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Can’t Find a Job Except in a Bank: What Should I Do?

03 March, 2018
Q As-salamu `alaykum. I am a Muslim man, 43 years and married with 2 children, alhamdulilah. I am living in Afghanistan. In the past, I have worked for around 10 years in a bank here in Afghanistan and then, I left that job because of the riba involved in that job (based on some fatwas I read and heard). After leaving the bank I have joined a trading company where I work now here for almost 2 years. Currently due to weak economy and market situation my employer is reducing its staff and I am also informed by my manager to look for another job as my employment agreement will be terminated soon here. Therefore, since 2 months I am actively searching for a job in various organizations outside the banking industry but with no success so far. Recently the bank where I used to work 2 years back has offered me a job and they want me to rejoin them. Now, I am very much confused whether to rejoin the banking industry or not due to riba issue? If I reject the bank job, then I am not sure whether I will get another job soon or at all as the employment market here in Afghanistan is not optimal. Besides I fear that when my current job is terminated then I will have no job and thus no income and in that case how to support my family. So, I am very much stressed and worried and I can’t decide what to do.You are kindly requested to give me an advice which is best for my current situation and whether I rejoin the bank job or not.


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

In this fatwa:

Working in a bank may be allowed as long your job doesn’t include signing or even typing an interest-based contact.

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Responding to your question, Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf, Professor of Islamic Finance and Economics at Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, stated:

I cannot give you a personal advice whether you go back to working in a bank or not. This is a decision you should make on your own.

Jobs have different rates in the Shari`ah; some are unlawful (haram), when the job requires you to do any prohibited activity such as signing or even typing a riba contract in a bank. Some other jobs are permissible (halal) and advisable such as teaching Islamic studies in a school.

Working in a bank provided you do not do any haram activity, is not haram although it has a sense of supporting the riba activity.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.

About Prof. Dr. Monzer Kahf
Dr. Monzer Kahf is a professor and consultant/trainer on Islamic banking, finance, Zakah, Awqaf, Islamic Inheritance, Islamic estate planning, Islamic family law, and other aspects of Islamic economics, finance, Islamic transactions (Mu'amalat). Dr. Monzer Kahf is currently Professor of Islamic Finance & Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Management, Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Turkey