I want to start a small-scaled enterprise that can benefit my family and community, but in my country, all companies are obliged to have an account in Bank. While it is known that all banks are still practicing usury. What should I do?
Usury is indeed one of the biggest sin with most terrible returns, as what Prophet Shallallaahu ‘alayh wa Sallam had said, and there is a horrible threat in it for those who consume usury, which is not found in other misdeeds. And one saved his/her money at the bank, then acquire the interests, is considered as a form of usury, and consuming usury, which is prohibited by Allah The Exalted and His Messenger.
But if a muslim is forced to save his money in a bank that is practicing usury, because he cannot find another bank which is safe from usury or because the company where he works requires all of it’s employees to have a bank account, since their monthly wages are directly being sent to their accounts, or the government requires for someone to have an account in usury-practicing bank, or due to other reasons, then it is no problem to have it, as long as the owner do not take the interests from that account. If the bank’s system does not allow that type of customer,and they insist the customers to receive the interests, then it is compulsory for customers who take that money of interests to free themselves from such illegal money by donating it to social activities.
Here are fatwas from the scholars concerning this matter:
The scholars who are the members of Lajnah Daimah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said, “It is forbidden to save money in a bank that is still practicing usury, unless in a forced condition and without taking the interests” ( Fatwa issued by Lajnah Daimah, 13:34)
The Lajnah also stated that, “Interest is included in illegal properties because Allah The Exalted had told us, “But Allah hath permitted trade and forbidden usury.” (Al Baqara/The Cow: 275)
Someone who hold such money must free himself from it by donating it to activities that bring advantages for muslims, such as building roads, (religious dormitory schools), or dispensing it to the poor and destitute” (Fatwa issued by Lajnah Daimah, 13:354)
Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Baz said, ” Saving money in banks due to conditions which force one to do so, since there is no safe place to save it beside the banks which are practicing usury, or due to other reasons–without taking the interest, or having an account in a bank which is practicing usury to transfer money, then the ruling is fine, Insyaa Allah no sin upon such thing.” (Fatwa issued by Sheikh Ibn Baz, 7:290)
Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Shalih Al Uthaymeen said, “Several institutions, private or non-private, sometimes require their employees to have a bank account since their wages will be directly sent to their accounts, and if it is impossible for someone to receive his monthly income but through this way, then it is no problem for him to have an account in a bank which practicing usury, but he is not permitted to save his money in that account (unless in forced condition, ed.). While the ruling of receiving wages through this practice is allowed.” (Liqo Al Bab Al Maftuh, no. 111, question no. 10).
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