Ruling on scholarships offered by a Riba-based bank
Fatwa No: 239770

  • Fatwa Date:24-2-2014 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 24, 1435
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Question

Asalam aleikum A riba based bank wants to offer scholarships for students in our area where majority are muslims, it has done this in other parts of the country also. The sheikhs in the area have met to discuss about it, some saw nothing wrong with accepting them but others preferred to make more research hence I decided to ask your opinion. 1. Is it lawful to accept this scholarship offer from a riba based bank 2. The bank gave out forms for sponsorship qualifications, is it acceptable to stick these forms in the mosques because some had this idea.

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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His Slave and Messenger.

There is no harm in accepting the scholarships offered by a Riba-based bank as long as it is free of charge and unconditioned to opening an account in the bank or working in it after graduation or the like. According to the most evident opinion in this regard, it is allowable for a Muslim to accept a gift from someone whose money is mixed, i.e. combining both lawful and unlawful money.

Moreover, there is nothing wrong with distributing forms for this scholarship in the mosques for the benefit of people unless such an act would result in promoting the Riba-based bank and encouraging people to deal with it and thus common folks would mistakenly assume that it is lawful to deal with such usurious banks. In this case, it is impermissible to do so as it would constitute help in committing sin. Allaah says (what means): {... but do not cooperate in sin and aggression...}[Quran 5:2] Moreover, there is a famous Fiqh maxim that states: "Repelling evil takes precedence over realization of benefit."

Allaah knows best.

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