Taking an Interest-based Loan to Study
Fatwa No: 379279

Question

Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu,I live in Canada and I am currently a student at one of the universities in this country. My goal is to become a social studies teacher because there is a great need for Muslim teachers even within secular subjects. However, the issue is that I have fallen into the trap that so many students have fallen into which is taking interest-based student loans and I honestly did not know about the prohibition of such loans. Now that I am aware of this prohibition I am trying to find halal alternatives. I wanted to ask for your advice and I wanted to know if the scholars on this site were aware of any alternatives such as international organizations that grant loans and grants to Muslim students worldwide. Jazzakallahu khairan for your time.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Taking an interest-based loan (Riba) is prohibited and it is a form of cooperating in evil; Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.} [Quran 5:2] Therefore, it is not permissible to borrow money and pay Riba unless there is a dire need, and studying is not a necessity which allows one to commit what is prohibited.

You must sincerely repent to Allah for having borrowed an interest-based loan and be determined never to commit this sin again.

There is no harm in benefiting from the loan you had borrowed because the sin in an interest-based loan is connected to the person dealing in it and not the money itself. If it only covers part of your studies, then communicate with the Islamic centers and your fellow Muslim brothers in the area perhaps they can help you financially or at least guide you to other alternatives, if there are any.

Allah knows best.

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