Compiled By: Mufti Umar Anwar Badakhshani
The concept of difference between religious and contemporary education
Knowledge, whether it be with respect to Islam or any worldly persuasion, it is nonetheless a measure of achievement and a mark of distinction. The objective of knowledge is to be adorned with accomplishment and perfection as well as acquiring the legacy of humanity. With respect to the subject matter, knowledge is of two types:
- 1. Islamic education.
- 2. Contemporary education.
The actual fruits and blessings of Islamic education will be manifested in the next world. As long as the rise and honor of Islam remained in the world, its benefits were witnessed in this world. The Islamic scholars (Ulema) used to be honored with the positions of judges, chief justice, administrators of justice, and finance. Their existence was no less than a shadow of mercy for the Ummah. Due to their fear of Allah, love of truth, and the establishment of justice, an atmosphere of peace and security reigned over the social fabric of the Ummah. This just system of the ruling was the cause of warding off many social ills.
As a result, for the fulfillment of Islamic positions, the Ulema of Islam were chosen and appointed. Even today, this is the case in those countries where the Islamic system is in place to whatever extent. When it comes to worldly knowledge which is directly linked to the worldly system like philosophy, logic, history, geography, mathematics, astronomy, accountancy, medicine, and surgery, etc. there were innumerable government posts.
The differentiation of knowledge between Islamic and worldly is on the basis of subject matter dealt with. This in no way means a separation between Islamic and the Contemporary (worldly). Therefore, worldly knowledge, provided it is not vain and useless and is acquired with the intention of serving the creation, reforming the means of livelihood and methods of ruling, it also becomes a means of attaining the pleasure of Allah indirectly. As a result, differentiation falls away. On the contrary, if the intention for acquiring Islamic education is merely to earn the world, this education too will come into the ranks of contemporary (worldly) education, indirectly. Severe warnings against this have been sounded in the Hadith of Prophet (S.A.W). As an example, it appears in this Hadith:
من تعلم علما مما یبتغی بہ وجہ اللہ لا یتعلمہ إلا لیصیب بہ عرضا من الدنیا لم یجد عرف الجنۃ یوم القیامۃ عنی ریحھا (مشکوۃ)۔
Translation: “That person who has acquired that knowledge (education) through which the pleasure of Allah can be attained but instead, he made it a means to the chattels of this world, will be deprived of even the fragrance of Jannah on the Day of Qiyamah.”
من طلب العلم لیجاری بہ العلماء أو لیماری بہ السفھاء أو یصرف بہ وجوہ الناس إلیہ أدخلہ اللہ النار (مشکوۃ)۔
Translation: “The person who acquired knowledge in order to oppose the Ulema or to debate with those of lesser intellect, or to attract the attention of people towards himself, Allah will cast such a person into the fire.”
Everything depends on the intention
Nonetheless, such a plane is reached wherein the knowledge of Islam becomes knowledge, and contrary to this, worldly knowledge can become the means of the king the pleasure of Allah and the next world as a result of which, the differentiation between Islam and the world falls away. From this, we learn that the actual basis aim and intention. If the intention is the pleasure of Allah, worldly knowledge also becomes an assistant and helper to Islam. In such a case, all the branches of manufacture, trade, and craftsmanship become the means of Allah pleasure.
The actual purpose of education
Knowledge (education), be it ancient or modern, be it Islamic or worldly, should all have as their objective of establishment of a pious social structure in keeping with the pleasure of Allah. This objective can be attained by every individual no matter what field he is in acquiring knowledge of Islam to the extent of necessity with respect to his given profession. If it is a Muslim trader he should be an Aalim, be conversant with the rules and regulations of trade and commerce in Islam. If he is an engineer he
should be an Aalim. During the rule of Hadhrat Faroq-e-Aazam which was during the brilliant era of the Khilaf at-e-Rashidah, this was one law:
لا یبع فی سوقنا ھذا من لم یتفقہ فی الدین
Translation: “Whoever is not an expert in Islamic issues (laws) does not have permission to trade in our marketplace.”
Thus, even in order to earn the world, there is a need for Islamic knowledge so that one can differentiate between Halal and Haram, permissible, and impermissible. So that one does not get involved in direct interest or interest-based transactions.
In short, this was one such era wherein the objective of skills, trades, and accomplishments were the pleasure of Allah. Now, such an era as arrived wherein the objective of everything is nothing other than the world. In fact, the situation has deteriorated even further than this, for all aspects of the world have even come to end and the only objective remains the stomach. The highest level of an objective with regard to all types of knowledge, trade, skill, and accomplishment today has become filling this stomach by whatever means possible.
