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Islamic View on Seeking Academic Education

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulIftaBirmingham

Answered by: Mufti Eunus Ali


1) Is regarding the concept of gaining education and what importance it relates with Deen.

2)How our deen clarifies on gaining education and please elaborate everything.

3) How one should guide himself/or herself in the boundary of deen to attain the education.

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


Seeking and gaining knowledge in Islam is an honorable and noble act. The collectors of Hadith and scholars have dedicated whole chapters to highlight the importance, virtues, and etiquettes of seeking knowledge.

Islam has not restricted the seeking of knowledge to only men but rather is equally vital for the womenfolk as the saying goes the first madrasah is the mother’s lap. We can see this in the likes of the mother of the believers Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who was a beacon of knowledge.

Abud-Darda (May Allah be pleased with him) has reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make the path of Jannah easy to him. The angels lower their wings over the seeker of knowledge, being pleased with what he does. The inhabitants of the heavens and the earth and even the fish in the depth of the oceans seek forgiveness for him. The superiority of the learned man over the devout worshipper is like that of the full moon to the rest of the stars (i.e., in brightness). The learned are the heirs of the Prophets who bequeath neither dinar nor dirham but only that of knowledge; and he who acquires it, has in fact acquired an abundant portion.” (Abu Dawud and At Tirmidhi)

Mu’awiyah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah said, “When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of Deen.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Abu Musa (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me are like abundant rain which fell on a land. A fertile part of it absorbed the water and brought forth profuse herbage and pasture; and solid ground patches which retained the water by which Allah has benefited people, who drank from it, irrigated their crops and sowed their seeds; and another sandy plane which could neither retain the water nor produce herbage. Such is the similitude of the person who becomes well-versed in the religion of Allah and receives benefit from the Message entrusted to me by Allah, so he himself has learned and taught it to others; such is also the similitude of the person who has stubbornly and ignorantly rejected Allah’s Guidance with which I have been sent.”(Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

At the time of seeking knowledge the boundaries of Shariah needs to be taken into consideration as it is narrated in the following Hadith: On the authority of an-Numan ibn Basheer (ra), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say, “That which is lawful is clear and that which is unlawful is clear, and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which many people do not know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters [eventually] falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah’s sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body, there is a morsel of flesh, which, if it is whole, all the body is whole, and which, if it is diseased, all of [the body] is diseased. Truly, it is the heart.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Just as it is a virtuous deed to gain religious knowledge, the same virtue can be enjoyed by the person who seeks academic knowledge with the intention to aid Islam and seeking Allah’s pleasure.

Only Allah knows best

Written by Mufti Eunus Ali

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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