Q: I would like to inform you that I am an employee at the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco)
I would like to participate in the saving system of the company. However, reading a manual of the (Part No. 13; Page No. 511) saving's law, I doubted that such a system might be a means to getting ill-gotten money through taking Riba-based interests. That is, the system relies essentially on depositing savings money in usurious bank accounts for a term yielding a definite interest. In fact, many of the company employees were caught in the snare of such a system. Therefore, I would like you to make clear to them the ruling on participating in such a system through a written Fatwa that is to be distributed among employees.
Participating in the Aramco savings system is Haram (prohibited), because it falls under Riba Al-Fadl (usury of excess, selling an item for another of the same type, on the spot, but in excess) and Riba Al-Nasi'ah (usury of delay, conditional excess for delay of payment). This is because it defines the rate of interest, which may be anything between five and one hundred percent of the money saved by the Saudi employee, in addition to the special end of service bonus given only to the employees who participate in the savings system, which is not given to other employees who do not save, as detailed in the savings regulations.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.