What should a person do with interest money?
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Allah states in the Quran,“Allah has laid His curse on usury and blessed charity to prosper. Allah does not love any ungrateful sinner. Those who believe and do good deeds, establish regular prayers, and give regular charity will have their reward with their Rabb. They will have nothing to fear or to regret. O You who believe! Fear Allah and waive what is still due to you from usury if you are indeed believers; or war shall be declared against you by Allah and His Rasool. If you repent, you may retain your principal, causing no loss to debtor and suffering no loss.” (Surah Al Baqara: 276 – 279)
The severity of interest is apparent from verses of the Quran similar to that above. Jabir ibn Abdullah narrates that Allah’s Messenger (sallal lahu alayhi wa sallam) cursed the accepter of interest and its payer, and one who records it, and the two witnesses; and he said: They are all equal (in sinfulness). (Sahih Muslim: 756) Therefore it is necessary do avoid getting in the situation in the first place.
However if one does have money, which was acquired through interest, it will be necessary to give the interest away to the poor with the intention of removing the unlawful money from one and without the intention of reward. (Fatawa Hindiyya Vol 5, P349)
One is not allowed to have intention of charity as Prophet (sllal lahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Allah is pure and accepts nothing but what is pure.” (Sahih Muslim: 500)
Only Allah knows best.
Darul Ifta, Birmingham