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Her father gave some money to her to pursue studies abroad. Is it considered a debt?


My name is Yasmine. I graduated last year and had the opportunity to pursue my studies abroad (PhD in the United States) it was funded but I needed a certain amount of money to cover the traveling expenses. My father gave it to me. Is it considered a debt?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Whether or not this money that your father gave you is a debt to you is up to your father. If he gave it to you with the intention of giving it as a gift, then it is not a debt to you. But if it was given to you as a loan, then it is a debt to you, and this is known either by his statement which would indicate whether it is a gift or a loan, or by clues and indications.

In any case, you can ask your father about that, as he knows best what he meant, and his statement is the one to be considered regarding that. Hashiyat Al-Shirwani 'ala Tuhfat Al-Muhtaj reads: “If the taker claims that it is a gift and the giver claims that it is a loan, then the giver is truthful in that.

You should know that the preponderant view in our opinion is that the father must treat his children equally when giving gifts, but if he prefers some of them due to a need that requires his preference - as is apparent in the questioner’s case - then there is nothing wrong with that.

We bring to your attention that the permissibility of traveling to study in a non-Muslim is conditioned that the Muslim be safe from temptation in his religion and be able to perform the rituals of his religion. We also note that residing in a non-Muslim country entails many risks to religion and morals, and the safety in religion takes precedence over the safety in worldly matters. Please refer to Fatwa 377986.

Allah knows best.

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