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 IANA 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.
For educational loans, a number of applicants seem to jump into post-secondary schooling without thinking things through; countless people graduate with degrees annually and do not use them due to many factors – they are then left with much debt and often no work. Before spending tens of thousands of dollars on a post-secondary program, we suggest asking: why am I pursuing this degree or certificate? What are the societal needs I am trying to fulfill? What other options do I have? Can I achieve my goals otherwise? How can I pay for schooling without falling into interest? Is this the right time for it or should I put it off for now?
There are many resources online such as www.uncollege.org that help people tap into their own potential without needing to rely on accreditation or degrees, where possible. Not that post-secondary is wrong, but that one should know very well what they are getting into and what post-secondary provides and does not provide. Many others have great reflections about the modern post-secondary system such as John Taylor Gatto (read his books like Weapons of Mass Instruction and this short letter), Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, and others.
For personal loans, reflect at the root causes of the need or emergency, sometimes it is just a normal downturn in life, other times it can be misuse or mismanagement of funds, or 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 small 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. Instead of loans you may consider investments or partnerships.
For institutional loans, sometimes major capital projects are not needed nor are they wise – with other uses of funds of greater priority. Very often, funds used directly to support and benefit people and for programs are of far greater value than those used to purchase or build buildings – i.e. bricks and stone.
If you’ve thought long and hard about this decision, exhausted other avenues (like the ones below in the FAQ), and weighed the benefits against the harms, and still believe it is best to get a loan then…
C. Seek Advice. There are many truly God-fearing 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. Approach other organizations for financial aid below and see the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, and see answers to common questions.
E. Trust in God. He will facilitate the path that is best for you. Remember that God sees the Big Picture and He knows what’s best, your particular desire for a field of study or for a business endeavour may not be what’s best for you at this moment, or perhaps it is, however God’s Will unfolds, that is certainly what is best. Trust in Him, He will reward your trust in Him by taking care of you in ways you could not imagine. Let go and let God.
It is reported that Abdallah Ibn Masud, God be well-pleased with him, said that there is no ayah in the Qur’an that is quicker for relief than: ‘Whosoever keeps his duty to God, He prepares a way out.‘ – Al-Adab Al-Mufrad
ما في القرآنِ آيةٌ أسرعُ فرجًا من قوله وَمَنْ يَتِّقِ اللهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا” – الأدب المفرد“
Consider other organizations for financial support:
If applying for a loan from IANA, you must confirm whether or not you have approached these or similar organizations for scholarships, interest-free loans, aid, or zakat.
(Also see International organizations below since some of them offer services to Canadians.)
Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA): icnareliefcanada.ca
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA): isna.ca
Canada Zakat: canadazakat.org
National Zakat Foundation: nzfcanada.com
Islamic Relief Canada: islamicreliefcanada.org
Scholarships: emaan.ca and MAX Gala maxgala.com
Edmonton: Islamic Family and Social Services Association (IFSSA) and Al-Rashid Education Foundation (AREF) (Scholarships)
Ontario: Beneficent (Interest-free Loans)
If caught in heavy interest-based debt, and it’s not possible to obtain other permissible forms of aid or interest-free help, you may consider approaching a credit counselling/consolidation agency to help you get completely out of debt; pray for guidance, consult a scholar regarding your obligations/limits, and then contact and evaluate these organizations based on their fees and services, and decide what’s best for you. See: www.nomoredebts.org (non-profit) ; www.debtfreecanada.ca ; www.debt.ca ; www.bromwichandsmith.com ; www.moneymentors.ca (ALBERTA)
(Also see International organizations below since some of them offer services to Americans.)
A Continuous Charity (Interest-free Educational Loans)
Zakat Foundation of America: www.zakat.org
IMAN (Chicago, USA): Imancentral.org
Organizations supported by American Muslim Fund: amuslimfund.org/funded
Islamic Relief: Islamic-Relief.org
Muslim Aid: MAA International
Human Concern International: Humanconcern.org
Zakat Foundation of America: Zakat.org
Life USA: Lifeusa.org
Al-Alusi Foundation: Alalusifoundation.org
Akhuwat (Pakistan): Akhuwat.org.pk
National Zakat Foundation – United Kingdom (UK): Nzf.org.uk
Pollination Project: Thepollinationproject.org (small grants)
Nuzaki Crowd: Nuzakicrowd.org (crowdfunding)
Launchgood: Launchgood.com (crowdfunding)
To suggest other organizations email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please read the Iana DISCLAIMER about other organizations HERE.
