Can I Use Interest to Pay the Penalty for My Broken Oath?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


Twelve months ago, I was scammed by a trading business. I had proof from their terms and services that I could request a full refund within 45 days of purchasing the product. I didn’t get a refund from them, and my bank was horrible at handling the situation.

Now, nine months later, a financial institution came and looked at the case and determined that I was in the right. They said the bank has to give me extra compensation (8% interest from June 3rd until now) as it has taken nearly a year, and I’m still trying to get it back.

Can I use this extra money to pay off my oath expiation, as I suffered a significant financial loss?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to what pleases Him. Amin.

Giving, receiving, witnessing, recording, or benefiting from interest is unlawful (riba).

Therefore, any interest earned must be returned to its rightful owner or given away in charity without expecting reward or benefit. It cannot be used for personal benefit, including paying off taxes or other debts, and Allah knows best.


Firstly, one must express gratitude to Allah for resolving the matter in your favor and acknowledge that seeking one’s rightful due is permissible. In Islam, seeking justice is commendable, and your patience throughout this ordeal is praiseworthy. Be grateful to Allah for getting you this far; perhaps He will resolve your financial difficulty as well.

Allah (Most High) says:

“And (remember) when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will certainly give you more. But if you are ungrateful, surely My punishment is severe.’” [Quran, 14:7]

Compensation Payment or Interest?

Regarding the additional compensation received from the financial institution, it is crucial to discern the nature of this compensation. You have described it to be “interest”. Interest (riba) is strictly prohibited in Islam.

Allah (Most High) says in the Quran:

“O believers! Fear Allah, and give up outstanding interest if you are (true) believers. If you do not, beware of war with Allah and His Messenger! But if you repent, you may retain your principal—neither inflicting nor suffering harm. [Quran, 2:278-279]

However, the 8% mentioned in your case may be viewed differently. If it is considered compensation for the financial loss and inconvenience you experienced during the delay in resolving the matter, this would not necessarily be “interest,” and Allah knows best.

To ascertain the permissibility of using this extra money to pay off an oath expiation (kaffara), it would be advisable to get the details from the relevant financial institution and then consult with a qualified Islamic scholar who can review the specific details of the case in light of Islamic Law. They can provide a more precise ruling based on the principles of Sacred Law.

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar Shaykh Taha Karaan (Allah have mercy on him), where he taught.

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Shaykh Muhammad Awama, Shaykh Muhammad Hasan Hitu, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has been the Director of the Discover Islam Centre, and for six years, he has been the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has fifteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic podcast, education, and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy Prophetic living and fitness.