Muslims’ Failure in Education
The Greatest Sin
Knowledge plays the most crucial role in transforming man’s fate: both here and in the hereafter. And ignorance works as the most devastating curse, and its consequences are extremely awful. Knowledge gives light, and ignorance brings darkness. People deny Allah, His guidance and His prophets and get deviated from the right path due to ignorance. Ignorant men engage in major sins, and ultimately reach the hellfire. Thus it nullifies the whole purpose of human’s survival. Such man lives only to add failures in the hereafter. In fact, human’s greatest sin is his ignorance (jahiliyah). The pre-Islamic jaheliyah in Arabia ended more than 1400 years ago, but modern man’s jahiliyah even thrives with all his scientific knowledge and material progress. The idolatry, gambling, alcoholism, obscenity, homosexuality, pornography, torture, mass murdering, ethnic cleansing, economic exploitation and other vile acts thus still survive with the ancient scale of ignorance and arrogance.
Modern man’s ignorance is not in scientific invention, but in discovering the truth. Skills in knowing the Truth come only through Divine knowledge. And delivering such knowledge is the exclusive domain of the Allah SWT. Therefore Allah SWT proclaims, “Showing the right path is my task” –(Sura Layil, verse 12). Also revealed, “Allah SWT is the friend of the believing man and woman and takes them from darkness to the light. (And Satan does the otherwise); he is the friend of the non-believer and takes them from light to darkness. –(Sura Baqara, verse 257). The holy Qur’an was revealed to show this right path. Hence without the Qur’anic knowledge, the greatest Truth in life remains undiscovered, and education remains unfulfilled. So in Islam, education is not a mere professional need, rather the most basic religious and civilizational need. Otherwise, man fails becoming a Truth seeking honest human, thereby fails to raise a sane civilisation. So the role of education is crucial. Its success is measured not by the number of professionals or per capita income, rather by the number of people saved from hellfire. Imbued ability to know the truth is its real marker of success. Even dogs or monkeys, if trained, can do miracles. Man can do too. The success of modern day’s universities’ in adding such skills is undeniable. But its failure in saving people from hellfire is awful. By preaching atheism, secularism, materialism, Marxism, hedonism and Darwinism, these universities have opened highways to the hellfire.
Allah SWT loves His greatest creation – the mankind. He wants their ultimate success – the success here and in the hereafter. But such success is pre-conditional. It does not come through economic growth or scientific invention; rather following the Divine path (siratul mustaqeem). Only this path leads to the heavens. Thousands of prophets were commissioned by Allah SWT to show that path. They did not teach science or technology, but made Allah’s greatest gift – the true path, known to the mankind. Man’s ugliest ignorance and failure are not assessed by the inability to build a pyramid, spacecraft or atomic weapon, rather by his inability to discover and adhere to this greatest Divine gift. This very inability drives him to the hellfire. Death without knowing and following this Qur’anic Truth will cause the greatest regret in the hereafter. Of all ignorance, this is the most devastating one; and will torment endlessly in the endless life in hellfire.
Man’s muslimness is crucial. The ultimate success in life depends on it. So, Allah SWT warns, “O you who believe! Fear Allah with all fearfulness – as deemed appropriate for Him; and do not allow death to overtake you unless you are a (true) Muslim”. –(Surah Al-Imran, verse 102). So for the believers, Allah SWT sets the priority. It is not attaining a great success in professions, politics or business; nor becoming a proud Arab, Afghani, Turkish, Iranian or Bengali, but to be a committed Muslim. For that, it does not require a birth in Muslim family, but needs qualitative change in belief and deeds. Fear of Allah is the essence of such change. And such change comes only through true knowledge –the true understanding of Divine guidance. Allah SWT reveals, “Of all His servants, only those who are endowed with knowledge fear Allah. –(Surah Fatir, Verse 28). The prime objective of the education is to generate such fear of Allah SWT through Islamic knowledge. But if education promotes atheism, secularism, materialism, nationalism, Darwinism, Marxism; then it adds only deviation, and takes people to the hellfire. Such education then becomes the most harmful criminal acts on earth. In the name religion, lot of vile acts are still done. Ancient ignorance like worshipping man, animals, idols and deities still survive in the life of billions. Likewise, awful criminal acts are done in the name of education. Teaching falsehood and perversion and adding deviation towards the hellfire thus gets public acceptance as modern education.
