The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani

Question & Answer » Depositing Money

1 Question: Some governments and some companies in non-Muslim as well as Muslim, countries deposit the salaries of their employees directly into their accounts in the banks. The employee does not get the money in his hand, although he can withdraw it whenever he wants. Now, if the statement of his account shows that the money has surpassed his annual expenses, is khums obligatory on it?
Answer: Khums is payable on what has surpassed his annual needs, except in the case of a government employee in a Muslim state that deposits his salary into a state or private bank. In the latter case, khums would not be obligatory on the salary that has been deposited in the bank until he [physically] takes possession of it with the permission of the mujtahid. Then the salary will be included in his income of that year and khums will become obligatory on what is in excess to that year’s expenses.
2 Question: It is permissible to deposit money with national banks, in other words loaning the banks?
Answer: This, however, must be done without making a provision for charging interest on the money deposited, meaning not stipulating that the banks should give an undertaking to pay the interest on the loan. The opposite of this is that the depositor reaches a conclusion that if the bank was not going to pay the interest, he would not demand it. The intent to demand the interest does not contradict the non-stipulation. Similarly, the intent not to demand the interest does not contradict stipulation. That is because each of which is alien to the other.
Given that the bank is governmental, if he receives any interest, he should give half of the interest to faithful needy Shia Muslims and use the other half.
3 Question: It is permissible to deposit [money] in non-Muslim (private or state-owned) banks.
Answer: It is permissible and the interest given by the bank is halal.
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