Question

The university which a student goes to has made it mandatory requirement that he has to attend 6 hours worth of sessions per week.

As a result of this, the student looses a lot of time through this and he is strongly risking failing his degree and ruining his studies, maybe ruining his life and ability to earn halal income.

The University will not change their mind, saying he has to attend.

Is it permissible to disobay the university and not attend to save his chances of passing the degree and doing well on the degree, and not ruin his life?

Answer:

Bismillahi Ta'ala,

Walaikum Assalam,

Every educational institute devises their own mandate and decorum for teaching. In order for them to reach their mandate, they enforce particular sets of guidelines and rules for the participants to abide by. When a student signs up in such an institute, he enters into an agreement to fulfil all such rules.

In principle, any such agreement which does not contradicts the Sharʿī dictates constitutes as an ʿaqd (contract). Allah Taʿala says,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَوْفُوا بِالْعُقُودِ - المائدة: 1

O you who believe, fulfil your contracts…

In this clear cut instruction Allah Taʿala reminds us that we will be questioned about all our agreements and contracts which we enact, regardless of whether they pertain to religious nature or worldly nature.

Many times we as students are unable to understand the rationale of the rules set out by the educational facility. Hence while we may think that these rules are without any benefit, there may be a reasonably valid premise for them. To disobey them is to go back on our agreement with them.

Nonetheless, the rules set out by University are binding for all of its students. They are not set there to discriminate someone or disadvantage him in their future earning potential based on any religious background.

Perhaps what you refer to these additional sessions are the electives which may not pertain to your core course. If that is the case, then experience has taught us that variety in subject matter is essential in broadening one’s focus and perception towards academic fields.

If there is fear of losing out on the ability to earn halal, then one should completely rely on Allah. Yes, these educational degrees are a means to attain one’s halal income in future, but they are not the primary source. The primary source for all sustenance is Allah and whatever Allah has decided for one’s sustenance shall come to him. The choice one will have to make is whether it is from halal source or haram.

The students should seek assistance from Allah through constant duʿa’ and continue to strive towards the goal. Also read the transcript of a talk given by Mufti Ebrahim Desai (Here). It will help understand one’s duties in this regard better.

Wallahu A'lam,

Mufti Faisal al-Mahmudi
www.fatwa.ca