As Salamu Alaykum,
I have a question about the Islamic perspective on student loans. I am a first generation premed student and when I attended undergrad at Loyola University Chicago, I had the idea that anything with interest is haram, but as long as you pay it fast, you should be fine. I recently graduated with my Masters in Biomedical sciences from Midwestern University and I was told by a family member living in Germany that student loans are absolutely haram due to the interest and it is one of the major sins. My plan has always been to apply to medical school as my next goal in life, InshAllah and my intention is to serve Allah Swt and give back to our ummah and take care our Muslim female patients. however, now I am a bit confused on what decision to make regarding student loans being haram. That is why I am writing to you to get your scholarly advice on this matter, InshAllah. When I was in undergrad I was unaware of the idea of student loans being absolutely haram and a major sin, but my family told me before I started my Masters program about it and I was too ignorant to accept it. Now that I completed my Masters program, I am reflecting and I really want to do the right thing for Allah SWT and if it is haram to take loans (and additional loans) for medical school, then I would rather change my career path that does not involve haram interest and that is more pleasing to Allah SWT. Since I am a first generation student, my parents are immigrants here and they did not really have money saved for my education to help me. Additionally, due to schooling in the United States being so expensive, I had to take these student loans. I dont justify my actions, but I sincerely repent for my sins caused by my student loans. I am more mature (Alhamdulillah) and now I realize, whatever is displeasing to Allah swt, I want to stay away from it, Alhamdulillah. Please let me know if I should set an appointment to talk to you about this or would this email suffice. JazakAllahu Khayran for your time and help in looking into my matter of student loans and letting me know your opinion.
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب وباللہ التوفیق
It wasn't legal for you to acquire an interest-bearing loan. But when you have already taken it, try to pay it off as soon as possible.
The only way to atone for this sin is to pray “Salat at-Tawbah” and seek forgiveness from Allah Almighty and resolve not to do it again. In Shaa Allah, Almighty Allah will forgive you.
However, the education you have received and whatever service you will render through it in the future and any compensation you will receive in this regard will be “halal” according to “Shari'ah".
اَحَلَّ اللّٰہُ الْبَیْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبٰوا
وَذَرُوْا مَا بَقِیَ مِنَ الرِّبٰوا اِنْ کُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِیْنَ(البقرۃ: ۲۷۸)
عن ابن مسعود رضي اللّٰہ عنہ قال: لعن رسول اللّٰہ صلی اللّٰہ علیہ وسلم آکل الربوا وموکلہ … الخ۔
(صحیح مسلم رقم: ۱۵۹۷)
فقط واللہ اعلم بالصواب
فقط واللہ اعلم بالصواب