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Working as Software Engineer in Company whose Stocks are either Questionable or non-complaint

Hello Community Assalamu alaikum.

Guys, can anyone help me with the resources/guidance on the rulings for working in a company as a Software Engineer whose stocks are either aren’t sharia complaints or are in the questionable category

Guys please please please help

Jazak Allahu Khair

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Wasalam Kamran , i think first you would have to find out if the company is questionable or sharia non compliant to find this out try to use these

See if putting the companies financial data here helps

Hey Osama, I feel like Brother @kamranalinitb was talking about the company he works at and what to do with an employee stock option.

Salaams Kamran! Welcome to the community. Sorry it took a minute to get an answer here. It’s tough to give a blanket answer since between questionable and non compliant there’s a lot to consider.

I’ve spent a long time working at a major retail bank here in Canada, and they obviously weren’t shariah compliant. Eventually I decided I didn’t want to work in that space and transitioned out or it. While working at the bank, I took advantage of their employee stock option program. It’s something I’ve had to reconcile and going forward it’s a priority for me when deciding where to work. Hope that helps? A bit of a non answer unfortunately

Thanks, @Frhaann or the response.

Actually, I work in Expedia as a Senior Data Engineer (Software Development). I see in Zoya App that its stocks aren’t Shariya complaint.

So I’m seeking guidance in the following

  • Since its a travel company, Am I allowed to work in the company (given its stocks aren’t shariya complaint)
  • What shall I do with the stocks that I currently have. I’m working here since 2014 and are holding stocks for a while

Please provide some help

I see, thanks for clarifying that. So in the case of Expedia, their compliance failing doesn’t have to do with the type of business they’re in. Only 0.35% of their revenue is from non-compliant sources, well below the 5% threshold as per Zoya.

Expedia fails shariah compliance because of its financials. At the moment Expedia has too much interest bearing debt to pass shariah compliance. We just added an answer to a different thread, where Sh Joe answers a very similar question.

Does that help?

So while it does have 35% of debt/market cap, it also has 17% net debt/market cap. Food for thought.

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Brother @hkirefu Assalau alaikum

I didn’t get what are you trying to highlight please

Brother @Frhaann Thanks for sharing the video.

I saw the video but since I’m new to this. Would you mind if you can summarise it as per my situation i.e. my employment with Expedia.

Expedia has enough cash on hand to pay off sufficient debt to drop the debt level so it would screen as compliant thus one can argue they actually do not have $8B of debt, rather $3B.

In summary:
Expedia business is permissible
Expedia has sufficient cash to pay off the debt which would result in it screening as compliant
If the stock price goes up 16.6% it passes the screen while maintaining the same debt regardless of cash balance

I would not worry personally.

I’d refer to brother Husein’s answer above. It makes sense to be, but as always allah knows best.

Just because a company is not shariah-compliant as a stock doesn’t mean it’s not a place a Muslim can work. There are clearly differences between investing and working for a firm. There are some areas of overlap of course, but certainly not a 1:1 relationship. The compliant criteria of a company for investing are both business activity screening and financial screening. A company may be a legit halal company but may have too much debt for example. This company will probably fail the sharia-compliant filter for investing but it doesn’t mean you can’t work as long as the product and source of revenue is halal. The excess leverage of the company is not your responsibility. If you can’t work for an overly indebted company then you can’t also work for any government because most countries are highly indebted.

Expedia fails the compliant criteria not because of the business activity screen but rather, the debt to market ratio is over 35%. (Most contemporary scholars limit that ratio to around 30%-33.33%, Zoya uses 30%). I doubt there is anything wrong with your job. In conclusion, consult your local teacher and scholar to confirm if your line of work is permissible or not if you’re unsure.


Thanks, brother @abuhamza for the detailed response.

Thanks brother @Frhaann and @hkirefu

Brothers. Just one more request. Is it possible to connect with Sheikh @Joe via email? Also if you could please help me connect to any Sheikh that will be really helpful.

Jazak Allah Khair