How do I make a life changing decision?

Question:

After my current studies, I intend to do a BS in computer science.  My brother wants me to continue working with him in his business.  I have a feeling the business might not prosper  as such.  I have a good intention to study.  May be my brother does not want me to study fearing I may fall into the wrong things.  What should I do?

Answer:

 In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

 

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

A student faces many dilemmas and predicaments as he climbs the educational ladder.  At times there is a question mark on which field to pursue; at times there is uncertainty with regards to which university to enrol at; and at times one is at two minds in respect to his career.

In any decision, it is necessary to seek divine guidance in addition to seeking counsel from the correct people.  With respect to seeking guidance from Allah, the following article is very beneficial on the method of performing istikhārah salāh (prayer for seeking divine guidance):

http://daruliftaa.net/General-Islamic/istikhara.html

The predicament you are in at the moment is of great magnitude.  The decision you make will put you on course for the rest of your life.  Therefore, such a decision cannot be rushed.

We can only give you broad guidelines to your query as we are not aware of the business, university and dynamics of the course in question.

Before reaching a decision, you must not be hasty.  This is the first rule to keep in mind.  Hastiness, impulsiveness and rashness are a precursor for failure.  One must adopt patience and espouse a thoughtful approach ahead of arriving at a conclusion.  Think well before time.  If one has to apply for university, think one year in advance on the issue.  Planning is essential.

For every decision, one must consider the positives and negatives of such a decision.  Write down all the positives and negatives on a piece of paper.  Pen your thoughts.  This will channel your thoughts in the right direction.

Once you have a rough idea on the possible ideas floating in your mind, you need to explore and research all the possible roads ahead.  Read up on the prospects of each option.  Speak to the people active in the areas you are interested in.  This will give you a firm grounding in the field.  This is very important.  It is of no benefit consulting a mechanic by profession with respect to optometry.  Five minutes with an optician will be far more beneficial than ten hours with a mechanic.

Furthermore, career advisors can be really helpful.  They can help map out your aim and how to attain the aim you have.  It is crucial to know where exactly the course in reference will take you.

Many occupations accept voluntary staff and unpaid assistants.  You may approach the profession you have in mind and work as a volunteer to get a feel of the job at hand.  This will definitely help in swaying the pendulum in your mind in the right direction.

In every decision, one must consider the implications and rippling effects of the decision.  Failure to do so can have negative consequences on one’s life, reputation, family and happiness.  Of all the options you have on your table, think of all the implications.

Keep in mind your family.  Always seek the counsel and blessing of your parents.  They may not be well versed in the fields you are interested in, but their du’ā will most assuredly steer you to your advantage.

You may consider sitting with your brother and see exactly his plan and vision for the future.  See what he has to offer.  Discuss with other businessmen the prospects of the business involved.  If you decide to take the route of business it is essential you understand the basic concepts of trading according to Islam.  If one’s business is not Shari’ah compliant, it can lead to many problems in future.

We make du’ā’ to Almighty Allah He guides you to what is in your best interest and He opens the doors of prosperity for you.  Amīn.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

 

Mawlana Faraz ibn Adam
Student Darul Iftaa
Leicester, United Kingdom

 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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