A RECENT Q&A (question and answer) post by the Federal Territory (FT) Mufti’s Office on the status of Muslims working in conventional financial institutions has sparked debate among local netizens.
The Mufti was replying to a query about whether Muslims are allowed to work in a conventional bank as it is a well-known fact conventional banks deal with interest-based activities and transactions which are deemed as haram (prohibited) to Muslims.
“In a gist, conventional banks involve usury, hence for those who are already part of the conventional banking workforce, they should try their best to find other halal jobs.
Having cited few Quranic verses, the FT Mufti’s Office further categorised those who work in conventional banks to two groups, namely:
- Those who work directly with usury transactions whereby their job scope is deemed illegal.
Among those whose jobs are directly related to usury transactions include tellers (serving customers in making bank transactions), marketing officers (promoting conventional products to customers), credit analysts (people who analyse the eligibility of loan recipients), account officers (officers who monitor the smoothness of credit payments by customers), accountants, audit officers, senior management and the like.
- Those whose work are not directly related to usury transactions such as security officers, cleaners, company driver and the like.
There is no objection for the second group to work in a convention bank because their work is not related to any usury transaction whether it is marketing products, preparing the products or filling out agreements, thus removing them from belonging to the first group.
“Based on the explanation above, what we can advise is that those who are already involved in the conventional banking world should try their best to find other halal job,” added the FT Mufti’s Office.
Below are five selected netizen reactions that are extracted from the comment section of the Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association’s (PPIM) Facebook page:
Fajar Hussain: A good piece of advice because the majority of bank employees are Malay Muslims.
Khuzairan Shahjihan: I stopped doing that a long time ago because my late grandfather used to tick me off harshly … I vividly remember he said earning an income from a haram source to feed your wife will eventually have detrimental effect on our kids … there is truth in his words. Thank God for we’re now having quite a good life.
Siro AB: As a person who has been in the “shoes” of a bank employee, I understand how difficult it is to find another job. In 2010, the training officer’s salary was almost RM3,000.
But keep praying. I’ve lost count as to how many times I cried over my motorbike when I came back from work hoping so hard to get another equivalent job. Thank God, I’ve found a new source of income even though it took me quite a while.
Saya Jebat: Only those who have strong faith can leave the bank job … there are so much monetary reward and fringe benefits at stake.
Amar Lee: I’ve a question. How is it if I work in a bank as a cleaner but my salary is paid with proceeds from the bank’s profit earned through interest charges? – Jan 12, 2024
Main pic credit: Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia’s (PPIM) Facebook