Fatwa ID: 05896
Answered by: Maulana Burhaan Rahman
The maintenance loan that I have, I will have to pay Zakat on it?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
If one was to look at the student loan system that we have in the United Kingdom thoroughly, it doesn’t prevent Zakah from becoming mandatory if he can pay it off.
We must understand this concept. According to GOV-STUDENT LOANS UK:
1) The loans are expected to be paid back after graduating within a 30-year window (or more) on the condition that the wage of a graduate is above £25,000.
2) But if the annual wage of the graduate does not surpass £25,000, the student will not be required to repay even a penny of the loan; it will be fully wiped off.
It is mentioned in Fath al-Qadeer
وَلَوْ كَانَ عَلَيْهِ مَهْرٌ لِامْرَأَتِهِ وَهُوَ لَا يُرِيدُ أَدَاءَهُ لَا يُجْعَلُ مَانِعًا مِنْ الزَّكَاةِ… لِأَنَّهُ لَا يَعُدُّهُ دَيْنًا
“If a man owes a lady dowry and he does not intend to pay it (now – there and then], it will not be considered a factor that prevents Zakah from becoming compulsory…Because this is not viewed as a debt”. [Fath Al-Qadeer vol 2, page 161]
And so, because a long-term debt (maintenance loan) is uncommonly claimed, no matter how much the student owes student loans, if he has the threshold amount, Zakah is still compulsory for him.
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Maulana Burhaan Rahman
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham