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It isn`t Permissible to Benefit from Riba (Usury/interest) to Replenish Losses of Provident Fund

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
The system of the staff provident fund of the company where I work is as follows: Fund resources: (5%) from an employee`s salary and (10%) added from the company for the employee under the following conditions: After completing three years and more, the resigning employee receives his full share in addition to (60%) from the company`s share. The employee who completes four years receives his full share in addition to (80%) from the company`s share. As for the employee who completes five years and more, he receives his full share in addition to that of the company`s. In fact, these percentages are provided for in the Fund`s rules of procedure and the employees are aware of them before participating in the Fund. Back in 2008, the funds were invested in a portfolio at a usurious bank, deposited for a long term at a usurious bank, and invested in a portfolio with an international company. As a result, profits were made from depositing the funds and from the share of the employees who resigned before completing five years. Is it  permissible to replace the Fund`s losses with the interests? This is knowing that the funds were transferred to Islamic banks in 2009. If Sharia rules that the interests must be gotten rid of, how should this be done?

Answer:

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

From the perspective of Sharia, it isn`t permissible to replace the Fund`s losses with the interests, because this is benefitting from usury, which is forbidden. Allah the Almighty says {What means}: " Those who devour usury will not stand except as stand one whom the Evil one by his touch Hath driven to madness. That is because they say: "Trade is like usury," but God hath permitted trade and forbidden usury." {Al-Baqarah, 275}.

All participants must get rid of these interests by giving them to charities, because it isn`t  permissible to benefit from any portion of them. Allah the Almighty says {What means}: " If ye do it not, Take notice of war from God and His Apostle: But if ye turn back, ye shall have your capital sums: Deal not unjustly, and ye shall not be dealt with unjustly." {Al-Baqarah, 279}. And Allah the Almighty knows best.    

  

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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