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Paying interest due to late payment

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: My question is regarding my university tution. I have paid the first semester fee which was 4000 euros, and events occurred just before the second semester began which led me to consider my place at the university institute I was in. I therefore spent the first few weeks of the second semester pondering over what to do next, before eventually deciding on staying. During that time, the deadline for second semester payments had passed and the university began charging late fees, and I was aware that this would be the case before the deadline; however I wasn’t aware until after the deadline had passed that the charging of late fees was equivalent of riba. I will try and speak with someone at the university to Insha Allah reduce the fees to a normal price, but if  after speaking with an individual at the university and being refused my request, I paid the late fee, would I be sinful for doing so?


A: If they are not willing to drop off the extra amount and you are forced to pay the extra amount, then in that case you should sincerely repent to Allah Ta’ala. Though you did not have knowledge of this clause being impermissible and resulting in riba, however since you have got involved into the major sin of riba, you should sincerely repent to Allah Ta’ala and make a firm resolve that it will not happen in the future.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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