First thing must be done first. Otherwise, range of other things stands unattainable. Seeking Islamic knowledge is such a first obligation. Without fulfilling it, becoming a true Muslim remains inconceivable. Hence, the first revelation of the Holy Qur’an was not on salah (namaz), fasting, haj, zakat or jihad, but it was “iqra” –which means “do read”. Reading and understanding of the holy Qur’an serves as the greatest source of the divine knowledge. Indeed, the Divine guidance comes only through it. Acquiring such knowledge is acknowledged as the most important act of ibadah; other ibadah indeed get added values if it is done with deeper understanding. With a void of understanding, ibadah turn to mere lifeless rituals. It fails to bring any qualitative change in man’s behaviour and deeds. Such prayers do not prevent people from corruptions; rather people with such lifeless rituals may even overtake the non-believers in such vice. Bangladesh is a perfect example. Very few countries have such a huge number of mosques and mosque-goers; 90% of its people are Muslim. But Bangladesh stood first in corruption 5 times in the whole world. It is not an economic failure, rather educational failure. Country’s thousands of colleges could not add any glory or higher values, rather brought worldwide disgrace. People have failed badly to learn and practice the basic lessons of Islam.
Seeking knowledge is so crucial that even a short engagement in its pursuit is superior to the whole night’s non-obligatory (nafl) prayer –as narrated by the holy prophet (peace be upon him). Even the war criminals could be freed if they could teach writing, reading and numeracy skills to the Muslims, as done with the kafir captives of Badar. The most distinctive feature of the early Muslims was their spectacular success in realising and fulfilling this first Islamic obligation in seeking knowledge. They excelled not only as practitioners of religious rituals, but also as torch bearers of knowledge in Islamic jurisprudence, politics, philosophy, geography, mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, human and social development and military science. Their success was so great that within the shortest possible time, those ignorant people of Arabia became the most educated and civilised people on earth. The Muslims became the number one global power; and subdued both the Roman and the Persian empires.
Failure of the West
The western civilization added values to stones, metals, minerals, agricultural goods and other materials, but added little moral and cultural values to the humans. The western educational development is very asymmetrical; in its one-dimensional materialist milieu, the spiritual development got little attention. Through its scientific progress, the most greedy and brutal people gained the most devastating tools in their hands. Its people remained equally savage and brutal as were the armies of Halaku and Chengis. Colonisation, ethnic cleansing, genocide, slavery, exploitation and other dehumanising instincts got a global expansion by them. They killed more than 70 million people in only two world wars. The Red Indians in USA, the Aborigines in Australia, and the Maoris in New Zealand were almost ethnically cleansed by them. They did not bother to drop atom bombs on civilian population of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Millions of peoples are put to death in Vietnam and other parts of Asia and Africa. Their killing machines are still all-time active. The people of Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine are their recent victims. All beasts in all ages could not inflict such deaths and devastations on humans as were inflicted by these torch bearers of this western civilisation.
No doubt, science never advanced with such a tremendous speed in the past. But it is also true, such huge atrocities never happened in any segment of human history either, -as happened in modern time. That too happened by the hands of the flagship countries of the western civilization like USA, UK, France, Germany and Italy. Military occupation, colonisation, multinational capitalism and global exploitation are their original inventions. Here too, the west’s failure owes to its educational failure. The secularisation of knowledge has robbed people of their moral and spiritual compass. So, people fail in distinguishing the right from the wrong. Genocide, ethnic cleansing, and now drone attacks thus got their moral, political and legal approval. Such failure can only lead to a civilizational failure.
