18 October, 2019
As-salamu `alaykum. I’m currently planning to go to University to study accounting and finance BSc. I had applied for a tuition fee loan from “Student Finance England” but as soon as I found out that the loan would charge interest, I refused to take the loan. For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to find an Islamic bank or organization where I could apply for a halal/free of interest loan, but I failed to meet their requirements such as providing a guarantor. I then started looking for scholarships and I came through the National Zakah Foundation Scholarship.Now, my question is: can I apply for such scholarship? Because my parents and brother say that we cannot apply for Zakah as we are not poor. But we don’t have any money or saving to fund my education. My mum says that it is OK to take a tuition fee loan with interest as you are in need of it. Also one of my friends told me to take the tuition fee loan and not to pay back the loan at the end or just pay back £27,000 and don’t pay the interest. I am very lost; what should I do?
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:
As for your case, if you can reach the Zakah-based scholarship, you give them your true information and leave the decision for them.
I think the solution is to find a work study program that may suit you. A scholarship from the Zakah fund is OK if you are qualified for it.
Just give the fund organization the true information and let them take a decision. They should know how to determine your eligibility.
If there is a legal way that you may take tuition loan and avoid paying its interest, this may not be a bad option too.
But definitely I do not believe that an interest-based loan is permissible to start education.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.