Importance of Education
- By Imam Shamsudeen Qasimi
Assalamu Alaikum Dear Elders, Brothers and Sisters!
Allah (Glory be to Him) the Beneficent, the Merciful, has brought His religion in a very knowledgeable, knowledge based way and has given great importance to His mankind's knowledge, thoughts and education in such a way that no other religions have given or could give. This is the known truth.
Allah (Glory be to Him) says in His Quran,
"Oh! Prophet, Ask them! Will the known and unknown can be equal?"
Thereby, Allah (Glory be to Him) has clearly said that knowledge is the best & important source for enhancing, developing, grooming oneself in the society. Though this world consists of Allah's (Glory be to Him) enormous wealth, gifts & other treasures but the knowledge and the wisdom are the most important treasures that gives respect & honour for mankind in this world.
Now we must understand how special the knowledge is. Suppose there is a man who is disabled, poor, doesn't have any friendship of well known & famous personalities, neither has a good family & relatives nor in a good position in the job but only has a good knowledge & wisdom. Here, the society will not see his disability, his financial position, neither his family/relatives & position of his job as he possesses good education, knowledge & wisdom.
A known truth is that this man will definitely get a good will, respect & honour from Allah (Glory be to Him) and also from the mankind. This is because of the good knowledge and education he possess regardless of the other factors mentioned earlier .That’s why Allah (Glory be to Him) has given such a great importance to knowledge than any other things in this world. According to Allah's (Glory be to Him) religion, knowledge is the base for everything. Here we have to understand which knowledge we need to seek?
There are two types of knowledge that Allah (Glory be to Him) and Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) recommending mankind to seek. They are called in Arabic as,
1) Ilmul Kasabi
2) Ilmul Ladhunni
Ilmul Kasabi is the knowledge that we seek in this world.
Ilmul Ladhunni is the knowledge that Allah (Glory be to Him) has given to us already.
We have to understand the differences among them.
Whilst giving this Ilmul Ladhunni, Allah (Glory be to Him) hasn’t made any differences, disparity or discrimination among mankind.
Because Allah (Glory be to Him) says "Whenever a mankind is in need of that particular knowledge, at all those times I have given them their needed knowledge".
Sometimes Allah (Glory be to Him) name this Ilmul Ladhunni in His holy book as "wahi". We all know the importance of wahi & how all Prophets (peace & blessings be upon them) received their "wahi" from Allah (Glory be to Him). But Allah (Glory be to Him) represents this knowledge as "wahi" even for the people of this world. Allah might have given this knowledge from our birth or through life experiences or even he makes us to understand this knowledge through our dreams.
Prophet Mohammed (peace & blessings be upon him) said that "a good dream dreamt by a Muslim is the 1 out of 46 parts of wahi". So, Allah (Glory be to Him) will send good knowledge & wisdom to His mankind through their dreams as well.
Allah (Glory be to Him) says in His Quran," I sent wahi to Prophet Eesa's (peace & blessings be upon him) companions ".
Since Allah (Glory be to Him) has sent wahi to Eesa’s companions which is been sent only to the prophets, we can’t call these companions as prophets. Because Allah (Glory be to Him) says in His Quran that "He even sent wahi to honeybees". As per mufassir’s (translators) explanations for wahi, when the word wahi is being associated with prophets, it is called as revelations/orders/words from Allah (Glory be to Him). But when Allah says wahi for normal mankind or for any of his creations, then this wahi represents good wisdom or good knowledge. We all know how brilliant honeybees are and even scientists are wondering how honeybees have such an incredible knowledge.
Allah (Glory be to Him) has named this knowledge/wisdom as wahi in His Holy Quran very gladly.
This knowledge/wisdom is the priceless treasure for mankind from the bounties of Allah (Glory be to Him). He has given this knowledge equally to all mankind. ‘Ilmul Kasabi’ may change according to individual's effort as it is the knowledge to be gained. But Allah's (Glory be to Him) ‘Ilmul Ladhunni’ is equal for all. Its usage & importance will vary on how we are using it. If we are using it in a proper way, then it’s useful for us or else useless.
Sometimes we can see a man who will be very intelligent. Even a word from his mouth will be treated as priceless. He will lead society in such a motivated way. But this intelligent man will pray & bow towards an idol which is been carved out of his hand. He will complain all his problems to that idol. He can be an intelligent man but his actions shows that he is ignorant & insane. If he wants, he can make thousands & millions of idols in whatever model he likes. But here he is praying to it. There will be a group of starved kids & people around to feed instead this intelligent man will pray his idol god and feed it with milk, curd, ghee etc & decorate it with garlands. This is what his usage of ‘Ilmul Ladhunni’. So, in this case, ’Ilmul Ladhunni’, the knowledge given by Allah (Glory be to Him) is not being used in a correct way. This is one of the cases.
In another case, there are a group of people who supports Periyar & call themselves as "rationalized" people. They protest against worshipping idols, feeding & decorating it. But they will present garlands for Periyar’s statue, who condemned all these actions and called it superstition. He also pointed out not to waste money on garlands instead give it to some starving poor people. Many people started following him based on these ideologies only. But these so called ‘rationalized’ people don’t mind and present garland to his statue itself. In the earlier case when anyone hurts their idol god or said anything against worshipping it, they will be enraged & start protesting. In this case, these so called ‘rationalized’ people follow the same, when anyone hurts Periyar statues or his beliefs. One group respects their idol god and worship it whereas the so called ‘rationalized’ group follows the same in term of respect for Periyar’s statue. So, there is no difference between them. This is what their usage of ‘Ilmul Ladhunni’.
