Learning English through subjects that contain un-Islamic topics
Fatwa No: 322792

  • Fatwa Date:18-2-2016 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 10, 1437
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Question

I am doing a degree course in English that contains lots of immorality in evil poems, novels, dramas, essays, and so on, which is contrary to Islam. It also contains many elements that are not contrary to Islam, like grammar, phonetics, good poems, and so on. Besides this, we have to read two other subjects with it, Economics and Public Administration, which also contain many un-Islamic things. I do not believe in those un-Islamic things like love before marriage, humanism, secularism, taxes, interest, democracy, and so on. I am doing this course in order to be able to get a job once I earn this degree. Is it haram for me to do this degree course?

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.

The basic principle is that learning English, economics, or public administration is permissible; Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {It is He Who created for you all of that which is on the earth...} [Quran 2:29] The verse was revealed in the context of reminding the people of the great blessings that Allaah conferred upon His slaves, indicating that the basic principle is that all things are lawful unless proven otherwise by sharee'ah evidence.

The fact that the curricula of these subjects contain un-Islamic topics does not entail deeming it unlawful for the Muslim to learn them as long as his intention is not to implement them and act upon them and it is not feared that it would be a source of fitnah (temptation, tribulation) for him. He should have adequate, sound knowledge to repel and refute misconceptions as well as the firm conviction to guard himself from sinful desires.

At any rate, the Muslim should have a good intention in acquiring knowledge and learning; he should intend to serve his religion and the Muslim nation so as to attain success and happiness in the worldly life and the Hereafter. It has been narrated on the authority of ʻUmar ibn Al-Khattaab  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, "The (reward of) deeds depend upon the intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended..." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allaah knows best.

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