Studying medicine as a form of worship

Reference: Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa. – Question 1, Fatwa No.8849
al-Fataawa al-Muta’alliqah bit-Tibb wa Ahkaam al-Mardhaa – Pages 178-179

Question: I am a [medical] student at the Medical College at Al-Azhar [University in Cairo, Egypt] and my studies take a lot of my time and effort, and [as a result] the time left to study my religion is very little. So, how can I make my [medical] studies and my attendance at [Medical] College a form of worship for the Sake of Allaah so that Allaah bestows upon me [much] good and blessings and opens the doors of knowledge and success therein, so that I can become a student who benefits the Muslims thereafter and strengthen Islaam? Guide us with a full and clear response and may Allaah reward you with good.

Response: It is obligatory upon the Muslim to learn those affairs of his religion which are necessary for him to [properly] practice his religion, and it is not permissible for anything to occupy him away from that. So, studying medicine is a collective obligation (fardh kifaayah) and studying the religion of Islaam is an individual obligation (fardh ‘ayn) with respect to what the Muslim needs to know [in order to properly practice his religion]. Therefore, an individual obligation takes precedence over a collective obligation.

So, it is obligatory upon you to learn those affairs of your religion which are imperative, and this will never prevent you from studying medicine. It is [however] possible for you to make your medical studies a form of worship [so long as it is done] with sincerity solely for the Sake of Allaah, intending by it to benefit yourself and the Muslims and undertaking that which the Ummah requires in terms of health and prevention of illnesses, with the Permission of Allaah (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) your studies will [then] be [considered] a form of worship so long as your intention is pure.

And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his family and his companions.

Abu 'Abdullaah, Mohammed Akhtar Chaudhry

About Abu 'Abdullaah, Mohammed Akhtar Chaudhry

- from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004.