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al kafi 1481


Assalamualaikum, I want to ask about the fine imposed by school libraries if the books borrowed are returned late. Is the fine a type of usury because the concept of usury is when the duration increases the amount that needs to be paid also increases?



Waalaikumussalam wrt, wbt.

Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

Loan or borrowing is a good deed and muamalah which is sanctioned in Islam where when a property is lent, we are able to help and fulfil another person’s need.

Allah SWT states:

وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ

“And cooperate in righteousness and piety,”

Surah al-Maidah (2)

According to the syara’ terminology, a loan is a permission to use something that is permissible by maintaining the original condition of it. Thus, when a borrower has finished borrowing the borrowed item, or when the purpose of it being borrowed is fulfilled and the agreed duration to borrow it has concluded, then the borrower should return the borrowed item back to its owner. (Refer al-Mu’tamad fi al-Fiqh al-Shafie 3/193)

From Safwan bin Umayyah RA, the Prophet PBUH said:

عاريّة مؤدّاة

“Borrowed items are to be returned,”

Sunan al-Tirmizi (39)

Imam al-Nawawi stated in his book, the owner of the borrowed item set conditions (muqayyad) such as limiting the method of it to be used or the duration of it to be used. For example, limiting the usage of a car borrowed to only be used in the village or limited to only three passengers or it can only be used in a week.

Thus, when the borrower breaches the agreed conditions, then he should pay a fine (dhaman) according to the norm (ujrah misl) or according to the amount set by the owner of the item. The reason is the borrower has exceeded the limitations permitted by the owner of the item. (Refer Raudhah al-Tholibin 4/434)


The addition of fine according to the number of days is not a type of usury. The reason is the fine is compensation of using the borrowed item (in this case book) without the permission of the owner. The purpose the fine is imposed is so that the borrower does not procrastinate in returning the book according to the time.

Lastly, may Allah SWT grant us goodness and correct understanding in our lives.