Paying a Riba-based loan is given priority over performing Hajj
Fatwa No: 197113

  • Fatwa Date:29-1-2013 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 18, 1434
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Question

Asalamu alaykum, I took out a government loan for university studies under the impression of no interest until my salary reaches a certain level, but the money was subject to an inflation rate every year. After gaining information about inflation being a type of riba, I stoped studying. If the amount I took is 20,000 + 8,000 inflation 1- Can I go to haj if I have enough money to do so or should i use that money to pay back part of the loan even though I won’t be able to pay back the whole amount and the remaining amount will increase as a result of the inflation? 2- If I can pay each semester on my own to complete my studies first or should I use that money to paying back some of the loan back. 3- What is your advice if I want pay back what I took from the government, but I don’t want pay the riba part of the loan, even though the balance will just keep increasing and the government will deduct from my salary to pay off that amount until the whole amount is payed if my income reaches a certain level. 4- Will it be the right thing to do if I avoid paying back all together since the system is unjust and has no considerations for doing the right thing? Please give us a comprehensive response my Allah reward you, as there are a lot of Muslims students who are in a similar situation because of luck of information / knowledge

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

A loan that stipulates the payment of either immediate or delayed  interest is a prohibited Riba-based loan that is not permissible except when there is necessity. Accordingly, you have to repent from that loan you have taken. As long as the interests of that loan will increase if repayment is delayed, then repaying it is more prior to paying the expenses of studying. Thus, hasten to repay it with the money you currently have, whether it is from that loan or from another source, even if this will postpone performing Hajj.

You should also know that one is not obliged to repay any amount in excess of the original sum of a Riba-based loan; rather, it is not permissible for him to repay it unless he is forced to do so. For more benefit, kindly refer to Fataawa 86521 and 86136.

Allaah Knows best.

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