Question: Women are not obligated or even encouraged to work in Islam, but education is mandatory for all Muslims. Many women are pursuing higher education with the help of interest-bearing student loans. Then they work to pay off the loan, even after marriage. Is it necessary? What alternative does she have to consider?
The ruling on student loans
Thank you for your question. Muslim students who take interest-bearing student loans for their education must clearly understand the ruling on this. Please see the links for details:
Paying the loan back
However, your question points to whether women should be doing it instead of men, and I believe that the case is no different. Islam gives women and men the right to an education, and both should figure out a way to study something beneficial and pay for it in a permissible way. I can guarantee you that most educated men want to have educated wives, facilitating how they see the world when they are married.
A student might consider working while studying, applying for interest-relief programs, doing summer jobs to pay for school, or applying for grants and scholarships. If a woman, or man, ends up working after marriage to pay school loans (hopefully, which are interest-free), they fulfill an obligation, and the sooner the family is debt-free, the better. May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.