Bank employees - and prayer at Bank's premises

Q55 :Some magazine contained an article saying that the fact that a bank pays and receives interest on its loans and deposits makes it forbidden to pray there. How does a bank employee solve this problem. Some employees offer their prayers at the Bank while others are influenced by the statement that bank is a forbidden place for prayers.

A55 : If you are working for a bank which runs its business on usurious basis, then you must try to get yourself moved to a job which does not involve much handling of usurious transactions. There are certain aspects to the work of any bank which may have very little to do with interest or usurious charges. If one does a job of this type, no blame may be attached to him. It is even better to try to find an alternative job, away from a usurious bank. One need not leave his job in the bank until one has another job lined up. As for prayers within the bank premises, the Prophet says : "The whole earth has been made a prayer place and a source of purification for me." That obviously includes his followers in all generations. Every place on earth may be a prayer place for a Muslim. Similarly, every spring of water can be a source of purification. In the absence of water, we may resort to dry ablution ( Tayammum ), which uses clean dust for purification. What the argument entails is that the actions done in a particular place may render it unfit for prayer. Such a view cannot be given haphazardly. It must be supported by firm evidence. The fact is that only the absence of purity in a particular place renders it unfit for prayer. If some impurity falls on a particular spot, we must not pray in that spot until the impurity has been removed. Here we are speaking of physical impurity. This does not apply to what may be considered mental impurity, such as forbidden practices. There is no statement in the Qur'an or in the Hadith which suggests that the home or office of a money lender is unfit for prayer. We may have to adopt a certain position towards people who are engaged in forbidden practices, but that is a different matter altogether. Those who pray in the bank do better because they are keen to offer their prayers on time. To leave obligatory prayers, is certainly wrong.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )