I Want to Become a Scholar in Islam, but My Mother Wants Me to Get Married and Have Children. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I want to live a life of seeking knowledge and teaching. My dream is to be an exegete of the Qur’an. My family wants me to get married, but I feel my time will be consumed by this. My mother will be upset if I do not get married. I feel like my life is being controlled by them. What should I do?

Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah grant you clarity in your confusion. Please forgive me for my delay.

Goodness to parents

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced, whose parents, one or both, attain old age during his lifetime, and he does not enter Jannah (by rendering being dutiful to them)” [Muslim]

MashaAllah, it is heartening to see a young person so keen to benefit the ummah. I pray that Allah rewards you for your intention. However, as with all things, the key is balance. In many ways, it would seem more noble to study and teach ‘ilm. However, for as long as your parents are alive, serving them is a means of attaining Jannah.

I urge you to complete watching this excellent talk to give you a better idea of the great reward in being of service to your parents: How To Develop Meaningful Relationships With Parents (Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Zahir Bacchus & Shaykh Rami Nsour)


Please perform the Prayer of Guidance and ask Allah to help you choose which path to take. If Allah facilitates ease in travelling to learn Arabic, then that is your path. If Allah blocks that path and makes it easier for you to stay with your family, then that is your path.


It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “Richness is not an abundance of worldly goods; rather richness is contentment with one’s lot.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

If you long for what Allah does not will for you, then you are only fanning the flames of your own heartbreak. Please perform the Prayer of Need and ask Allah to grant you contentment with His Decree, in whatever form it takes. Trust that He knows what is truly beneficial for you, in both worlds.


Your life is not wasted because you have not memorised Qur’an. Do not despair – this is a trap of the Shaytan. Your life has unfolded exactly as Allah has willed it, because this is what is best for you. There is still time for you to commit to memorising the Qur’an, inshaAllah. Consult a local scholar and come up with a plan.


It was narrated from Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “Marriage is part of my sunnah, and whoever does not follow my sunnah has nothing to do with me. Get married, for I will boast of your great numbers before the nations. Whoever has the means, let him get married, and whoever does not, then he should fast for it will diminish his desire.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

There are lessons which you can only learn through being married and having children. No level of theoretical knowledge can match the lived experience of exercising patience, forgiveness, mercy and gratitude every single day.

I encourage you to complete this course Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life to better prepare you for marriage. Nothing is hard for Allah; if He wills, He can send you a wife who is supportive of your desire to learn and teach. Have high hopes in Your Merciful Lord.

Please refer to the following links:

Positive Spiritual Thinking: Choosing Mindfulness (taqwa) and Embracing Trust (tawakkul) by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Supplication for Those Who Want to Memorize the Qur’an
I Want to Study Islam Abroad But Parents Insist on Me Staying at Home


Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Ferdinand Reus