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Ruling on Bank Accounts and Credit Cards in Western Countries


As salamu alaikum ustad,In the western country I live and study there have been some changes in the banks because of the inflation and they started giving interest (riba) to people who put their money on the bank. So I would like to know what's the ruling on putting the money in the bank if there is not a bank that doesn't give interest. As a student I don't have much money but for example my family needs me to but something from the market they send the money through bank, if I want to buy a bus ticket to get to the school it's by the debit card and so on. What's the ruling on having a bank account?


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.

For those residing in Western countries, there is a permissibility to open accounts in usurious banks and use uncovered credit cards, due to the necessity and the absence of permissible alternatives. The Islamic legal maxim states: “When a matter tightens, it concurrently becomes wide.”

However, it is the responsibility of the credit card user not to use it if there is no balance in their account, and to settle the required amount before the end of the granted period, so as not to incur late interest fees. This way, he avoids entering into the sin of consuming usury, as stated in the fatwa issued by the European Council for Fatwa regarding the use of Visa cards.

The answer was: "In several Islamic countries, Islamic banks have issued legitimate (Visa) cards that are free from suspicions, devoid of interest and its possibilities. There is no objection to using these cards after they have been approved by the Sharee'ah supervisory bodies in those banks.
But the question remains about the status of these cards outside the Islamic world, in countries where there are no Islamic banks: What is the ruling on these cards?

And the fatwa issued by most contemporary scholars, as far as we know, is the permissibility of using them out of dire necessity, with the obligation to settle the required amount before the end of the granted period, to avoid incurring late fees that would involve entering into the sin of the one who consumes usury.

This is what common Muslims in Western countries generally deal with, without objection from anyone of the scholars in this field.

Therefore, there is nothing wrong in possessing a bank account and obtaining a credit card, in accordance with the previously mentioned regulations, if necessity and benefit force you to do so.

Allah knows best.

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