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Student Loan for Higher Education

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org

Answered by Muftī Shujaʾath ʿAlī


Without student loans in Canada, I could not finish my university degree. Only after the loan and degree, I now have a good job. Currently, I am paying back my student loans with interest every month. Please advise me of the islamic rulings in my situation.


In the Name of God, Most Kind, Most Merciful

Jazak Allāh Khayr/ Thank you for your question.

Without any discrimination between secular and religious studies, Islam has considered education as a basic human right. There are many prophetic narrations that shed light on this topic, such as,

“Seek knowledge even if you must travel to China for it.” – (Bayhaqī)

This stance of Islam regarding education is because, the prosperity of individuals, as well as the human society depends on it. For this reason, Islam has laid this responsibility on the Muslim government  to make education accessible to all.

In countries where Muslims live under the rule of non-Islamic governments, and face difficulty in having easy access to higher education, they should first turn to Muslim organizations or governments that offer scholarships or islamicaly appropriate financing, for education. If they do not succeed in availing such interest free loans or scholarships, in such situations, muslim jurists have permitted to obtain interest based education loans strictly for education, provided the student has no savings or has no way to obtain an interest free loan. In such a circumstance, the muslim student must make a sincere intention to pay off the loan as soon as possible. This is the resolution passed by the very well-known Islamic fiqh academy in India. Please refer to the document “Fiqh Academy Ke Aham Faisale”.

The great jurist, Muftī Khālid Saifullāh Al-Raḥmānī has also written in his monumental work, ‘Jadīd Fiqhī Masāil’, “In a pressing need for basic rights, one may take advantage of an interest based loan, when there is no other alternative, for an islamicaly appropriate loan.”

And Allāh Knows Best.

جن طلبہ نے کسی شعبہ میں داخلہ کے لئے مطلوب معیار کو حاصل کرلیا ہو ، لیکن ان کے پاس اتنی رقم یا اپنی بنیادی ضروریات کے علاوہ اس قیمت کی اشیاء موجود نہ ہوں ، اور غیر سودی قرض ملنا بھی دشوار ہو تو ان کے لئے ایسے قرض سے فائدہ اٹھانا جائز ہے ، کیوں کہ تعلیم بھی ہمارے سماج کے لئے ایک اجتماعی حاجت ہے اور حاجت کی بنا پر سودی قرض لینے کی اجازت دی گئی ہے ، ’’ و یجوز للمحتاج الإستقراض بالربح ‘‘ ( الأشباہ و النظائر لابن نجیم ) بلکہ بعض اہل علم نے ایسی اسکیموں کے مقاصد اور زائد رقم کے تناسب میں کمی کے پیش نظر اسے سروس چارج شمار کیا ہے ، یعنی یہ ان کے نزدیک قرض دینے والے ادارہ کے انتظامی اخراجات کے درجہ میں ہیں ۔ و اللہ اعلم

مولانا خالد سیف اللہ رحمانی مدظلہ العالی

This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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