In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
All Praise is due to God
All Peace and Blessings upon His Final Prophet Muhammad, his family, his companions, and all the Prophets of God.
“With every difficulty, there is relief.” [Holy Qur’an 95:6]
“Whosoever keeps his duty to God, He prepares a way out. And He provides for him from (sources) he could never imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in God, He will suffice him.” [Holy Qur’an 65:2-3]
Before Applying for an Interest-free Loan
We kindly advise you to:
A. Renew your intentions and make sincere prayers (duah) in your daily ritual prayers and other blessed times for help and guidance from God. Pray the prayer of GUIDANCE (ISTIKHARA) and be content with the path God takes you – He wants better for you than you want for yourself.
B. Reflect. Do I really need to get into debt now? Why? What other options do I have?
For educational loans: a number of applicants seem to jump into post-secondary schooling without thinking things through; tens of thousands of people graduate with degrees annually and do not use them due to many factors. Before spending tens of thousands of dollars on a post-secondary program, we suggest people honestly ask themselves: why am I pursuing this degree or certificate? How can I pay for it without falling into interest? Is this the right time for it or should I put it off for now? Have you considered other options for work? There are many resources online about this such as www.uncollege.org that help people tap into their own potential without needing to rely on accreditation, where possible.
For personal loans, reflect at the root causes of the emergency, perhaps misuse or mismanagement of funds, perhaps wronging other people – if so, work hard to right those wrongs and seek forgiveness and repent. For vehicles, sometimes more affordable vehicles have more blessings than more expensive ones.
For business loans: we are best advised to take our time and not rush – haste is from the devil and we will get our portion of wealth that is destined for us whether we hurry or not.
For institutional loans, sometimes major capital projects are not needed or not wise with other uses of funds of greater priority. Dr. Ramadan and others discuss this in their writings: very often, funds used directly to support and benefit people and for programs are of greater value than those used to purchase or build buildings.
C. Seek Advice. There are many scholars, elders, and mentors in our communities who have tremendous knowledge and wisdom and experience. Talk to a few of them who you trust and value their opinions. Ask for their sincere counsel, God may send His guidance on their tongues. Also ask for their prayers.
D. Work Hard. After praying, reflecting, and seeking advice, make a decision and put your trust in God. You’ll have to work hard: find part-time work during school and full-time work during the summer to save up money for your tuition and expenses or for your business. Try approaching some wealthier people in your community who might be able to give you a loan or invest in your business. Do the best you can within the beautiful guidelines of your faith.
Interest-Free Loan APPLICATION
Step 1: Preliminary Questions
Please answer all questions as applicable and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
If eligible, you will inshaAllah be asked to proceed to submit a full application.
For urgent applications, submit everything in Step 1 & 2 immediately.
Privacy: Your information is kept in strict confidence, is not shared with other organizations, and is used by Iana volunteers to determine eligibility for an interest-free loan.
2.Address, City, Province (State), Country & Phone Number
3.Loan Amount & Currency Requested from IANA
4.Purpose of Loan (please provide details)
5.How will this loan benefit the greater community and society-at-large?
6.Current Outstanding Loans and their Repayment Plan Details
7.Date IANA Loan Needed By (yyyy/mm/dd)
8.Date to Start Repaying your IANA Loan inshaAllah (yyyy/mm/dd)
9.Expected Monthly IANA Loan Repayment amount inshaAllah
10.Date to Finish Paying your IANA Loan inshaAllah (yyyy/mm/dd)
11.How would you plan to repay this loan?
12.What would you do if your repayment plan failed or you expected to be late in making a payment? Explain.
13.How well do you communicate and how responsive are you to email and phone? Would you be able to promptly keep IANA updated about your situation or respond to inquiries from IANA? Please elaborate.
14.Do you have a guarantor willing to sign with you? If so, whom?
15.Do you consent to IANA conducting a credit-check on you? If not, explain.
16.Background situation: have you been working hard trying to avoid taking loans? Do you have other circumstances? Here’s where you can share more about your situation and any other relevant information.
17.Have you gone through A, B, C, D, E, & F above? Please elaborate.
18.Are you involved in your local community? Do you volunteer? Please explain.
19.Please share your views on the modern economic system, interest/usury, debt, credit cards, banks etc.
20.Have you ever studied Islamic Law (Fiqh)? Please explain.
21.How did you find out about IANA?
