In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Importance of Education in Islaam
By Irshad Mahmood – Director, Siraat-al-Mustaqeem Dawah Centre

To seek knowledge is a sacred duty, and is obligatory on every Muslim, MALE and FEMALE. The first word revealed of the Quraan was "Iqra" READ! Seek knowledge! Educate yourselves! Be educated (Male and Female).

SEX Education: Protect yourselves from AIDS:

SEX Education now became very important to discuss here, since even in Muslim Countries, many Muslims are getting sexual diseases like AIDS. Do not visit any Un-Islaamic Websites, which talks about sex, and do not watch or listen any Sexual things. Even many Muslims Websites may give you wrong information. Only visit authentic websites.

Before sex both spouses must recite Bismillah … and after sex they must make Duaa like “Rabee Hablee Menassaleheen”. رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ "My Lord, grant me righteous children", (Al_Quraan_037.100).

Education in Women under Islamic Law is the key to the success of society:

If Female is well educated, she can take care her kids in a better way, and help them do their homework and if she knows driving as well, she can pickup and drop-off her kids. Females are after all Human beings and they may get sick, so some of them must be Good Doctors and Nurses. To teach Female Doctors and Nurses, some Females must be Good Teachers. In Brief you cannot have a well decent and educated society without educated Female. If Females are left behind then it will lead the society poor and backwards, what is happening in most parts of the world. If Women are left uneducated the whole race of Muslims may be left uneducated. Wherever Allah mentioned about education, it also includes Female as well. Female is the principal part in a family success. To ask Allah for education, “RABBEE – ZIDNEE – ILMAA” is for Female also. At least, if Females are well educated enough, they can do good Dawah, while men are busy in their work.

Aisha bint Abu Bakr as Siddiq, radiallahu anha, was one of the greatest transmitters of Sunnah. And she did it from behind a screen, in her home. She was a recognized expert in a number of fields. According to present time, we can say, she was holding several Ph.D. Degrees in many disciplines.

Friday Speech before Prayers are for both Men as well as Women and is Key to Educate Ummah including Women:

O you (Men and Women) who believe! when the call is made for prayer on Friday, then hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave off trading; that is better for you (Men and Women), if you (Men and Women) know; But when the prayer is ended, then disperse abroad in the land and seek of Allah's grace, and remember Allah much, that you (Men and Women) may be successful, (Al_Quraan_062.009-010).

Dark Side of NOT Offering Friday Salaat and NOT Listening Friday Speech:

Let us see the dark side of not offering Friday Prayer. Our Future Generation are totally depend upon our women. On Friday there is a SPEECH before prayer, which is also COMPULSORY. Also Friday speech, which includes explanation of Quraan and Authentic Sunnah, is a LESSON, Religious STUDY time for both MEN and WOMEN. BUT alas Shaitaan managed to enter the false Hadeeth by making fool to Ummah, so that WOMEN have stopped going to Masjid for Friday Prayers and so slowly they forgot and gone away from religious study, and so our Future Generation is. As you can see how badly our Ummah is away from the Quraan and the Really Authentic Sunnah, and we are getting Disasters one after another including Cruel Rulers.

Don’t apply exceptional rules over general rules like for patients, pregnant women who are unable to go, etc. Specially, Working Women have NO choice other than do break for Friday Prayers. Those women who can manage to go for Friday Prayers without Great Difficulty, must go for it. They must also know when they are not allowed to offer prayers as well.

Allah has allowed Women to work as well:

And in no wise covet those things in which Allah hath bestowed his gifts more freely on some of you than on others: to men is allotted what they earn and to women what they earn: but ask Allah of His bounty: for Allah hath full knowledge of all things, (Al_Quraan_004.032).

In the above Ayaat Allah has allowed women to work as well. For every specialized work there is specific education/training is needed for men as well as for women. Because of skyrocketing prices for all things and people’s savings are falling well behind, so men and women both need to work to help raise children and make home a happy home by improving their family income. Those who denied in the past and when they fall into financial crisis their women starts looking for any kind of work which can help increase their family income BUT if they could have early planning and get right education/training as well as experiences a head then perhaps they might not have fallen into this situation if Allah’s will. Hiring Robots Firing People is going on BUT Robots and Machines don’t eat apple and oranges, so apple and orange farms and their businesses will be bankrupt. A single machine may replace thousands of human BUT not a single human can ever replace a single machine. Those Nations succeed whose men as well as women work sincerely to build their nation. Look at Chinese nation how they have succeeded at present time when whole world is facing huge economic disasters. Men and Women MUST Work, Work and Work more to survive.

Surah Al-Zumr, ayah 9 reveals: "Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?" Surah Al-Baqarah, ayah 269 reveals: "Allah grants wisdom to whom He pleases and to whom wisdom is granted indeed he receives an overflowing benefit."

Centuries old monarchy, colonialism and the oppressive rule of their own people have brought about moral and spiritual degeneration of Muslims throughout the world. To retrieve them from this degeneration, it’s about time that the Muslim Ummah restructures its educational priorities along Islaamic lines, fulfilling the existing needs as well. By virtue of such an educational program, the future generations will become the torch-bearers of Islaamic values and play an effective role in the present world. The challenges of modern times call for rebuilding the structure of our educational program on such a foundation as to fulfill our spiritual as well as temporary obligations. Today we need an education system which can produce, what the late Sayyid Abul A’la Mawdudi said, "Muslim philosopher, Muslim scientist, Muslim economist, Muslim jurist, Muslim statesman, in brief, Muslim experts in all fields of knowledge who would reconstruct the social order in accordance with the tenets of Islaam."

