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Ruling on taking out a riba-based loan to build an educational institution to save the Muslim children from having to move to a Christian school

Question: 178480

In our region there are a lot of Muslims and we have Muslim schools in which Arabic and English are taught together. The Christians are second in terms of statistics, but despite that their schools are of a high level and everyone who completes his study in those schools graduates with distinction. For that reason, the Muslims have started to pull their children out of the Islamic schools and are sending them to those Christian schools, and the effect of that on the Muslim children is very clear to everyone. We do not have the means to build an educational institution at the same level in order to save them from this clear doom.

Is it permissible for us to take a loan from the riba-based bank in order to build that educational institution for this purpose? 

Please advise us, may Allah reward you with good.

Praise be to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and his family.


Taking out a
loan to be repaid with interest from any institution, individual or bank is
riba (usury) which is haraam and is a major sin. Allah has warned the one
who does that of curses and destruction in this world and punishment in the

See the answer
to questions no. 8829 and


What you are
asking about of building an educational institution with riba-based funding,
to compete with the Christian schools, is not regarded as an excuse that
would make it permissible for you to take out that haraam loan that would
result in paying interest. This is not one of the cases of necessity that
may make haraam things permissible. The fathers and mothers who accept
falling into haraam by taking their children out of your Islamic schools and
putting them in Christian schools are incurring great sin by doing that.
Their Lord will ask them about this trust that they failed to fulfil in the
proper manner. There is no blame or sin on you for what these fathers and
mothers are doing, and Allah will not burden you with anything more than you
can bear. You have not fallen short in advising and teaching the people and
preparing a suitable place to teach their children. Rather this neglect is
on their part, and you cannot be blamed for what they do. But if you take
out a riba-based loan, you will be exposing yourselves to the wrath and the
punishment of Allah, and perhaps your action, if you did that, would be more
serious than what they are doing by taking their children to those schools.
So leave things as they are, and whoever among the Muslims wants to stay
with you, let him do so, and whoever refuses, you will not be brought to
account for his actions. There is nothing wrong with looking for other,
permissible sources to finance the building of the educational institution
that can compete with those Christian institutions. So look for someone who
wants to do good and can give you a goodly (interest-free) loan, or look for
a Muslim businessman who can help you building that institution and have a
share of the profits commensurate with his contribution, or follow the
well-known method of collecting donations from well-wishers to establish
your educational institution. Beware of riba-based loans, for there is
nothing good in them and they bring a great deal of sin upon the one who
does that or approves of it. 

Shaykh ‘Abd
al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: 

Is it
permissible to take a loan from the riba-based banks in order to compete
with the missionaries with the aim of saving the Muslims from
Christianisation and so on? 

He replied: 

If it is a
loan to be repaid with interest (riba), it is not permissible according to
the consensus of the early generations of the ummah, because the evidence
from the Qur’aan and Sunnah indicates that that is haraam, even if the
intention is noble, because noble aims do not justify haraam means or make
them permissible. But if the loan is without interest, there is nothing
wrong with it. However, taking loans from other sources, such as those who
have wealth that is free of riba, is better and preferable, and more on the
safe side, if that is possible. 

We advise you
to work together to obtain loans from good-hearted Muslim businessman and to
collect donations from them in order to save the Muslim children from the
hands of those who propagate Christianity, idolatry and communism. This
cooperation is obligatory upon you, O Muslims, in Uganda and elsewhere. It
comes under the heading of jihad as prescribed in Islam and of da‘wah or
calling people to Allah, and of enjoining what is good and forbidding what
is evil. We ask Allah to help and guide you, to make your intentions sound
and your actions correct. We advise your Muslim brothers in Uganda to
cooperate with you in your great work to spread Islam and call people to it
in the mosques and elsewhere, and to open Islamic schools for memorisation
and teaching of the Holy Qur’aan, teaching sound Islamic ‘aqeedah that is
free of the contamination of shirk and innovation, as well as teaching other
branches of Islamic knowledge.

End quote from
Majmoo‘ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 19/284 

For a
statement on the prohibition on studying in Christian and other schools,
please see the answer to questions no.
150114 and

And Allah knows best.


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