Ruling on studying sociology
Fatwa No: 254995

Question

I want go into sociology in University here in the States but I would like to know if it is an appropriate subject to study. I’m afraid because some of the subcategories in the major have to do with things such as homosexuality and how these people should have rights and be able to marry. As Muslims we don’t take the same position in this matter and in other things but I think when one is in this major they must side with this belief. But should I just go into it and study things that go in accordance with Islam or should I drop the whole thing a pick another major completely.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and messenger.

First of all, you should know that sociology is among the beneficial sciences in general. Muslims were the first to author works on sociology before other Western writers. The most famous writer in sociology was Ibn Khaldoon in his Introduction entitled: Muqaddimat Ibn Khaldoon. Hence, it is worthy of having interest and being learned and taught.

However, there is no doubt that some of the theories that are contradictory to the principles of Islam were introduced into this science, as is the case with some ideas introduced by Durkheim, Freud and others. This requires one to be careful about being deceived by these misconceptions, which may result in the corruption of one’s faith.

Hence, it is obligatory for whoever undertakes studying or teaching this science to have an enlightening knowledge of his religion, which would enable him to repel those misconceptions. He should have enough intelligence to be able to respond to those misconceptions, and firm faith to be wary of and avoid them.

Based on this, we would say to you, if you are able to repel those misconceptions by learning Islamic knowledge or asking the scholars about anything that you do not know, then it is permissible for you – Allaah willing – to continue this study. But in case you study this science, it is not permissible for you to support or approve of the falsehood that it involves.

However, if you are not able to repel those misconceptions and you are afraid that this study would cause corruption to your religion, then you have to avoid studying it, as there are plenty of other disciplines for you to study.

For more benefit, please refer to Fatwa 86623.

Allaah Knows best.

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