One of the blessings of Islam is that it never separates the fields of religion and science or narrows the scope of the mind in its approach to science and technology. Unlike other religions, there is no conflict between science and religion in Islam. The early Christian clergy opposed scientists, thinkers and the pioneers of technology that we take for granted today. Many were punished, tortured and sentenced to death.
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: “It is important to note that Islam values all beneficial knowledge. Imam Ghazali pointed this out in his well-known work Ihya’. Sometimes choosing such fields of study other than fiqh or theology may be obligatory on Muslims, especially if the community is not sufficiently catered to in these areas. In other words, in places where there is a shortage of physicians and lawyers and therefore community interests are jeopardized, it becomes the duty of Muslims to ensure that they produce enough people, who are qualified to serve them; if they fail to do so they are guilty in the sight of Allah.
As a young person there are many fields to choose from; but your choice should be based primarily on two main considerations:
1. You should convince yourself that it is an area where you can realize your full potential and thus make a valuable contribution;
2. It should be an area that should benefit the community or humanity at large.
When we look around the world today, we see Muslims are not sufficiently catered to in the following areas:
1. Journalists and media professionals;
2. Social scientists and scholars in humanities with a thorough grounding in Islam;
3. Islamic art.
There is no shortage of physicians as far as I know and no shortage of engineers either, but there are definitely not many who can stand up for the cause of Islam and Muslims. We need to find roles in these fields in order to stand up for truth and justice.