Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
Could I get an answer specific to the Shafi’i school? How far should one exert oneself to find out and practice rulings for something, like salah, for their worship to be valid in Shafi’i school? When is their liability cleared, and when is their act of worship considered to be valid by default?
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for your desire to cover your basics in your religion for the sake of Allah. This is an excellent question.
A Muslim is expected to learn his personally obligatory knowledge with a teacher, and then when he puts this into practice, he can and should expect that his worship is valid without any fear of waswasa (baseless misgivings).
In the Reliance of the Traveller, (sections a.4.0 to a.4.7), the author discusses the obligation of learning the tenets of faith (`aqidah), learning the fiqh of obligatory actions when they become obligatory on one, such as prayer and purification, fasting, clothing, food, and drink, and the enormities of the body and tongue. He also mentions the obligation of learning the illnesses of the heart, their definitions, their causes, their remedy, and treatment.
I highly recommend that you take the following courses on personally obligatory knowledge and practice as best as you can. Ask Him to guide you in your every step, word, and deed, and rely on Him.
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, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.