I have been offered a job in a bank that has both Islamic and commercial branches, which is in the process of turning into an Islamic bank.
My question has to do with the period prior to the change: is it permissible for me to work in a commercial bank until it becomes an Islamic bank? Please note that I am currently working in an Islamic bank, but I am not happy because there are serious and un-Islamic practices in it.
It is not permissible to work in commercial banks which do not pay attention to the rulings of Islamic sharee‘ah in their transactions or in some of them, because that comes under the heading of haraam work and of cooperating in sin and transgression, as those banks base many of their transactions on riba (usury), gambling and other kinds of transactions that are contrary to sharee‘ah.
If the Islamic bank is really operating in accordance with the rulings of Islamic sharee‘ah, then it is permissible to deal with it and work in the bank.
But if these banks are Islamic in name only, and they deal with riba and other haraam transactions, then dealing with them is haraam even if they call themselves Islamic banks, because what matters is actual facts, not mere appearances, and what matters is the reality of things, not what they are called.
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