A bank employee can avoid being involved in interest earning
transactions and projects only if his job is confined to what may be described
as the ancillary services of a bank as remitting money and collection of bills.
If your employer can guarantee that your role in a bank will
be confined to such areas as are unrelated to interest earning activities, then
one might consider the justification you are deliberating on as viable. However,
I do not think such a role could be had in a bank
save at the cost of an employee’s career development. So, unless you are ready
to work as a clerk or an officer of the lowest rank in the operations department
of a bank for the rest of your life, the idea that you can avoid being involved
in taking interest by confining yourself to certain ancillary services in a bank
does not seem to be a very plausible one.
There is no doubt that the whole economy is based on interest
and that the existing circumstances might be regarded as extenuating in many
cases. However, there is a difference between ‘taking’ interest and ‘giving’
interest. The Qur’an has specifically prohibited the former (see the Qur’an
2:270 and 3:130; ‘devouring’ interest has been forbidden). ‘Giving’ interest
(for example when one takes a loan) is prohibited when it virtually amounts to
co-operating with ‘the devourer’ of interest (that is one who lends on
interest). (See the Qur’an 5:2)
The argument that in the prevailing situation, ‘the giver’ of
interest (the borrower) usually faces such problems in setting up and running a
business that he has no recourse but to take the loan seems to be reasonable in
many cases. However, there seems to be very little ground for accepting the same
excuse from the ‘the devourer’.
Although exceptions might be there, a bank job usually
amounts to virtual co-operation with ‘the devourer’ of interest. Therefore, a
Muslim should try to look for jobs in areas other than banking, which
fortunately are not as scarce as is generally imagined. However, if someone
feels that he has some reasonable, personal excuse for working with a bank -- an
excuse he can present to God on the Day of judgement --, it might be expected
that he will be forgiven by the All-Knowing and Oft-Forgiving.
Finally, we should remember that all our planning and effort
can fail us. In life, there are no absolute guarantees. The only absolute
guarantee life affords us is that the efforts and sacrifices we make for Allah
shall not go waste in the Hereafter and that Allah, Who is our Sustainer -- One
Who can make little plenty and plenty little even in this worldly life of ours
-- is always well-aware of our problems and woes: He knows -- and He cares. If
we face difficulties for His sake, He will be with us; He will not abandon us,
for He is the best of friends. He never betrays -- neither His friends nor His
enemies --, and ultimately everything is in His hands.
God be with you.