Should a Man Become a Professional When It Takes Too Many Years to Study?

Answered by Ustada Shazia Ahmad


I want to know what the ruling is about going to school as a woman. I go to university by bus which takes a little more than an hour but with the car, it takes about half an hour. I don’t have male friends, and I mainly speak to my teachers through e-mail. In class, I try not to sit next to men and just avoid them overall. I always read that women can’t go to school because there are men there but men can study even though there are women there. I understand that men have a greater need of going to school but wouldn’t it be obligatory for them to choose something that doesn’t take long and a job that pays decently instead of studying something that would take a long time just to get more money? I want a ruling with actual proof.


Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for seeking knowledge and education and prioritizing Allah’s pleasure first.


It is permissible to be in a mixed classroom for educational purposes. As long as your behaviour and clothing are modest, and you lower your gaze with male classmates and you don’t get informal or friendly with them, there is nothing blameworthy. It is permissible to speak to your teachers face to face, not just through e-mail.

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Choosing a lesser profession

It is not obligatory for a man to choose a less professional or lower-paying career because it takes too many years to study. A man can study all his life if he wants to, as can a woman. However, neither may neglect their duties toward their families. People choose a profession for many reasons, like passion, being good at what they do, or following in the footsteps of parents, etc., and making good money can be one of those reasons. Desiring to make more money is not a sin, as long as one is paying one’s yearly zakat, and one does not do anything impermissible with it. You ask for a ruling with actual proof, but the onus is on you to prove that earning more money is actually haram, and it is not.It is worthwhile for all of us to remember these hadith. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “How good lawful wealth is for a righteous man.” [Musnad of Ahmad]

And he said, (Allah bless him and give him peace) This wealth is sweet (alluring); whoever earns it lawfully and spends it rightfully, then what excellent help it is!” [Bukhari]

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Wealth is not in having many possessions, but rather (true) wealth is feeling sufficiency in the soul.” [Bukhari]

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