As many of you are aware, this blog was created firstly to vent my frustration at university fees in the UK which have been made more difficult for people like myself who cannot take out interest based loans for religious reasons, which are of course based on moral reasoning.
Many people would tell you that the system of interest in wrong but then they would shrug and say, well there is no avoiding it these days. That is sadly true which means that paying for my university fees is a huge, massive and terrible headache. First off, like many students I do not fancy the idea of paying such crazy amounts for university but at the end of the day, I would still pay it because that is what I have to do if I want to study at a higher level.
However, the problem occurs when the tuition fees system adopted by the UK government is one that is based on interest. This means that as a Muslim, I cannot take a loan out from them as dealing in interest (usury) is classified as a major sin. This has discouraged Muslim students from entering university in recent years as previously when the limit was £3,000 a year, students could save up and pay it themselves or with the help of family. Now with the fees at £9,000 a year, it has made things extremely difficult. The government have recently put forward a system that would be suitable for Muslims so I am really hoping they actually put it into practice as the consequences would be great. Honestly, my financial worries are all based around this problem. If I could take a tuition fees loan out, it would leave me with enough money to comfortably go through university.
This does not mean the current system justifies the high tuition fees as claimed by the government but the fact is being able to take out a student loan would certainly make things easier for me. Instead, I shall have to rely on family to lend me some money which yes, I can imagine being quite awkward. Either that or I start fundraising for my own degree which basically would be begging, right?
Anyway, so why is interest forbidden for Muslims? The reasons are many and actually not so complex. The idea is that money cannot be made from money, it has to be made through some effort. Also, in contrast to the headlines newspapers like the daily mail blare out, Muslims are not against tuition fees because they just want to pay less (as claimed by newspapers like the Daily Mail) but because it is impermissible completely.
This means if I borrow money from a friend or a relative, I will pay back exactly that amount, nothing more. This encourages solidarity as you’re helping a person out purely because you want to, not for any monetary gain. It also means the rich cannot take advantage of the poor by holding them to ransom. It is quite amazing to see that if we look at interest in a logical way without any religious influence, we can see it has many defects. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I am merely pointing out why I am not permitted to deal in interest and why paying for university is that much more difficult for me.
So let’s just hope that the system changes to accommodate the needs of certain people, which would encourage students from all backgrounds to enter into university.
Until Next Time,
A Worried Student
4 thoughts on “From Headache To Migraine”
I’m a Christian in total agreement that the COST of University education is a SIN! Good grief, people will tell you that you can’t get by without a college or university education, but YISH, try PAYING for it! If a couple is contemplating kids, they practically have to start saving at the thought of having kids! SCARY!!!
Back in the day, I wish someone had encouraged me to go to law school. But I wonder if I’d still be paying my student loans and I’m nearly 50!
Hmm I wouldn’t go so far to say that the actual cost of it is a sin but yet it is terribly expensive and made worse if you cannot take a loan out to pay for it.
In the US it must be more difficult as there is not such a student compatible loan system.
Indeed, many people in the UK will still be paying their fees into their 50s due to the increased cost.
Wow, i never knew that was the Muslim approach to money. The whole part about not using money to make money is pretty sensible. If that was the approach everyone took we wouldnt had the massive financial crash. That was all bankers using other people’s money to make more money for themselves. Very interesting post 🙂
It is surprising to many that the solution to the financial problems that current systems have can perhaps be found in this idea. Imagine an economy in which interest does not play a part, it would allow greater equality and the gap between the rich and poor would not continue to increase.
That is true, people began to seek more money than they could possibly need whilst playing with the lives of others.
Thank you and thanks for your comment 🙂