For an EDUCATIONAL loan via Iana Learn ALSO answer:
*Current or Planned Institution and Area of Study
*Date of Graduation inshaAllah (yyyy/mm/dd)
*Current Student Loan Amount (if applicable)
*Amount of Student Loans Expected at Graduation
*Reason For Not Using Conventional Student Loans
For a small, short-term, PERSONAL loan ALSO answer:
*How are you confident that this will be a one-time emergency/urgent loan inshaAllah?
*Have you explored grants from social services organizations? For example, in Edmonton, Alberta we have ifssa.ca.
For a BUSINESS or INSTITUTIONAL loan via Iana Independence or Iana Community also provide this information:
*Financial statements for the past 3 years
*Business plan or forecast for the next 2 years
*Bank statement and letter from your bank
Answer the questions above and email the answers to email@example.com
STEP 2: The Application Form
Also provide the following documentation as-relevant to your request:
E-mail Application and Documentation to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or Mail your Application to:
P.O. Box 61027 Delton
Edmonton, Alberta T5E 6J6
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there preferred applicants?
Yes! Special consideration and priority is given to specific applications, basically, in trying to be true to the Objectives of the Sacred Law or Maqasid Al-Sharia; a useful essay in this regard is the one by Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah, Living Islam with Purpose.
1. Sacred Sciences of Islam
2. Difficult Financial Circumstances
This includes help needed by orphans, widows, people with disabilities, immigrants or refugees, ex-convicts, and people who want to avoid or repent, get out of, and live a life free from usury or interest (riba).
We are in dire need of volunteers, activists, thinkers, and institutions who are wisely and intelligently working at reforming society, visionaries who see the pitfalls in our times and are helping us redefine the way we look at the world to develop more meaningful, purposeful, and harmonious lives and communities. Specifically those seeking to make balanced, grassroots, progressive change in the following areas:
*Education – a tremendous amount of work has been done by many people who show that the old-school mass schooling model typically used in the West is a failed or even harmful model and that alternative methods are far superior for individuals and society at large. For example, see the insightful work of John Taylor Gatto, Ken Robinson, John Holt, Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, the documentary Race to Nowhere and many others.
*Agriculture – modern mass agricultural methods are harming eco-systems across the planet. There is a renewed push for small-scale solutions and local food movements are taking way across the globe; see for example the work behind the permaculture movement. Similarly, the organic and fair trade food movements have been increasing in popularity as well – yet much work remains to be done.
*Environment – modern ways of living have had devastating affects on the entire planet including the land, air, and water we all share as well as specific harm to countless animal species. As stewards of the Earth, it is our obligation to restore the balance in the world such that we live in harmony with all creatures. See what is being done by the David Suzuki Foundation, Plastic Pollution Coalition, the Organic Cotton industry, Environmental Working Group, Environmental Defence and many more. Of note, the efforts behind Cowspiracy show the harms of modern mass agriculture are great.
*Community – as we have become disconnected from the Earth and the sources of our nourishment, we have also become disconnected from each other – our families and communities continue to face enormous challenges. We seek to support initiatives that aim to restore the centrality of family and community to our lives. See some of the great work by Ta’leef and Tarjuma.
*Economics – Iana in its entirety is one humble effort to help combat the widespread oppression by the modern economic systems. Much work is being done by other organizations to explore alternative local currencies, to advocate for credit unions over large banks, to prefer cash to over credit cards, and even to make a push for real currencies over cash. See the work of Bruce Livesey in Thieves of Bay Street, or the documentary Money as Debt, and many more. The inherent inequalities of modern economic systems hurt us all and lead to poverty and war – we need to do much more to raise awareness and to establish fair economic institutions and programs. We believe adherence to the principles of Islamic Finance will solve our problems.
Economics, aside from the purely financial side, is in effect a means to affect all other areas of life, if we appreciate that ethical spending is a way to vote with our dollars – which causes, companies, organizations, or concepts to support or not support. As such, there are many efforts in this regard such as:
By trying to be careful and intentional in how we spend our money, we can help reform our world on many levels including the environment, human rights, child welfare, animal rights, and more. While Iana does not fully endorse any of these works in their entirety, they are providing tremendously beneficial services to help people be more ethical in their spending and to avoid being complicit in human and environmental injustice.
There is much work being done here, on ethical earning and spending, and the over-arching Islamic Economic System by Dr. Adi Setia and others as highlighted in the international Journal for Islamic Sciences.
*Health – while modern medicine has many wonderful benefits, there are many areas both within the field of medicine or without that can tremendously help improve the health of people today. For example, see the outstanding work of Dr. Robert Lustig in advocating against sugar, and the many documentaries that resulted from his work – similarly, much has been done by others like Michael Pollan to help offset the harms of the modern diet. Much more is to be said here regarding alternative medicine, the effects of alcohol, drugs, pornography, and more.
-Other areas for Islamically progressive reform include: Law, Human Rights, Animal Rights, Politics, Pro-Peace / Anti-War
Do you accept international applicants?
Yes, international applicants are eligible and have been awarded loans. However, preference goes to those from Edmonton, then Alberta, then Canada, then the US, then other countries – you are all invited to move to Edmonton!
Please read the Iana Disclaimer about other organizations here.
What types of Loans are available?
Currently you may apply for one of four types of loans:
- Iana Learn is for educational loans, to pay for tuition or expenses to pursue studies, or, to pay off existing student loans.
- Iana Personal is for emergency or short-term loans for those who have urgent needs or unanticipated expenses (e.g. dental, medical, auto, etc.) as well as important vehicle purchases, or home renovations.
- Iana Independence is to help small businesses get on their feet or expand their operations.
- Iana Community is for non-profit organizations and institutions and their work.
Note: since the bulk of our loans are educational, much of this page reflects that; bear with us (and pray for us!), soon each loan category will, God-willing, have its own page. In the meantime, please follow this as a guide to be modified based on the specifics of the other categories.
How do applicants apply?
1. Please email the answers to the pre-application questions; you may not receive an answer at all or for an extended period of time due to the volume of emails we receive. If pre-approved, you will, inshaAllah (God-willing) be asked to:
2. Submit the full application forms provided via the link. Loans are made to the applicant (not the parents, schools or outside agencies). All additional information must be supplied for the committee to consider your application.
3. A personal interview will be required as well as reference checks.
4. If any requirements are not satisfied or documentation not submitted, the application may be automatically rejected.
How are applicants assessed?
Applications are reviewed through a rigorous process devised by Islamic and Western finance experts. The process is a combination of a thorough application review, documentation, reference checks, an interview, potentially a credit check, praying for guidance or istikhara and more; all to try to ensure the applicants are responsible, trustworthy, prudent, competent and will inshaAllah (God-willing) successfully repay their loans so that others may benefit from the pool of funds.
What are reasons for loan applications to be rejected?
Loan Applications can be rejected for the following reasons:
- Incomplete application or missing supporting documents
- Insufficient funds available
- Disagreement in establishing repayment schedule
- Guarantors unwilling to co-sign (if applicable)
- Poor judgment or poor character displayed by applicant
- Other reasons deemed appropriate by Iana Financial
Please note that the funds Iana has are a trust from those who have donated or loaned money to Iana, as such, we are fully accountable for the responsible management of these funds. We take our role seriously and can deny an application at our discretion.
When is the deadline for applications and how long does the process take?
There is no deadline for submitting an application. Once an application is submitted, the response will inshaAllah be given as soon as possible, please plan accordingly, submit your request early, and continue to pursue other options in parallel.
Loans may be given within days or weeks depending on many factors – this is a volunteer team and no paid staff so keep that in mind.
How does the loan repayment work?
Iana Financial highly depends upon the repayment of loans in order to continue to help people meet their needs. It is important that applicants recognize there is a moral obligation as well as a legal obligation to repay any loan that he or she may receive. As such, a loan agreement is signed to ensure the terms are clear to both parties. For accountability and practicality, a loan repayment plan is set on a case-by-case basis.
What if the borrower fails to make a payment for repaying their loan?
After missing the first and second payments, a friendly reminder will inshaAllah be sent to the applicant in the form of a phone call, email, and/or letter. Unless alternate arrangements have been made (e.g. the repayment plan adjusted), after missing the third consecutive payment, the loan will be considered in default. At this point, guarantors will be contacted to resume payments, the payment schedule may be revised if necessary. If there is still not a resolution in fulfilling payments, further action, for example legal action, may be taken to recover Iana Financial’s (i.e. the community’s) assets or approaching the public to help recover funds. Our main mitigation is in the front-end – being extra careful in selecting the borrowers in the first place with a thorough application process. We try to do our best and we rely on God.
Peace and Blessings
Praise and Thanks