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Some Ayatollahs: Delayed Loan Payment Fines Are Haram

Tonight in “what the fuck”. This is via BBC Persian (in Persian, of course).

Valiollah Seyf, the chairman of Iran’s Central Bank, has traveled to Qum and has met with some of the Ayatollahs and high-ranking clerics there. At the same time, a majority of these clerics have opposed paying fines for delays in paying back bank loans and have called this haram [unlawful in Islam].

These Ayatollahs  have all said paying fines for delaying in loan payments to the banks is the same nature as “usury”, so it’s haram and banks cannot receive it.

These remarks come at a time that some individuals have taken extremely large amounts of loans from banks and refuse to pay them back and banks are not able to force them to. This money amounts to more than 80 hundred billion tomans. Most of these happened during Ahmadinejad’s presidency because of his policy to let certain individuals close to him borrow indiscriminate amounts without going through legal procedures. This is one of the causes of the current economic crises.

The reasoning for them is that based on their version of Islam no one can benefit from investment unless actual work is done by the investment money. A very strict application of this law makes things like interest rates usury as well.

But the truth is that these Ayatollahs are making life harder for the Rouhani administration, limiting his ability to fight corruption and improve the economy.

Another evidence that theocracy is harmful.


  1. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    How do the Ayatollah’s reconcile that? taking money and not paying it back amounts to theft and ain’t that a crime under Sharia law too?

  2. dukeofomnium says

    It’s funny how Allah didn’t know that there is a time-value for money; that a dollar or toman today is more useful than a toman next year, and is therefore more valuable. It’s really an intuitively obvious idea.

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