Money in the bank for safekeeping, but I don’t take interest

Reference: Fataawa ash-Shaykh al-Albaanee fil-Madeenah wal-Imaaraat – Page 136

Question: Is it permissible for a Muslim [living] in a non-Islaamic country to deposit his money in a bank, and receive non-Sharee’ah compliant profits, [bearing in mind] there are no Islaamic corporations in that country?

Response: Whether or not there are so-called Islaamic corporations, it is not permissible for whoever [truly] believes in Allaah and the Last Day to deposit his money in a bank; whether he was in an Islaamic or non-Islaamic country, and whether he received a non-Sharee’ah compliant gain – or as they [incorrectly] call it: ‘profit’. [Rather], it is [instead] correct to say ‘ribaa’. And [as such] it is not permissible to refer to ribaa as ‘profit’, and nor [is it permissible] to take it.

And many people believe that if they deposit their money in the bank and don’t take any ribaa, then there is no harm [in doing that]; however, such a person is either ignorant or disregarding the likes of the statement of the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) [in the hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood (radhi-yAllaahu ‘anhu)]):

«Allaah has cursed the one who consumes ribaa and [also] the one who pays it» – Saheeh Muslim 3/1218

…so [by not taking ribaa from the bank] he is [rightfully] not consuming ribaa, however, [by depositing his money in the bank he is aiding the bank in] offering [his money to others upon which the bank then charge] others interest. So [because of this] it is absolutely not permissible to deposit money in the bank, because the capital of the banks is made up of the money which has been deposited by the people. [The way the banks operate is that] people come to the bank for loans, and the bank charges them interest [on these loans]; so the source [of these loans] are the [funds of the] people who [initially] deposited their money [in the bank].

And the likes of these people say they are excused from [this prohibition of] depositing their money in the banks because if they do not deposit [their money] in the banks it could be stolen, or they could be killed [as a result of someone trying to steal their money].

So [in response to the likes of these people], I say: It is as if one from amongst them imagines wherever he goes, he is carrying a banner upon which is written ‘I am a millionaire’! Suffice yourself with putting your money [away] in a safe place, and then place your trust in Allaah; [Certainly] if you were to do that, do you [honestly] believe that Allaah (‘Azza wa Jall) will disappoint you, and allow thieves to overpower you? Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) says:

{And whoever fears Allaah – He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect}, soorah at-Talaaq, aayahs 2-3

You see, if a Muslim was not to deposit his money in the bank – out of his fear of Allaah, then has he not feared Allaah [as He deserves to be feared]? There is no doubt in that! So what [could you imagine] will be the reward for he who feared Allaah because of this very aayah? Allaah will certainly make a way for him.

Because of this, we are in [desperate] need of waking up from this [dormant state of] negligence which has overcome our hearts, and [sadly] our concern continues to remain a materialistic one.

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. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.

Related posts