Rafed English

Working for Banks

There are two kinds of bank business:

The first is haraam. This may cover the type that relates to transactions leading to usury, such as acting as an agent in handling, registering, acting as witness, receiving excess money [interest] on behalf of the owner and the like. Of the same nature are transactions pertaining to companies involved in usury or the merchandise of alcoholic drink, be it sale of their shares, the opening of letter of credit or similar work.

All this sort of work is haraam. It is not permissible to be involved in it and those working in it are not entitled to wages in return for the work they do.

The second kind is that which does not involve interest. It is permissible to take part in it and receive wages thereof.

(29) If, in the usury transaction, the party paying the interest is an unbeliever, be it a foreign bank or other, it is, as explained earlier on, permissible for a Muslim to take. Accordingly, it is permissible to deal in such work, which is linked to carrying out such usury transactions within the banks and outside them.

(30) In some cases, some of the money, deposited with either state owned or national bank in Muslim countries is considered among money of majhoulil malik, needs consultation with the Marji’ to having the right of disposal over it. There is, therefore, ishkal in working for the bank and getting involved in either receiving from or delivering such money to bank customers, from those who might have the right of disposal over it without a license from the Marji’ to make it good.

(31) The validity of ji’aala, ijarah, and money order and similar dealings with state banks in Muslim countries is dependant on the license of the Marji’. It is not in order without his permission.

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