Performing Hajj with salary from interest-based bank
Fatwa No: 351655

  • Fatwa Date:20-8-2017 - Thul-Qi'dah 28, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I work in an interest-based bank in Saudi Arabia. My work is related to programming, where I am mostly not involved with interest directly. However, 5% of my work is about the loan calculations (having interest) that will be applied to the customer loans. Now, I was planning to go Hajj this year. Would it be ok for me to perform it ? This is probably my last year in Saudi Arabia, and I am sure it will become more difficult for me to perform it in the future. In short, is my salary completely haram, or is it a mix of halal and haram? I joined the bank just on the basis of my programming skills and had no intention to become a banker. Thank you.

Answer

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.

It is absolutely impermissible to work in interest-based banks, even if one's work is not connected to loans, and regardless of whether it be in programming or otherwise, because the different kinds of work there complement each other.

We have already issued fatwa 100314 clarifying that it is forbidden to work in programming the systems of interest-based banks and that this is related to interest and helps in it. The salary is dependent on the work. Since the work is forbidden, then what is earned from it is also forbidden.

However, some scholars hold the view that if someone worked in an interest-based bank while not knowing that it is forbidden, then he may benefit from his previous salaries.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his fatwa about it:

…The salaries that you had previously earned are lawful for you if you were ignorant of the Shariah ruling; as Allah says (what means): {But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest. So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with Allah. But whoever returns to [dealing in interest or usury] - those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein. Allah destroys interest and gives increase for charities. And Allah does not like every sinning disbeliever.} [Quran 2: 275-276] However, if you knew that this work is not permissible for you, then you must spend the equivalent of what you had earned from your salaries in charitable projects and in helping the poor. You must also repent to Allah, The Almighty, as whoever sincerely repents to Allah, Allah accepts his repentance and forgives his sins.

Therefore, if you were not aware of the prohibition, you can benefit from your previous salaries, whether in Hajj or otherwise, but if you were aware of the prohibition, then it is not permissible for you to benefit from your salaries, and you have to get rid of them by giving the money to the poor and needy, and you do not take from your salaries for yourself unless you are poor and in need.

If we were to assume that you performed Hajj with this money, then the majority of the scholars are of the view that Hajj with ill-gotten money is sufficient (in fulfilling the obligation of Hajj), but the person bears a sin for it and his reward is decreased. This is the ruling of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing Fataawa. For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 10376.

Allah knows best.

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