I work in the Finance Department of an oil refinery. My main responsibilities include preparing the company’s accounts and prepare and manage its annual budget. However, just recently, I was given the added responsibility of being Trustee of the company’s provident fund, gratuity funds and pension funds. Now, as Trustee, I am responsible for placement of the funds’ cash in different interest bearing securities and give loans to company’s employees on interest.
I am also responsible for preparing the accounts of the funds. – Although I was not given any salary increase for this added responsibility and I continue with my older responsibilities as well, does this still render my income as haram? – As Trustee, I have become giver, receiver, accountant (katib) and witness of these interest bearing transactions. I have tried talking to my boss to remove these responsibilities. He has agreed verbally to shift the responsibility of placement of cash to someone else in the department but refused to remove me from the position of Trustee. Please guide me as to what course of action do I take.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
As Muslims we are averse to any involvement in interest.
Consider the following Hadiths:
لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ آكِلَ الرِّبَا
Translation: Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi wasallam) has cursed the consumer of interest. (Sahih Muslim Hadith: 4176)
Almighty Allah Ta’āla says:
وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْان
And do not assist each other in sin and transgression. (Maa’idah verse 2)
It is impermissible to approve interest based transactions. Therefore, as a trustee of the provident fund, if it is your responsibility to approve interest bearing transactions, then it is impermissible to hold such a position. You should endeavour to speak to your supervisor to absolve you from the post of a trustee of the provident fund. Explain to him the issue is not only of the funds from which you are relieved. In the position of a trustee you will still be guilty of violating Shariah. If your boss accedes to your request, then well and good. In the unfortunate situation that he disagrees, make taubah and Istighfar and be on the lookout for an alternate job.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.