Is It Halal to Keep My Money in a Riba Based Bank

 

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

Is it permissible to keep my money in a usury-based bank if I don’t earn or give any interest?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Yes, it is permissible, in the case of a need, to keep your money in a bank, even though that bank may have usurious and other prohibited services, as long as your account (commonly a checking or current account) do not accrue or pay interest. [Taqi Usmani, Fiqh al-Buyu’]

Legal Reasoning

A deposit in such an account is seen in Islamic law as a loan given to the bank. The loaner (the depositor) can take back his/her loan whenever they wish according to the agreed-upon terms. In the interim, the bank can use the money as they want, but they do not give any additional benefits, as opposed to the savings account. [Ibid.]

Contemporary scholars have permitted depositing money in this type of account due to need. However, this permission is on condition that one is not intending, by depositing their money, to assist the bank in their prohibited activities; doing so is direct assistance in the prohibited, which is strictly prohibited and sinful. Without such an intention, it is indirect assistance and is not strictly prohibited. [Ibid.]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.