Seminary bans Muslims from working in banks

Afp May 15, 2010

LUCKNOW: A powerful Islamic seminary in northern India has issued a fatwa against Muslims working in banks, a spokesman said on Friday, deeming it a violation of Islamic law.

The ruling by the Darul- Uloom Deoband, India’s oldest Sunni-run seminary, in northern Uttar Pradesh state, was issued last week but made public on Friday, Mufti Shakeel of the “Fatwa” department said. “According to the tenets of Islam, Muslims must not work in banks because as employees they would have to deal with transactions involving interest and also make interest entries in bank ledgers,” Shakeel said by telephone from Saharanpur district, 450 kilometres from Lucknow.

“That is a violation of Shariah,” he said. “Anyone having anything to do with interest is clearly committing an illegal act,” he added. Established in 1866, the Darul-Uloom Deoband is believed to have inspired Muslim hardliners and the leaders of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan, who attended Deobandi-influenced seminaries in Pakistan. The school wields enormous influence among Sunnis in India and a section of Muslims in Pakistan also honours them. In 2006, it issued a decree against Muslims buying life insurance.

Officially secular and Hindu majority India, whose Muslim population numbers between 135 million to 140 million, does not have financial institutions offering Islamic banking services. Muslims leaders and professionals described the decree as ‘impractical.’”The fatwa is in keeping with our religious beliefs but as India does not offer Islamic banking services, it is impractical,” Kamal Farooqui, an accountant and member of the autonomous All India Muslim Personal Law Board said.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 15th, 2010.


Aariz Memon | 13 years ago | Reply No doubt, insurance and interest are prohibited in Islam. Islam offers several banking transaction, allowed by sharia without using the concept of interest. Japan has adopted Islamic banking system. There are Muslim Bankers in India. They should look forward for introducing Islamic Banking system in India.
Rehan Ali | 13 years ago | Reply Somebody seems to be doing their job. :)
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