The poor receiving interest money as charity
Fatwa No: 92260

Question

assalamu alaikum inn ur fatwa no 91853 u hav mentioned dat one can withdraw the interest money n spend it on poor...but once u withraw d money ur name name will be registered in the people who has taken interest money....also a muslim shud not prefer something for others wat he doesnt prefer for himself.... pls explain.. can we lent our house on rent to a branch of bank dat deals with interest...

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

 

Before answering your question on Ribaa (i.e. interest and usury) and what a person should do with it; it should be noted that a person is obliged to refrain from Ribaa since it is forbidden by the texts of the Quran and Prophetic narrations and by the consensus of the scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them. Allaah Says (what means): {But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest.}[Quran 2:275]. Furthermore, Allaah threatens and warns the one who consumes Ribaa or deals with it and does not repent, as He Says (what means): {And if you do not give up what remains [due to you] of interest, then be informed of a war [against you] from Allaah and His Messenger.}[Quran 2:279]. However, if a person dared consuming Ribaa, and then repents and wants to get rid of its consequences, or that he was forced to save his money in a bank which involves interest, then the ruling is that it is forbidden for him to own the money that resulted from Ribaa as already clarified. As regards giving this money to the poor and destitute, then this money is lawful for them [poor and destitute] as they received it in a lawful way. This differs with the original owner of this money who obtained it through an unlawful way, and this is the difference between the two situations.

The evidence about this is the narration reported by Anas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that Bareerah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  her gifted the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) some meat which was given to her as a charity to and he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "It is a charity for her but to us it is a gift.", because the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is forbidden from accepting charity. However, when he received it in a lawful way (i.e. gift) it became lawful for him. Al-Ghazaali  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: 'If the person who obtained Ribaa gives it to the poor, it is not forbidden for the poor, rather it is for them lawful and pure money.'

This means that if the poor take the interest from the person who received it, then it is lawful for them and it is not considered as have taken Ribaa.

As regards the question on the ruling of renting the house for a bank which deals with Ribaa then this is not permissible as this is helping in sin which is forbidden as Allaah Says (what means): {…but do not cooperate in sin and aggression.}[Quran 5:2].

Allaah Knows best.

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