Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- Interest (riba) is not permissible in Islam. Scholars have given fatwas that interest money paid by banks should be withdrawn and given to some charitable purpose. One should not use it for one’s own expenses, and it is not considered in the payment of one’s Zakah.
4- You need to dispose of this interest money by giving it to some Muslim charitable purposes to keep your own money clean.
In responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
What to do with Interest money?
Since interest money is unlawful in Islam, you should not use it either on yourself or on those who are your dependents.
On the other hand, you also should not leave the interest thus accumulated to the bank either, for to do so is akin to fattening an institution that thrives on interest.
One is allowed to give charity out of bank interest but will not be rewarded for it as an act of charity. Rather, one will be rewarded in sha’ Allah for an act of repentance and for cleansing one’s money from haram sources.
The Shariah position is that earned interest is not earned, but it is still owned by the payer. But since the payer is a bank whose business is to give loans on interest, you must not return it to the payer, as such an action increases the evil of interest and empowers the evil doers.
Therefore, the only permissible option left to consider for you is to take out the amount thus accumulated and give it all away to public charities such as hospitals, orphanages, refugees, and welfare. By doing so you have discharged your obligation and you are absolved of any sin or guilt, in sha’ Allah.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.