Can I use a Debit Card?

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick


I live in Spain, and I want to own a bank card to buy things from the internet since, without it, I can’t. Are there any lawful debit cards that you advise me to have? There are debit cards that are lawful.

So you buy with the money you have in your account, but when you read the card policy and conditions document, there are types of riba involved in specific usage scenarios. Is signing this document unlawful? If yes, what are the other alternatives to buying things from the internet in a lawful way?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah alleviate our difficulties and guide us to that which is pleasing to Him. Amin.

Scholars generally permit the use of debit (and credit) cards, based on necessity, provided that one only spends within the limits of one’s funds deposited at the bank, that overdraft facilities with fees attached to them are avoided, and that the account (if available) does not draw interest. [Karaan; MJC; Mufti Taqi Usmani]

Still, if the account draws interest and there are no interest-free alternatives, one may use the account and disburse the interest in a permissible way, and Allah knows best.

Redistributing Impermissible Income

The general rule that applies to any form of unlawful funds is as follows:

Where the rightful owner is known, it must be returned to the rightful owner.

Where the rightful owner is not known [or if they refuse], the funds must be disposed of in one of two ways:

  • it must either be given towards a charitable cause that benefits the public at large, such as public hospitals, schools, or mosques;
  • or it should be given in charity to a person who is entitled by his need to receive charity. [Karaan, Disposal of Riba (Fatwa issued by the MJC)]

I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and has completed his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.