IS IT HALAL TO OPEN ACCOUNT IN RIBA BASED CONVENTIONAL BANKS? NOT TAKING LOAN BUT JUST OPENING AN ACCOUNT
First, it is prohibited to open account and deposit money in a non-Islamic Bank because the accounts at times attract interest (Riba) which is prohibited.
Secondly, commercial banks use the customer deposits to lend out and earn riba. By opening account and placing your money with the banks you will have assisted the banks by making funds available.
In last part of verse 2 of surah Maida (Quran 5:2) Allah says; “Help you one another in Al‑Birr and At‑Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression”
If you open account in the said banks and give them your deposits, you will have contravened the aforementioned verse by cooperating in sin and transgression.
The prophet ﷺ cursed the one who consumes riba, the one who pays it, the one who records it and the two who witness it, and he said, “They are all the same.” [Muslim, Tirmidhi and Musnad Ahmad]. If this is so, then how about the one who finances the whole process by availing funds?
The only exception according to scholars is when you live in a place where there are no Shariah compliant (Islamic Banks) and you have a dharura (necessity) such as your employer insisting that your salary can only be paid through a bank account or rampant insecurity which necessitates depositing money in the bank for security reasons.
In such cases avoid accounts that earn interest. And if by some bad luck the account earns riba (or the banks don’t have interest free account), then take the same and give it out in support of a worthy course.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen says in Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh (22/180) that if you need to open an account in a riba-based bank, there is nothing wrong with it, but if you do not need to do so, then do not do it.
A similar view is preferred by Sheikh Abdul Azeez Ar-Rajihi in Fataawa Munawwa‘ah (23/35) where he said that if a person needs to do that or is compelled to do so, there is nothing wrong with it, but he should not take the interest. But if he can do without that (the account), that is preferable.
In Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 4/30-31, the Shaykh says that in order to be on the safe side it is better not to deposit your money except in case of necessity if the bank deals with riba, because putting money in the bank, even if you do not take interest, is still helping them to do riba-based transactions, so there is the fear that the one who does this will come under the same heading as those who cooperate in sin and transgression, even if that is not what he intended.
Look for Islamic banks in your town and open your account with them if you have the necessity to have a bank account.