IANA Interest-Free Loan APPLICATION
Step 1: Preliminary Questions
Please answer all questions as applicable and email them to email@example.com 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 in CAD or USD 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 have collateral for this loan? If so, please describe; if not, please explain.
16.Do you consent to IANA conducting a credit-check on you? If not, explain.
17.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.
18.Have you gone through A, B, C, D, & E above? Please elaborate.
19.Are you involved in your local community? Do you volunteer? Please explain.
20.Please share your views on the modern economic system (e.g. interest/usury, debt, credit cards, banks etc.). Are you willing to consider switching from a bank to a credit union? Are you willing to cancel or minimize credit card use?
21.Have you ever studied Islamic Law (Fiqh)? Please explain.
22.Are you interested in learning more about Modern Economics and Finance and Islamic Economics?
23.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
*What are some of your favorite books and why? What types of books (e.g. genre, names, authors) do you enjoy reading and why?
*Have you explored other pure loan and scholarship options such as the ones below in the FAQ?
For a small, short-term, PERSONAL loan ALSO answer:
*How are you confident that this will be a one-time emergency/urgent loan inshaAllah?
*What are some of your favorite books and why? What types of books (e.g. genre, names, authors) do you enjoy reading and why?
*Have you explored grants from zakat or social services organizations such as those below in the FAQ?
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
*What are some of your favorite books and why? What types of books (e.g. genre, names, authors) do you enjoy reading and why?
*Have you explored other pure loan and grant options such as the ones below in the FAQ?
Answer the questions above and email the answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
Fill out the application in the link above and provide the following documentation:
E-mail Application and Documentation to:
Or Mail your Application to:
P.O. Box 61027 Delton
Edmonton, Alberta T5E 6J6
Dear Apt Applying Applicants,
Special consideration and priority is given to specific people in an attempt to be true to the Objectives of the Sacred Law or Maqasid Al-Sharia; a useful essay in this regard is the one by the esteemed scholar Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah, LIVING ISLAM WITH PURPOSE.
1. Sacred Sciences of Islam
Whether studying at reputable institutions such as: Zaytuna College in the US or Cambridge Muslim College in the UK – or graduates of such programs, or the institutions themselves. Similarly, programs like: Deen Intensive’s Rihla, Alim, Reviving the Islamic Spirit, Zawiyah at Rosales, Ta’leef, and similar efforts such as Classical Arabic Programs (e.g. Shariah Program).
2. General Financial Help
*This includes people with difficult financial circumstances and who need help; especially those with particular circumstances like orphans, widows, people with disabilities, immigrants or refugees, and ex-convicts, etc. or people seeking to preform Hajj or Umrah, to cover urgent living or health expenses, or seeking to get married.
*This also includes people who are trying hard to avoid interest or seek to repent from the major sin of interest or usury (i.e. riba): who beg God’s forgiveness and feel remorse for having fallen into it, who seek to get out of it, and wholeheartedly intend to live a life free from usury or interest.
*If caught in heavy interest-based debt, see some of the organizations below in the FAQ section.
We pray that we are all granted Divine Facilitation to constantly make sincere repentance, to always avoid usury/interest and all sins, and to have meaningfully rich lives. It is reported that Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings upon him said,
“The one who repents from a sin, is like the one who has no sin.”
(Ibn Majah, Tabarani, Abu Nu’aim, Bayhaqi)
3. Specific Visionaries
‘There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil
to one who is striking at the root.’ – Henry David Thoreau
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 areas below among others. The point is to encourage ourselves and our applicants to renew our intentions and to focus efforts on the root causes of societal problems.
*COMMUNITY – as we have become disconnected from our Sacred Traditions, 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 lived experience of the Sacred Tradition of Islam. See some of the great work by Ta’leef and Tarjuma and Sanad.
*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 the late Mr. John Taylor Gatto, Sir Ken Robinson, John Holt (the father of modern homeschooling), Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, the documentary Race to Nowhere and many others.
*FOOD – HEALTH – ENVIRONMENT – we believe that our bodies, minds, and hearts are sacred trusts and that their nourishment affects our health, states, actions, and the environment-at-large – we cannot separate our individual health from the health of the planet, we are all connected, and in the Islamic Tradition, this goes further as the states of our hearts and the purity of our deeds affects our bodies and our world. The organic and fair trade food movements have been increasing in popularity. Furthermore, much work is being done to help people understand the harms of the normal modern diet full of processed foods and artificial ingredients. For example, see the outstanding work of Dr. Robert Lustig in advocating against sugar, and the many documentaries that resulted from his work (like Fed Up) – similarly, Michael Pollan and others have worked tirelessly to help offset the harms of the modern diet. We seek to support people and causes that will help advance a holistic and honorable relationship between humanity and our sources of nourishment.
