Working for Companies Receiving or Paying Interest
Fatwa No: 82032

  • Fatwa Date:2-4-2000 - Thul-Hijjah 28, 1420
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I understand that working in insurance or banking is prohibited, but in North America or even most of the world almost every organization is dealing in interest either by receiving it or paying it. Their existence is mostly done through interest bearing loans from banks. Does that imply that Muslims cannot work for any organization?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.


Allah Says (what means): {And if you obey most of those on earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah's path.} [Quran 6:116]

The believer should not be deceived by the perishable numerous people. He should, instead differentiate between what is right and what is wrong in order to follow the right path and avoid the wrong one.

the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “Do not become sycophant saying if people do good we do good, if they transgress we transgress; but adjust yourself, and if people do good, do good to them, and if they do bad, do not transgress them." [At-Tirmithi]

So, the true believer should avoid treating others badly if they do bad to him.

Know also, dear brother, that Allah has ordered us not to eat but the lawful gain, which He bestows upon us. And that the means of the lawful gain are numerous and that whoever seeks what is good and pure (lawful), Allah will make it easy for him.

The institutions, you are asking about, and which include forbidden matters according to the Sharee'ah, are of three types:

First, the institutions which trade with what is lawful, like computers, cars, medicines and so on, but which put their money in banks and get interest from them or which finance their projects through these banks and give interest for that, the money of this type of these institutions is considered mixed. It is then lawful to work in such institutions, but it is better to look for an alternative if possible.

Abu Daawood, an-Nassaa’i, Ibn Maajah and al-Haakim narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "A time will come when nobody will be exempt from eating Riba. If he does not eat it, he will obtain some of its dust."

The second type of institutions is the one whose dealings are originally based upon Riba transactions like: banks and insurance companies. It is forbidden to work in such companies as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Allah has cursed Riba, the one who consumes it, the one who deals with it, the one who writes it down and the two witnesses." [Muslim]

In addition, this work is a form of cooperation for sin and rancor. Allah Says (what means): {Help you one another in virtue, righteousness and piety but do not help one another in sin and transgression.} [Quran 5:2]

The third type of institution is the one whose dealings are completely forbidden such as trading in wine, pigs and so on. It is forbidden to work in such firms since they deal with what t is prohibited. As a rule, if Allah, the Great and Almighty, prohibits something, its value is also prohibited. Surely, this is a form of cooperation in sin and aggression.

Thereupon, you are to scrutinize the type of dealings, which your company does, then the Sharee'ah ruling becomes clear to you, whether or not to work with this company.

Allah knows best.

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