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Desire to seek high level of Islamic Knowledge vs current Occupation

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher

I am a convert to Islam as of 1995, alHamdulillah, and a doctor by occupation. I am specialising in obstetrics and gynecology, and have insha’Allah 3 more years full time before I am fully qualified. I have been married 3 years and we have two children together. My husband and I have begun the path to self improvement and acquisition of our fard ‘ain with classes, including those at Sunnipath in fiqh and (for me) Arabic, since I am limited in my ability to travel with young children and work etc. Over the last year or so, I have begun to become quite disillusioned with my work, and began feeling more strongly than before that I want to seek Islamic knowledge to a (high) level, and be the best Muslim (wife, mother, person) I can be. Also, I have increasingly had a desire to learn more so that I can teach my children their fard ‘ain etc. I know that I did not undertake my job lightly, and that it is a fard kifayah, and I am also blessed with a husband who is very supportive of this job, but I don’t know what to do. Due to our circumstances, we don’t envisage being able to go to an Arab country for at least a decade to live and study, and so at present we are limited to learning from teachers here, as well as SunniPath. I just keep thinking, of the time I converted, when I was given the opportunity to go to al-Azhar to study fiqh and become a faqih by the organisation I was involved with. I was also concurrently offered medicine, and chose the latter because it had been my lifelong dream. I know everything happens for a reason, but I suppose I need encouragement to continue, if it is the right thing, versus even stopping, and being a full time mum. Please advise. Jazak Allahu khayr.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

Praise be to Allah
Blessings and salutations to our beloved Messenger

Dear Sister,

Assalamu alaikum,

I pray this reaches you in good health and spirits.

Thank you for sharing this information; nonetheless, I can’t make this decision for you. Whatever path you take, remember that Allah Most High does not place upon us a burden greater than we can bear.

Try not to live with regret. You chose the decision that reflected your lifelong dream. You should learn to accept that decision and see the benefit in it. We Muslim women have a definite need for observant, practicing female Muslim doctors. There’s certainly a lot of good you can do with your skills and training.

If your heart is simply not in medicine, however, then you have the freedom to leave the field and stay home with your children. However, don’t live in the past. Instead, look to the future. To that end, you should make Salat al-Istikhara, then draw up a plan for how you might pursue your new dream of studying Sacred Knowledge.

With a husband and children to relocate overseas, you will have some challenges on your hands. But given your training in medicine and the academic rigor required, I’m sure you’re prepared to meet any challenges that lie ahead.

Again, I am not telling you to finish your medical degree. And I am not suggesting that you leave medicine. What I am suggesting is that you ask Allah to give you contentment and the best of this world and the hereafter in whatever choice you make.

And Allah knows best.

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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