Our eminent Ameer, may Allah preserve him and forgive his sins,
Assalamu Alaykum wa Ramatullahi wa Barakatuhu
Someone opened an interest-based bank account in one of the nowadays existing (usurious) banks and later realized that riba [interest] was added to his account. We know that Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the explicit part of His Revelation:
وَإِنْ تُبْتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُءُوسُ أَمْوَالِكُمْ لَا تَظْلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ
"But if you repent, you may have your principal - [thus] you do no wrong, nor are you wronged."
There are contemporary Sheikhs and Scholars who authorize taking this money and not leaving it to the bank, under the pretext of not helping the bank in committing Haram and not committing another Haram by leaving the interest to the Bank.
The question is: What to do with the money that has been added to his capital? Is it permissible for him to take the interest-accrued money (riba money) and spend it on the poor or to repay his debts with it? Will he be rewarded for spending this money on the poor? Please advise us, Barakallahu Feekum, may He forgive your sins.
From Ibrahim Abu Fathi
Wa Alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu
Before answering your question of "what to do with the interest money", it is obligatory upon the one dealing with interest with the bank to immediately terminate his usurious (riba) transaction. He has to repent to Allah subahanahu wa taa'ala with sincere repentance, and Allah Almighty says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَصُوحًا
"Oh you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance."
And He سبحانه وتعالى says:
إِلَّا الَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَأَصْلَحُوا وَاعْتَصَمُوا بِاللَّهِ وَأَخْلَصُوا دِينَهُمْ لِلَّهِ فَأُولَئِكَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَسَوْفَ يُؤْتِ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
"Except for those who repent, correct themselves, hold fast to Allah, and are sincere in their religion for Allah, for those will be with the believers. And Allah is going to give the believers a great reward."
At-Tirmidhi reports from Anas that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
«كُلُّ ابْنِ آدَمَ خَطَّاءٌ وَخَيْرُ الخَطَّائِينَ التَّوَّابُونَ»
"Every son of Adam makes mistakes. The best among those who make mistakes are the ones showing repentance."
For it to be true repentance, and for Allah سبحانه وتعالى to forgive the sin of the one seeking repentance, it is incumbent upon the one seeking repentance to leave the sin, and to regret having committed it in the past, and to intend with strongest determination not to return to the like of it. In case the sin is related to another person's right, then it is obligatory to return the right to its owners or to achieve exemption from them. If he has money that he took from them through theft or coercion, then he will have to return the money to its owners, as to rid himself of the malignant gain from a Shar'i perspective. Gaining money in a Haram manner carries an adverse punishment. Ahmad reported from Abdullah Bin Masood, who said: "The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
«...وَلَا يَكْسِبُ عَبْدٌ مَالًا مِنْ حَرَامٍ... إِلَّا كَانَ زَادَهُ إِلَى النَّارِ»
"No servant gains money in a Haram manner...except that it drives him towards the fire."
And At-Tirmidhi reported from Ka'ab Bin 'Ujrah that the Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:
«يَا كَعْبَ بْنَ عُجْرَةَ، إِنَّهُ لَا يَرْبُو لَحْمٌ نَبَتَ مِنْ سُحْتٍ إِلَّا كَانَتِ النَّارُ أَوْلَى بِهِ»
"Oh Ka'ab Bin 'Ujrah, no meat is collected that has been grown from Haram, except that the fire has more right over it."
As for the bank's interest on his money and how to get rid of it, the answer is as follows:
1. If he tells the bank "I want my capital only" and the bank's regulations allow him to take his capital solely, then he shall take his capital.
2. But if the bank's regulations do not allow so, rather they oblige him to take the interest along with his capital in one pay or otherwise they will not give him his capital, in this case he takes his capital along with the riba (interest) and gets rid of the latter. He puts it in charitable places stealthily, without showing that he is giving it in charity, because it is Haram money. Therefore it is incumbent upon him to get rid of it. He sends it to a mosque for example, without letting anybody know, or to a poor family without letting them know who the sender is, or anything similar to this. It has to be done in a way that does not manifest him giving charity or anything similar.
3. As to the reward for spending this money, then there is no reward for giving Haram money. Spending this money in charity does not amount to Sadaqah, because it is not Halal money that he owns. But he will be rewarded for leaving the Haram, Insha'Allah, i.e. cancelling his usurious transaction with the bank and getting rid of the Haram money. Allah Almighty accepts repentance from his servants and does not waste the reward of him who did a good deed.
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
28 Jumada I1435 AH
The link to the answer from the Ameer's page on facebook: