Contractum Trinius

A contractum trinius was a set of contracts devised by European bankers and merchants in the Middle Ages as a method of circumventing canon law edicts prohibiting usury. At the time, most Christian nations heavily incorporated scripture into their laws, and as such it was illegal for any person to charge interest on a loan of money.

To get around this, a set of three separate contracts were presented to someone seeking a loan: an investment, a sale of profit and an insurance contract. Each of these contracts were permissible under Church law, but together replicated the effect of an interest-paying loan.

The way this procedure worked was as follows: The loaner would invest a sum equal to the amount to be borrowed to the loanee for one year. The loaner would then purchase insurance for the investment from the loanee, and finally sell back the right to any profit made over a pre-arranged percentage of the investment to them. This system replicated the effects of a loan with any interest rate agreed between the two, and provided protection to the loaner against defaulting, while the loanee remained under the protection of the law when it came to collection of the money by threats or force (loan sharking).

The Church proved utterly unable to legislate against the contractum trinius, and the idea quickly spread to merchants and bankers across Christendom. It helped in part to improve public perception of the practice of usury by moneylenders, and ultimately the doctrine was rewritten by the School of Salamanca, and the ban overturned in many Protestant countries, starting with England by Henry VIII.

The practice has recently, and somewhat controversially, been revived by Islamic banks in a slightly modified form, again as a method of working around a ban of ribaa (usury) in religious scripture.

Source: Wikipedia

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24 Comments

Filed under Banking, Contemporary Issues

24 responses to “Contractum Trinius

  1. So you’re saying this is essentially what nabeyuna Muhammad [saws] warned us about – the Ummah engaging in roundabout ways of ribaa’? al-3ainah?

  2. The Prophet Muhammad, salallaahu `alayhi wa sallam, said that we would follow the people that came before us so much so that if they were to enter into a snake hole, we would follow them there. When the sahaabah asked if he meant the Jews & the Christians, he responded, “Whom else?”.

    Jazaak Allaahu khayran for posting this reminder, akhee.

  3. this time the jews have made a smarter strike keeping the religion controlers (Ulema e Sue) on their side paying them high ammount of money.

  4. innamal aamalu binniyaat.

    many of these islamic banks are sincerely striving to create halal alternatives for muslims living in usury ridden societies. may Allah s.w.t guide us all. Aameen.

  5. Shafqat Ali sayed

    Its really true that the BIG game by European and Jewish bankers, is at its peak. They have obviously become successful in deceiving the innocent Muslims to believe that Islamic Banking is another Halal (permissible) option for them to do banking. I have worked for nearly 8 years for different Islamic Banks and I know that its definately not Islamic, the way these Islamic Banks are operating worldwide under the supervision of the misguided Ulemas (Scholars) of Islam. Once again Muslims are being exploited in the name of their great religion “Islam” and by none other than their own brothers, the misguided religious scholars. Islamic banking is nothing but ‘distortion of facts’ and the work of ‘dajjal’ the false masiah.

  6. hisan

    Salaam,

    I am interested to know more opinion abt Islamic Banking from Mr. Syafqat Ali. From your comment and experience, do you mean that all the Islamic Banking is not Islamic?

  7. Syed

    There is no bank in Islam. There cannot be an Islamic bank.
    Its all the fraud Ulemas (atleast illetrate Ulemas) who have done this to Islam.
    How can we have an Islamic Banking in a system where the money creation is in the hands of Jews?

  8. visit my blog about Islamic Economics Research

  9. This article is really helpful for getting a general knowledge about Islamic Economics. However, you can read this one for more information about; http://islam-economy.org/islamic-economics/indispensability-of-ethical-values/

  10. Thanks for, it saved my life.

  11. wow amazing post keep it going.

  12. be warned the european and usa banks are using Islamic Banking to ensure petro dollars remain in their Banks.Time Muslims should have an international financial system to ensure real Islamic financial transactions and upholding real Islamic spirit taught by quran kareem

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  16. I have learned very much from this article. Definetely worth reading.

  17. Muhammad Shakaib

    the debate is not so simple that you just say that there is no bank in Islam. then how can it be justified that Islam Is complete code of conduct. the requirement of the time is to study that ” either the practice being done in an Islamic bank is permissible under Shariah or not” there is nothing ambiguous in Shariah. if it is ambiguous then just leave it and don’t do it as it has been Commanded By the Prophet Salallah O Alihay Wasalim.

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