On the Muslim website IslamOnline.com, a special section "Ask the Scholar" allows readers to write to eminent Islamic scholars and muftis to ask questions about Islam's legal teachings. Below is a question and answer regarding the ethicacy of robbing Jewish banks for the purpose of helping the holy jihad -- The Editors.
Ask the Scholar
Fatwa Question Details
Name: Iyad - United Arab Emirates
Title: Robbing Jewish Banks
Question: What is the legal ruling on a Muslim robbing Jewish banks to help the Muslim fighters (who defend their countries and rights) all over the world?
Mufti: Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
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In the very beginning, it is to be stressed that Islam orders Muslims to deal with others with fair and justice. Although, it is not lawful to steal non-Muslims’ property in normal circumstances, some Muslim scholars permitted robbing the Jewish banks within the occupied Palestine when the Muslim is pretty sure that all the money deposited in those Israeli banks belongs to the Zionist enemy.
Responding to the question, Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, Deputy Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, states the following:
"Islam is Almighty Allah’s message to all humankind that aims at establishing right and justice among all people. Hence, it is not lawful to steal non-Muslims’ property. This may be lawful only in one case, that is when there is a war ongoing between Muslims and non-Muslims.
It is known from the biography of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) that the people of Makkah (even the polytheists among them) would entrust him with their valuable things. When it was time to migrate to Madinah, he (peace and blessings be upon him) did not take these trusts with him (though he was able to do so [in retaliation for the severe torture the polytheists had inflicted upon his companions]). Instead, he (peace and blessings be upon him) charged `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) with returning the trusts to their owners after he had left Makkah, and then `Ali could migrate to Madinah, too.
The aggression of the Zionists who occupy Palestine and of the Americans against Muslims is not severer than the torture the early Muslims experienced at the hands of the polytheists in the early stage of Islam.
With regard to the question in point, it is to be noted first that the banks established in any country are regarded as belongings to this country whatever the nationality of their owners and financiers may be.
Since Muslims are considered to be at war only with Israel, and this does not apply to other countries of the world, it is not lawful for them to rob banks in any country other than Israel even if the owners of these banks are Jewish or American.
So, Muslims may rob the Jewish banks within the occupied Palestine when they make sure that all the money of these banks belongs to the Zionist enemy. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave Muslims permission to rob a caravan belonging to the polytheists of Makkah when the Muslims were at war with them, and this was the cause of the first great battle in Islam, the Battle of Badr.
However, some scholars have a reservation about robbing the Jewish banks within occupied Palestine, for there are more than a million Muslims there who deal with these banks, whether voluntarily or under compulsion. According to those scholars, robbing these banks would also include robbing the deposits of our fellow Muslims who deal with these banks, which is not lawful in the viewpoint of Islam."
You can also read:
Stealing from non-Muslims in the West
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May Allah guide you to the straight path, and guide you to that which pleases Him, Amen.
Allah Almighty knows best.