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He Did Not Know That Working In A Bank Is Haraam: Tawbah When Past Income Contains Both Halal And Haraam Money

Islamic Rulings - Living Shariah Verdicts

Islamic Questions & Answers

I did not know that working in a bank is haram. I have repented and left this position. What is the ruling on the wealth I gained from working in a bank? Is it haram?.


Praise be to Allaah.

So long as you did not know that this work is haraam, and you left this job as soon as you found out that it is haraam, then you do not have to get rid of this wealth, and there is nothing wrong with you benefiting from it, because Allaah says, after stating that riba is haraam (interpretation of the meaning):

"So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops consuming Riba, shall not be punished for the past"

[al-Baqarah 2:275].

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Among the things that we learn from this verse is that whatever a person took of riba before learning of the prohibition is permissible for him, on the condition that he repent and stops (dealing with riba). End quote.

Tafseer Soorat al-Baqarah 2:377

The scholars of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas said:

With regard to the period during which you worked in the bank, we hope that Allaah will forgive you for that sin. With regard to the wealth that you accumulated and received because of working in the bank during that period, there is no sin on you for that, because you were unaware of the ruling concerning that.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Qa'ood.

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah (15/46).

They also said:

If the situation is as you describe, and you gave up working there after being told that it is not permissible to work in a bank, then there is no sin on you with regard to what you received from the bank in return for working there for the number of months mentioned, and you do not have to give it in charity; it is sufficient for you to repent from that, may Allaah forgive us and you, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "Allaah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba. So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops consuming Riba, shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allaah (to judge)" [al-Baqarah 2:275]. End quote.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Qa'ood.

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa'imah (15/50, 51).

Repentance (tawbah) when past income contains both halal and haraam money

What should a person do with the profits he made from selling cigarettes, when it has been mixed with other lawful money?

He who has done business in things that are prohibited in Islam, such as musical instruments, prohibited cassettes, cigarettes etc. while knowing the ruling on them then wishes to repent, needs to give away in charity all the profits he made from them. This will be a means of purification and will not be counted as spending in the way of Allah, for Allah is pure and does not accept but the pure.

Further, if this money gets mixed up with other earnings, as in the case of a shop owner who sells many other items, then if he can compute the amount of profits made from them, he should do it in the hope of purifying the rest of his earnings.

In other words he who has some money earned through unlawful means and intends to repent, should:

If he was an unbeliever at the time of earning the money, he is not obliged to atone for them or seek their purification. For the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not demand from his followers that they purify their wealth after coming into the fold of Islam. If he was Muslim at the time of earning the money, well aware of its Islamic ban and prohibition, then he should separate it out at the time of repentance. -- Excerpts from the book "I would like to repent BUT..."

Ruling on working in Bank al-Bilaad

What is the ruling on working in Bank al-Bilaad which is going to be established shortly? I know from a source in the Saudi Arabian Financial Institution that all the transactions of this bank will be Islamic, but it will not be called an Islamic bank.

Praise be to Allaah.

Firstly:

The Financial Institution is to be commended for its keenness to establish a bank whose operations are run in accordance with shar'i rulings. We ask Allaah to help them to do that which He loves and is pleased with.

Secondly:

If the operations of the bank are run in accordance with Islamic guidelines, there is nothing wrong with working there, even if it is not called an Islamic Bank. But if its operations are based on riba in lending and borrowing, or other haraam things, then it is not permissible to work there even if it is called an Islamic bank. What matters is what really happens, not mere names.

The sharee'ah council of the bank has issued a statement which suggests that the Bank al-Bilaad will submit to a shar'i policy which requires it to show all its operations to the sharee'ah council, and to abide by the council's decisions; the banks operations will be overseen by a shar'i committee. The shar'i policy of this bank states that the bank is committing itself from the outset to applying sharee'ah in all its operations.

This is a good sign, praise be to Allaah. We ask Allaah to bless them and help them. You can also get in touch with the members of the shar'i committee to find out more and put your mind at ease.

And Allaah knows best.

 

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