Is It Permissible for a Woman to Become a Scholar and Deliver Lectures in Public?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


Since my childhood, my die-hard aim and purpose in my life have been to be an Islamic scholar and make my father’s wish come true. But society simply won’t accept a woman stepping out of her residence and then delivering lectures. Now I wonder, what possibly should I do?


Thank you for your question. I commend you for your lofty intention, and I say that the only thing holding you back is yourself, please proceed with fulfilling your dream.


It is permissible for a woman to become an Islamic scholar and teach women and men. `A’isha (may Allah be well pleased with her) used to teach both, Rabi`a al-`Adawiyya used to teach both, Fatima al-Samarqandi and many others did the same. I encourage you to look past what others think, remove their limitations on you, and study Islam. However, I urge you not to study Islam to become a teacher, rather, study solely for the pleasure of Allah and accept whatever comes your way thereafter.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “He who goes forth in search of knowledge is considered as struggling in the Cause of Allah until he returns.” [Tirmidhi]

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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 aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s 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.