Importance of Education in Islam

“My Lord! Increase my Knowledge.” (THE QURAN 20: 114)

THE MISSION of the Prophet of Islam has been introduced in the Quran at more than one place as an instructor of the Book and a teacher of wisdom. Here is a verse from the Quran: “It is He who has raised among the unlettered people a messenger from among themselves who recites His revelations to them, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and wisdom.” (62: 2)

Similarly, on another occasion the Prophet of Islam presented himself before the people saying, “I have been sent only as a teacher.” The first word revealed in the form of the Quran was ‘Iqra’ or ‘Read’ (96: 1). The fourth verse of the first revelation forming part of the chapter Al-Qalam says:

“God has taught man by the pen.” (96: 4)

We find more than 1500 derivatives and synonyms of the word Ilm, that is, knowledge in the Quran. In this light, it becomes easy to understand 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 all over the world. This is a fact that has been acknowledged by historians. For instance, the 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)

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