Praise be to Allaah.
It is permissible to
transfer money via the banks even if they are riba-based, because there is a
need for that and because it is a problem that is so widespread, but one
should hasten to collect the money as soon as it arrives, so that the bank
will not be able to make use of it in any riba-based dealings.
The scholars of the
Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas were asked: Is it permissible for a
Muslim to deal with the banks that exist at present, which pay interest on
capital and provide loans?
They replied: It is not
permissible for a person to deposit his money in those banks and let the
bank give him guaranteed annual interest – for example – and it is not
permissible to borrow from the bank on the condition that he will pay them
something extra at the time agreed on for the borrowed money to be repaid,
such as paying five percent when he pays off the loan. These two
transactions come under the general meaning of the prohibition on riba in
the Qur’aan and Sunnah and scholarly consensus. This is clear, praise be to
As for dealing with the
banks in order to keep money safe without interest, and for money transfers,
with regard to keeping money safe without interest, if one is not forced to
put it in the bank then it is not permissible to do so, because that is
helping the owners of the bank in dealing in riba, and Allaah says in Soorat
al-Maa’idah, verse 2 (interpretation of the meaning): “Help you one
another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do
not help one another in sin and transgression”. But if there is a need
for that, we do not think there is anything wrong with it, in sha Allaah.
With regard to transferring
money to another bank, even if that is in return for an extra amount taken
by the bank, that is permissible, because the extra amount that is taken by
the bank is a fee in return for making the transfer. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah
have mercy on him) said: If there is a need to protect money by means of the
bank, there is nothing wrong with that in sha Allaah, because Allaah says
(interpretation of the meaning): “He has explained to you in detail what
is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity” [al-An’aam 6:119].
Undoubtedly making transfers via the bank is a widespread necessity
nowadays, as is putting money in the bank without stipulating that interest
be paid. If interest is paid to you without you stipulating that or agreeing
to it, there is nothing wrong with you taking it and spending it on
charitable causes, such as helping the poor and debtors and so on, not to
keep it and make use of it. Rather it comes under the heading of money that,
if left to the kaafirs, will bring harm upon the Muslims, even though the
way in which is it acquired is not permissible, so spending it in ways that
will benefit the Muslims is better than leaving it for kaafirs to use in
ways that help them do things that Allaah has forbidden. If it is possible
to transfer money through Islamic banks or other permissible means, then it
is not permissible to transfer it through the riba-based banks. The same
applies to depositing money, if it is possible to deposit it in Islamic
banks or businesses, it is not permissible to deposit it in riba-based
banks, because this is no longer a case of necessity. It is not permissible
for a Muslim to deal with a kaafir or anyone else in a riba based
transaction, even if he does not want to keep the interest, rather he wants
to spend it on charitable causes, because dealing in riba is haraam
according to the texts and scholarly consensus, so it is not permissible to
do it, even if that is with the aim of not making use of the interest
himself. And Allaah is the Source of strength. End quote from Majmoo’
Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (19/194).
It is permissible to give
the money to someone who will take it to your homeland in return for a set
fee, even if it is higher than the bank’s fee, but you should make sure that
this person is going to take the money himself, and is not going to send it
via the bank, so that you will not be wasting your money for no purpose.
You should also understand
that the one whom you are paying to take the money is a trustee and he is
not liable for the money that he was asked to take if it is lost or stolen,
unless he fell short in guarding it or he disposed of it in a way for which
permission was not given.
And Allaah knows best.