I work at an insolvency law firm and I send out forms to creditors. Apart from filling out the amount of debt the debtor owes to them, the creditors can also fill out the amount of their ‘legal’ riba demand from the debtor, which the debtor owes them according to German laws because of not being able to pay his debt in time. My job is to only put in the deadlines for the claims and riba demand and send these forms to the creditors. Is this considered dealing with riba since I’m writing down a deadline date for their riba claims according to German law? I also get tasks to put in the demanded amount of money in our systems – this may or may not include the riba claims as well, I don’t know what the claims are, I just write down the requested number. I’m a student and this is my only job right now, can I continue working in this law firm?
In Islam it is not permissible to write down and witness interest based contracts just as it is not permissible to engage in an interest based transaction. This prohibition applies to those cases where the individual’s role facilitates the transaction in such a way that without their role the transaction would not go ahead. For example, preparing the interest-based contract or witnessing and signing such contracts. In such a case without these contracts the transaction would not take place, hence it would be impermissible to be involved at this stage.
However, after the transaction has already taken place, if someone such as an accountant or legal administrator makes a note of what already has taken place then that will not fall under this prohibition. This type of role would be permissible as it does not involve facilitating the contract to take place. This is provided the individual is not tasked with charging or pursuing interest payments.
The above is the general framework when it comes to documenting interest based transactions. It is difficult for us to issue an exact ruling in your case as we are not fully aware to what extent the forms and documents you mention play a role in collecting interest payments.
As mentioned above if your job plays a significant role in collecting interest payments then it would not be permissible for you to continue at this job and you should look for an alternative role as soon as possible.
صحيح مسلم (3/ 1219)
عَنْ جَابِرٍ، قَالَ: «لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ آكِلَ الرِّبَا، وَمُؤْكِلَهُ، وَكَاتِبَهُ، وَشَاهِدَيْهِ»، وَقَالَ: «هُمْ سَوَاءٌ»
شرح النووي على مسلم (11/ 26)
هذا تصريح بتحريم كتابة المبايعة بين المترابيين والشهادة عليهما وَفِيهِ تَحْرِيمُ الْإِعَانَةِ عَلَى الْبَاطِلِ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ
إكمال إكمال المعلم للأبي 279:4
والمراد بالكاتب كاتب لوثيقة وبالشاهد المتحمل وان لم يردو في معناهما من حضر فاقره وانما سوى بينهم فى اللعنة لان العقد لم يتم الا بالمجموع
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel