Islamic advice to sisters graduating from university
I hope that you can give some advice to graduating women, those who have finished their university studies. What should they do after graduating and before marriage or until they get married?.
Praise be to Allaah.
There follows some advice to women who have finished their studies:
Every sister who has completed her studies should take stock of herself and the years that she spent in the university or elsewhere, and whatever occurred during them of sin or falling short in her duties towards Allah. She should repent sincerely to Allah, for repentance is required throughout life. No Muslim is free of sin or shortcomings in his or her duties towards Allah, so it is essential to repent from that. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Every son of Adam commits sin, and the best of those who commit sin are those who repent.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi (2499); classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
If the sister was righteous during her studies, then she should praise Allah for saving her from the sins that others have fallen into, and she should continue to adhere to that path of righteousness and to her religion. Each of her days should be better than the day before, always.
Our advice to our sisters is not to be too keen to finish their studies or look for work, because unfortunately in most Muslim countries there is no work that befits women or is free of haraam elements.
Fatwas may be issued for a small number of sisters, in some specialities, allowing them to complete their studies or work, but that is after consulting scholars whose knowledge and religious commitment they trust, and in circumstances that apply only to them.
Sisters who have graduated should invest the time between graduation and marriage in calling people to Allah. Women need female daa‘iyahs who will encourage them to follow the path of righteousness. It saddens us to say that there is an urgent need for female daa‘iyahs and that those of our sisters who are undertaking this task are very few. There are many who are capable of helping and benefitting their fellow women, but we see that many of them are helpless and lazy.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So when they forgot the remindings that had been given to them, We rescued those who forbade evil, but with a severe torment We seized those who did wrong because they used to rebel against Allaah’s Command (disobey Allaah)”
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa‘di (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
This is the way of Allah with His slaves. If punishment befalls them, He saves those who enjoined what is good and forbade what is evil.
Tafseer al-Sa‘di, p. 306
Investing time in seeking (Islamic) knowledge and memorizing Qur’aan, before the distractions of marriage come along. After marriage, opportunities to seek knowledge and memorize Qur’aan may be few because of house work, fulfilling the husband’s rights and taking care of the children.
It was narrated that ‘Urwah ibn Maymoon al-Awdi said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to a man when he was advising him: “Make the most of five before five: your youth before you grow old, your health before you fall sick, your richness before you become poor, your free time before you become busy, and your life before you die.”
Narrated by al-Haakim, 4/341; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Targheeb wa’l-Tarheeb, 3355.
If any sister who has graduated wants to seek work and enter the workplace, she should fear Allah her Lord in doing so, and be keen to ensure that her work is Islamically acceptable in and of itself, and that her environment is free of haraam things, such as music and free mixing. If her work involves teaching girls, she should strive hard to take care of them and seek to guide them and show them the right path, because there are many temptations facing Muslims, both males and females. So the Muslim needs someone to strengthen his resolve, stand by his side and encourage him to obey Allah. This is especially true in the case of females, because the burden of temptation they face is greater and the protection they have is weak.
We have quoted the evidence for the prohibition on free mixing in the answer to question no. 1200; and we have discussed the ruling on mixed work places in the answer to question no. 39178. You will find guidelines on women’s work in the answer to question no. 22397
She should strive to find good and righteous friends among other women, because those good friends will help her to obey Allah and will help her to find things that are useful and beneficial, and make her steadfast in following the way of guidance.
It was narrated from Mu‘aadh ibn Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The Shaytaan is the wolf that preys on mankind as the (real) wolf preys on sheep and snatches the sheep that wanders off alone. Beware of splitting and stay with the jamaa‘ah (main body of Muslims).”
Narrated by Ahmad, 22029; classed as hasan by the commentators on al-Musnad.
Keeping away from things that provoke desire, such as books, images and movies. Undoubtedly this is a dangerous stage for our sisters, and subjecting oneself to these provocations may lead to bad consequences, and addition to the fact that it is sin in and of itself. Our sisters have to pay attention to this matter, and seek the help of Allah to remain steadfast in their religious commitment. Temptation could make people crazy and ruin their lives, and the Muslim has no refuge except his Lord, from Whom he should seek help to be steadfast in adhering to the truth and to overcome his own self (nafs) that is inclined towards evil.
We hope that Allah has helped us to give the right advice and we ask Him to enable our sisters to act upon it.
And Allah is the Source of strength.