I work for a NGO and my basic salary is 7447 birr ( Ethiopian birr). 50% of that money is further deposited into an account on my behalf ( provident fund, as they call it) with a small but poisonous interest (35 birr for every 1000 birr). How should I deal with that kind of money? Thank you.
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
If this saving account is in an Islamic bank that abides by the Sharee’ah rulings in its financial transactions, then there is no harm on you to benefit from these profits.
However, if the saving account is in a Riba-based bank, then such profits are Riba (interest and/or usury) and the owner of the account is not permitted to benefit from them. Rather, he must dispose of them by giving them to the poor and needy unless the account holder himself is poor, in which case, there is no harm on him to benefit from this ill-gotten (forbidden) money according to his need.
“He may spend it (the unlawful money) on himself and his family if he is poor, because if his family is poor, then they meet this description (of being poor). In fact, they are more deserving to get it as charity than anyone else. And he himself can take (money) in proportion to his need because he is also poor.” [End of quote]
It should be noted that it is not permissible for a person to open a saving account in a Riba-based bank at all. If one must deal with a Riba-based bank because there are no Islamic banks in the place where he is, then he should open a current account, as this is a lesser evil.
Allah knows best.
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