Circumstances compel him to work for a bank which deals with ribaa

Reference: Silsilah Kitaab ad-Da’wah (1), al-Fataawa – Volume 1, Page 141

Question: What is the ruling regarding someone whose circumstances compel him to work in a bank or [any] local money exchanges in the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia], such as al-Bank al-Ahlee at-Tijaaree, and Bank ar-Riyaadh, and Bank al-Jazeerah, and al-Bank al-‘Arabee al-Watanee, and Sharikah ar-Raajhee lis-Sarraafah wat-Tijaarah, and Maktab al-Ka’kee lis-Sarraafah, and al-Bank as-Sa’oodee al-Amreekee and other than them from the local banks?

[Whilst in their employ] they open savings accounts for the employees who work as clerks, such as: the one who writes the transactions, the checker of transactions, the exchange officer and other than them from the administration employees. And these banks provide a number of benefits to attract [potential] employees to [work for] them, such as housing allowance which equates to approximately SR12,000 or more, and two months salary at the end of the year, so what is the ruling regardng this?

Response: Working in a bank which deals with ribaa is not permissible, since it has been confirmed from the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that he cursed those who ate/benefitted (aakil) from ribaa as well as the one responsible [for the transactions], the one who writes [the transactions] and the witnesses [to the transactions], and he said:

«…they are the same/equal…», transmitted by Imaam Muslim.

And also, for that which it entails in assisting in sin and transgression , as Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says:

{Help you one another in al-Birr and at-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression, and fear Allaah – verily, Allaah is severe in punishment}, [Soorah al-Maa.idah, Aayah 2].

Abu 'Abdullaah

About Abu 'Abdullaah

- from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004.