Can I Seek Financial Aid to Study Islam? Is It Equivalent to Begging?

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch

Question

I desperately want to teach Allah’s din. The problem is I only have little knowledge of Islam. My family is not financially stable to pay my fees to go and study. At home, days pass, repeating the same cycle of waking, eating, and sleeping. Sometimes it hurts me knowing my death is getting nearer but not building enough for my Akhira and not having sadaqa jariya to continue after my death.

I have my uncle, who is financially stable and is in the field of dawah. If I was to ask him to take me to an Islamic institute and to pay my fees, would I fall into the category of begging? Or should I continue trusting Allah Most High that He will surely make a way out for me?

Sorry but another thing that bothers me is that I have been engaged, and I don’t know how many years I will be married.

If I was to be married soon, what would happen to my studies, knowing life after marriage will be busy with husband and children? Please advise me. I feel confused.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Asking for financial assistance to seek Sacred knowledge is not considered begging, nor is it prohibited. It is regarded as an act of worship.

In support of this fact is the opinion of some scholars that those who free themselves up to seek Sacred knowledge are eligible recipients of Zakah. [Maydani, al-Lubab fi Sharh al-Kitab]

What is Begging?

The begging that is prohibited is of the following types:

  • Asking without dire necessity. Necessity is defined as not having sufficient provisions for that day.
  • Asking in a persistent or abasing manner.
  • Asking to amass wealth.

What is Not Begging?

Asking someone for financial assistance is not begging unless accompanied by any of the above meanings. Furthermore, if one’s asking is related to doing an act of worship, fulfilling a religious obligation, or assisting others-such, asking is praiseworthy.

I met one of the righteous of Tarim, Yemen, who would sit at the side of the walkway and ask people for money. Although many people did not know and did not tell them, he used the money to help orphans.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then 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 stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest 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, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.