Q&A: Taking an Interest-Bearing Loan to Continue One’s Studies

Q. I am a dental student and am currently in a predicament. I started studying dentistry and my parents had the means to pay for my studies but now I find myself in my 3rd year of study and my parents can’t afford it. I know interest-based loans are haraam, but is there any alternative solution to my problem that is halaal?

A. An interest-bearing loan is haraam. The circumstance of secular studies or even Deeni studies does not make permissible paying interest. The objective of secular study is to establish a means of earning one’s rizq. Such means may not be acquired in a haraam way. Rizq is predetermined and sealed. We are allowed to pursue our Rizq in only halaal ways.

If an interest-free loan cannot be obtained from some Muslims, and if there is no one prepared to grant a bursary, then the student has to abandon his studies for the present. If the only way in which a business could be commenced is by acquiring a bank-loan, then it will not be permissible to initiate the business. The person will have to rather go and cut grass, wash cars or do something else for his livelihood. But, he may not acquire an interest-bearing loan and destroy his Aakhirat by courting the wrath of Allah Ta’ala.