Can I Teach Religious Rulings to My Family Without Being a Scholar?

Answered By Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Fayez Awad


Is it permissible for me to teach my family what I learn about religious rulings even though I am not a scholar?


Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, and all his companions.

Teaching knowledge falls under communal obligations (fard kifaya); it is essential that there are those who teach Muslims about their religion. It is not a requirement to be a scholar to teach one’s family. Rather, if one learns something about their religion and is confident in that knowledge, it is permissible to teach it to one’s family.

Imam Nawawi, Allah have mercy on him, said, “Know that teaching is the foundation upon which the religion stands firm. Through it, the erasure of knowledge is prevented. Thus, it is among the most important matters of religion, the greatest of acts of worship, and the most emphasized of the communal obligations.”

Allah (Most High)  says:

“(Remember, O  Prophet,) when Allah took the covenant of those who were given the Scripture to make it known to people and not hide it, yet they cast it behind their backs and traded it for a fleeting gain. What a miserable profit!” [Quran, 3:187]

In the authentic narrations, it is reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Let the one who is present convey to the one who is absent.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

There are many hadiths with similar meanings, and there is consensus on this. [Nawawi, al-Majmu‘ Sharh al-Muhadhdhab]

Ibn Kathir, Allah have mercy on him, said: ‘It is incumbent upon the scholars to impart the beneficial knowledge they possess, guiding to righteous action, and they should not conceal any part of it.” [Ibn Kathir, Tafsir ibn Kathir]

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, used to urge his companions to convey what they heard so that others could benefit from it in times to come. During the Farewell Pilgrimage, he said: “Let the one who is present convey to the one who is absent.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Convey from me, even if it is only a single verse.” [Bukhari]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) was at the forefront of teaching knowledge and spreading the religion of Allah. He, peace and blessings be upon him, used every situation and event to convey his message. Similarly, his companions, may Allah be pleased with them, and the followers after them, continued this practice.

The Merits of Spreading Knowledge

  1. Abundant and Multiplied Reward: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “By Allah, for Allah to guide through you, even one person is better for you than red camels.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
    He also said: “Whoever calls to guidance will have a reward like the rewards of those who follow him, without that diminishing anything from their rewards.” [Muslim; Ibn Hibban; Abu Dawud]
  2. Receiving Blessings from Allah, His Angels, and His Creation: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Indeed, Allah, His angels, the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth, even the ant in its hole and the fish, pray for the one who teaches people goodness.” [Tirmidhi; Tabarani]
  3. Aid and Fulfillment of Needs: The one who disseminates knowledge strives to fulfill the greatest and most urgent need, which is the creation’s need for understanding and learning in religion. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “Allah is in the assistance of the servant as long as the servant is in the assistance of his brother.” [Bukhari; Muslim]
  4. Radiance and Joy: This is due to the supplication of the beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace): “May Allah brighten a person who hears something from us and conveys it to others exactly as he heard it.” [Ibn Hibban; Tirmidhi]
  5. Superiority and Excellence: The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “The best among you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.” [Bukhari]
    The Quran is the best and most honorable of all knowledge.
  6. Growth and Continuity of Knowledge: Salman al-Farsi wrote to Abu Darda, may Allah be pleased with them, saying: “Indeed, knowledge is like springs covered by people, which they stir this way and that, so Allah benefits more than one with it. And indeed, wisdom not spoken is like a body without a soul, and knowledge not disseminated is like a treasure not spent. And the example of a scholar is like that of a man carrying a lamp on a dark path; everyone who passes by it benefits from its light, and each prays for his well-being.” [Darimi; Ibn Abi Shayba]
  7. Emulating the Prophets of Allah: Allah sent His messengers as bearers of good tidings and warners. They taught people what they were sent with and spread the call and messages of Allah to bring people out of darkness into light and from ignorance to knowledge. Allah (Most High) says:
    “Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example for whoever has hope in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah often.” [Quran, 33:21]

This is the role of the educator, the teacher, and the scholar: to spread knowledge and to remove the dust of ignorance from people, thereby earning the reward of emulating (the prophets).

And let the seeker of knowledge know that the more he clarifies knowledge, the more it increases; knowledge increases by its own propagation. Allah (Most High) says:

“As for those who are ˹rightly˺ guided, He increases them in guidance and blesses them with righteousness.” [Quran, 47:17]


Teaching and clarifying religious matters is an individual obligation if no one else knows about the matter or if one is asked about it. Clarification is obligatory, and concealment is forbidden except for a valid excuse.

May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon our master Muhammad, his family, and his companions.

[Shaykh] Dr. Muhammad Fayez Awad

Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Fayez Awad, born in Damascus, Syria, in 1965, pursued his Islamic studies in the mosques and institutes of Damascus. A graduate of the Islamic University of Medina in 1985, he holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Bahauddin Zakariya University in Pakistan.

He has extensive experience developing curricula and enhancing the teaching of various academic courses, including conducting intensive courses. Shaykh Awad has taught Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Quranic sciences, the history of legislation, inheritance laws, and more at several institutes and universities such as Al-Furqan Institute for Islamic Sciences and Majma‘ al-Fath al-Islami in Damascus.

He is a lecturer at the Sultan Muhammad al-Fatih Waqf University in Istanbul, teaching various Arabic and Islamic subjects, and teaches at numerous Islamic institutes in Istanbul. Shaykh Awad is a member of the Association of Syrian Scholars, a founding member of the Zayd bin Thabit Foundation, a member of the Syrian Scholars Association, and a member of the Academic Council at the Iman Center for Teaching the Sunna and Quran.

Among his teachers from whom he received Ijazat are his father, Shaykh Muhammad Muhiyiddin Awad, Shaykh Muhiyiddin al-Kurdi, Shaykh Muhammad Karim Rajih, Shaykh Usama al-Rifai, Shaykh Ayman Suwaid, Shaykh Ahmad al-Qalash, Shaykh Muhammad Awwama, and Shaykh Mamduh Junayd.