Deriving benefit from the bank
Q: A person chooses to deposit his additional cash in the bank for safe keeping due to safety concerns. He has no intention of loaning these funds to the bank. Will these funds still be treated as a loan to the bank if he has no intention of loaning it to the bank at the time of depositing?
A: The bank is a riba based institute. It’s entire operation revolves around interest and usury. Hence, it is impermissible for one to derive any type of additional benefit from the bank (whether in cash or kind or eBucks points, slow lounges by FNB, etc) irrespective of whether one kept the money in the bank with the intention of providing the bank with a loan or only for safe keeping purposes.
The Fuqaha have explained the principle of المعروف كالمشروط. When an impermissible trend or practice becomes common in society then no longer the Shar’ee ruling will revolve around an individual’s personal intention, instead the Shar’ee ruling will be based on the general practice of society. One example of this principle is taking a remuneration for performing Taraweeh. Since this has become a norm in today’s times it will be impermissible for any person to accept a gift after performing the Taraweeh, despite the fact that it is clearly told to him that this is a gift and not in exchange of your Taraweeh nor was his intention for performing the Taraweeh to receive a gift or any remuneration. All the Fuqaha are unanimous that it is impermissible for him to accept any gift or remuneration based on the above mentioned principle. Hence in today’s times the benefits that the bank provides to all their clientèle (i.e. those who deposit money in the bank or those who accept loans from the bank) will be impermissible based on the principle المعروف كالمشروط and based on the fact that this enters under the definition of interest explained by the fuqaha. For further details on the definition of interest refer to http://muftionline.co.za/node/5380
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
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