Question: I am graduating but I doubt my decision to study veterinary medicine for six years. I really want to study Islam, which I know shamefully little of. There’s no place here in the UK to study Islam and my dad won’t let me travel alone. What should I do?Answer: Assalamu alaykum,Thank you for your question.Sister, I commend you for your devotion and desire to fulfill Allah’s commands. Learning Islamic knowledge and teaching it is a communal obligation on both men and women, and there are not enough women filling this void. May Allah reward you for your intention whether you get to study or not.Options
Studying Islam is possible in a variety of ways. 1) Studying online at SeekersGuidance.org is the easiest, most accessible, most flexible, cheapest, and most eco-friendly option. It also provides reliable traditional scholarship. 2) Studying overseas is difficult on the ego, finances, comfort of living, and twice as hard on a woman alone. However, the immersion in the culture, language, and religion is very rich. 3) Studying somewhere in the UK. You might find that you can study abroad within your country, in another city where I am certain that Islamic knowledge is rampant. Of course, your father’s permission would be needed to travel.
Plan it out
First, pray istikhara about studying abroad or not.
1) Ask others who have done it and get a general idea about the different places to study.
2) See if you can find someone to travel with, as there are many women who travel abroad with their mahram (i.e. father, brother) who help them set up to stay abroad.
3) Consider getting married before you go, especially with someone who has similar interests, or marry a student who is already studying abroad.
4) See if you can delay your vet study for a year or two. You will be surprised how much Arabic, tajweed, and basics you can pick up in just two years.
If all else fails, there are more options
Consider studying after your vet degree, there is certainly no time limit here. You have until you are in the grave to study knowledge. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Whoever goes out seeking knowledge, then he is in Allah’s cause until he returns.“ Studying vet medicine is also a form of worship because you are seeking a halal livelihood and helping Allah’s creatures through it. You can also study online as I stated earlier. And last but not least, start reading, memorizing, and understanding the Qur`an every day. My teacher once told me that everyone wants to come to the Middle East to study, but no one is reading enough Qur`an every day.
If you study medicine
If you end up studying medicine first, do it with ihsan (excellence). Trust that Allah has put you in the situation that is best for you and be grateful for it. Allah increases those who are thankful. Take courses during your holidays and make the Qur`an your best friend. Save money to able to study later.
May Allah give you the best. Ask Him to send you what is good for you, at the right time, and ask Him to help you fulfill your obligations towards Him and to the ummah. See the links below.
The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “He who follows a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make the path of Paradise 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 Tirmidhi]
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.