At least we can tolerate these 2 groups as they don’t have the knowledge/wisdom of Holy Quran. But our Muslim brothers who portray themselves as true Muslims, believes Allah (Glory be to Him), Quran & follows Sunnahs of Prophet Mohammed (peace & blessings be upon him) are also doing the same mistakes. Just a single difference is that those 2 groups were respecting, worshipping, decorating, feeding their standing idols/statues whereas our Muslim brothers do the same to the lying statue i.e., in Kabrusthan. If those idol believers says normal ash as sacred powder after presenting it to their idol god, our Muslim brothers repeat the same, where normal sweet become sacred dabrook. Here, even our Muslim brothers haven’t used their ‘Ilmul Ladhunni’ in a proper way.
So, Allah (Glory be to Him) has given good knowledge equally to everyone but that is up to us to use it in a correct & useful way.
According to our beloved prophet Mohammed (peace & blessing be upon him), every Muslim should seek knowledge & wisdom where ever he finds as it is his lost property.
For example, when we lost something in the road and find it the other day, there is no need for us to ask anyone to take it back as we know it is ours. In the same way we must find and seek knowledge & wisdom as if it is ours.
As said earlier that Allah (Glory be to him) has given great importance to Ilmul Ladhunni. Angrily, He says in His Quran that those who are not using their knowledge properly are like blind, deaf and mad even if they have eyes, ears and knowledge respectively.
Allah says in His Quran, in chapter no : 3 Al-e-Imran ,verse no: 189,
إِنَّ فِى خَلۡقِ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَٱخۡتِلَـٰفِ ٱلَّيۡلِ وَٱلنَّہَارِ لَأَيَـٰتٍ۬ لِّأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ
"Lo! In the creation of the heavens and the earth and (in) the difference of night and day are tokens (of His Sovereignty) for men of understanding"
Allah says in His Quran, “When a non-Muslim does research about heaven, earth and the differences about day & night continuously, then this will make him sick by thinking about Allah (Glory be to Him) all the time while sitting, standing & sleeping”.
That is why when an intelligent uses his knowledge in the right way, it will definitely take him towards Allah (Glory be to Him).
Let us now understand about 'Ilmul Kasabi'. This knowledge will vary among individuals according to one’s effort to seek it. This is similar to how an individual’s earnings will vary according to their job. Allah (GBTH) has given us ‘Ilmul Wahabi’ i.e., ‘Ilmul Ladhunni’ in enormous. But it is our responsibility to seek ‘Ilmul Kasabi’.
Allah (GBTH) has shown the importance of 'Ilmul Kasabi' through one of these well known incidents. Allah (GBTH) when decided to send Holy Quran to the mankind, he chose Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), an illiterate, who has never been to school, college or university in his life as His messenger to spread Islam & Holy Quran. Knowing Prophet (pbuh) as an illiterate, Allah (GBTH) ordered him‘Iqra’ i.e., ‘Read’ through Angel Gabriel (pbuh). When prophet (pbuh) insisted that he don’t know to read, Gabriel (pbuh) again & again asked him to ‘Read’. Then Prophet started reading the first verse of the Quran “Iqra Bismi Rabikkallathi Kahalaq…” Not only in this history but also in many histories, Allah (GBTH) has ordered Prophet (PBUH) many do’s and don’ts. Whatever ordered to prophet (PBUH) is not only for him but for the entire Ummath until the day of judgement. Hence thereby, Allah (GBTH) has not only ordered Prophet (pbuh) to Read but the entire mankind to read and increase their knowledge. Therefore when we increase our reading habit, then automatically we will get ‘Ilmul Kasabi’.
But no wonder that our Muslim community is lagging in this reading habit. More or less we all might have read in our school/college or now just a daily newspaper, posters and notices, that’s it. Many people are thinking that their life is only with business, office/shop & home. Though there are many ways to increase our reading habit & knowledge, we have circled ourselves within these few entities. To be frank, the reading habit among our community is very minimal or even it has vanished completely.
Internationally 23rd April of every year is celebrated as “Book Day” to create awareness among public about reading books. Allah (GBTH) has not given us this life to just live and die, but to attain certain goals. In order to achieve that we all must increase our reading abilities. To start of with, we must first read our Holy Quran, Tafseer, Hadheeths and also other good books & literatures. To motivate our reading habit Allah (GBTH) has given us special rewards while reading His Holy Quran. Prophet (PBUH) said that each letter of Holy Quran contains 10 rewards. When we read “Alif Laam Meem” , 30 rewards for it. Even if we read ‘Iblis’ in holy quran, we will get 50 rewards. No other books and no other religion in this world have this speciality except our Holy Quran.
Another well known latest example is one of our country’s Deputy Ministers who is considered to be the next knowledgeable person after our Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh. Since he has gone behind another woman, he lost his position, honour, respect and fame from the public. Though he possesses good knowledge and wisdom, he has not used it in the correct way and gone astray.
There is a Urdu poetry on “Knowledge & Education“ written by a famous Urdu poet,
“The so called knowledge and education portrayed by this world is all non-sense,
But only the knowledge and education portrayed by our beloved prophet (pbuh) to this world is of full sense.”
There is no use in reading computer science, literatures and other philosophies unless and until we utilise it in the correct way.
Therefore, dear brothers & sisters, let us all develop our reading skills & implement it in our life with the help of Holy Quran, Hadheeths and other literatures. Even we can read other religious books like Christian’s bible, Jew’s Talmud & other communism books. But we have to be conscious that we read these books & literatures keeping in mind our Islamic ideologies & beliefs. So that we can get good morals out of it and will be useful for our worldly life & hereafter. May Allah (GBTH) make us all a good benefiters, help us to develop our reading skills and bless us all with good knowledge & wisdom which will bring us a good respect & honour both in this world & hereafter.