Clerk in a retail outlet accepting customer's credit card
24 Aug 2011 10:43 GMT
I live in USA and refuse to take any job that accepts credit cards. I believe it is unlawful to work at such jobs. Can you please advise me. I am very concerned because it is very difficult for me to find and hold down a job.

Answered by

the Fatwa Department Research Committee - chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî

We commend you for your taqwâ and pray that Allah rewards you and blesses you with prosperity. It is good to leave off doubtful matters, especially where something as serious as interest is involved.

However, there is nothing wrong with working in a place that accepts credit cards from its customers. What is forbidden is as follows:

1. To receive interest for yourself or as an agent for someone else.
2. To pay interest.
3. To draw up a contract based on interest.
4. To be a witness to a contract based on interest.

This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah curses who requests usury and who gives him usury, the one who writes down the usury transaction and its two witnesses.” [Sahîh Muslim]

None of this, however, is the case with accepting a credit card from someone making a credit card purchase at a retail outlet. There are a number of reasons for this:

First of all, the transaction being made is merely one where a person is having another person (in this case the credit card company) pay for his purchase on his behalf. No interest is being paid or received at the time of purchase nor is any contract being drawn up between the two parties at that time. It is the same as if two people came in to the store and one picked out some goods and the other paid for them.

Secondly, there is no way - without asking the customer - to know whether he is using a credit card or a debit card. If the card is a debit card, then there is no interest involved in the first place. There is also no way to know if the customer has prepaid his credit card or intends to pay it off before the time-limit expires. It is also not your right or responsibility to ask.

Thirdly, even if there is an interest agreement between the customer and the credit card company, that contract is between the two of them. As a retail outlet accepting the card and running it through the machine, you are only verifying that a purchase was made by this individual that the company has agreed to assume payment for. You are not receiving interest, paying interest, drawing up a contract of interest, or witnessing a contract of interest. Furthermore, you do not even know if any interest is ever going to be paid.

As for the commission paid by the retail outlet to the credit card company to be able to accept the credit card, this is a service charge and not interest. In many countries, retail outlets have to agree to pay a percentage of receipts to the credit card company in order to have the right to be able to accept credit card purchases from its customers. A percentage of receipts is not interest. Interest is where money is exchanged in unequal amounts.

Source: Islam Today

-- Al Arabiya Digital