Conversation started today Mariam Sbeitani 4:55pm Mariam Sbeitani
Assalamu alaykom. I have a question about university interest rates. I hope someone can help me out. First of all, before you think I was late with payments, I have to point out an important issue. My university works differently. And I didn't know that. By November 15th, if my account balance is not cleared out, they start to charge me interest every month. My family and I are in very bad financial conditions, and this is my explanation for why I can't just clear out my balance and get it over with. I know ribaa is wrong and a Muslim should never pay interest, it's one of the major sins, and that's why this is concerning me.
I'm looking at it this way, didn't I sign the contract, and wasn't I warned and aware of this? I mean, I didn't know about this monthly interest rate system/rule (that is, after Nov.15th, if the amount isn't cleared out, there is 1.5% interest each month). But now that I know more about this, isn't signing the contract at the beginning haraam and considered ribaa in itself? I've decided to drop next semester and pursue my education elsewhere. But now the university is closed, and I might have made this decision too lateee. :( But, I already have interest on my account from the university, about $130!!! And it will continue to accumulate until my balance is cleared out. I'm getting my job back insha'Allah. And I want to just get rid of everything, the ribaa, the haraam, the interest rates, and start fresh, and halal of course.
Now, I honestly don't want any trouble, I talked to my dad about this, and the contract signature and everything, so my question is, if I pay my interest (for the last time in my life insha'Allah), for example I pay around $130, and I pay the same amount (through my paycheck from work) to Syria, or any charity, would that be acceptable? I'll repent, I'll make tawbah, I don't ever want to go near it. But the fact is, didn't I sign papers, isn't it my fault that I got into this in the first place?
Please help, I'm panicking, and nobody's helping me, I don't know who to go to. I need a solution.
Jazak Allahu khayr.