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Is it permissible for a Muslim to work in a bank?

All praises be to Allaah, Lord and Sustainer of the worlds, and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and upon his family and companions.

The dealing of a bank is all based on interest. Taking and giving interest is a major sin in Islaam and this is because Allaah Subhanahu-wa-Ta'alaa has made interest explicitly haraam by the text of the Qur'aan. Allaah Subhanahu-wa-Ta'alaa declares a war with the people who deal in interest as Allaah says:

"O you who believe! Be afraid of Allâh and give up what remains (due to you) from Ribâ (usury) (from now onward), if you are (really) believers."

[Al-Baqarah 278]

And Allaah says:

"Those who eat Ribâ (usury) will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaitân (Satan) leading him to insanity. That is because they say: Trading is like Ribâ (usury), whereas Allâh has permitted trading and forbidden Ribâ. So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Ribâ (usury) shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allâh (to judge); but whoever returns (to Ribâ (usury)), such are the dwellers of the Fire they will abide therein."

[Al-Baqarah: 275]

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

"If a man eats one Dirham of interest knowingly then this is worse than committing adultery thirty six times.”

(narrated by Ahmad)

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also cursed those who take interest, the one who gives it, the one who rights the deal (the bank staff) and those who witness it. This is reported by Imam Muslim in his Sahih on the authority of Jabir (may Allaah be pleased with him).

Therefore, working in a bank, the dealings of which are all based on nothing but interest, makes all a person's earning haraam, even if it involves just doing the paper work as a clerk in a bank.

And Allah the Most Knowledgeable knows what is best and most correct.

May Allaah help and guide us to do all that He is pleased with and his Peace and blessings be upon His last Prophet Muhammad.