Q: I would like to know if interest (ribaa) money can be used to pay off debts? Can it be given to a Muslim to pay off debts owing to a Muslim? The person with the debt cannot afford to pay off the debt.
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. If the Muslim debtor is poor, then 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)