Then the first word revealed in the form of the Quran was ‘Iqra’ (96:1). The fourth verse of the first revelation forming part of the chapter Al-Qalam has this to say:
“God has taught man by the pen.” (96:4)
We find more than 1500 derivatives and synonyms of the word Ilm, that is, knowledge. It becomes easy to understand in the light of this how the revelation of the Quran in this almost illiterate nation of Arabia set off such a wave of receiving and imparting education, which can rightly be called a learning explosion.
The revolution brought about by this learning explosion ushered in a new age of highly developed culture and civilization not only in Arabia but also all over the world. This is a fact that has been acknowledged by historians. For instance, Indian historian, T. Rama Rao begins his biography of the Prophet of Islam with these words:
When he appeared, Arabia was a desert—a nothing. Out of nothing of the desert a new world was fashioned by the mighty spirit of Muhammad. A new life, a new culture, a new civilization, a new kingdom, which extended from Morocco to India and influenced the thought and life of three continents—Asia, Africa and Europe (Life of Muhammad).