A number of works deal with the issue of riba (usury) in Islam, but none of them is as comprehensive as this work which first appeared in 1936. This new edited version, together with Arabic and English translations, has been brought out in order to enrich the debate on this vital issue. The author, Allamah Iqbal Suhail (d. 1955), was a highly learned scholar of Islam and had deep knowledge of modern issues. He is known in the Subcontinent as a distinguished Urdu poet, freedom fighter and lawyer. With this background, he was most suited to deal with religious issues in the light of the requirements of the modern age. Allamah Suhail discusses the opinions of the fuqaha in detail and shows that they confused riba with muratala (barter) and sarf (exchange) which have little to do with riba. He shows that riba concerns only the bai al-salaf (credit/deferred) transactions. After a thorough discussion of the Islamic texts on the issue, Suhail puts forward his authoritative definition of riba and where it is applicable.
Iqbal Ahmed Khan was born in 1884 (11 Rabi' al-thani, 1303 Hijri) in village Badheria, Azamgarh, and died on 7 November 1955. He was a famous Urdu poet, writing under the takhallus, or pen name "Suhail", Islamic scholar, lawyer, educationist and a politician. He was a member of the executive committee of the Azamgarh Muslim Education Society, which manages Shibli National Post Graduate College and other institutions in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh. His poetry has been mentioned in many articles about Azamgarh. His work has been featured in the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Urdu Literature.