What is the ruling of Sharia on borrowing from the University Student Support Fund?
Praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds.
In reference to what has been published in some local newspapers and websites about borrowing from the University Student Support Fund, we say,
At the outset, we would like to thank the Ministry of Higher Education for supporting students through granting them soft loans to pursue their university studies, and for its quick response to Our Fatwa. On May 21st, 2012, the Iftaa` Department issued a Fatwa in this regard stating that the penalty clause-which stipulates that the students pays (5%) as an annual penalty for late payment-is religiously prohibited.
Our Department sent a letter to the Minister of Higher Education explaining that, so he responded by deleting that clause ever since.
In conclusion, this loan contains no violations of Islamic Law; thus, there is nothing wrong with getting it from the above Fund. In this regard, it is important to note that the published Fatwa is old and rendered invalid by the deletion of the afore-clause. We ask Allah to help us serve our religion and blessed homeland. And Allah The Almighty knows best.