Is Every Muslim Obligated to Study Islam In-Depth?

23 October, 2017
Q I love Islam, I love my faith but really, I am not a student. I don't like studying, and I feel like the more I study about Islam, the more I feel annoyed and bothered by all the ins and outs. Do I have to study Islam in-depth? Don't all Muslims?


Short Answer: No. Islam is practical, and of course not all Muslims on earth have the time or capacity or interest in studying Islam in-depth. Such In-depth study is required of the community as a whole (fard kifaya), not of each individual. All individual Muslims are required, however, to know the most basic knowledge regarding aspects of their obligation to Allah (fard al ayn).

Asalaamu alaykum and thank you for sending us this question.

Shaykh Yasir Fahmy, the Senior Imam of ISBCC (Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center) answers your question here as part of his “Being Muslim” series.


Sh. Yasir Fahmy:… When the prophet [sallallahu alayhi wasallam] says in the hadith, that “seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every single Muslim,” what the Ulema say, in particular about that hadith— like what type of knowledge becomes an obligation, meaning that if you don’t seek it you’re sinful?

Because… if you just kind of leave it unended—”seeking knowledge is an obligation”—and just leave it at that, well, are we all sinful, all the time for not always seeking knowledge?

I mean how does that kind of play out with regards to how the fuqaha and the Ulema explained it?

And really what they ultimately say is that the knowledge that is an obligation upon each of us to seek is the knowledge that helps us fulfill our individual obligations.

So if I am a Muslim, I have an obligation upon me to learn how to purify myself correctly.

I have an obligation upon myself to learn how to pray correctly.

I have an obligation upon myself with regards to how to believe in Allah correctly.

This is an obligation that if you don’t seek that knowledge, you are sinful.

And its… really rooted in this idea of the fard al ayn, the fact that the obligation that is upon each and every single one of us is a concept that is a little bit missing from our communities.

…You have people… who’ve been muslims for many many years of their lives, converts or otherwise… people who were born into muslim families, but when it comes to their basic purification, you see a lot of mistakes happening.

It’s because it wasn’t taken seriously from the beginning, when it comes to how to pray correctly.

If you miss a prayer, how do you make them up? If you come into prayer late, how do you make up those units that you missed?

All of that. This is basic, obligatory knowledge upon every Muslim…”

I hope this answered your question!

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