Attending Universities in the West

Discussion in 'TurnToIslam Lounge !' started by Tasnima Khan, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Tasnima Khan
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    Tasnima Khan New Member

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    As Salaam Wa Alaikum brothers and sisters, i need some help please. I was on tumblr and i came across this post, if anyone has time to read it please read it but it is bugging me a lot and i have been really anxious after reading it.
    http://saudilife.net/life-and-society/92-life-and-society/4413-the-myth-of-strong-emaan
    I am really troubled by it and i think confused as to what she is actually saying, is she saying that muslims are not allowed to go to universities, this has really troubled me as i am apiring to go next year after a lot of hurdles now i cannot help but think of this as a sign from Allah(swt) that he doe not want me to go :'( and that i will be doing wrong, my heart is very heavy and i cannot even cry due to not wanting to how my family i am upset, deeply upset. Can someone please advice me on what to do, and can someone alo tell me who Umm Zakiyah is i know she is a writer but i think she has studied Islam so therefore i feel even more bad as she i speaking the truth and if i dont listen to her and what she writes or says then i am not a true believer either as she knows Islam more than i do so i am in the wrong. Who shall i listen to and what shall i do, my heart and mind is sooooooooooo heavy i cannot explain, please help me , i am always confronted by the efar of hell now i feel because i am scared of her words and if i dont follow it i feel i will be punished in the hellfire if i do go to university. I am trying to top my tears but my heart is the wore, it is very heavy and now i just wish that i could harm myself but since it is Ramadan i cant!!! Ya Allah could omeone pleaseeeeeee help me for the sake of Allah purely????? #Sisterinneed :'(
  2. Al-Kashmiri
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    Al-Kashmiri Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    Wa`alaykum us-salaam

    I went through a similar dilemna when I was starting uni back in '05. In principle, free mixing at university's etc. is clearly not allowed - many Shaykhs will tell you this. Others however consider the circumstances of Muslims in the West and how in some countries, a degree is a prerequisite for a decent job. This applies however primarily to men. If you're in doubt, you could always consider a) online universities, b) female dominated university's etc. One tactic I've noticed some take, is they sacrifice the subject they wish to study, for another one they are pleased with whereby the expect the percentage of the other gender to be minimal. Hence I avoided studying language (English) and went for Computer Science instead... On that note, if you do decide to go, make sure it's a subject you can benefit greatly from.

    I think at this point, what you need is to practically assess your situation and the benefits of uni vis-a-vis not going and definitely pray istikhârah. Many sisters go uni the sake furthering a subject/field that they will probably never work within - or even make use of in their lives ever... Is it worth those 3 years, when they could be vested in something better such as hifdh of the Qur'ân.
  3. al-fajr
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    al-fajr ...ism..schism Staff Member

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    Wa-alaykum assalam wa rahmatullaah,

    That's really quite sad. You shouldn't wish to, or even self harm, because this would then be another sin you are answerable for; Allaah has not said anywhere that self harm is a solution to anxiety and stress, so please do not do this, even outside of Ramadaan - you really must draw the line as it's a very bad habit and extremely unhealthy for your psychological wellbeing.

    The Saudi Life article was good but it's full of unexplained emotion which isn't helpful. She was talking about a specific situation: a Saudi girl to the United States on her own to study in a mixed university. I would see problems with that too and wouldn't recommend it without family and better support, that's throwing someone in deep waters without a life jacket, it'd be sink or swim, most likely sink.

    I see the article in a more positive light, the author herself went to University, she even talks about her experiences and now she is reflecting on it critically, if you think she is an example enough to dictate your own decisions, then recognise that Allaah protected her enough to be in a position to write what she did there, and He can do the same for you too.

    There is a greater need for men to attend universities than women, however Muslim women not attending Universities at all wouldn't change the demographics, the situation would be such that we would have 100% non-Muslim women making up the entire female population in Universities instead, in addition to that, where does it leave the Muslims in terms of specific fields where Muslim women are needed.

    With that said, less degrees are pre-requisites for good jobs these days.
    __________

    Edit: A point of clarification for the OP: Regardless of what I said, it is certainly better to completely avoid places where haraam things take place and there is fitna for your deen, I didn't intend for this post to sound like I was advocating University as the 'way forward' or something.

    All the best in your decisions.
  4. Seeking Allah's Mercy
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    Seeking Allah's Mercy Qul HuwaAllahu Ahud!

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    Alsalamo`Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Baraakaatuh,

    Suppose a girl is studying something in a mix gender uni, with the help of which she may get a decent job, earn money etc the halal way. It also may come in useful for other sisters. Although earning is not her headache but her parents want her to be equipped for the circumstances she 'could' face in future. However, she has a choice to switch to a girls only place but at a loss of an year or two. Is she obliged to? Or, can girls who cover properly and mind their own business study in a university with mixed genders?
  5. Al-Kashmiri
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    Al-Kashmiri Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    In saying what I said, I did not indicate that Muslim women are not in need of degrees as I think nearly all of us would be better off with education, and degrees do offer many benefits asides from the academic side of it. I was merely saying how it is (to my belief at least) in a practical sense. Much of what is gained from the degree for many sisters cuts off when they marry. That's why I think it's important one does something useful and or something they enjoy, so that when they get married etc. they can still reap benefits from what they know. Allâh knows best.
  6. luvurcreator
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    luvurcreator New Member

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    First sister, take a deep breath and calm down. I think you are being a little hard on your self and taking the matter to seriously. Whether its ramadan or not, one shouldn't harm oneself. Also, a Mo'mina is one with the best judgement and balanced personality. We are living in the 21st century and Mashallah there are lots of knowledge and different perspective of everything. Your situation may not apply to this talk. So you have to evaluate the talk against what you have/dont have.

    I would like to remind you of a hadith inshahallah, "The Prophet Muhamamd (pbuh) said: “The reward of deeds depend upon the intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended.” - 'Umar bin Al-Khattab, Vol. 8, Book 78, Number 680 ". What is your intention of going to university? Is it to gain knowledge so you can attain high degrees and make money and become a bigshot? Or gain knowledge to benefit yourself and others and the ummah?


    What about the hadith about seeking knowledge even if you have to travel as far as china? Also, The teachings of religion of Islam came to us well over 1400 years ago. From the beginning of revelation, there was an emphasis on seeking and acquiring knowledge. I remind you that the first words of revelation were “Read!”

    Having said that, yes free mixing as many are concerns about is not allowed in Islam. However, we women are so unfortunate this time of our lives. Many knowledgable persons advise women to stay home. However, do they not think that we do not have a father, brother, son or husband who will gain the knowledge and teach us at home like the sahabas used to do.

    I believe some ppl have replied here that there are many subjects you can study which does not require co-ed. Whats better to stay home and be no benefit to the society or seek knowledge to educate ourselves and benefit others. One can argue that its not necessary to go "out" to seek knowledge. But, how many of us has the resources and support to make this arrangement home? If you study islamic history, in the past women achieved alot. Try watching "The Lion of Ain Jalut" and see what the woman did for Islam.

    I hope this helps you calm your heart. Like you said, this is Ramadan the most blessed time, its time to connect our hearts to the creator, seek his guidance and focus on our journey of Imaan. Thus, over come your emotions and try to think with vigilantly. Also, try going to this site and submit any questions/concerns you might have askshaikh.com. I find this site useful and beneficial. Our mind and time shouldn't be occupied with things that don't deserve too much stressing. Also, Allah knows our condition and He sees our struggles.
  7. al-fajr
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    Thread moved with a more relevant title, perhaps discussion can be extended further.

    I'm not even saying I'm right, it's just the way it is in reality.

    Essentially, there is no reconciliation between the fact its been ruled out haraam and the fact we attend/ed/.
  8. Daenerys
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    Daenerys New Member

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    There are single-gender colleges at some universities (oxford and cambridge come to mind in the UK), and a lot of universities will have an Islamic society or club that you could join so that your socialising could be done through that. If you have a particular university in mind, what you could do is get in touch with their Islamic society or club, and ask them what it's like to study there.

    If you don't feel comfortable with that, there are some well respected online degrees through things like the Open University; it might be worth looking at those too?

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