Ruling on creating a mobile application for online purchases through debit card and credit cards

Question :

This is a question from a mobile programmer. We make a mobile application which makes the buying the products from Internet easy. We need guidance regarding our relationship with a company that deals with banks.

Typical purchase process through our application

1. The seller displays his products in our application.
2. The customer opens our program and search for the product that he needs, for example a new phone. If he decides to buy, then the application directs him to website of a company that deals with banks.
3. Then the customer enters the details related to his bank account in this site and ask to pay money to the company. And here, the customer can also take interest based loan from the bank or he can pay the money from his account (he can use credit card or debit card). And the application cannot prevent the customer from taking interest based loan. So this is what we fear that we fell into sin as we have created this application and there is a means to take interest based loan. And there are customers who don’t take interest based loans and there are customers who take interest based loans at the time of purchase.
4. The company that deals with banks gives the money to the seller and the seller sends the product to the customer.

So is it permissible for us to make such application. And is the sin only upon customer is he takes the interest based loan or it comes upon us also ?

Answer :

Allah says in Al Quran :

“Help you one another in Al Birr and At Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression.” – Al Maaidah – 2

So every action which assists a prohibited action, whether the assistance is indirect or direct, that is prohibited as per the above verse.

So upon this, this dealing (creating the application) is not permitted with the knowledge that this application will be used in prohibited matters.

If you can prevent the one who deals with the Riba (interest) while using this application and you deal with the users of this application who don’t use this application in prohibited matters, then that is what we advise.

Answered by : Shaykh Abu Haatim Yusuf Al Jazaairi
Translated by : AbdnNoor Al Hindi