My brother works for a bank. Occasionally, we lend and borrow money from each other and later on give it back. I wanted to know, it is permissible for me to borrow or lend money to my brother?
If it’s not permissible, how should I convince my family members as I believe they would be offended if refused to do so?
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
1) Firstly, it is imperative to kindly inform your brother that it is not permissible to work in a bank. In Shari’ah, there are two conditions which determine employment to be permissible or impermissible:
a) The nature of the job itself must be halaal.
b) The income received from the job must also be from a halaal source.
If (a) and (b) both apply, then it will be permissible to keep that job. If only one out of the two or both do not apply, then the job will be impermissible.
Employment in a bank consists of direct involvement in interest-based transactions. Hence, the nature of this job is unlawful.
Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (RadiyAllahu Anhu) narrates:
لعن رسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- آكل الربا وموكله وشاهده وكاتبه.
“Rasulullah (SallAllahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) cursed the one who accepted interest, paid interest, witnessed it, and recorded it.” (Sunan Abi Dawud, Vol. 2, P. 117, HM Saeed)
Furthermore, working in a bank is considered i’anah a’la al-ma’siyah (assisting in wrongdoing), thus impermissible. Allah Ta’ala says in the Holy Quran:
وتعاونوا على البر والتقوى ولا تعاونوا على الإثم والعدوان واتقوا الله إن الله شديد العقاب
“Help each other in righteousness and piety, and do not help each other in sin and aggression. Fear Allah. Surely, Allah is severe at punishment.” (5:2)
The salary which is earned from working at a bank is considered to be contaminated income due to the abovementioned reasons. However, salary in lieu of the service provided by the worker is permissible.
Therefore, it is necessary for your brother to find an alternative employment which is lawful. While he is in the process of doing so, he may continue to work in the bank if he does not have any other means to support himself and his dependants. Consequently, he must keep repenting and seeking the forgiveness of Allah Ta’ala.
2) Since the salary of your brother in itself is considered lawful, it will be permissible for you to deal with him financially. Thus, you may borrow money from him and lend money to him as long as the loans are interest-free.
(Contemporary Fatawa, P. 280-281, Idara-e-Islamiat)
And Allah knows best
Ml. Asif Umar,
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah