Al-Baqara (The Cow) Sura 2: Verses 275-276 Those who devour usury shall not rise but as one who blunders through being affected by Satan, for they say, "Buying and selling is like usury," while God had made buying and selling lawful and prohibited usury. Hence, whosoever receives [positively] his[/her] Lord's admonition and gives over, he may keep his past gains, and it will be for God to judge him[/her], but whosoever returns to it, they are destined for the fire, therein to abide. God blots out usury, whereas He augments charitable offerings with fruitfulness [from various angles], and God loves not any ingrate and persisting evil-doer. Riba or usury is forbidden because it is merely an exploitation of the haves for the have-nots. It presents a constant and increasing profit that is effortless and risk-free on the side of the usury gainer, while the prayer of usury is forced, from the beginning, to accept paying it on time and in addition to the principal, regardless of his/her circumstances, because of his/her need. In general, however, Islam is not against earning money and acquiring profit from fair dealings in which every party gives and takes in a fair way, and thus the rights and obligations of the involved parties are parallel and balanced. The supporters of exploitation argue that making money and gaining profit any way is the same, and ought to be legitimized. This selfish and greedy attitude contradicts the socio-economic justice of Islam, which encourages gains and profits that are earned through a balanced and fair deal of "give and take" from all the parties involved, and the consent and free will of all are secured without any physical or moral pressure. The principle of Sharia in this respect is the parallel balance of the gain and loss (or taking and giving) on the side of every party involved in the deal. If this is observed, various infinite forms of deals may be initiated and developed. Surpassing justice, which has to be observed by all, and reaching individual generosity and charity, is, furthermore, encouraged and rewarded. Public security is materially and morally benefitted from giving to individuals who are in need, as well as to the needs of the society as a whole. The material needs of the society as a whole will be met, and social solidarity and cooperation would bring out material and moral benefits to the receivers, the givers, and the society as a whole. In this way, God augments charitable offering with manifold gains from various angles, while gains of exploitation and usury are blotted out through contradictions of greed and bitterness which restrict total productivity in the long run, especially when they escalate to explosions within the society. Compiled From: "Concepts of the Quran" - Fathi Osman, p. 789