Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Some time ago in my past I took educational loans (loans for schooling). Even then I knew it wasn’t right. I knew I wouldn’t be able to repay them before the “grace period” ended and interest would begin to be charged on them. What can I do now to rectify this great wrong? I have made tauba (forgiveness prayer) several times. Is there anything else I should do to right this situation with Allah? I mean I can’t even pay them back now and interest will continue to be charged on the loans until every penny is paid back. Basically I want to know is making the Tauba enough. I have the intention to never take interest bearing loans again and I want to pay these off as soon as possible. Is there anything else I should do?
Taking a loan on interest is a major sin; thus it is necessary that one repents sincerely from this sin. If you have repented sincerely from being involved in the sin of Riba, then Insha Allah your responsibility is fulfilled.
Sincere repentance comprises of abstaining from the sin instantly, having a firm intention not to be involved in that sin again and being remorseful and regretful one one’s actions. (Nawawi, Riyadh al-Salihin)
Therefore, if you have repented sincerely, try your best to pay off this usurious loan as quick as humanly possible. Spend less on other things, economize in other areas of your life, and pay off this loan as soon as possible. If it is possible to take a (interest-free) loan from a family member or a friend and pay off the usurious loan, then you should do that.
May Allah Most High help and assist you in paying off this loan, Insha Allah.
And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK