Education is a basic need for everyone, whether they are poor or rich and male or female, and it is a fundamental right which could not be taken away from them. In fact, the education is the best guarantor for the development and prosperity of any nation or community and becomes core reason behind rise and fall of nations. Moreover, because of knowledge and education human beings are declared as the best creatures of the universe.
Since the onset, the religion of Islam was the flag bearer of education and strongly advocated its propagation across the world, and this was reflected in the revelation of the first verse of the Qur’an is “Iqra,” meaning read. Islam believes Education guides human beings towards the right path, fosters brotherhood and fraternity among various societies, and creates an atmosphere filled with complete Peace and security. Recognizing these apparent benefits of the education, educated and informed people were appreciated in Qur’an and Hadees, and therefore, Allah says: Are they equal? Those who are learned and those who are not? There are many verses of the Qur’an that highlight differences between literate and illiterate and urge people to seek education and also Prophet Mohammad’s Hadees declared that the literate people are the best of human beings.
The scope of knowledge is vast, and it cannot be limited to a narrow definition. Hence, it was noticed that the Quran verses related to knowledge were familiar. Keeping it free from any limited definition, Islam made its seeking mandatory for all Muslims (men and women) as it says: seeking knowledge is a duty upon every Muslim-men and woman. On taking a holistic review of Quranic verses and Prophet’s Hadees concerning knowledge and education, it becomes very evident that seeking knowledge is as applicable to modern education as to religious education, and furthermore, many Quranic verses highlight the relevance and importance of science and technology by inviting people to contemplate into the universe and its system. The Prophet’s Hadees: “The word of wisdom is the lost property of the believer; wherever he finds it, he is the most deserving” also underscores the importance of education and knowledge and seeks to remove the difference between religious education and modern education.
Today, the Muslim community is far lagging behind in the educational field compared to fellow citizens’ remarkable achievements. It continues to progress in the same, and this educational backwardness of the Muslim community is becoming the root cause for every problem they face nowadays. Recognizing the importance of Educational role in building any community, the Muslim community now feels more strongly the need for modern education than ever before. Maulana Arshad Madani (President of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind), in his appeal to the Muslim community, said, “Pet par pathhar baandh kar baccho ko padhao” ( Accord highest importance to providing education to children even at the cost of starvation).
It is a wise step to seek guidance and other educational assistance from our fellow brothers and various educational institutions in the Country to strengthen this educational awareness being strongly felt in the Muslim community and give a new direction to the educational activities. It is not only hoped but firmly believed that our fellow brothers would wholeheartedly come forward to help accomplish this Noble objective. In addition to this, it is a collective duty to take advantage of GOvernment’s new educational policy and utilize minorities educational and welfare Schemes to further strengthen modern educational awareness among Muslim youth to serve the community in a better way and play a vital role in the development and progress of the Country.
(Amina and her husband Farooq run the old age home in devanahalli and the food bank. General secretary of Al Aman Educational and Welfare trust. [email protected])