Using interest money to help the poor and the needy

Darul Ifta at Darul Uloom Deoband (Islamic Seminary, India) has issued a Fatwa (religious opinion) that it is permissible for Muslims to use interest accrued on bank savings to help the poor. The fatwa was issued in response to a query from Karnataka which stated that “there is enough money from the interest in the bank account of our area’s mosque. And at present, many poor are suffering because of lockdown and they have no ration in their homes. In such a situation, can the needy persons be helped with this money?”. The reply of Darul Uloom Deoband was that:

According to Islamic laws, the interest given by banks is haram (prohibited), it can not be used. But the interest money can be given to the poor and disabled without any intention of sawab (reward).  So if bank account of the mosque has such interest money and its management wants to give to poor and needy people or wants to buy ration for them during the lockdown, there is nothing wrong in it”.

This is a welcome decision and clarification coming from Darul Uloom. These are difficult times and people are going through hardship. Muslims should use this opportunity to help the poor and the needy. This help must be given without any discrimination or prejudice. It should be given to people of every faith and colour and gender, Poor is a poor and needs to be supported.

Personally, I have being doing this for almost two decades now. I always use the interest money to help the poor. However, I believe that this should not be confined to only during lockdown period. Personally I have given interest money mostly to schools. That there is very high level of illiteracy among Indian Muslims is well documented. What better way of  using this money lying in banks than helping somebody get educated. As they say instead of giving somebody fish, teach the person how to fish. When a person gets educated instead on depending on charity for life that person will become charity giver in future. If all the interest money lying in banks is used it can help educate a lot of children who cannot get decent education because their parents are too poor to afford school fees. This will not only strengthen the community but also the Nation.

There was always a large percentage of Muslims who were apprehensive of using interest money and used to leave it lying in banks. The concerns and apprehensions of such people have been addressed in this fatwa. Let us all use this opportunity to help our fellow citizens to get better education and have a decent shot at life. Let us help the poor to get educated, Let us build the Nation.

Kyon Zyankar Banoon, Sood Faramosh Rahoom

Fikr e Farda na Karoon, Mehve Gham e Dosh Rahoon

Reference:

Mohd Dilshad (6 May 2020) Can use bank interest to help the needy, says Darul Uloom. Available at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/75562934.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst.  Accessed on 8 May 2020.

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