Employment: Muslims employed in banks & insurance companies.

Q190 :Should Muslims employed in banks or insurance companies be asked to give up their jobs? Will it not lead to further unemployment among Muslims who are already economically backward, especially in non-Muslim countries? What should be the right strategy in this case?

A190 : I have written at length about life insurance and shown that it is permissible. Therefore, a person who works in life insurance is engaged in a legitimate job. As for people working in banking, they should look at the actual job they do. If it does not have anything to do with usury, then they may continue in their job since they are legitimate ones. On the other hand, if a Muslim works in a bank and his job requires him to be involved in transactions which are of usurious nature, then he should start looking for another job. He does not have to quit his job immediately. He is only required to make an earnest attempt which does not involve any breach of Islamic teachings. We must not forget that the Prophet has cursed the person who devours usury, the one who pays it and the one who writes the contract between the two and the witnesses to this contract. In such matters Islam takes a very practical view. It does not require a Muslim to quit his job immediately, particularly if he has a family to look after. It advises him to try to find a new job and when he has found one, he can quit his job at the bank.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )