IslamQA

HECS_HELP or FEE-HELP loan

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Is Australia Gov goves HECS_HELP or FEE-HELP loan for hugher education. The conditions are:

* The loan is not interest based.

* The loan amount is indexed each year by consumer price index (CPI)

* The loan is only to be repaid if a person earns above a set threshold each year.

* You can make voluntary repayments.

* There is no legal contract for loan

* The loan is forgiven if a person dies or is disabled 

* The persons relatives are not responsible to repay the loan.

Is a person who wants to get education with a promise to self to repay if he gets a job. Is it permissible.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 

The loan is pegged by the Consumer Price Index. The HECS-HELP website states:

Your accumulated HELP debt is subject to indexation, which is applied on 1 June each year to maintain its real value by adjusting it in line with changes in the cost of living (as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figure released in March).[1]

Therefore the amount payable fluctuates although the underlying value of the debt remains consistent.

Although apparently there is no interest charged, technically the fluctuation in the amount payable will be more than the principle amount. This is tantamount to interest.[2] This is not permissible according to the laws of Islam. [3] You cannot derive benefit from this facility.

We understand the need of a lot of Muslim students who require financial assistance to cover up for the university fees and other costs. Please refer to the following fatwa which provides a number of alternatives you may adopt:

http://askimam.org/public/question_detail/28890

 

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Imran Patel

Student Darul Iftaa

Zambia

 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

 

 

 

 


[1]

http://studyassist.gov.au/sites/studyassist/payingbackmyloan/interest-and-indexation/pages/interest-and-indexation

[2]

بحوث في قضايا فقهية معاصرة(1/200)

لا يجوز ربط الديون الثابتة بقائمة الاسعار بان يشترط العاقدان في العقد المنشئ للدين كالبيع والقرض وغيرهما ربط العملة التي وقع بها البيع او القرض بسلعة أو مجموعة من السلع أو عملة معينة او مجموع من العملان يوفى للدائن قيمة هذه السلعة أو العملة وقت حلول الأجل بالعملة التي وقع بها البيع أو القرض……

قد ثبت بما ذكرنا أن ربط الديون بقائمة الاسعار لامبرر له شرعا…..

[3]

 التحرز عن حقيقة الربا وعن شبهة الربا واجب

بدائع الصنائع (598/10) دار الكتب العلمية

 

كما يحرم أخذ الربا يحرم إعطاؤه

شرح القواعد الفقهية (215) دار القلم

 

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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