Are There Any Prerequisites to Seeking Islamic Knowledge?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Is it true that one must first be proficient in Arabic and have memorized the Quran to begin studying Sacred Islamic Knowledge above the minimum obligatory level (Fard al-‘Ayn)?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

It is not a requirement to seek higher levels of Islamic knowledge that one have memorized the Quran.

It is possible for one to learn a lot about Islam and its various sciences through translation. However, there is a great limit to what one can learn through translation – even if all of the texts that exist were translated.  

In order for one to seek the higher levels of Islamic knowledge it is necessary that they learn and gain proficiency in the Arabic language. This will allow them to study the sciences in a deeper more encompassing sense without the limitations of translation (assuming that the translation is even accurate).

Note that one does not have to gain full proficiency in Arabic before commencing their studies of Arabic texts. Arabic takes many years to even begin to gain a strong hold on it; but with one or two years one can learn enough Arabic that will allow them to access in a real way the Islamic texts while continuing their Arabic studies.

Most of the Islamic seminaries and centers of Sacred knowledge use this method when producing the next generation of scholars.

You can also start by joining our structured curriculum (starting with level one): The Islamic Studies Curriculum

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom Seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.

He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.

In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.