Wa `alaykum As-Salamu waRahmatullahi 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:
Responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
Brother, we do really hold your question in high esteem for it reflects your care to earn your living via lawful means. May Allah help you lead a righteous life and support you with abundant halal provision!
Encoding bank checks itself is a neutral service. Like all other services, it is a halal service. Originally, all things are halal unless proven otherwise.
Checks belong to the category of essential services in today’s society. Because much of our economic life depends upon them in an industrialized society.
As such there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it. It can either be used beneficially or otherwise.
If no one contributed to make this service available, a great deal of economic activity would come to a halt.
Hence, there is no legitimate ground to prevent a Muslim from being associated with this service. Although this has to do with banks, it still can be in itself a halal service.
In light of the above, I do not think your earnings from encoding bank checks at a bank fall under the category of haram —provided that your intention is to obey Allah. However, I must add a further word of caution: if it bothers your conscience, then you should leave it.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.