I want to know if the interest provided by banks can be taken as profit, particularly since the whole economy is based on that? Moreover, all transactions for hajj (Islamic pilgrimage) are also done through these banks. Furthermore, I work on board a vessel and all the commercial aspects area also based on that. If I do take this interest as an income or a profit, is what I’m earning halal (islamically permissible)? Is it also permissible if I invest in government schemes for the sake of pension and for strengthening my country’s economy with some dividend in return?
Taking interest from non-Islamic banks whom all or most of their funds are from non-Muslims is allowed, especially if they pay it to you as per their commitment. But if its funds belong to Muslims (or mostly Muslims) then its not permissible.
In regards to investing in government schemes,yes, there is a way to justify it Islamically:
You come to an agreement with the bank to make a modaraba contract (a joint business venture in which one party puts the capital and the other party uses the money for some halal trades (i.e. non-alcoholic, non-gambling related, non-pornographic, non-riba (usury)). However, it is important that no profit rate should be fixed in the contract, but instead the trading party (in this example, the bank) pays the investor regular amounts as part of its total profit. Then at the end of every financial year/or the end of contract, the bank would calculate the total loss/profit and pay the balance (if any) to the investor.
Finally, just because the Western economy is based on Riba (usury) does not mean it is halal, otherwise, alcohol should be halal too!
Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei