Wants to be a scholar but father objects
Fatwa No: 88489

Question

I reverted to Islaam in last Ramadhaan and in order to achieve my goal in life, I would like to become a scholar. But my father wouldn't like to become one because he wants me to enter the business field and to earn a lot of money. But I am content with what Allaah has given me and have no interest in becoming affluent. What can I do if will not be able to persuade my father to let me pursue this field. Can I go against his will? I after a lot of difficult got to understand the meaning of Islaam and by becoming a scholar I would be able to make myself a more accomplished Muslim. So what should I do in order to become a scholar obey him or obey my religion?

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.{C}

Seeking religious knowledge is an excellent deed which has many virtues; no other good deed can be equal to it. There are many verses and narrations of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) that prove this fact.

Allaah says (what means): {And it is not for the believers to go forth [to battle] all at once. For there should separate from every division of them a group [remaining] to obtain understanding in the religion and warn [i.e. advise] their people when they return to them that they might be cautious.}[Quran 9:122]

The above verse proves that seeking knowledge is an obligation.

Another verse reads (what means): {…Allaah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. ….}[Quran 58:11].

Moreover, Mu'aawiyah Ibn Abi Sufyaan  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "If Allaah wills good to somebody, He enriches him with knowledge." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Besides, Mu'aath Ibn Jabal  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him said: "Seek knowledge becasue seeking it for the sake of Allaah results in fearing Allaah, it is a form of worship, discussing it is an act of glorifying Allaah, and being busy in its search is a form of Jihaad."

Hence, it is an obligation upon every Muslim to learn the matters of faith, and the rulings of compulsory deeds as he has to learn the rulings of the matters he needs in his day-to-day life. It is a general fact in Islam that one is not allowed to perform a deed unless one knows Allaah's rulings in that very deed.

On the other hand, you should know that obedience to parents is compulsory except in what is forbidden. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "No obedience is due to anyone if they order him to disobey Allaah. Obedience is required only in what is permissible (i.e. in righteousness)." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

So, you are advised to explain the matter to your father wisely and pleasantly and supplicate Allaah to make him agree that you to seek knowledge.

If he does not agree and insists in his refusal, then seek Allaah's help and seek Islamic knowledge. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "I swear by Allaah, if Allaah guides one single man (to Islam) by your efforts, that will be better for you than possessing an abundant number of red camels (a very expensive breed of camels which is considered as the most valuable property in the sight of the Arabs)." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Allaah Knows best.

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