Assalamualaikum, is studying STEM topics considered an ibadah, and if so, how do we make sure that the things we study may benefit us in the akhirah. Thank you.
Alaikumassalam wa rahmatullah,
My own thinking is that if we do the minimum of daily worship necessary to maintain a high character, and if our life is focused on achieving true stewardship (acting as an agent of God on earth), then everything we do can be considered worship.
Personally I listen to the Quran for an hour every day. I consider this the minimum worship required of me and plan to continue doing it for the rest of my life. Everything else I do is also geared toward satisfying the purpose of God’s creation of me here and now. So I consider all of my studies and projects a form of worship.
But that minimum amount of worship is extremely important. We should never delude ourselves into thinking that the project we are working on is so important that we can neglect our duty of God’s remembrance. If you find yourself sinning (even if it is a very minor sin) then that is a sign that the minimum amount of worship has not been achieved. God has no need of our works if we first do not act as purely submissive servants of Him. He does not like us to think that we are serving Him while betraying Him in other ways.
So the civilized Muslim should first create a foundation of impeccably high character and work toward maintaining it. From then on they can work on other things in their attempt to achieve true stewardship on earth.