Monday, March 13, 2000
Dear Bilqis, AsSalaam Alaikum,
My mother feels that me seeking higher education is neglecting
my responsibility as a woman, and that Allah will not be pleased.
In my opinion she doesn't want me to pursue higher education
because she was not allowed to do so when she was in my shoes.
So do you feel that Allah will not smile upon me if I choose
to make a better llife for my child and I?
Also, she says I should wait until Allah sends me a husband
and don't worry about doing anything else. What do you think?
I can't stand not going to college any longer and I'm up to here
with what she thinks. Please explain to me so I can get another's
opinion. My father is all for me going to college but not my
mother. She says she's not stopping me, but then she's not willing
to help me. I have no job, no transportation..so how am I supposed
to go to college, if she won't help me?
Dear "Desperate" to go to
As a Muslim many things come into play
with this question. It is also a very relevant question for the
times we live in. It seems you are not currently married, you
are living with your parents, and you are also raising your child.
Islam encourages Muslims to seek knowlege.
The priority is first your religion (Islam) so that you will
know how to conduct yourself in wordly affairs. Secular knowledge
comes after this and higher education is an aspect of this type
of knowledge. As we know, respect for parents is a part of our
duty as Muslims, however your parents are divided on this issue.
Since you are not married, mutual consultation with your husband
is not a factor in your decision. If you were married, however,
it would be important that you and your husband could come to
a mutual agreement for the sake of peace in the family.
Any worldly endeavor that a Muslim undertakes,
he/she must conduct his affairs within the bounds of proper (or
halal i.e. lawful) Islamic adab (etiquette). When one has a child,
the child's welfare in all areas of life (spiritual and secular)
should be of utmost importance. This cannot be emphasized enough.
Fortunately, there are many resources today to assist a woman
with child care in its many facets. (There are many Muslim ladies
who have made child care a thriving home-based business). Also,
as your resources are limited, you are probably a good candidate
for various types of financial assistance (grants, work-study,
etc.). To pursue an education will take real committment and
determination on your part along with quality attention to your
child. It can be done, there are many Muslim ladies doing it!
With your fathers help, along with some
research on your part into resources at your disposal, perhaps
you can gain your mother's support. If this is truly your desire,
I would suggest you perform Salatul Istikharah, which consists
of two rakahs after which you make dua (prayer) for guidance
(see "Prayers of the Prophet" or "Prayers of Muhammad").
One thing I want you to remember, regardless of the outcome of
your situation, is that being a mother and staying home to raise
your child is one of the noblest and most important things a
woman can do. Unfortunately, society sometimes underestimates
this important role and consequently both society and our children
suffer for it. The role of MOTHER has a HIGH STATION in the sight
of Allah (swt). Never forget this and always make this duty a
priority in whatever avenues you pursue in life. May Allah bless
you and your family with the best of this world and the next.