The Muslims today are the most humiliated community in the world. And should they persist in following the same educational program as given by their colonial masters, they will not be able to recover themselves from moral and spiritual decadence.

Islaam is our greatest gift. We have to be thankful for this gift. We have to render to Allah His due. Allah has given us so much by making us a part of the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (S) so we must totally commit ourselves as followers of the Prophet (S). We must become true Muslims.

Now how can we become Muslims in the true sense of the word? First let’s define what a Muslim is. A Muslim is not a Muslim simply because he’s born one. A Muslim is a Muslim because he is a follower of Islaam, a submitter to the Will of Allah. We’re Muslim if we consciously and deliberately accept what has been taught by the Prophet Muhammad (S) and act accordingly. Otherwise we’re not true Muslims.

The first and most crucial obligation on us is to acquire knowledge and secondly to practice and preach this knowledge. No man becomes truly a Muslim without knowing the meaning of Islaam, because he becomes a Muslim not through birth but through knowledge. Unless we come to know the basic and necessary teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (S) how can we believe in him, have faith in him, act according to what he taught? It is impossible for us to be a Muslim, and at the same time live in a state of ignorance.

It is essential to understand that the greatest gift of Allah – for which we are so over whelmed with gratitude – depends primarily on knowledge. Without knowledge one can’t truly receive Allah’s gift of Islaam. If our knowledge is little, then we will constantly run the risk of losing that magnificent gift, which we have received unless we remain vigilant in our fight against ignorance.

A person without knowledge is like someone walking along a track in complete darkness. Most likely his steps will wander aside and he easily can be deceived by shaytaan. This shows that our greatest danger lies in our ignorance of Islaamic teachings and in our unawareness of what the Quraan teaches and what guidance has been given by the Prophet (S). But if we are blessed with the light of knowledge we will be able to see plainly the clear path of Islaam at every step of our lives. We shall also be able to identify and avoid the dangerous paths of Kufr, Shirk and immorality, which may cross it. And, whenever a false guide meets us on the way, a few words with him will quickly establish that he is not a guide who should be followed.

On this knowledge depends whether our children and we are true Muslims and remain true Muslims. It is therefore not a trivial to be neglected. We do not neglect doing whatever is essential to improve our trades and professions. Because we know that if we do neglect, we will starve to death and so lose the precious gift of life. Why then should we be negligent in acquiring that knowledge on which depends whether we become Muslims and remain Muslims? Does such negligence not entail the danger of losing an even more precious gift – our Iman? Is not Iman more precious than life itself? Most of our time and labor is spent on things, which sustain our physical existence in this life. Why can we not spend even a tenth part of our time and energy on things, which are necessary to protect our Iman, which only can sustain us in the present life and in the life to come? It is not necessary to study extensively to become a Muslim. We should at least spend about one hour out of twenty-four hours of the day and night in acquiring the knowledge of this Deen, the way of life, the Islaam.

Every one of us, young or old, man or woman, should at least acquire sufficient knowledge to enable ourselves to understand the essence of the teachings of the Quraan and the purpose for which it has been sent down. We should also be able to understand clearly the mission, which our beloved Prophet (S) came into this world to fulfill. We should also recognize the corrupt order and system, which he came to destroy. We should acquaint ourselves, too, with the way of life, which Allah has ordained for us.

No great amount of time is required to acquire this simple knowledge. If we truly value Iman, it cannot be too difficult to find one hour every day to devote for our Iman.

Knowledge is identified in Islaam as worship. The acquiring of knowledge is worship, reading the Quraan and pondering upon it is worship, traveling to gain knowledge is worship. The practice of knowledge is connected with ethics and morality – with promoting virtue and combating vice, enjoining right and forbidding wrong. This is called in the Quraan: amr bil-l ma’ruuf wa nah-y ‘ani-l munkar.

Not only should we seek knowledge, but when we learn it, it becomes obligatory on us to practice it. Though we must remember that correct knowledge should come before correct action. Knowledge without action is useless because a learned person without action will be the worst of creatures on the Day of Resurrection. Also, action should not be based on blind imitation for this is not the quality of a thinking, sensible human being.

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. It is not simply for the gratification of the mind or the senses. It is not knowledge for the sake of knowledge or science for the value of sake. Knowledge accordingly 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 through wastage, arrogance and in the reckless pursuit of higher standards of material comfort.

Another purpose of knowledge is to spread freedom and dignity, truth and justice. It is not to gain power and dominance for its own sake.

Obviously, what we may call the reservoir of knowledge is deep and profound. It is a vast and open field that is not limited.

It is impossible for anyone to gain anything more than a fraction of what there is to know in the short span of one’s life. We must therefore decide what is most important for us to know and how to go about acquiring this knowledge.

May Allah (SWT) give us strength to behave and act just as He likes us to do and be pleased with us, and that should be the purpose of our lives.

RABBI – ZIDNEE – ILMA, (O Lord, increase us in knowledge), AAMEEN.

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