Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: I’m a woman who’s currently studying Engineering at University, and it’s something I’ve been interested in from a very young age. Both my father and mother are perfectly accepting of it and I maintain proper hijab and don’t interact much with the opposite sex apart from what’s necessary. However, I’ve been flooded with doubts recently by people who’ve been advising me that going into a male dominated field would be unislamic and that Engineering is a disciple that is mostly tailored to/should be studied by Men, and that Engineering has little benefit to the direct Muslim ummah. And that as women, I’m better off going into Teaching or Medicine. I’ve been considering the latter, but the issue is I don’t enjoy Medicine or any of the Sciences nearly as much as I do Computing, but is this selfishness on my part and disregard to the temporariness of the dunya?
Answer: wa `alaykum assalam
The study of Engineering is permitted. There is no distinction in ruling when it comes to consideration of gender. Therefore, you are perfectly entitled to pursuing this course of study.
As for the consideration of one’s future work environment, this is secondary. Being a degree that places one in an environment where there are members of the opposite gender is not a cause for deeming the study of Engineering impermissible. Rather, as long you maintain the etiquettes defined by our tradition for dealing with members of the opposite sex, your working in such an environment is perfectly fine. To assume that teaching and medicine do not require regular and prolonged contact with the opposite gender is naive, so it does not make much sense to prefer them to what you are studying now based on the considerations mentioned in your question.
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani