Is It Permissible to Take Student Loan?

29 June, 2019
Q Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. I am a high school student in Ontario and graduating this year, in sha' Allah. I would like to go to university but the costs are too high so that I have to take an OSAP loan (Ontario Student Assistance Program). If I pay back the OSAP loan within 6 months after my graduation, I do not have to pay any interest on that loan. However, interest charges will be added on after six months from graduation if I do not pay them back in time. I do not see any way to pay back the OSAP loan within 6 months after graduation. What should I do now? Jazakum Allah khayran.

Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:

You are allowed to take the student loan if you have no other alternative — provided you are sincere in your intention to pay it back without incurring interest according to the best of your ability.


Answering your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

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You are allowed to take the OSAP loan if you have no other alternative — provided you are sincere in your intention to pay it back without incurring interest according to the best of your ability.

In order to make this happen, you should take only the absolute minimum amount that is needed which you would be able to pay off within the allowable time period.

If you sincerely work and ask Allah’s help, you will be able to do so.

I know many students who managed to pay the loans back without involving any interest whatsoever through hard work and firm commitment to do so with the help of Allah.

The way they achieved this was that while being enrolled in their full-time studies, they also secured part-time jobs (such as security guards or in the library, etc.) which did not interfere seriously with their studies. They also made use of full-time summer employment.

A still better alternative is to try to get a stipend or bursary, which is not at all impossible to obtain if you are diligent in your academic work.

 The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us that whoever wishes to keep himself chaste, pure and free from sins, Allah will surely help him to do so.

So formulate sincere intention to avoid interest payment, work hard and seek help from Allah, and Allah will help you. Allah says, {Whoever fears Allah, Allah will surely make things easy for him.} (At-Talaq 65:4)

To conclude, if you tried your best to keep the loan to a minimum and strove to pay it within the period, you have done what is possible for you. If, for reasons beyond your control or means, you could not pay all of them on time, then Allah knows your circumstances; so ask forgiveness of Him, for He is Forgiving and Merciful.

I wish you all the success in your studies. Pray to Allah always making use of the following supplication:

Allaahumma aghninee bi halaalika `an haraamika wa bi ta`atika `an ma`siyatika wa bi fadlika `amman siwaaka
(O Allah, make me self-sufficient with that which is halal (lawful) so that I am not compelled to go for what is haram (unlawful); make me self-sufficient with obedience to You so that I am not led to disobedience; make me self-sufficient with Your favor so that I do not need to look to favor from others!)”

Almighty Allah knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.