Working in financial sector

As  salamu alaykum,

 

I am sending this email as I had earlier contact around another matter. I hope it is not an issue that I did not raise the question via the website, but directly through email. Please let me know if you prefer to receive questions only via the website.

 

I would like to get some advice on the following matter: I have been working for a bank for several years and though I am not directly involved in interest generating income (I work within the finance/accounting department and report about the financial figures) I am very much confused about my work and whether it is regarded as permissible/halal in Islam. From comparable stories that I read before, it seems to be strongly advised to look for a better job where there is no involvement of interest income.

 

Though it is not that easy during this economical period, I am doing my best to find another job which is also closer to my home, so that in addition I do not waste about 2,5 to 3 hours commuting time per day (due to which I also miss my prayers on time). However, I do experience difficulties in this process of finding something “better”. Many of the jobs in the field that I have experience in is still in the financial sector and most of the companies, either banks, insurance companies, pension funds, asset managers etc. are all involved in interest generating income in one or the other way. So I do not dare to apply for these jobs being afraid to get a job that is perhaps not permissible. However, applying for another type of job that I have no experience in, has not shown to be successful up until now. So I really would want to know whether I should completely avoid all companies that I mentioned before (i.e. insurance, pension funds etc) as they do have some interest involvement. Or is it (temporarily) permissible to work for such a company if I can at least shorten my commuting time (and have more time to spend at home and for my prayers, ibaadat and family)? If not, should I continue with my job within the bank up until the moment I find something outside of the financial sector? My husband has no stable income at this moment, so completely quitting would not be preferred in our situation.  

 

The name of the function is Business controller. And I work within the Finance department. What we do in short is we report on the financial numbers of the bank in terms of balance sheet numbers and profit and loss numbers. So I am not engaged in doing deals myself (that sort of work is done by people that have contacts with clients, either consumer clients or businesses), I do not have contacts with clients. My stakeholders are higher management and external auditors that check the bank. I report on the impact of what the bank does to higher management within the bank and have to check that no errors are included in the numbers.. So presenting the numbers that are processed within the systems and that are the consequence of the deals done in other departments of the bank.

 

 

I pray to Allah to guide me and let me be on the right path, as he has the best knowledge.

Answer

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

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

According to your job profile as a business controller, you are only involved in the accounting department. Your employment is Shari`ah compliant and your income is halal[1][2]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hafizurrahman Fatehmahomed                                        

Student Darul Iftaa
Netherlands

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1]

فتح الباري لابن حجر (4/ 314)

وَقَالَ بن التِّينِ لَيْسَ فِي حَدِيثَيِ الْبَابِ ذِكْرٌ لِكَاتِبِ الرِّبَا وَشَاهِدِهِ وَأُجِيبَ بِأَنَّهُ ذَكَرَهُمَا عَلَى سَبِيلِ الْإِلْحَاقِ لِإِعَانَتِهِمَا لِلْآكِلِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ وَهَذَا إِنَّمَا يَقَعُ عَلَى مَنْ وَاطَأَ صَاحِبَ الرِّبَا عَلَيْهِ فَأَمَّا مَنْ كَتَبَهُ أَوْ شَهِدَ الْقِصَّةَ لِيَشْهَدَ بِهَا عَلَى مَا هِيَ عَلَيْهِ لِيَعْمَلَ فِيهَا بِالْحَقِّ فَهَذَا جَمِيلُ الْقَصْدِ لَا يَدْخُلُ فِي الْوَعِيدِ الْمَذْكُورِ وَإِنَّمَا يَدْخُلُ فِيهِ مَنْ أَعَانَ صَاحِبَ الرِّبَا بِكِتَابَتِهِ وَشَهَادَتِهِ فَيُنَزَّلُ مَنْزِلَةَ مَنْ قَالَ إِنَّمَا البيع مثل الرِّبَا

 

[2]

وکاتبہ

اس کی تفصیل میں حافظ ابن حجر نے یہ لکہا ہے کہ کاتب سود سے مراد وہ شخص ہے جو کہ عقد سود کے وقت سود وغیرہ کا حساب لکہ کر عاقدین میں معاونت کرتا ہے، وہ اس وعید میں داخل ہے-  لیکن اگر کوئی شخص عقد سود کے انعقاد کے وقت یہ حساب و کتاب نہیں لکہتا بلکہ عقد کے بعد جب وہ پچہلے عرصہ کی تمام حسابات اور کارگزاری اور رپورٹیں وغیرہ لکہتا ہے گو اس کے ذیل میں سود کے حسابات بہی اسے لہنے پڑ تے ہیں، غرض یہ کہ اس حساب و کتاب سے عقد سود مین معاونت نہیں ملتی، تو وہ شخص اس وعید میں داخل نہیں ہو گا- اگر اس تفصیل کو پیش نظر رکہا جاۓ تو اس سے ان حضرات کی الجہن دور ہو سکتی ہے جن کا کام اکاؤنٹس اور آڈٹ وغیرہ کا ہے، ان لوگوں کو مختلف فرموں، اداروں اور کمپنیوں کے پورے سال کے حسابات لکہنے پڑتے ہیں اور اس کی چیکنک کرنی ہوتی ہے، اس میں انہیں سود وغیرہ جس کا کمپنی نے عقد کیا ہو تا ہے، اسے بہی لکہنا پڑتا ہے، لیکن ان کا یہ لیکہنا محض ایک سالانا رپورٹ اور کار گزاری کی حیثیت رکہتا ہے، اس سے کمپنی کی سودی لین دین میں کوئی معاونت نہیں ہو تی- لہذا یہ حضرات اس وعید میں داخل نہیں ہوں گے-  (تقریر ترمذی، ج1، ص39 )