Does Science come under Knowledge (Ilm)?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham


Answered by: Mufti Eunus Ali​ 


Question


Assalamu alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh


I had always wanted to gain knowledge and live my life in service to Deen. But unfortunately, I was not able to much pursue the learning of Dental now. I am 23 years old now and in my current situations, I don’t think I can pursue a full-time Deen learning right now. So I am thinking about pursuing study and research in the stream of material science with the aim of serving Islam by this knowledge and also with the aim to discover solutions for some of the problems humanity faces as whole nowadays like Global warming, pollution, lack of clean drinking water etc.


Does Science come under Knowledge (Ilm)? (Because many hadith mention the excellence of gaining knowledge that I want to be a person seeking knowledge and not waste my time in useless pursuits.)


Will I be rewarded by Allah for studying Science?


Is this a good way to serve Islam in the current situation or should I look for some other way where I can serve Deen?


If I set out on this task can it be said that I am on ‘ a path seeking Ilm’ or that I am on ‘ fee sabeelillah’?


 


 


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم


In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful


 


Answer:


 


Assalamu alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuh


Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqalani (may Allah have mercy upon him) has stated:


The definition of ‘Ilm’ (knowledge) is the knowledge of Shariah which leads to the recognition of that which is compulsory upon the ‘Mukallaf’ (the one bound by the laws of Islam) in regards to his religion in terms of worship, social etiquettes, the knowledge about Allah and his attributes, his/her establishment of the compulsory issues and the abstinence from shortcomings. These have been collected in (the learning and studying of) Tafseer, Hadith and Jurisprudence. [1]


In light of the above, we can conclude that studies other than that of the religion will not hold the same merit.


However, that does not go to say that one should not study or abandon academic and secular studies as there is a need for Muslims to be active in all fields of profession. Whether it is a scientist, doctor, lawyer, solicitor etc. there is a need.


Furthermore if one goes into these different professions with the intention of benefiting the Muslims and mankind as a whole positively will be rewarded highly by Allah.


Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) has narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:


Whoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, Allah will remove from him one of the griefs of the Day of Resurrection. And whoever alleviates the need of a needy person, Allah will alleviate his needs in this world and the Hereafter. Whoever shields [or hides the misdeeds of] a Muslim, Allah will shield him in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah will aid His slave so long as he aids his brother…[2]


 


The benefits and assistance that could be provided to others by such professionals will be more effective.


Hence not only is it important to progress in terms of Islamic knowledge but also very important for the Muslims to progress academically.


In conclusion, it is not necessary that studying other subjects is ‘a waste of time and effort’ especially when it is done with the correct intention.


It should be noted that if one has a fear of studying certain subjects may lead to their Imaan becoming weak or even lost should be avoided.


It is not necessary for one to attend an Islamic institute or University to attain the rewards promised for the one seeking Ilm in the Hadith.


Rather if one attends classes and courses the local mosque, weekly halaqah’s, lectures and speeches before Jumuah etc. with the intention of gaining Ilm as defined above will-Inshallah- receive the reward for seeking knowledge.


 


Only Allah knows best


Written by Mufti Eunus Ali


Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah


Darul Ifta Birmingham.


 


 



[1]Fathul Bari, Volume 1, Page 172, Darul Hadith


[2]Saheeh Muslim:2699


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