Q: While I was studying at university (in the UK) I regrettably took out a student loan due to my lack of deen at the time, now I have come to realise that this was totally impermissible and wish to make amends.
According to the terms of the loan, I do not need to repay the loan if I earn below £17,775 per annum. The loan will be written off if I do not earn above this threshold after 25 years. I can repay the loan (plus interest) and make taubah but I feel very uncomfortable with this. My other option, which I am fully prepared to undergo, is that I continue to earn below the threshold for the next 25 years. I want to know:
1. Whether it is permissible to deliberately earn less in order to avoid paying any interest?
2. Whether I should repay the loan (through voluntary payments) but not the interest?
3. Whether I should simply repay every thing and just make taubah thereafter?
2. This is also permissible.
3. This is haraam. Nabi (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has said that Allah curses the one who consumes interest, the one who pays the interest, the one who records the interest bearing deal and the witness to the deal.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)