Dealing with the bank | The official website of Sheikh Muhammad Ali FERKUS
Skip to Content
Saturday 10 Dhu Al-Qa`dah 1445 H - May 18, 2024 G

Fatwa: 108

Category: fatwas about selling and monetary transactions

Dealing with the bank

The question:

Is it permissible to rent or sell locals for the banks that are called Islamic?

The answer:

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

What should be known is that the current commercial institutions have some dealings which are approved of by the Sharia and which consist in offering services and facilitating providing for some needs; these dealings are known by the services, and others which are not approved of by the Sharia and which represent the major part. In fact, the latter are linked to usurious transactions which are forbidden by explicit texts of the Sharia. These unlawful transactions are done by loans or by entering into illicit projects or by concluding invalid contracts.

However, it is known that if there is illicit things mingled with licit things, unlawfulness prevails over lawfulness, and it is the majority which is taken into account, as “The major part of a thing stands for the whole part of it”, as it is established in the principles of jurisprudence.

That being said, the Islamic banks –though they are described as Islamic-, are similar to the other banks and financial institutions in general. Furthermore, what happens in the Islamic banks like the profit selling (Al-Murâbaha selling)(1) which are considered like the usurious loans of the usurious banks, is in fact only a trick that disguises the operation of a loan with usurious interest, in addition to other non permissible acts which are linked to the contract like selling what one does not own, or the selling with a condition.

Hereupon, helping someone by selling an estate or other things to him if we know that he will use them in things that Allah عزَّ وجلَّ is not pleased with, is helping one another in sin and transgression. In fact, he helps by so doing, this abstract body, which is established upon a basis of usury, and allows it to endure and continue to exist.

In addition, this transaction is considered as an approval or a contribution and a help in a forbidden deed in an indirect way.

The interdiction of such a transaction is similar to the interdiction of selling grapes to a person, who will transform them into wine, or selling weapons to someone who will cause disorder. In fact, the sin is not limited to the person who commits it, but it also affects those who contribute with him by any effort whether material or artistic. That is why the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم curses the usury receiver, giver, recorder and the two who witness it. All these will incur sin according to their contribution in usury, since whatever leads to the establishment of a prohibition is itself prohibited, and whatever helps in the establishment of something prohibited is prohibited and whoever helps in the establishment of something forbidden will get his share of sin.

Allah عزَّ وجلَّ said:

﴿وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلاَ تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ﴾ [المائدة: 2].

The meaning of the verse:

Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression﴿ [Al-Mâ’idah (The Table Spread with Food): 2].

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Algiers, Sha`bân 18th, 1424H.
Corresponding to: November 15th , 2000.

(1) See in the fatwa number 465, footnote 1 the explantion of such selling.