Ilm-Deen or Psychiatry? What must a woman rather study?


Ilm-Deen or Psychiatry? What must a woman rather study?

A 14/15 year old female student has the option of pursuing a four year Jamaat class or continuing with secular studies with the aim of becoming a psychiatrist/psychologist. 

Is becoming a psychiatrist/psychologist, an ideal career for a Muslim female especially if she intends helping others through such a career? Does it go against Shari’ah in anyway?

Kindly advise.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

It is permissible for a Muslim female to become a psychiatrist/psychologist. There is nothing un-Islamic in being a psychiatrist/psychologist for a Muslim female. However, the college/university being her medium of education is of concern. The environment of the college/university poses a great challenge and threat to the Islamic morals and values of a Muslim, more so to a female.

We appreciate the female’s intention to assist others through her career as a psychiatrist/psychologist. It may well be that she herself may require therapy after being caught up in the web of a university life. We have personally dealt with many such incidents.

We advise the female in reference to study Ilm-Deen. There is no knowledge equivalent to the knowledge of the Quran and Hadeeth Shareef.

Allah Ta’ala says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمْ تَفَسَّحُوا فِي الْمَجَالِسِ فَافْسَحُوا يَفْسَحِ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۖ وَإِذَا قِيلَ انْشُزُوا فَانْشُزُوا يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ

Translation: O you who have believed, when you are told, “Space yourselves” in assemblies, then make space; Allah will make space for you. And when you are told, “Arise,” then arise; Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. And Allah is acquainted with what you do. (Surah Mujadala: 11)

. . .

قُل هَل يَستَوِي الَّذينَ يَعلَمونَ وَالَّذينَ لا يَعلَمونَ ۗ إِنَّما يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الأَلبابِ

Translation: Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding. (Surah Zumar:9)

Also, see the following narrations stating the virtues of a person who seeks Islamic knowledge:

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم: “مَنْ سَلَكَ طَرِيقًا يَطْلُبُ فِيهِ عِلْمًا سَهل اللَّهُ بِهِ طَرِيقًا مِنْ طُرُقِ الْجَنَّةِ، وَإِنَّ الْمَلَائِكَةَ لَتَضَعُ أَجْنِحَتَهَا رِضًا لِطَالِبِ الْعِلْمِ، وَإِنَّ الْعَالِمَ لَيَسْتَغْفِرُ لَهُ مَنْ فِي السَّمَوَاتِ، وَمَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ، وَالْحِيتَانُ فِي جَوْفِ الْمَاءِ، وَإِنَّ فَضْلَ الْعَالِمِ عَلَى الْعَابِدِ، كَفَضْلِ الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ عَلَى سَائِرِ الْكَوَاكِبِ، وَإِنَّ الْعُلَمَاءَ وَرَثَةُ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ، وَإِنَّ الْأَنْبِيَاءَ لَمْ يُوَرِّثُوا دِينَارًا، وَلَا دِرْهَمًا وَرَّثُوا الْعِلْمَ، فَمَنْ أَخَذَهُ أَخَذَ بِحَظٍّ وَافِر”

Translation: “Whosoever traverses a path of knowledge, Allah will ease his path to Jannah. And the angles happily spread their wings for the one seeking knowledge. And every creation in the skies and the earth seek forgiveness for the seeker of knowledge including the fishes in the ocean. The virtue of a scholar over a worshipper is like that of a full moon on the night of over the rest of the stars. And the scholars are the heirs of the Prophets. And the Prophets do not leave behind any wealth except for knowledge. Whosoever inherits from it has inherited a great portion. (Abu Dawud: 3/317)

. . .

عن ابن عباس: أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال: من يرد الله به خيرا يفقهه في الدين

Translation: It has been narrated from Ibn Abbas (Radiallahu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: Whomsoever Allah wants good for, he gives him the deep understanding of Deen. (Tirmidhi)

. . .

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال: فَضْلُ الْعَالِمِ عَلَى الْعَابِدِ كَفَضْلِي عَلَى أَدْنَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ وَأَهْلَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرَضِينَ حَتَّى

النَّمْلَةَ فِي جُحْرِهَا وَحَتَّى الْحُوتَ لَيُصَلُّونَ عَلَى مُعَلِّمِ النَّاسِ الْخَيْرَ

Translation: The virtue of the scholar over the worshiper is like my virtue over the least of you. Verily, Allah, his angels, the inhabitants of the heavens and earth, even the ant in his hole and the fish, send blessings upon the one who teaches people what is good.( Sunan al-Tirmidhi: 2685)

. . .

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال: لَا حَسَدَ إِلَّا فِي اثْنَتَيْنِ رَجُلٌ آتَاهُ اللَّهُ مَالًا فَسُلِّطَ عَلَى هَلَكَتِهِ فِي الْحَقِّ وَرَجُلٌ آتَاهُ اللَّهُ الْحِكْمَةَ فَهُوَ يَقْضِي بِهَا وَيُعَلِّمُهَا

Translation: There is no envy but in two cases: a man whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it rightly, and a man whom Allah has given wisdom and he judges and teaches with it. (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 73)

. . .

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال: خَيْرُكُمْ إِسْلَامًا أَحَاسِنُكُمْ أَخْلَاقًا إِذَا فَقُهُوا

Translation: The best of you in Islam are those with the best character, if they have religious understanding. (Musnad Ahmad:9880)

. . .

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال:خَيْرُكُمْ مَنْ تَعَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ وَعَلَّمَهُ

Translation: The best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it. (Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 4739)

The knowledge of the Quran and Hadeeth Shareef creates a spiritual light in an individual and leads one to Allah Taa’la. A person imbued with Ilm Deen; leads a life of the proper understanding of the purpose of life and experiences fulfilment in leading one’s life according to the purpose of being created.

We come from Allah and we are travelling to Allah. It is our desire to meet Allah with a heart full of Iman, which can be acquired through the knowledge of Deen and imparting the knowledge of Deen.

The best way to help others is to teach people the knowledge of Deen and lead them to Allah. This will also be a means of Thawaab-e-Jariya (continues reward) for one in the hereafter. See the following narration:

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏:‏ ‏ “‏إذا مات ابن آدم انقطع عمله إلا من ثلاث‏:‏ صدقة جارية ،أو علم ينتفع به، أو ولد صالح يدعو له‏”

Translation: The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased).“(Muslim)

There is a great need for females to be well educated in Shariah to educate other females. We hope and make Dua the female in reference be chosen to study Ilm-Deen and be honoured to impart Ilm-Deen to others. Aameen

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Mahmood |