Can I Purify Impermissible Income and Investments?

Question: I have been investing in stocks and shares and I haven’t been giving the percentage of interest debt a company has taken out to charity from the profit made. Rather I have been reinvesting it and making more money. This has been done knowingly and unknowingly.

Can I still purify my wealth by giving an amount greater than the amount of charity that should have been given in relation to the interest debts/income of the companies I have invested in, or would I have to start afresh with new funds?

 

Answer:

As it is wrong to invest non-permissible income because it belongs to others, you must repent to Allah for having done this. The profit on your investment is halal but you must try your best to return the non-permissible income to its owners.

Sin and Repentance

The non-permissible income that accrued on your original investment did not belong to you. When you invested these monies, you traded with the possessions of others without their permission. The fact that you have done so knowingly adds to the seriousness of the crime. The first thing required of you is to repent to Allah, seeking His pardon and forgiveness.

May Allah pardon us all for our many shortcomings. Amin.

Is Profit halal?

Having said that, it is permissible to take ownership of the profit that accrued on the investment. The 10th-century jurist, Khatib al-Shirbini, said, “If a thief trades with stolen wealth, he is the owner of the profits” (Mugni al-Muhtaj).

Of course, if the proceeds of the company you invested consist of non-permissible income which includes interest and the like, you will have to ensure, as far as possible, that it reaches the rightful owners. By way of example, the interest that the company earned from the bank rightfully belongs to the general public that has been paying the bank interest. Thus, the general public would be the rightful owners of the interest.

Conclusion

Investing in the non-permissible income was impermissible and requires repentance. The profits, however, are halal, and you are the owner thereof. You need to ensure that all the non-permissible income is given to its rightful owners.

May Allah guide us all to that which pleases Him, inwardly and outwardly. Amin.

And Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

 

Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.