Can a Bank be Halal and Islamic at the same time?
Well to me it can because Banking activities by itself should fall under the category of Mu’amalah.
And Mu’amalah means the wordly matters, or the wordly activities of the human being from the Islamic point of view.
So the original rulings of the Mu’amalah activities should be permissible, because there is one legal maxims which says, “Al-aslu fil ashya’ al-ibaahah, hatta yadilluddaleel ala at-tahreem”, which means the “original or default rulings for Mu’amalah activities are permissible, until there is a clear daleel or justification which mentions about its prohibition.
So of course a Bank can be halal.
But I think maybe it is good for us to understand the basic “role” of a Bank.
So you see in a society, in a society for that matter, the public is usually generally categorized into two main groups.
The ones with excess money, which we should call them as the surplus unit, and those with insufficient money, which we should call them as the deficit Unit.
So a Bank shall come into the middle of these 2 groups, and the role of the Bank is to facilitate the funding activity of the Surplus unit to the Deficit unit.
These kind of interactions will produce many economic activities and is indeed one of the main catalysts responsible for the economic growth for any society in the world.
So a Halal Bank is basically the Banking activities which connect these two groups are conducted in Halal way.
For example if you belong to the Surplus unit, you have excess money.
You go to any Halal Bank or an Islamic Bank, you will be confident that your deposit is Halal and will remain Halal at all times.
Another example would be, if you belong to the Deficit unit, and you have some ideas of what to do with the money, maybe to expand your business or simply to start up a new business.
You go to any Halal Bank, you will be also assured that the facilities that you will get from the Bank will be in Halal methods or Halal forms.
It will be based under the Islamic and approved Shariah concepts and contracts in Islam.
So you see a Halal Bank is an Islamic Bank. And it is a type of Banking for everyone, both for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
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