After his death, my father left a sum of money which he deposited in the post office.
The post office operates similar to banks. Recently, I have found that this money was deposited with annual interest and earned a lot of money. I want to know is this interest a type of Riba (Usury) or not? If it is Riba, is it permissible for me to take it and do something such as cleaning the streets and pave them? Or should I do other things which benefit all people, not just me? Some scholars responded to my question as follows: The money should be taken from the post office including the profits and you should only take the capital. As for the profits, it is not permissible for you to keep them because they are a kind of unlawful usury according to the Qur'an, the Sunnah and the consensus of scholars. Rather, you must give it to charity such as giving it to the poor, the needy, or for public utilities. I would like to know something. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) (Part No. 13; Page No. 431) stated in a Hadith: "Allah does not accept Hajj (pilgrimage), Sadaqah (charity) and Jihad (fighting in the cause of Allah) from one who deals in usury." This Hadith contradicts with your statement: "But you must give it in charity, such as to the poor, the needy, or for public utilities." So, why this contradiction and how should I spend this profit?
There is no contradiction between the mentioned Fatwa and any legal text because the bank has no right to take the mentioned usury due to misusing it by investing the funds in usurious contracts. The owner of the money as well has no right to take it because he has allowed the post office to use his money in usury while knowing the legal ruling in this regard. Therefore, both of them should be penalized by depriving them from taking the money and must be spent in various types of humanitarian projects. This ruling applies also to the dowry of the prostitute and gratuity offered to a soothsayer as this is the legal ruling regarding the seized funds as a penalty for its acquirer. It is not a kind of charity and it is not called a charity in the Fatwa, but it is a form of getting rid of ill-gotten money. Therefore, the one who used it wrongly will be punished by depriving him from the money and spending it for public benefit which is a righteous act. However, this must not be spent on Masjids (mosques) to purify them from this ill-gotten gain. Furthermore, the statement which you have mentioned is not a Hadith and has not been reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him).May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.