Muslims encounter difficulties when arranging higher education because Islamic law forbids people taking loans that command interest fees. Muslims, therefore, are not permitted to finance their studies with typical student loans, which command interest fees. While some will regard their studies more important than following this specific Islamic law, others will not. Alternatives are available, however, as several Islamic and non-Islamic organisations and foundations offer grants specifically for Muslim students.
Iana Financial Grant
Iana is an interest-free lending organisation founded specifically for Muslim students. Iana is an Arabic word which translates into English as "assistance." Students applying for an Iana financial grant explain their needs and intentions and Iana then contacts specific organisations and individuals for financial support. Iana accepts the contributions and passes them on to the applicants. Alternatively, some individuals and groups loan money to the Iana Financial organisation, who in turn loan the money, interest free, to the student requiring it. The organisation is not a charity.
Iana Financial 9334 176 Ave. Edmonton AB T5Z 2C3 Canada ianafinancial.org
Islamic Development Bank Scholarship Program
The Islamic Development Bank offers this grant in the form of an interest-free loan that students repay after graduating. Only applicants who qualify as in need are eligible. Applicants must also meet specific academic criteria, including a minimum 60% grade in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and English. Students apply for the grant through the Muslim Education Trust. The Islamic Development Bank grant is only available to those studying certain subjects, including Microbiology, Biotechnology, Fisheries, Forestry, Homeopathy and Medicine.
The Students Islamic Trust E-3, Abul Fazl Enclave Jamia Nagar, New Delhi India, 110025 011-269-410-28 sit-india.org
Amideast Fulbright Grant
Amideast, in connection with the Fulbright program, offers grants to students applying to study in exchange programs in the United States. The Fulbright program is sponsored by the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The Amideast Fulbright grant is intended for students from the Middle East and North Africa who already have a bachelor's degree. The majority of applicants for the Amideast Fulbright grant are Muslim. Amideast not only assists with grant funding but also helps with placement and visa and other governmental procedures.
Amideast Office 1730 M St., NW Suite 1100 Washington, DC 20036 202-776-9600 amideast.org