Significance of the most argued claim "riba and trade are same"A transaction is defined as the exchange of good(s) and/or service(s) either on spot or in any specified time frame and that may involve one or more types of produce.
Trade is a transaction where minimum two different types of produce are involved; where one produce is always "the medium of exchange" and the other may be any type of goods.
Barter is a transaction where minimum two types of produce are involved in the absence of "the medium of exchange", in a barter transaction; at least two types of goods are involved.
In a Service transaction, again there are two produce involved, one might be "the medium of exchange" or any type of goods, while the other is a service or labour.
In a Rental transaction, again there are two produce involved, one might be "the medium of exchange" or any type of goods, while the other is usage of assets/property.
It is very obvious in all above transactions that these involve at least two different elements, hence according to the definition of Riba the possibility of Riba does not exists in any of the above.
The basic division lies in the number of elements in a transaction, if there are minimum two elements in a transaction i.e., trade, barter, service contract, rental agreement, there is no Riba in such a transaction, while it is must for riba that the transaction is based on single element. This is fundamental difference in Riba transaction and trade transaction because it is only possible to create an artificial shortage in a transaction involving one produce only.