Subject : Ruling on Taking Back a Study Grant if the Student Violated its Conditions
Fatwa Number : 2903
Date : 28-04-2014
Classified : "Hibaa"Donation, Grant
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

A government body grants M.A and Ph.D. grants to distinguished students in Jordan, and these cover registration and credit hours fees. This is in addition to offering them salaries in return for dedicating their time and effort in studying. They do not have to repay these funds as long as they honor the conditions stipulated in the grant`s agreement, and some of these conditions are: a student must maintain an excellent mark record, and in case he/she fails to do so, then he/she must give back all of the paid funds in addition to a 50% of the total sum as a fine. What is the ruling on repaying the funds of the grant in case of failure to honor the conditions stipulated in the agreement, and what is the ruling on paying 50% from the total as a fine ?

The Answer :

All praise is due to Allah, peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah and upon all his family and companions.

A university grant is classified in Sharia as a gift, and stipulating repayment of funds upon failure to honor its conditions makes it a conditioned gift. According to some legal scholars , a conditioned gift is permissible, and it is close to what is called in Sharia ‘Umra and Rokba’. They have disagreed on the ruling of this condition; the Shafiites are of the view that the gift is valid and the condition is invalid; whereas, the Malikites and one narration of the Hanbalites are of the view that the condition is valid and they work on meeting it. Accordingly, a conditioned gift is permissible, and the condition governing it is accredited from an Islamic view point. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said: “A Muslim meets the conditions that he/she approved of.” {Narrated by Al-Hakim}.

Omar bin Al-Khatab was reported to having said: “Conditions approved by both parties and do not violate the rulings of Sharia determine the right of each.” Thus, the grant is valid and the condition is binding, and a student must honor what he had committed himself to in the first place.

However, it is prohibited to impose a fine on the grant`s funds because this involves usury (Riba) although it is a penal condition on a sum that has become a debt. And Allah knows best.



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