Islam’s main focus is man’s success: here and in the hereafter. For such success, man’s moral and spiritual development is its main agenda. Islam identifies it as the number one issue in human life. No amount of economic and scientific progress will benefit man and woman unless they develop morally and spiritually. This is the pre-requisite of any sound civilizational development. Only such developments ensure Allah’s help. The Holy Qur’an reveals, “Certainly Allah does not change the affairs of a people unless they change themselves.” –(Sura Ar-R’ad, verse 11). And education is the real change-maker. Man adds values to his soul only through it. Hence from day one, it is the number one obligation in Islam. Whoever denies or ignores it, ignores Allah and His religion. Through proper education, Islam added highest possible values to the early Muslims. In those days, Islam did not have colleges or universities, but turned every mosque and houses into effective learning institutions. Through such educational inputs, Muslims became the living angels on earth. In any part of human history, did a ruler of a vast land ever travelled five hundred miles only with a servant and a camel? Did any ruler share the ride on his camel with the servant? Did any ruler pull the rope of his camel while his servant was sitting on its back? Hazrat Omar (R) did it while he had to travel from Medina to Jerusalem. The companions of the prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) lived their lives with the similar spirit. Islam did not built any pyramid, great wall or spacecraft, but built best possible humans. Islam thus raised the finest civilisation on earth.
In the early days of Islam, the dynamics of Muslim economy, culture and civilization was not dependent on added values on metals or materials, rather on humans. In no other part of history, men and women did receive such a huge uplift in their values and dignity. In those days, even thousand years after, equality of man and women, inheritance of assets by daughters, liberation of the oppressed, equal justice for all, freedom of the slaves were not even in the menu of social reformations in other faiths. But Islam put them in practice. Occupation of foreign lands, enslavement and ethnic cleaning of occupied lands were rule of Greek and Roman civilization. So the Persian capital Persepolis was burnt by Alexander. Islam brought not only a faith-change, rather moral, cultural and civilizational change. Still it remains unsurpassed in the whole history. Without a progress in understandings of Truth, such advancement was unthinkable. The Holy Qur’an was the first book in Arabic language, but within few hundred years they developed a huge wealth of knowledge in different fields. In fact, whatever glorious achievements the Muslims achieved in the fields of tafseer, hadees, fiqh, Islamic jurisprudence, philosophy and moral science, are the works of these early Muslims. They studied and translated huge number of books written by the non-Muslims. Even the works of the Greek scholars reached to the west through their works.
The Awful Failure
The most awful failure of today’s Muslims is not in industry or agriculture, but in education. Educational failure is the mother of other failures. Such failure has caused them to forget even the main purpose of their creation. Hence they failed to carry out even the most fundamental duty as Muslim. Many have returned back to the old jaheliyah –the day of ignorance. Due to such retreat, Allah’s sharia law has been replaced by the kufr law in Muslim lands. To implement such falsehood, the enemies of Allah did not need to launch any war; the so-called Muslims did the job. Like a physical disease, jaheliyah –a moral disease has its own manifestations. So in Muslim land, such jaheliyah is showing its own colours. Instead of pan-Islamic brotherhood, the culture of tribal feuds, wars, disunity, disintegration and rebellion against Allah SWT’s laws have thrived in almost all Muslim countries. Islam survives only as religious rituals.
For spiritual growth, learning truth and de-learning falsehood should go hand in hand and must happen each day. Muslims need constant renewal of his relation with Allah, otherwise death of true belief and spirituality is inevitable. Five times prayers, month-long fasting, zakat, haj, regular study of Qur’an and giving charity are the Islamic curriculum to accomplish such rejuvenation. But Satan has his own institutions too. To take people out of the Islamic way, prostitution, gambling, wine, pornography and so-called cultural shows are not the only weapons; educational institutions are the main tools. Hence with the increasing number of secular institutions, de-Islamization is getting a very high momentum. So, in most Muslim countries, jahiliyah is gaining a stronger presence each day, and the Muslims are getting more deviated from the Divine path. The outcome of such de-Islamization is so revealing that most Muslims have already de-learned the Truth that they are the people who have been appointed by Allah SWT as His viceroy (khalifa). What can be more demeaning than dishonouring such a high Divine appointment? It amounts to dishonouring Allah SWT’s great wish. The word “Muslim” carries a very historical connotation, it does not mean merely to be a believer, rather a very committed actor –acting in the way shown by the prophet of Islam 1400 hundred years ago. Failing to act in that way brings him the most disgraceful failure: both here and in the hereafter. Such failure takes him straight to the hellfire. Education’s most important task is indeed to generate an awareness of this Divine responsibility. But in fact, it has failed to discharge such duty in almost all Muslim countries. The current education system –even in religious madrasas, has dismissed such sense of responsibility to deep oblivion. It is the greatest educational catastrophe. Hence today’s Islam –as practised by the most Muslims, looks spectacularly dissimilar to early Islam.
The Paradigm Shift
Secularism is inimical to Islam. Although claim to be Muslim, these secularists are the real distractors. Their success in distracting the Muslims from the Divine mission has disastrous consequences on Islam’s future. Islam’s revival as a revolutionary force is no more an agenda of these secularist converts. Their main tool is not politics or army, rather the secularised education system. Through education, they made people forget Islam’s vision and mission. They inspired people to focus their vision only on worldly gains and ignore the hereafter. This way they brought a huge shift in Muslims’ conceptual paradigm; a shift towards anti-Islam. Such a world-centred world-view is not a modern concept either, rather as old as the origin of humans on earth. Humans had always the temptation of being focussed only on worldly successes and ignoring the hereafter. Today’s Muslims have fallen into the same trap. The pre-Islamic Arabs also had the same conceptual disease. They believed in Allah, they even named their son as abd’Allah -meaning slave of Allah. They believed that Ka’ba is the house of Allah, and built by His prophet Ibrahim. But they did not believe in the hereafter, hence did not have any fear of accountability of their deeds. So the concept of hereafter with its hells and heavens had no place in their life. Their only focus, as well as the life-long agenda, was to enhance their worldly gains.
The last prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) did not make any political issues out of the Arab’s socio-economic backwardness. Nor did he promise to revolutionise the Arab economy. Rather he brought a 180 degree shift in conceptual model –shift in people’s thinking model. The prophet (peace be upon him) converted them to an akhera-focussed Islamic model. And when the shift was accomplished, the revolution took a huge start. It brought revolution in people’s behaviour, attitudes, values, culture, spirituality and politics. The same people, who were the arch enemy of Islam, became the devoted khalifa of Allah SWT. The vision of bringing victory of Allah’s shariah then became their life-long mission. Believing in the hereafter worked as a key to bring such paradigm shift in Muslims’ mind. Muslims get inspiration to do good work, even sacrifice their life and wealth only to succeed in the akhera. They consider the worldly life as an exam hall; their good deeds in this world will bring a huge reward in akhera. Therefore to enhance the reward in the hereafter, the Muslims spent every moment in this world doing good deeds. Such akhera –centered belief added tremendous speed to civilisation making works of the Muslims.
Allah SWT has His own vision vis-à-vis the world and the mankind. Such vision has been revealed several times in the Holy Quran. The Qur’an says, “He it is who has sent forth His Apostle with (the task of) spreading guidance and the religion of truth, to that end that He make it prevail over all religions,,” -( Sura As-Saf, ayah: 9, Surah Fatah, ayat:28; Sura Taubah, ayah: 33). Muslims’ duty is to align them with the vision of Allah SWT. Hence, Muslims’ aim of survival and their educational need is altogether different from the non-Muslims. A factory man cannot do the job of an army man. It needs special training and education. In the Holy Qur’an, Muslims are proclaimed as the army of Allah. So they need special education and skills to do the job properly. Here the role of education is crucial. But secularisation of education made it impossible to generate such skills in Muslims.
Allah SWT wants victory of His religion only in the interest of the mankind; it is the most effective way of saving people from the hellfire. Only this way the right path towards havens can be shown clearly to the people. Civilisation then takes a heavenly turn. To play such a life-saving civilizational role, Islam cannot work in solitude. Its works must not be restricted within the confines of mosques and madrasas, rather should go much inclusive. To fulfil such a Divine vision, the whole statecraft, the educational institutions, the judiciaries, the army, the police and other executive agencies must join the Divine mission -the mission of doing the good and prohibiting the wrong. During the rule of the prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) and the early rulers, all such state institutions rendered their unrestricted support to that Divine mission; otherwise their jobs would have remained un-accomplished. Therefore, taking state-institutions in Islamists’ control is not a political need, rather a religious obligation. Hence, the prophet of Islam (peace be upon him) took the full control. His companions did that too. The legitimacy of Kholafa-e-Rasheda was based on it. So today’s Muslims -like any other Muslims in any other age and place, have no other option but fulfil the Islamic obligation. But Satan and his secularist friends do not want that the statecraft and its powerful institutions should go to the hands of the Islamists. Satan wants to delegate these institutions to the secularists, so that these can used as weapons to oppose Allah’s vision. The secularists thus work as inimical insiders; they work to restrict the role of Allah’s religion in shaping the fate of mankind. Secularisation of education thus blocks the propagation of the Divine vision, hence puts obstacles to generate the required skills for carrying out Allah’s prescribed mission. Such Satanic strategies are not hidden either. Almost all Muslim countries are the occupied land in the secularists’ hand, and they have already raised huge armies to challenge Allah’s vision and implementation of His sharia.
The Secularists’ Crime
The greatest defeat of the Muslims did not take place in battle-fields, rather in the field of education. Islam lost its hold in Muslims’ conceptual territory first; the fall of geo-political territories came later. It happened through secularisation of Muslims’ thought. Secularism is defined as a “system of social organization and education where religion is not allowed to play a part in civil affairs.” –(Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s Dictionary). So the prime objective of the secularists is to restrict religions playing any role in the system of social organizations and education. Their political objective is to keep the statecraft out of the Islamists’ control and keep in their own grip. This way they obstruct the implementation of Divine law. Islam possesses an all-encompassing global vision; all social, religious, political, cultural and educational organizations in a Muslims country must work together to promote such vision. On the other hand, the secular educational institutions work against that Divine vision. The secular education does the job by immunising students’ mind against any Islamic influence, thus work as a barrier against Islam’s spread. In political arena, it raises walls of geographical boundaries in the name of different language, ethnicity, geography and culture, thus restrict the spread of Islamic influence from other countries. The secularists thus work as the real enemy of Islam.
Social change starts in people’s mind. Thinking paradigm is indeed the real engine of any revolution. Hence, after the acceptance of Islam, the pre-Islamic Arabs did not remain the same. Before Islam, engaging in crimes was not morally disapproved; rather many moral perversions and crimes prevailed in the name of religion. But after accepting Islam, the people approached the life differently. They engaged in doing good deeds with all physical, financial and intellectual abilities, even sacrificed their lives. But today’s Muslims have taken a different path. Although they read the same Qur’an and Hadees, the missing element is the understanding. Such misunderstanding owes to secularisation of education. The focus of all activities has been shifted from akhera to dunia; hence satisfying personal whims gets preference to satisfying Allah (SWT). The importance of understanding Islam gets heavily compromised when the implementation of its laws and principles is not an objective. Who is going to study shariah, when it enjoys no scope of practice? In such a context, people study and practice the established kufr law. Can a believer do that? It entails clear disrespect and abrogation of Allah’s laws. Muslims are duty-bound to stop such disrespectful practice in their judiciary, otherwise their faith becomes questionable.
The Role and the Disservice
How to learn is education. Knowledge is the product of such learning endeavour. But what is the benefit of that knowledge if it adds wrong objectives and priority to the life? Even criminals do have the skills of reading and writing. Humans need the right aim of their survivals and the right role models. Thousands of prophets were sent to show the right path, as well as to work as the role models. The Muslims should follow this prophetic model. In early days of Islam, Muslims did not have colleges and universities, but have institutions to show their children the right path and present the right role model. State, mosques, madrasas and families did the job. But the secularist education is rendering a very awful disservice in this field; it works hiding the Divine path and right role models. Indeed, here lies the greatest crime of secular education.
The prime purpose of the education is not to teach mere facts or skills, but to show the right direction in life, and to present the right role models. But today, the colleges and the universities are doing enormous harms by showing the wrong directions in life, and presenting the wrong role models to follow. With the increasing number of colleges and universities, the deviations are getting much wider. So the failures of the Muslims are also getting much deeper. The secular universities –though in thousands, could not add even a single glory to the Muslim history. In fact, some of the Muslim countries, with the increase in educational institutions, earned great disgrace by ranking as the most corrupt country in the world.
The secular education is helping the greedy, corrupt and clever predators to gain more skills, thereby doing more harm to the societies. Their knowledge, skills and efforts get exhausted only to meet the worldly aims, nothing is left over to spend for the hereafter. Allah SWT labels these people as the ultimate loser and said, “Say: “Shall we tell you who the greatest losers in respect of their deeds are? It is they whose labour has been wasted in this world’s life, while they think that they are doing good works. These are the people who deny the signs of their Lord and deny the fact of meeting with Him in the Hereafter. Vain will be their works. Nor shall We, on the day of judgment give them any weight to their deed.” -(Sura Kahaf, verses 103-105).
More Failures in the Line
Ensuring Islamic education for the children is the most fundamental responsibility of the parents. It brings disaster, both here and in the hereafter, if this Islamic obligation is ignored or delegated to enemies. Since Muslims’ mission of survival is different from that of the non-Muslims, their educational need is also different. So, the Muslims living in non-Muslim countries face a serious problem. Here the aim of becoming a doctor, engineer or a scientist can be easily met, but growing up with an Islamic vision remains in great danger. Muslims cannot deserve Islamic education from a non-Muslim. In fact, education is the most powerful tool of indoctrination. In Muslim lands, this has been used as a tool of subversion by the colonialist enemies for ages. They opened hundreds of missionary schools in Muslim land -not as a part of charity rather as ploy to increase the cultural converts. Failing to make any significant gain in religious conversion such cultural conversion has been their long-pursued strategy.
Now the children of the Muslim emigrants in non-Muslim countries have been easy prey of the same ideological predators. Since the Muslims started to send their children to non-Muslim schools at home and abroad, their downfall as a civilizational power also took the start. The collapse of Usmania Khilafah is a typical case example of such collapse. The foundation of the Usmania Khilafah was pan-Islamism: the Turks, the Arabs, the Kurds, the Albanians, the Kosovans, the Moors –all live in same country for more than five hundred years. But the Turks and the non-Turks who were sent to European colleges for education they returned back with the infectious virus of nationalism and secularism in their thoughts. As the two blades of the same scissor, these two ideologies cut the great empire into more than twenty pieces. Foreign attacks only expedited the process.
Another success story of the enemies in Muslim land was the breakdown of Pakistan. This country was born out of India to meet the Muslims’ ideological, cultural and civilizational aim – as was visualised by the great philosopher like Allama Iqbal. Her foundation was also pan-Islamism. But the country did not have the leadership and intellectuals to understand such high vision. This huge void was filled with people who have little understanding of Islam’s civilizational goal. In the name of promoting education, the Bengali and non-Bengali academics and the army personnel were given scholarship to the western countries for education and training. The west got the golden opportunity to indoctrinate them to their faith. Hence they returned back as cultural converts and with the virus of nationalism, secularism and western hedonic culture in their mind. In fact, they worked as the Trojan horse of the enemies. The army cantonments and the civil and military officers’ club turned to be the protected islands of the western culture; drinking wine on taxpayers’ money and womanising become the pastime of many army and civil officers. Drinking wine in Pakistan Army’s officers’ mess was firstly stopped by Gen. Ziaul Haque in late seventies. On the other hand, the academics turned the university campuses as the most fertile breeding ground of the secularists and the nationalists. So, the country was ripe for dismemberment from inside. Enemies just played a midwifery role in 1971. Although the country’s scientific advancement is commendable -it is now an atomic power, but still faces a huge chaos due to its dire educational failure. It has failed to mobilise people around Islam’s core vision and values. Dismemberment of Iraq and Sudan is also following the same line. Bangladesh’s failure to grow with an Islamic vision is also awful. The failures of the Muslim world are not economic or military ones, rather educational. If the colleges and universities continue to breed the enemies of Islam and the Muslims men and women fail to fulfil their Islamic educational need, many more failures are in the line. Allah SWT never helps those who do not help themselves. And how Muslims can help themselves while they are not equipped with Islamic objectives, and not imbued with its mission and vision? 23/05/12