What Should I Do About Interest Charges From Banks Earned Before I Became Muslim?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: As salam alaykum,

I have several bank accounts with traditional interests. My parents opened my accounts before I became Muslim.
What should I do with this banking interests? Also I do not remember exactly the rates…

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that this message finds you well, insha’Allah.

The money you earned before you were a Muslim is permissible for you as the rulings of the Sacred Law do not apply to non-Muslims.

Any misappropriated rights and debts, however, do need to repaid back to their rightful owners, as do unlawful earnings acquired after you became a Muslim.

Debts are serious matters, and this is why the scholars mention that returning a right is from the conditions of valid repentance.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to seek refuge from debts by saying, “O Allah, I seek refuge with you from care and sorrow, incapacity and laziness, miserliness and cowardice, the burden of debt and being overcome by men.” [Bukhari]

Please also see: How Do I Get Rid Of Haram Money? and: Accepting Wealth from a Person Whose Wealth is Predominantly Unlawful and: A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

And Allah alone knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani