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Assalaamu aleikum, this query has been on my mind for quite a while now.

I was wondering if it is ok to pay interest debts with interest money.

For instance, I have a few friends who's bank accounts have accrued interest monies and they really are at a loss to figure out how to deal with the excess amount getting reflected in their accounts. A couple of times I advised these friends to find some needy chap who is indebted to a bank and pay off his interest with the excess interest money in their account.

I thought this may be right, but then thinking a little harder, it seems like there are two sins involved in this: the sin of using interest money and that of paying off interest.

Jazakallahu khairan.

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Source: http://islamqa.info/en/ref/81952

According to the source above:

  1. Give the interest money you received to charity, so someone in debt to the bank can use other's interest money to pay off his debt

  2. This does not mean that everyone should start earning more interest to give to charity, it's infact the exact opposite.

  • jazakallahu khairan for the answer; however your answer does not really address my query, though I think point 4 in your answer does that partially. In India where I live, (AFAIK) it may not always be possible to have an interest-free bank account since the authorities do not allow Islamic interest-free banking. – Najeeb May 7 '13 at 19:49
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Wa'alikum as-salaam,

There are two issues in your question:

1) What to do with interest money? 2) What to do with debts?

As for the first: no, it's not permissible to pay back interest debts with interest money. In fact, it's not permissible to use interest at all.

The basic ruling is that Allah prohibited interest in the Qur'an. In Surah Baqarah, verse 225 (excerpt):

They say "ribaa is like trade/commerce." But Allah has prohibited riba, and allowed trade."

The root is that riba money isn't yours. It doesn't belong to you.

The scholars differed over what to do. Some say you should take that money and give it away to charity, but not expect a reward for it. Others say, don't touch it, just leave it indefinitely (until you close your account and the bank eats it back).

The safest thing to do, obviously, is ask for an interest-free account, or move to a bank that offers it. There are quite a few that do so these days, walhamdulillah.

As for your debt, you should pay it back as soon as possible, using pure and clean money. In one hadith, about a man who died shaheed in battle, rasulullah said:

Who will pay back his debt, because it's preventing his soul from entering Paradise.

And Allah knows best.

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    Insofar as paying off someone else's debt is a form of charity, and can even be one of the valid uses of Zakat, you should expand on why using interest money for that wouldn't count as "give it away to charity, but not expect a reward for it" (i.e. why it's important to pay off a debt with "pure and clean money") – goldPseudo Feb 8 '14 at 19:30
  • @ashes999, you seem to have missed the main point of the question: whether it is ok to pay the interest component of a debt with interest money that may have been inadvertently earned by a Muslim. I am aware that paying off one's debt is important, but you're talking of repaying the principal amount, while the question pertains to the interest amount on the debt. – Najeeb Feb 9 '14 at 16:17
  • @Najeeb that's the first thing I mentioned in As for the first: .... I forgot the word "interest." – ashes999 Feb 10 '14 at 1:48
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Paying debts is obligatory, but to perform an obligation or kindness or a way to be done with a good source.

Such as the corruption of money and we use it for pilgrimage .. Allah Ta'ala will not like it

Remember that one of the reasons we have to pay the debt is due to Allah Almighty who commanded, so did also the way that Allah Ta'ala like

Wallahu a'lam

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