Can I work in the Information Security Architecture Department of a bank?

Can I work in the Information Security Architecture Department of a bank?


I work within a financial services bank (Standard Bank) in the information Security Architecture department. Basically the work involves consulting and securing the banks IT systems.

I am not directly advocating usury. Is it permissible to work for such an organization? My work is 100% technical and computer security related.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

In principle, there are two aspects which are considered before determining the Shari’ah Compliancy of a job profile:

1. The nature of the job profile/description itself.
2. The major source of the funds from which the employees of the financial dispensation/bank are remunerated.

You state that you work in the “Information Security Applications Architecture Department” of the bank.

“Enterprise information security architecture (EISA) is the practice of applying a comprehensive and rigorous method for describing a current and/or future structure and behavior for an organization's security processes, information security systems, personnel and organizational sub-units, so that they align with the organization's core goals and strategic direction. Although often associated strictly with information security technology, it relates more broadly to the security practice of business optimization in that it addresses business security architecture, performance management and security process architecture as well.”

The services provided by the EISA Department of a financial institution or bank would typically include the following:

1. Organization charts, activities, and process flows of how the IT Organization operates;
2. Organization cycles, periods and timing;
3. Suppliers of technology hardware, software, and services;
4. Applications and software inventories and diagrams;
5. Interfaces between applications - that is: events, messages and data flows;
6. Intranet, Extranet, Internet, ecommerce, EDI links with parties within and outside of the organization;
7. Data classifications, Databases and supporting data models;
8. Hardware, platforms, hosting: servers, network components and security devices and where they are kept;
9. Local and wide area networks, Internet connectivity diagrams[1] 

Since, the job profile in reference is unrelated to interest, therefore such a job profile is Shariah Compliant.

If the major source of funds through which the employee’s of commercial banks are remunerated is from interest and unlawful money, then it is not permissible for one to work at such a bank.However, if the majority of the bank’s funds are of a non-usurious nature, then employment at such a bank is permissible.[2]

and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Mawlana Ismail Desai
Student, Darul Ifta
Durban, South Africa

Checked & Approved:
Moulana Abdul Azeem Bin Abdul Rahmaan

[1], last accessed at 02/11/2012.
2  آكِلُ الرَّبَّا وَكَاسِبُ الْحَرَامِ أَهْدَى إلَيْهِ أَوْ أَضَافَهُ وَغَالِبُ مَالِهِ حَرَامٌ لَا يَقْبَلُ، وَلَا يَأْكُلُ مَا لَمْ يُخْبِرْهُ أَنَّ ذَلِكَ الْمَالَ أَصْلُهُ حَلَالٌ وَرِثَهُ أَوْ اسْتَقْرَضَهُ، وَإِنْ كَانَ غَالِبُ مَالِهِ حَلَالًا لَا بَأْسَ بِقَبُولِ هَدِيَّتِهِ وَالْأَكْلِ مِنْهَا، كَذَا فِي الْمُلْتَقَطِ. (الفتاوي الهندية،ج 5 ص 363 دار الفكر))

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