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Alsalam ALykom I have a balance of 14,000 dollar in student Debt from US DPT OF EDUCATION. I am not paying this debt currently as it is in forbearance until Oct 2013. My QUESTION is regarding going to HAJJ, can I go to hajj and have the debt, although i am in an agreement not to pay until 2013. And to be honest i don't have the intention to pay the loan back in the future. The reason I don't feel like it is a legitimate debt is because i didn't ASK for the loan in the first place. The school gave me the option to have this loan on top of the free financial Aid money. so it was like a business transaction. and now I am I can't find a good paying job with this worthless degree. It was a bad business transaction and the bank should take a loss. Now that i became a more practicing Muslim, I know the evil of getting involved in Riba, but also at the same time I heard that taking student loans from banking institution with the intention of NOT paying them back is allowed. the verse in the Quran where Allah declared war on Riba. this gives us a green light to not pay the loan nor the interest money back. so can someone please clarify this point and this argument. one last point. The bank uses Fractional reserve lending, so technically the bank who gave me the loan, did not have the money in the first place. so in legal terms (secular law) you can argue with the judge in court that the bank didn't have the money in the first place. and there were few cases the judge ruled against the bank. also the argument that the banks were bailed out with tax payer money,, are we obligated to repay any loan from these evil institutions? can someone please comment on that. thanls, and My main question was: Can I go to Hajj? I already bought the tickets,, and if I am not suppose to go, then what should I do in the mean time (should i cancel my trip, or go anyways since I payed for it) Jazakom Allah Khair

الجواب حامداومصليا
1- Having a debt which is not payable immediately does not prevent from going for Hajj. Therefore, you may go for Hajj despite having debt on your shoulders.
2- The loan that you have taken, should be paid back. You must do everything possible to return the loan. If you don't repay the loan despite having the financial ability then you will be held accountable by Allah.
3- It is not permissible to take a loan with the intention of not repaying regardless of the loan being taken from a Muslim or non-Muslim or a bank.
4- Whether the bank had the money at the time you received or not, it does not matter. If you received the money and accepted it then you must repay it.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Ikram ul Haq
Fatwa Center of America