I am a qualified accountant in London. Being an accountant some way or the other you have to do bookkeeping for interest accounts or other accounts which have an interest element in them. There is hardly any institution here which is 100% free from interest or interest related accounts even if they are trading in permissible commodities. There is interest involved in acquiring machinery, premises, cars, loans and others for a business in every organization. The financial system in almost all the countries seems to be somehow based on interest. I would like you to tell if my earnings as accountant are ḥalāl in this situation. I put my confusion below:
Is it ḥarām to calculate and record transactions which are fully or partially related to interest (I do not like it but I have to do this as an accountant) when I am not involved in transactions myself but my company. It does not represent the majority of my work. And is it ḥarām to check or audit such transactions? As an accountant in my situation which part of Hadīth (Sahih Muslim, No. 3881) applies to me, the one who witnesses or the one who records interest or both or none?
Jabir said that Allah's Messenger (sws) cursed the accepter of interest and its payer, and one who records it, and the two witnesses, and he said: They are all equal.
There are rare Islamic institutions. Even the people who build and run these institutions do not come from 100% Islamic institutions otherwise they will not have the practical exposure to manage such institutions. Secondly Islamic institutions are required to be linked with e.g. central banks which are not Islamic. Is it still ḥalāl to work there? Is it ḥalāl to teach accounting qualifications which are not 100% Islamic e.g. teaching about interest as a part of the course? If I have a ḥalāl business I will have to have my accounts and audit done to pay the tax. Would it be ḥalāl to go to such accountants then as I do not think there is any Islamic accounting or auditing firm in the world?
There is hardly any recognized and established Islamic accounting qualification. Islamic institutions to work in are very limited in number. Even to get a job there you need education and experience from institutions which will not be 100% Islamic. If it is still not ḥalāl to work as an accountant there then Muslim ummah will have to give up accounting knowledge to a large extent as there are not enough Islamic platforms available to get 100% Islamic either accounting knowledge and jobs. For instance if I have a child I will never want him to be an accountant because there is no certainty that he will be able to get 100% Islamic accounting qualification and then a 100% Islamic accounting job.