There is a banking group called al-Baraka Banking Group (www.albaraka.bh). Is it permissible to invest in their programs and use their financial products? This group appears to be an Islamic bank. What is the ruling on joining and dealing with this group?
The al-Baraka Banking Group adheres in its programs and goals to Islamic sharee‘ah, and contributes to reviving and propagating Islamic banking. It has a sharee‘ah board that supervises activities.
Therefore the basic principle is that it is permissible to invest in its programs and products, so long as there does not appear to be anything wrong in any of those programs, in which case one should avoid investing or dealing in those programs.
We only say this because in some Islamic banks there are some things that are contrary to Islam, such as organized tawarruq involving metals (see question no. 11776), or stipulating a penalty for any delay in credit card payments or some irregularities in muraabahah transactions, or stipulating that a percentage be paid when making withdrawals with one’s credit card. Statements have been issued by the Islamic Fiqh Council that these transactions are haraam, but the group referred to had adhered to the opinion of their Sharee‘ah Board concerning them. Hence we cannot rule that all transactions done by Islamic banks are valid. However the basic principle is that transactions are permissible, but one should be prudent and ask about the transactions that are subject to differences of opinion, such as those referred to above.
And Allah knows best.