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Is it permissible to study in an unislamic university?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Is it permissible to study in an unislamic university in Pakistan while you are wearing hijab? I am a student currently doing A levels and I want to know if I can apply for a university which is unislamic.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Sister in Islam,

It is encouraging to note that you are conscious of your duties as a Muslim woman. May Allah Ta’ālā keep you steadfast on His Deen. Āmeen.

Allah Ta’ālā says in the Holy Quran:

وَقُلْ لِلْمُؤْمِنَاتِ يَغْضُضْنَ مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِنَّ وَيَحْفَظْنَ فُرُوجَهُنَّ وَلَا يُبْدِينَ زِينَتَهُنَّ إِلَّا مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَلْيَضْرِبْنَ بِخُمُرِهِنَّ عَلَى جُيُوبِهِنَّ  

And say to the believing women that they must lower their gazes and guard their private parts, and must not expose their adornment (i.e. places of beauty)…[1]

The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) further said:

كُتِبَ عَلَى ابْنِ آدَمَ نَصِيبُهُ مِنَ الزِّنَا، مُدْرِكٌ ذَلِكَ لَا مَحَالَةَ، فَالْعَيْنَانِ زِنَاهُمَا النَّظَرُ، وَالْأُذُنَانِ زِنَاهُمَا الِاسْتِمَاعُ، وَاللِّسَانُ زِنَاهُ الْكَلَامُ، وَالْيَدُ زِنَاهَا الْبَطْشُ، وَالرِّجْلُ زِنَاهَا الْخُطَا، وَالْقَلْبُ يَهْوَى وَيَتَمَنَّى، وَيُصَدِّقُ ذَلِكَ الْفَرْجُ وَيُكَذِّبُهُ

Allah has written for the children of Adam their share of zina which he commits inevitably. The zina of the eyes is the sight (to gaze at a forbidden thing), the zina of the ears is to hear, the zina of the tongue is the talk, the zina of the hands is to touch (that which is forbidden), the zina of the feet is to take steps (towards that which is forbidden) and the heart wishes and desires and the private parts testify all this or deny it.[2]

It is important to understand that in this day and age, universities are filled with acts contrary to Shari’ah. Even if one can secure oneself by the means of a hijāb, there is still a strong possibility that the environment itself will be detrimental to your spirituality and will have a long lasting negative impact on your Īmān.

Allah Ta’āla says in the Holy Qurān:

و لا تَقْرَبُوا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ

“…and do not go near shameful acts, whether they are open or secret”[3]

In light of your situation, we advise you with the following:

(1) You should try your best to seek education through correspondence. There is a growing market of online distance learning programs that are available to those who are unable to personally attend universities.

(2) If this is not feasible, you should find a girls-only institute where you will not have to deal with such issues.

(3) In such a case where you have no other option available, you will have to try your best to avoid any and all unnecessary interaction with males while you are studying at the university. Even though you cover yourself with a hijāb, you must remember that the conspiracies of Shaitān are always a present danger.

May Allah Ta’ālā grant you success in this life and the hereafter. Ameen.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Bilal Mohammad

Student Darul Iftaa
New Jersey, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1] Al-Quran, Surah an-Nur:31

[2] Sahīh Muslim, Book of al-Qadr (Fate), vol. 4,  pg. 2047, Dar Ihyā at-Turāth

[3] Al-Quran, Surah al-An’ām, 151

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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