Working as an accountant for a bank

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I need guidance on what Industries I can provide my working services to. I currently work for my own company specialising in providing Accountancy Services mainly to large Corpoate businesses. I work 6-12 month contracts on projects or providing short term cover. My contracts are primarily in the Banking sector. My key responsibilities are to support the production of external reporting for the Bank so that it can be sent to the regulator; the Financial Services Authority.

The reports represent a snapshot of the capital requirements of the bank (i.e. how much money the Bank should keep a side to prevent themselves from failing/collapsing during economic downturn periods). My job is to ensure the numbers presented in the report are a calculated accurately using regulator rules and provide commentary on the numbers.

My job is all back office work and does not involve selling interest based products or driving business strategy. My question is whether it’s prohibited to provide my working services, as described above, to a Bank? If yes, is it also forbidden to provide my services to any Alcohol or Tobacco selling companies, defence/military companies or companies that generate revenue from these types of businesses?

Your guidance with explanation will be really appreciated. Jazak Allahu Khayran Abdul Latif

Answer

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

 

Please see the following answer:

http://www.askimam.org/public/question_detail/26613[1]

And Allah Ta‘ālā Knows Best

Zameelur Rahman

Student Darul Iftaa
UK

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net  


[1] In principle, interest and conventional insurance are totally impermissible in Sharīah. Conventional insurance schemes contain elements of interest, gambling, and uncertainty. Consider the warning in the following Hadīth:

عَنْ جَابِرٍ، قَالَ: «لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ آكِلَ الرِّبَا، وَمُؤْكِلَهُ، وَكَاتِبَهُ، وَشَاهِدَيْهِ» ، وَقَالَ: «هُمْ سَوَاءٌ» (صحيح مسلم، بَابُ لَعْنِ آكِلِ الرِّبَا وَمُؤْكِلِهِ)

Jābir Radhiyallāhu Anhu reports that Rasūlullāh Sallallāhu Alaihi Wa Sallam cursed the one who eats interest, feeds interest, writes down interest, and witnesses interest. He added that they are equal in sin. (Sahīh Muslim) 

The commentators of Hadīth explain that the one writing interest in this Hadīth refers to one who documents the actual transaction, as this is direct assistance in sin.[1] As regards the individual who records the interest transaction after it has already taken place, he is not included within the ambit of this Hadīth.

You have stated that you wish to be an accountant for an insurance consultancy company and your job entails documenting interest earned.

There are two aspects that need to be considered:

  1. The actual job
  2. Source of remuneration

You will be working as an accountant. An accountant is one that keeps, audits, and inspects the financial records of individuals or business concerns and prepares financial and tax reports. This does not fall under the prohibition of the Hadīth since this is not involvement in the actual impermissible transaction.

Writing down interest earnings as you have elaborated in the query also does not fall under the prohibition of the Hadīth as this takes place after the interest transaction is completed.

The second issue is the source of your remuneration. In principle, if more than half of the company’s income is from impermissible sources, it is not permissible for you to receive any remuneration from them. However, if half or more of the company’s income is from permissible sources, your salary is permissible. [2]  Any income your company earns through assistance in insurance, such as offering counseling in insurance matters is impermissible. Income earned through other services such as risk management is permissible.  

Hence, if half or more of your company’s income is permissible, you may accept this offer. Nevertheless, even though working for the company in reference may be permissible and your income will be Halāl, it is advisable to refrain from working with such companies. Since you have not yet transferred your permit over to the company, if you have other opportunities available, it is better to work for another company that has no affiliation with insurance. However, if this is the only opportunity easily available to you, there is no problem in pursuing this availability.

Note that this ruling is applicable as long as your job does not entail preparation of any documents that will be used in the actual insurance or interest transactions, as this is impermissible.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Abdul Azīm bin Abdur Rahman,
Student Darul Iftaa
U.S.A.

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

Sidebar