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Can a person give charity with interest money?

Nasihah (Advice): Punishment for one who consumes interest

Sayyiduna Samurah Bin Jundub Radhiyallahu Anhu reports that Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said: “At night, I dreamt that two men came and took me to a Holy land where we proceeded until we reached a river of blood, where a man was standing, and on its bank another man was standing with stones in his hands. The man in the river tried to come out but the other man threw a stone in his mouth and forced him to go back. Whenever he tried to come out, the other man would throw a stone in his mouth and force him to go back to his former place. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ I was told, ‘the person in the river is the one who consumed interest.’ (Sahih Bukhari)

Question and Answer:

Q. I closed an interest bearing account which accumulated interest. Can I keep the interest money and give it in charity after 3 Months?

A. The ruling regarding any Haraam wealth acquired including interest, is that it must be returned to its original owner if possible. If it is not possible to return it to its original owner, it must be disposed of immediately and given in charity to poor and needy Muslims (zakat eligible recipients) or non-Muslims (equivalent to zakat eligible recipients) without the intention of reward.

The reason for disposing of Haraam wealth/interest immediately is to distance oneself from the earnings of such ill-gotten wealth and the wrath of Allah associated with it. The longer a person keeps Haraam/interest money in his/her possession, the more potential it has to bring harm to a person. (Shaami 6/385 – Nizaamul Fataawa 1/185)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

(The answer hereby given is specifically based on the question asked and should be read together with the question asked. Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh unless otherwise stated.)

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