*While there are many who would like to serve humanity in the capacity of medicine or health, there are relatively few who dig deep to get to root causes of modern health problems: for example, often there is little appreciation for holistic and traditional medicine and a dogmatic approach to ‘scientific medicine’ (see resources compiled by S.Hakim Archuletta and excellent research on the website of Sheikh Nuh Keller, and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf: Medicine and Islam – A Holistic Approach to Healthcare)
See this insightful critique of modern medicine by Zelicoff and Bellomo that discusses, among many things, a modern preference for high cost treatment when simpler, cheaper, more effective treatments are available. There is widespread corruption in the pharmaceutical industry (Sheikh Nuh Keller touches on this on his website). There are institutional problems specifically in the US with similar issues in other countries, see Sicko by Michael Moore, and then see some of the pioneering of organizations such as www.ummaclinic.org and www.muslimmeds.ca.
The point being: medical practitioners often only deal with micro band-aid solutions at the individual level; and while this may be good and praiseworthy, we are in dire need of critical thinking visionaries who can see through these colossal challenges and go to the roots of the problems and then advocate and dedicate themselves for solutions that will literally save and benefit hundreds of millions.
*As for the environment as a whole, 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 sacred duty to restore the balance in the world such that we live in harmony with all creatures. For example, see what is being done by:
*David Suzuki Foundation; Environmental Working Group; Environmental Defence; Council of Canadians, and many more. Many modern mass agricultural methods are harming each of us and eco-systems across the planet – see Cowspiracy. There is a renewed push for small-scale solutions and local food movements are taking way across the globe; see the permaculture movement and www.soilassociation.org. Similarly, what we wear has a tremendous impact on the world; the Organic Cotton movement, as part of the organic textile movement, is growing and needs much support, see the efforts of GOTS www.global-standard.org.
Then there are wide-spread use of chemicals and plastics in modern life, see Plastic Pollution Coalition and www.tappedmovie.com. Stephanie Soechtig’s team also made this great clip giving a tip of the iceberg of personal harm behind modern cosmetics (not to mention environmental harm!) – amazingly, they report, newborns are exposed to ~300 chemicals via the umbilical cord; 1100 chemicals are banned in the EU and still allowed in the US; of the 80,000 chemicals in use in the US only 200 have been tested for safety. That takes us into the wonderful world of scents, it is reported that “95% of chemicals used in scents are derived from petroleum” (i.e. the same stuff we put in our cars). This is really harmful for us, our children, animals, plants, air, water, and land – for more information, see: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/my
May God grant us pure food and great health and a pristine environment on all levels. Ameen.
*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.
*Other areas include: Law, Human Rights, Animal Rights, Politics, Pro-Peace/Anti-War, Journalism, Media, etc.
Please read the Iana DISCLAIMER about references to other organizations.
“each one is a painter
each moment making a mark
when you die you step out
of the painting
and you look at your art” -Baraka Blue
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Iana accept international applicants?
Yes, RARELY; 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. See the top of the Apply page for other means of support.
What types of Loans are available?
- Iana Learn is for educational loans, 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 judgement 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 or months depending on many factors – this is a volunteer team and no paid staff so keep that in mind.
How does 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?
Delays in repayment place a burden on Iana and delay much needed help to others who are applying for loans; we strongly emphasize the need for borrowers to honourably fulfill their contractual repayment plans. However, if given notice and explanation, a rare late payment is simply deferred. There are never any late fees.
Repeat missed payments may result in the loan being default. Guarantors will be contacted to resume payments, if this is unsuccessful, Iana will take the case to arbitration; if the Borrower is belligerent, Iana may make the case public to help recover funds, or may take legal action to recover Iana Financial’s (i.e. the community’s) assets. Our main mitigation is in the front-end – being extra careful in selecting the borrowers in the first place through a thorough application and vetting process.
We try to do our best and we rely on God.
What is the role of the Guarantor?
The Guarantor is fully liable to repay the entire loan or whatever balance remains in case the borrower is unable to fulfill their contractual obligations or in case the borrower is unwilling to renegotiate their loan repayment plan in the case of default. The Guarantor should have a high level of confidence that the borrower is an upright, honest, and competent person who will do everything they can to honour their word.
Peace and Blessings
Praise and Thanks