How Can I Discern Sources of Authentic Knowledge While I Strive to Learn?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I’m a 16-year-old who recently started to care about my religion. But I genuinely do not know how to deal with differences in opinion among scholars. I’m particularly talking about the rulings on music and the niqab. I don’t know what to choose or how to choose. Everywhere I look, I see a different answer and it feels overwhelming.

And in all the websites, I check there’s always slandering to the opposite opinions. I don’t know what to do anymore and everything I do and choose feels wrong and overwhelming. Who do I follow?


I empathize with your frustration, and many complain of the same. I pray that you are guided to what is correct, authentic, and reliable and that you practice the religion in the way that Allah and his Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) intended for it to be practiced.


Imam Muslim, in the preface of his Sahih collection, brings the narration of Muhammad bin Sirin (Allah’s mercy be upon them both), “Indeed this knowledge is the Religion. So be careful who you take your religion from.” [Muslim; Muqaddima Sahih Muslim]

Please see the best answers to your questions in the links below. I urge you to pray istikhara before seeking knowledge with a teacher, follow your heart, and stay in the company of scholars who give you solace and peace of mind, are humble, and use Islamic Law as their measuring stick. You will find such teachers among our staff here at, if you choose to study with us.

Please say this du’a, and by Allah’s grace, you will find what you seek:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْماً نَافِعاً، ورِزْقاً طَيِّباً وَعَمَلاً مُتَقَبّلاً.

O Allah, I ask You for knowledge that is of benefit, a good provision, and deeds that will be accepted. [Ibn Maja]

Check these links:
Seeking Sacred Knowledge
How Do I Seek Knowledge?
The Importance of Seeking Knowledge by Shaykh Salih al-Ghursi
How Does One Go About Learning Islam?

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, 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 later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.