ibn Marduwyah recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(There is not a dose of anything that the servant takes which is better than a dose of control of rage that he feels, when he does it seeking Allah’s Face.) Ibn Jarir and Ibn Majah also collected this Hadith.
(who repress anger) meaning, they do not satisfy their rage upon people. Rather, they refrain from harming them and await their rewards with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored. Allah then said,
(and who pardon men;) They forgive those who treat them with injustice. Therefore, they do not hold any ill feelings about anyone in their hearts, and this is the most excellent conduct in this regard. This is why Allah said,
(verily, Allah loves the Muhsinin (the good-doers)).
This good conduct is a type of Ihsan excellence in the religion. There is a Hadith that reads,
(I swear regarding three matters: no charity shall ever decrease the wealth; whenever one forgives people, then Allah will magnify his honor; and he who is humble for Allah, then Allah will raise his rank.)
(And those who, when they have committed Fahishah or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins) 3:135.
Therefore, if they commit an error they follow it with repentance and ask forgiveness. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,