Working at Amazon

Al Salam Alaykom,
I tried looking online but got nothing specific about this case. I’m a software developer and I’m wondering if it’s okay to work in a company that has more than 5% non permissible income but not directly on those products. In this specific question I’m talking about Amazon, which when I read islamicly review on it that it has ~15% revenue from media content and that’s why it’s non permissible. So for example if I work in Amazon I’ll work on Alexa, Amazon web services but not on Prime (video content like Netflix).

Then if it’s halal to work there, big part of the compensation is given in restricted stock units yearly, but the stock does fail the halal criteria, is it okay to consider it part of my salary and just sell it right after vesting in this case? (I’m not sure whether with RSU I’m the owner when they are restricted or when they vest and what should I do exactly)

Thanks.

Assalaamu alaykum dear brother,

There is a difference between working at a company (being employed) and investing in a company.

In so far as employment is concerned, your job description is key to understanding whether your employment and earnings are lawful.

In so far as investing is concerned, the Shariah screening is paramount and a company must pass that.

The reason is, in the former, you are not becoming a shareholder or an owner, in the latter, you are. In the former, you are just a beneficiary, in the latter, you are an “owner”.

So if Amazon failed a Shariah screening test, you would only have entitlement to the capital if you invested.

In terms of bonus paid in stock units, if the initial bonus value was defined in terms of value, you could cash out by liquidating your holdings and keep the amount. The excess/gain must be dispensed in charity.

Allah knows best

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Thanks a lot for the detailed answer.

Your answer got me wondering, what about working at a bank or financial institution in this case? I’ll be working for example as a software developer for end users products that have nothing related to debt or interests (checking balances, doing transactions). Would this be considered halal in this case?

Assalaamu Alaykum dear brother,

Kindly see the following for working in a bank:

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Wasalam

Sorry brother, I actually did not see Mufti Faraz’s answer and your post about Restricted Stock on my device. I have deleted my original answer as it did look confusing in the middle of your question and Mufti Faraz’s reply.
I agree with Mufti’s answer, please refer back to his original post.

Kind regards

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Jazakom Allah Khairan :))

Assalamu Alaikum,

If I understood correctly, if a company whose stock is impermissible pays stock to employees with a specified value, then one should sell the stock, but one can keep the specified value while donating any capital gains?

Now Amazon for instance has RSUs as a big part of their compensation package as opposed to higher base salaries. However, I believe from what I’ve read that they offer stock specified as units, not in terms of price. What would the ruling be in this scenario?

JazakAllah khair