People whose bellies are like houses and full of snakes

7- Their bellies are like houses and there are snakes inside

In a hadith reported in Ibn Majah, Abu Hurayra related that the Prophet (pbuh) said: On the night of the Miraj (Ascension), I came upon a group of people whose bellies were like houses. They were full of snakes which could be seen from outside their bellies. I asked Gabriel (Jibril), "Who are they?" He said, "They are the people who ate up riba (interest, usury).

My Allah! Have you heard the punishment of those who devour usury in the hereafter? Allah Almighty enlarges their bellies like houses and puts snakes in them. The snakes are seen from the outside. O my Allah! What a punishment it is! We take refuge in you from the sin of usury, which cause people to be tortured like that.

O he who takes and gives usury recklessly! Have you heard the news given by your Prophet, whom you believe in? If you do not repent and do not abandon usury, your belly will be enlarged like a house on the Gathering Day and snakes will move in it. You cannot stand even the bite of a mosquito; how will you stand snakes biting your stomach?  Will you show consent to this torture for the sake of the material interests of this short world life? Is it not better for you to say, "O Lord! I was unaware of this torture and that devouring usury was such a big sin. I know that my ignorance cannot be an excuse. For, I should have read and found out about them since I am a Muslim. However, I committed those sins. What can I do now? Who else except you can I ask for forgiveness? Who else except you can I apply? There is no Lord except you; who can I ask for forgiveness?  O Lord! I escaped form you like a slave who escaped from his master and wandered in the valleys of sin. However, I have come to my senses now. I ask for forgiveness from you for all of my sins, especially the sin of usury and promise that I will never commit them again. Please forgive me. You are the forgiver and you love forgiving…”

Is it not the best thing to do to beg Allah and ask for forgiveness? Or, will you keep committing the sin of usury though you have listened to so many verses and hadiths? Beware! Do not keep eating usury! Do not delay repenting! Do not forget that the surface of the world is full of 'tomorrow's and the underground is full of 'I wish'es. You may soon find yourself under the ground, yelling in repentance. However, it will be too late and your repentance will not be of any use there.

There are many more hadiths that we can mention. We refer those who are interested to the usury chapters of hadith books and do not want to add more. For, even only one of the verses and hadiths we have mentioned is enough for guidance and repentance for those who want to repent. If a person does not want to repent and insists on committing that sin, it will be of no use to quote all of those verses and hadiths.

We have prepared this work so that we will not be held responsible by our Lord on the Day of Judgment. When our Lord asks us, “O my slaves! I gave you knowledge. When people ate usury, did you tell them that it was a big sin in my eye? Did you warn them?", we will say, “Yes. O Lord! We warned them as much as we could. We told them about Your verses and the words of Your Messenger. That was what we were able to do.”

O Lord! Accept this work, which we have prepared for your consent. Make it a means of acquittal for us on the Day of Judgment. Make this work a means of repentance for those who eat usury abandoning the sin of usury. And make this work a means of atonement for those who support us materially and spiritually. Amin!

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