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Supporting the Campaign Against Tuition Fees Rises

I have recently been approached concerning supporting the campaign against the increase in tuition fees that was approved by Parliament a few days ago (although it may be repealed if a repeal receives enough backing from the House of Lords). I affirm that the campaign should be supported bar the un-Islamic or illegal elements undertaken to attract attention. Ironically, it should be noted that the first people to launch a campaign against the dramatic increase were Muslim students in the form of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) which, quite expectedly, failed to receive media coverage.

Raising the tuition fees from £3,290 up to £9,000 makes it terribly difficult for an average family in Britain (the average income for a household in Britain is between £25,000 and £30,000) to support their children up until graduation. This means that university education will be left for those who can afford it – the rich. Thus the elite will remain as they are, powerful and in control, whilst both the working and middle classes will have limited access to higher education. This is a typical example of discrimination based on wealth in a society that then contradictorily calls for justice and equality. The government feigns attempts to reduce the national deficit yet is willing to fork out £20 billion on renewing Trident.

Currently students repay 9% of all income above £15,000 although Lord Browne recommends that this threshold rise to 9% of salary above £21,000. The interest rate will also rise so that student loans will accrue 2.2% interest above the Government’s rate of borrowing – a total of 5.3% at current levels. The report also recommends cancelling a student’s debt (if not completed) after 30 years as compared with 25 years currently in effect. The implications of this is that those students who come from wealthy families shall suffice, but the overwhelming majority will have to take out loans to pay for a university education consequently creating a culture of debt where it will be seen as a norm in society. Under such conditions, people will simply be working to pay off debts rather than concentrating on the financial stability of their families.

Islam, generally speaking, is in favour of education with the first chapter of the Qur’an to be revealed commencing with the command to ‘read’. The more a society is educated, the more it becomes receptive to rational discussion and argument and free from being enslaved ideologically and intellectually by either human beings or by their desires. Education affords young people in society the ability to challenge ideas that are force-fed to them through various media outlets, and hence, they are the best people to make a change. The Qur’an commands us to reflect upon the creation of Allah, His laws that he has created in nature and what has befallen previous nations. It is also well established that Islam commands us to enjoin good and forbid evil as well as to co-operate in maximising whatever is good and minimising whatever is bad.

Allah says,

“You [true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad SAW  and his Sunnah (legal  ways, etc.)] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you  enjoin Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all  that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah. And had the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) believed, it would have been better  for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are Al-Fasiqun (disobedient  to Allah –  and  rebellious against Allah’s Command)”.[1]

He also said,

“Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa  (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do  not   help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.”[2]

Additionally, universities provide an open atmosphere where students from diverse backgrounds can meet and discuss matters of concerns, exchange ideas, challenge ideas, and endorse the best of them. All these are aims that Islam regards as favourable, and so, I call upon Muslims to support such initiatives whilst remaining within the boundaries of the law, and most importantly, those of the sharῑ‘ah.

 

 

Notes;
Islam21c requests all the readers of this article, and others, to share it on your facebook, twitter, and other platforms to further spread our efforts.
[1] 3:110
[2] 5:2


 

About Shaikh (Dr) Haitham Al-Haddad

Dr. Haitham al-Haddad is a jurist and serves as a judge for the Islamic Sharia Council (UK & Eire). He has studied the Islamic sciences for over 20 years under the tutelage of renowned scholars such as the late Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia as well as the retired Head of the Kingdom's Higher Judiciary Council. He specialises in many of the Islamic sciences and submitted his doctoral thesis on Islamic jurisprudence concerning Muslim minorities. Shaikh Haitham is highly respected having specialised knowledge in the field of fiqh, usul al-fiqh, maqasid al-shari'ah, ulum al-Qur’an, tafsir, aqidah, and fiqh al-hadith. He provides complex theories which address the role of Islamic jurisprudence within a western environment whilst also critically re-analysing the approach of Islamic jurists in forming legal rulings (ifta’) within a western socio-political context. He has many well known students most of whom are active in dawah and teaching in the West. The shaikh is an Islamic jurist (faqih) and as such is qualified to deliver verdicts as a judge under Islamic law, a role he undertakes at the Islamic Sharia Council as Islamic judge and treasurer. Dr Haitham al-Haddad also sits on various the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations, mainly in the United Kingdom but also around the world.

6 comments

  1. Calm down guys! You missed the Sheikh’s point
    Slow down guys! This article is a general one discussing the increase in tution fees and how (quite rightly!) we as Muslims should be against the increase. Considering that a large amount of Muslims come from the lowest socio economic classes, unfairness, broken promises etc. In regards to the steps forward and what one should do with ones children, and taking out loans that is a seperate discussion.

    W.salams

  2. THIS ARTICLE IS A JOKE!
    Shame on those who prohibit the halaal and permit the haraam.

  3. Tuition Fee and interest
    Salam Shiekh,
    In your article you failed to mention anything about interest and riba. As you are fully aware of engaging in a transction with riba. Due to this reason many Allah fearing Muslims will not go to university.

    Please put some proposals forward regarding this matter. Jzk

  4. To Gregory Abdul Mumin Thomas
    What an ignoramus you sound like!

    “Where is the text to support protest, demonstrations and Muslims accepting Educational loans with interest?” Where are the text to support you should even be using your computer or even be on islam21c, did the salaf read websites???!

    Sounds like an innovator

  5. Gregory Abdul Mumin Thomas

    Where is the text to support this action in seeking the Dunya.
    Asalaamu aiaiykum to you all, Ibn Tammiyah ra say ” In my opinion the Muslims who live among the Christians are the weakest” this has prove true, where is the text to support protest, demonstrations and Muslims accepting Educational loans with interest? all these Muslims are on the path to the Hellfire if they die upon this and so are the leaders and parents of these Muslims, been without a degree is better than shirk and Riba.
    So we should direct our children to colleges in the Muslim world to seek knowledge and the Deen comes before the seeking of kufr based knowledge.
    The Salaf had none of these actions and they are our best examples and if you think they had never seen of situations then you have 2 things to correct your knowledge of this Deen and the disbelieve in the completeness of the Deen of Islam.
    May Allah azza wajall guide you and correct your actions.

  6. Dear Sheikh, as Muslims should we be applying for these loans to pay for our (or are children’s) education. We will have to pay riba, so should we proceed? Or do we keep away and let only the rich get an education and an opportunity to prosper? Or am I going to hear from some Muslims that it is a neccessity ( as mortgages are fr some people- I digress here!!). Please can you advise. Fortunately I graduated more than 17 years ago, and was not put in this position of taking loans

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