Knowledge can be broadly divided into two types, one is the knowledge of religion, and the second is the knowledge required by the community. It is the duty of every parent that we should educate our children with the proper knowledge of both types.
By Syed Ashfaq Bukhari
For example, in The Glorious Qur’an Verse 39:9 – the Qur’an addresses all people and indicates that people will be judged by their knowledge and understanding.
Dear Readers,Asalam Aleykum
The purpose of this article is to reflect on the importance of education in processes of development from Islamic perspectives.
To seek knowledge is a sacred duty; it is obligatory on every Muslim, male and female. “IQRA BIISMI RABBIKA ALLAZI KHALQ”. Read! In the name of your Lord who created (all the exists). Surah Al’Alaq 96:1
The first word revealed to our Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) from Allah SWT was “Iqra” which means to Read! To seek knowledge! Educate yourselves! Be Educated. As our Prophet (PBUH) said “TALAB UL ILMU FARIZATUN ALA KULLI MUSLIM”. Acquiring knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim, the Knowledge of Truth and Wisdom.
Education and Development
Development is more than economic growth; it encompasses economic, social, cultural and political dimensions. Development focuses on improving the well-being of individuals on the basis of their participation and the fair distribution of benefits resulting from their active participation. Education has a multidimensional impact on communities, and it is widely recognized as one of the building blocks for sustainable development, and furthermore education is instrumental in promoting equal opportunities and higher income levels amongst the entire population. Economic growth does not necessarily imply a reduction in economic inequality.
Education has been greatly emphasized in Islam. As I initiated my article by quoting a verse of The Glorious Qur’an “IQRA BISMI RABBIKAL LAZI KHALQ“ which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) indicates the importance of education in Islam; the verse started with the word “IQR’A”, it is a command that means Read in Arabic, and that implies the concept of ‘learning’, ‘exploring’ and ‘seeking enlightenment’. This demonstrates that reading (knowledge) is the way to approach the Creator of all that exists. Verse 96:1-5 “IQRA BIISMI RABBIKA ALLAZI KHALAQ” “KHALAQA ALINSANA MIN AALAQIN” “IQRA WARABBUKA ALAKRAMU” “ALLAZI AALLAMA BIALQALAMI” “AALLAMA ALINSANA MA LAM YAALAM”; which states “Read! In the name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.”
The importance of education has been emphasized repeatedly in the Qur’an, which is the ultimate source of guidance for Muslims. Verse 20:114 says, “My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” This verse indicates that whatever we know is limited as we need to keep asking Allah to increase our knowledge. Therefore, a Muslim should constantly be seeking more knowledge (ILM). The Qur’an treats knowledge as a means of reaching Iman (faith) for all Muslims, males, and females, to become true believers. This is demonstrated in the following verses: (Verse 2:269) “Allah grants wisdom to whom He pleases and to whom wisdom is granted indeed he receives an overflowing benefit.” (Verse 35:28) “Those truly fear God, among His servants, who have knowledge: for God is exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving.” (Verse 39:9) “Are those who know equal to those who do not know? Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding.”
The Hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) also emphasizes the value of knowledge. As the following Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah notes: (Sahih Muslim: Book 12, Hadith 4005) “When a man dies, his acts come to an end, but three, recurring charity, or knowledge (by which people benefit), or a pious son, who prays for him (the deceased).”
Therefore, in the Qur’an and Hadith, the importance of education is explicit; in Islam seeking education is obligatory, and that knowledge is considered to be the path towards greater closeness to Allah.
Knowledge can be broadly divided into two types, one is the knowledge of religion, and the second is the knowledge required by the community. It is the duty of every parent that we should educate our children with the proper knowledge of both types. Such as in religious knowledge which comes at first is Tawheed (believing in one God), Offering Salah (the act of prayer), Reading Holy book, fasting, etc; then the second type of knowledge is the knowledge required by the community. Such as knowledge which makes a person doctor, an engineer, a lawyer, a scientist, an agriculturist, etc. This is too required for the betterment of the community and to the betterment of society. But when we acquiring the second type of knowledge we should make sure that knowledge should take you closer to almighty God, but not to make far from.
The Glorious Qur’an itself teaches about various religious as well as formal teachings of the world, such as: “Surat An-Nahl (Verse 16:66) talks about the production of milk and pulmonary blood circulation:[And indeed, for you in grazing livestock is a lesson. We give you a drink from what is in their bellies – between excretion and blood – pure milk, palatable to drinkers.]
“Surat Al-Anbya (Verse 21:30) talks about the theory of Big Bang (the creation of Universe):
[Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?]
“Surat Az-Zumar (Verse 39:5) talks about the alteration of Day and Night:
[He created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions): He makes the Night overlap the Day, and the Day overlaps the Night.]
“Surat Adh-Dhariyat (Verse 51:47) talks about the expansion of the universe:
[With power and skill did we construct the Firmament: For it is We Who create the vastness of Space.]
Surah An-Nahl (Verse 16:79) talks about Flight of Birds:
[Do they not see the birds controlled in the atmosphere of the sky? None holds them up except Allah. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.]
And in the same manner, there are several scientific facts mentioned in The Glorious Qur’an about Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Botany, Geology, and Hydrology, etc.
Education has a multidimensional impact on communities, and it is widely recognized as one of the building blocks for sustainable development, and furthermore education is instrumental in promoting equal opportunities and higher income levels amongst the entire population. Economic growth does not necessarily imply a reduction in economic inequality.
Furthermore, the principles of charity in Islam offer a way through which Muslims can support education programs that will empower the disadvantaged section of society. Waqf, apart from zakat and sadaqah, is one way that Muslims engage in ongoing charity. Waqf can be in the form of paying for or declaring a building or land as a communal space, with schools and training centers falling within this category.
The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.
Author of this article is the columnist at Wilayat Times, is also the Chairman of Tehreek Shahi-Hamadan Jammu and Kashmir and Director of Inspire Academy.