I am a sister of 18 years of age and would Inshallah like to become a scholar. I am going to university to study Islamic Studies and Arabic at a non-Muslim university. I have no choice in this because my parents want me to get a degree and stay close by at home for University. After University (after 3 or maybe 4 years depending on whether I go to study abroad in the 3rd year) I would eventually like to study more Islam and become a scholar. I.e. be able to become someone like you, give fatwas etc.
Please could you guide me to what I should do, who should I follow, should I get married as soon as possible i.e. travel Mahram issues, should I try and maintain my family instead of this, go abroad, stay in here… (So confused)
Your desire to learn sacred and Islamic knowledge is commendable. May Allah Most High give you great success in this world and the hereafter, Ameen.
As far as how to go about this, it really depends on a variety of things: time-limit, resources, being able to travel, marriage and most importantly what you really intend to do.
If you wish to study the various sciences of Islamic knowledge in depth, then this will require great effort, time and perseverance. You may enrol into a local institution (Madrasa or Dar al-Uloom) if one is present in your city/country and take up the full course of becoming a scholar. Alternatively, you may travel abroad to somewhere like Syria, Yemen or Jordon and study there.
Then there is also the issue of your marriage, which you don’t want to delay too much. Hence, I suggest that you find a suitable spouse for marriage who himself is willing to study and/or travel, thus you could marry after completing your degree and travel with your husband in pursuit of sacred knowledge. In this way, the issue of having a Mahram will also be solved. If you are able to marry someone who already is quite learned, then that will be an added bonus, Insha Allah.
Also, discuss this with your parents, family, friends and a local scholar who may be able to give you more information regarding institutions of Islamic learning in your area.
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK