Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: I am an international student pursuing a degree in Finance. I recently developed a passion in seeking sacred knowledge. I can’t drop out of college and return to my country to study Islam because of war and I can’t go to any other country either because of my financial situation. I am afraid that if I wait till I finish my college degree to seek sacred knowledge that it would be too late. What should I do?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. Alhamdulilah, may Allah reward you for your intention to study sacred knowledge and grant you ease in pursuing it.
Making a decision
The best thing you can do right now is perform the Prayer of Guidance, let events unfold, and then make a decision about what to do next. You do not need to look for a dream; the key is to be open to either outcome.
SeekersGuidance online courses are a wonderful place for you to start learning. Test your commitment to learning sacred knowledge by aiming to complete at least one course, then build on that foundation. Although online learning is not for everyone, since there are no classes in your immediate area, this could be a useful option for you.
Start by studying what is personally obligatory upon you to ensure your current acts of worship are valid. Decide on which school of thought you wish to study (Hanafi, Shafi’i, or Maliki) and this will depend on what you are already practising. As far as I know, Yemen is a predominantly Shafi’i.
Good company and practice
Do you have any like-minded seekers of knowledge you can spend time with? This will help you remain focused on your goal.
Additionally, you can start putting into practice what you already know. Sacred knowledge is only beneficial when you apply it to your everyday life.
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” [Qur’an, 2:153]
Wait for an opening from Allah. Maybe now is not the right time to travel abroad to seek sacred knowledge. It takes patience, commitment, time and effort for anything to come to pass. Until Allah moves you elsewhere, take this time to come up with a viable plan. Find a part-time job, save up money and research where you can go. Find a wise elder in your community whom you can seek counsel from.
Remember to pray Tahajjud in the last third of night and ask Allah to grant you what is best. Take heart in the knowledge that Allah is your Loving, Nurturing Lord, and He will not let you down.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani