SWAPPING OLD NOTES FOR NEW NOTES FOR A FEE IS HARAM
Assalamu Alaaykum WarahmatuLlaah Wabaarakatuh
May ALlaah preserve your life.
Regarding selling the new naira notes recently introduced by the Federal Government (i.e) selling the sum of 5000 Naira new notes for 5500 Naira (or lesser or more) of the old notes. This (act) is regarded as Riba (Usury, Interest) and (RIba) is from the prohibitions of Allah. The prophet Muhammad (SalaLaahu Alaayhi WaSalaam), in an authentic hadith, warned against this type of Riba. He said “Gold should be for Gold (or its like). Silver should be for Silver (or its like). There should not be an increase in any”. What the prophet (SalaLlaahu Alaayhi WaSalaam) meant by the money for gold or the money for silver are the equivalent of the currencies we have today, i.e., Naira, Riyal, Dollar etc. No matter the case, one should not exchange1000 Naira for 1100 naira or 1500 - (even) if one is new (notes) and the other is old (notes). It is not acceptable. We should desist from such.
According to the words of Imaam Malik Ibn Anas (RahimahuLlaah), the matter of Riba (Usury, Interest) should not be taken with levity. He said “I have read the Qur’an extensively, I have also read several hadith of the prophet (SalaLlaahu Alaayhi WaSalaam), and I did not see a sin worse than Riba”. This is because, it is only in the case of Riba Allaah declares he (who takes Riba) has waged a war against Allah and His Messenger. Imaam Malik said there is no where else Allaah said (the aforementioned) regarding any other sin except Riba, therefore; it is not a matter to be taken with frivolity or mindlessness.
Similarly, we should not give room for Shaytan by giving flimsy excuses that people are in need of it, or people are in difficulty. The circumstance that scholars have said that (the) impermissible (or prohibitions) are made permissible is when it has to do with life and death or (if it) has a grave effect which might take one’s life. It is only in this case that the scholars have allowed it, whereas, exchanging of new naira notes is not included in this case. If we excuse the buyer because he needs it, how do we excuse the (seller) one who exchange for a fee? Has it become essential or a necessity for him too? Moreover, if (for whatever reason) this is made Hallal for the buyer, it has to be made Halaal for the seller (which is impossible). Does the one who also hoards (the new notes) to sell (at a hire price) needs such act or he wants to intentionally transgress the bounds of Allah? Finally, We should remember the hadith reported by Jabir Ibn Abdullah (RadiyaLlaahu Anhu) where the prophet (SalaLlaahu Alaayhi WaSalaam) said “ The wrath of Allaah is upon the one who accepts Riba and the one who gives it”. In this hadith, he also said both of them are the same.
May Allah not try us to the extent that we won’t be bothered by Haraam and Halaal.
Please, let us desist from such act. We should not exchange the same currency such that one of them will be more than the other (in amount). It is prohibited. And ALlaah knows best. And may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad and his household and his companions and those who follow them.
Source: Highlight Audio Transcription - Transcriber:Sulaiman Sodiq Olayinka- Credited by: Dawahnigeria.com-