1 January 2013

The Importance of Education in Islam

“The best among you who learns holy Quran and teach it to others”

Islam is the religion of peace and has given us guidance in every aspect of life. Islam has given us education with knowledge which has no limits. One of the most important aspects of Islam is Education. Knowledge and Education are highly emphasized in Islam. Islam has made it a duty on every Muslim male and female to gain knowledge, which is considered to be a superior act of worship in Islam. Knowledge is identified in Islam as worship. The acquiring of knowledge is worship, reading the Quran and pondering upon it is worship, traveling to gain knowledge is worship.
Knowledge is the most important thing in one’s life. Education makes man a right thinker and a correct decision-maker. Without education, the training of the human mind is incomplete. No individual is a human being in the proper sense until he has been educated. Education is thus the starting point of every successful human activity.
This is why Islam attaches such great importance to knowledge, learning and education. In Islam, one of the aims of acquiring knowledge is that of becoming more conscious of Allah. Knowledge is not only limited to the religious knowledge but includes all forms of knowledge. Education is the knowledge of putting one's potentials to maximum use. Without education, no one can find the proper right path in this world. Acquiring knowledge enables Muslims to get a better perception and understanding of the world around us and make us more conscious of Allah. So everything we seek knowledge for, better be for good cause to humanity.
Islam, in theory as well as in practice, has always promoted knowledge Islam attaches such great importance to knowledge and education The Prophet(pbuh) did not only preach about importance of knowledge; he also gave practical examples of promoting knowledge. One of the criteria of releasing the POWs devised by the Prophet was that those who were literate among the pris­oners could go free if they teach ten Mus­lim children how to read and write.
The Qurân and the Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) both obligate Muslim men and women to acquire knowledge and education.
The importance of education is repeatedly emphasized in the Koran with the frequent injunctions such as:
·       Distinctive mark of human beings over the an­gels is knowledge:"And Allah taught Adam all the names…” (2:31)
·        "Allah grants wisdom to whom He pleases and to whom wisdom is granted indeed he receives an overflowing benefit."( 2:269)
·       "As God has taught him, so let him write" (2:282)
·       Scholars are considered to be like angels (3:18),
·       “My Lord! Increase me in knowledge" [ 20:114]
·       Concerning knowledge and Education the Qur'an states as follows; “Those truly fear Allah, among His Servants, who have knowledge”. (35:28)
·       The Qur'an says."Are those who have knowledge equal to those who do not have knowledge?!”(39:9).
·       "God will exalt those of you who believe and those who have knowledge to high degrees" (58:11)
·       When the Quran began to be revealed, the first word of its first verse was 'Iqra' that is, read.” Read in the name of thy Lord who created; [He] created the human being from blood clot. Read in the name of thy Lord who taught by the pen: [He] taught the human being what he did not know." (96: 1-5).
Some of the Hadith regarding the importance of Education:
·       Prophet Muhammad (saws) said: “Seeking knowledge is a duty of every Muslim, man or woman”. (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 218)
·       Angels in heaven, fish in the water and ants in their dwellings pray for the well-being of a seeker of knowledge.- Tirmidhi
·       Another Hadith states that, “The Father, if he educates his daughter well, will enter Paradise”.
·       Yet another Hadith states that, “A mother is a school. If she is educated, then a whole people are educated”.
·       The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) encouraged all Muslims to acquire knowledge and share it. He said:
"Acquire knowledge, for he who acquires it in the way of Allah performs an act of piety; he who speaks of it, praises the Lord; he who seeks it, adores Allah; he who dispenses instruction in it, bestows alms; and he who imparts it to others, performs an act of devotion to Allah." (Bukhari, Muslim)
·       According to a Hadith, the ink of the pen of a scholar is more precious than the blood of a martyr.
·       According to a Hadith, the ink of the pen of a scholar is more precious than the blood of a martyr.
·       All the books of Hadith have a chapter on knowledge (ilm). In Sahih Bukhari there is a chapter entitled, “The virtue of one who acquires ilm (learning) and imparts it to others.”
·       One who treads a path in search of knowledge has his way paved to paradise by God as a reward for this noble deed. (Bukhari, Muslim)
·       In another hadith the Prophet of Islam observed that those who learned virtue and taught it to others were the best among humankind. (Al-Bayhaqi).
·       The Prophet once observed that “the worship of a learned man is a thousand times better than that of the ignorant worshipper.”
·       The Prophet is reported to have said: “An hour of reflection is better than a hundred years of worship without reflection.” (Al-Bayhaqi).
The Prophet of Islam (PBUH) empha­sized the importance of seeking knowl­edge:
(a): "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave."
(b): "Seek knowledge even if it is far as China."
(c): "Seeking of knowledge is a duty of every Muslim"
            (d) "Wisdom is the lost prop­erty of the believer, he should take it even if finds it in the        mouth of a mushrik."
·       The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: The position of only two persons is enviable; the person whom Allah bestowed wealth empowering him to spend it in the way of righteousness, and the person whom Allah gave wisdom with which he adjudges and which he teaches to others.( Ibn Mas’ud)
·       The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: A single scholar of religion is more formidable against shaytaan (Evil) than a thousand devout persons. (According to Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah,)
·       The Prophet said: "When a man dies, all his deeds come to an end except for three — an ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge or a righteous child who will pray for him." (Muslim)
·       Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) once said, “he who leaves the home in search of knowledge is walking with God.
Knowledge is pursued and practiced with modesty and humility and leads to beauty and dignity, freedom and justice. The main purpose of acquiring knowledge is to bring us closer to God. Knowledge must be linked with values and goals. One of the purposes of acquiring knowledge is to gain the good of this world, not to destroy it Another purpose of knowledge is to spread freedom and dignity, truth and justice. Four characteristics are essential for a Muslim ruler, Knowledge, Piety, Justice and Administration. Tolerance is the first step towards learning. The real knowledge makes us tolerant, civilized and rational.
The following Hadith shows how important and how rewarding knowledge is.
·       "He who acquires knowledge acquires a vast portion." AND "If anyone going on his way in search of knowledge, God will, thereby make easy for him the way to Paradise."

Six Etiquettes of learning
"There are six stages to knowledge:
·       Firstly: Asking questions in a good manner.
·       Secondly: Remaining quiet and listening attentively.
·       Thirdly: Understanding well.
·       Fourthly: Memorizing.
·       Fifthly: Teaching.
·       Sixthly: and it is its fruit: Acting upon the knowledge and keeping to its limits."
“O Lord, increase us in knowledge.” (Quran, 20:114] Aameen.
·       The Holy Quran.
·       Hadith 
·       Education in Islam by Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi 
·       Woman Education in Islam- Samina Yaqoob.
·       The Concept of Education in Islam- Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas
·        Concept of Reality, Knowledge and Value in Islam - Sultan Muhammad.



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