Q: A Muslim brother is in very deep debt. He doesn’t have medical aid and his wife, son and daughter were hospitalised on different occasions. Different years. Also, she bought stuff using the credit card or store cards when she was down. He had to take out loans from 3 different banks as his salary each month could not help with the payment. He has since sold his car, clothing and whatever he had after they divorced. He is battling with child maintenance and is under debt review. He is zakaatable and by the time he gets paid and does all his monthly payments, he is left with hardly any money for food and lights. Its the interest that is killing him. Yes, interest is haram, but he fell into this cycle not purposely. Can we give him our interest money to help pay off his debts?
A: All interest dealings are haraam and forbidden in Islam. There are grave warning sounded in the Ahaadith for the one that has any involvement in interest. However without one’s intention, if interest money had come into one’s possession, then one should immediately dispose of the wealth through giving it to the poor without the intention of receiving any reward. You may give him the interest money without the intention of receiving any reward.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Zakaria Makada
Checked & Approved:
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)