I just finished my second year of University and I took out a loan with student finance. I didn't know about the subject of the interest (Riba). What do you suggest could be the best thing I can do?

Islam has declared war on the moneylender who demands interest. It did so in the very last divine revelation (al-Baqarah, 2:279) to come down in the Holy Qur’an.

  • Would you be able to borrow money from friends/relatives to pay it off fast and give them the money back in installments?
    – user12537
    Jun 29, 2015 at 23:58

1 Answer 1


God mentions Riba more than once in the Quran. You mentioned surat Al-Baqara.

ٱلَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ ٱلرِّبَوا۟ لَا يَقُومُونَ إِلَّا كَمَا يَقُومُ ٱلَّذِى يَتَخَبَّطُهُ ٱلشَّيْطَـنُ مِنَ ٱلْمَسِّ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّمَا ٱلْبَيْعُ مِثْلُ ٱلرِّبَوا۟ وَأَحَلَّ ٱللَّـهُ ٱلْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ ٱلرِّبَوا۟ فَمَن جَآءَهُۥ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِۦ فَٱنتَهَى فَلَهُۥ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُۥٓ إِلَى ٱللَّـهِ وَمَنْ عَادَ فَأُو۟لَـٓئِكَ أَصْحَـبُ ٱلنَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ - ٢٧٥

Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say, "Trade is [just] like interest." But Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest. So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with Allah. But whoever returns to [dealing in interest or usury] - those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein - 275

يَمْحَقُ ٱللَّـهُ ٱلرِّبَوا۟ وَيُرْبِى ٱلصَّدَقَـتِ وَٱللَّـهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ كَفَّارٍ أَثِيمٍ - ٢٧٦

Allah destroys interest and gives increase for charities. And Allah does not like every sinning disbeliever - 276

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـلِحَـتِ وَأَقَامُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوةَ وَءَاتَوُا۟ ٱلزَّكَوةَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ وَلَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ - ٢٧٧

Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish prayer and give zakah will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve - 277

يَـٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّـهَ وَذَرُوا۟ مَا بَقِىَ مِنَ ٱلرِّبَوٓا۟ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ - ٢٧٨

O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers - 278

فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُوا۟ فَأْذَنُوا۟ بِحَرْبٍ مِّنَ ٱللَّـهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَإِن تُبْتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُءُوسُ أَمْوَلِكُمْ لَا تَظْلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ - ٢٧٩

And if you do not, then be informed of a war [against you] from Allah and His Messenger. But if you repent, you may have your principal - [thus] you do no wrong, nor are you wronged - 279

I personally would translate it with usury. Please see Wikipedia for a quick explanation. Someone who practices usury can be named usurer (i.e. a loan shark).

In the above verses in particular the usurer is mentioned, that is the one who eats interest. The concept should be familiar to you. You work hard and risk to get into hardship while the usurer could have a good live without working for it. Practicing usury is not work.

I learned that living scholars mentioned that during Meccan/Medinan time there were deals/businesses in which one rents a piece of land and pays a higher sum later, because the person did not have it in the beginning. However the difference, as far as I remember, was not considerable. And the contract was such that the risk is shared (I strongly believe, not sure though).

Note that there can be a difference between interest and usury. Some say interests are forbidden completely. Some say, usury is forbidden; interest rates, when low and human friendly might be ok if there is a reason or no alternative.

I personally believe in the latter.

Note that living scholars approved taking loan (where you pay interest) in certain circumstances in countries where you don't have alternatives. For example, to buy a house. You buy a credit to pay a house and you regularly pay a certain amount including interest to the bank for example. Overall at the end the paid back sum is considerably larger than the loan taken.

I personally believe that this is not OK. I know cases where people got into hardship because it takes them almost half a lifetime to pay back and they still have a way to go. In particular unless very necessary for living/surviving I don't think it is OK to take a loan to buy a car.

You have a duty to learn, train yourself and contribute to society. This costs money and thus students may be in need of help in order to pursue a career, educate themselves and build up a respectable, honorable and enjoyable life.

For studies, when no alternatives given, it is OK to take a loan. Actually, I do even think that you have to do that nowadays. Education, knowledge and contribution are in my opinion some of the duties one should perform in life.

It is not important for us to know what you took the loan for. But I'd like you to understand the guidelines to have an idea about when it is OK, when it is not OK. I hope the above three examples help you out.

Please understand that opinions can differ. You should be open to all answers, think for yourself, ask for guidance (for that no matter how smart you are, when God does not bestow upon you Hidaya, then nothing will guide/help you) and consider the circumstances/situations.

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