Contemporary education and its objectives
In the ancient terminology, only the knowledge of Islam deserved the title of knowledge. Worldly or contemporary knowledge was termed as trade, skill, art, or craft. In today’s terminology one who has acquired the ancient form of knowledge is termed and Aalim while one who acquires modern knowledge is called an “educated” person.
In Britain and Russia, the objective of modern education is understood to develop schools, colleges and universities to produce cogs in the government machine, for in order for them to fulfill their administrative needs in these foreign countries, they need such a generation through whom their government’s business could continue and flourish. They could not bring so many Englishmen from England to be able to run such a large subcontinent. There were also to rule other countries. Key positions were obviously given to their own people and thereafter those who were prepared to be their one hundred percent lackeys. For the lower positions, they had to use people from here. Apart from this, a major objective of the British was to make the people of India so enamored of the English culture and civilization that they would appear to be English both outwardly as well as inwardly and thereby fulfill the prediction of Rabb Macaulay.
In short, this mentality to acquire education solely in order to work is the brainchild of the British. It is evident that year by year there is an increase in the pace of education while the government posts available are limited. There is no scope for increasing these in proportion to the number of people being educated. Nor is it possible to utilize every educated person in government positions. This discussion was with regard to male students, now the trend is for females to make strides in the field of educating and they too are desirous of these positions. When the new generation finds the future to be bleak, restlessness spreads and its result becomes manifest in this lesson inducing form which was witnessed last year at the Karachi University on the occasion of awarding degrees. It was a situation wherein it became difficult for even the governor to save his honor. This is the effect of modern education and this is the behavior of educated people. “In this is a lesson for those who have sight”. This an occasion of food for thought for people of intellect and people in positions of power. If the correct solution to the mental anguish of the new generation is not south, the results will be even more terrifying than this.
The anxiety and mental anguish of the new generation
In our opinion, there are a number of causes for anxiety and mental anguish:
- The greatest of them all is the fact that there was never a need considered for the Islamic environment, Islamic nurturing, or Islamic thoughts and concerns in the modem educational institutions.
- In fact, contrary to this, all the different ways and means of creating a disinclination form Islam. Islam has been given the name of “Mullaiyat (that which is linked to the Muallas (Ulema)” and thereby creating hatred towards it in the minds of the modernly educated individuals.
- Many different derogatory titles have been given to the Ulema by means of which every possible effort has been made to drop them in the sight of the “educated individuals”.
- All the different forms of the media have been released from all limits and boundaries and thereby making them the propagators of irreligiousness.
- Over and above this, there have been special institutions set up to propagate an irreligious mindset. These institutions have been greatly encouraged by the government.
Consider now the situation of the new generation of educated people whose home environment is totally irreligious, in whose classrooms there is a dearth of Islam and who are faced with the noxious and poisonous fumes of irreligiousness on the streets, alleys, and marketplaces. Islam has been scraped from each sector and wiped away. From the parents to the teachers, from the president to the orderly, the new generation has no sense of religiousness, fear of Allah, and fear of the next life. can one expect religiousness and a sense of nobility from that new generation who step by step follow those countries in which the commodities of sexual immorality and evils, immodesty and evil character, animalism, and satanism are to be found? Can that generation whose very nature is based on subversion ever attain any constructive achievements? Can that which is the very product of social disintegration ever contribute to the restructuring and reformation of society in any way?
The main objective of Contemporary education is materialism rather than character building
Remember! No matter how many drums of educational progress one may beat, as long as the environment of education is not Islamic, as long as the lofty example of parent’s, teacher’s and important individual’s religiousness, fear of Allah is not present before the new generation they will not improve. As long as Islamic nurturing is not seen wherever one casts one’s gaze, as long as a character and good actions, as long as feelings and affections, as long inclinations and attractions, are not rectified this problem will increase day by day. When the Islamic ethos departs from knowledge, the character is destroyed, appreciation of people takes a back seat and the objective of life becomes nothing other than animalism and nurturing the stomach, what else will materialize from such education besides the dreadful result being observed at the moment?
What a great shame that today the entire machine of man is operating only around the stomach! The sum total of the education and nurturing today is finding ways and means whereby the demands of all animalistic desires can be fulfilled even if it be at the expense of losing one’s Islam, at the expense of crumbling one’s character, at the expense of failing to maintain one’s humanity. No matter what happens, it is fine as long as one’s animalistic demands and carnal desires are fulfilled. Neither is there a connection with Islam nor a bond with the character, not even the recognition and concerns of humanitarianism, no fear of Allah nor sound thoughts, no concern for the next life nor modesty in the face of the creation, Inna Lillah.
Contemporary education and its few harmful effects
This modem education and un-Islamic system of operation have given birth to accursed bigotry based on differences of language and worshipping of provinces as a result of which the eastern arm has been cut off. Even in Karachi and Sind, these dreadful specters are raising their heads night and day. Who knows what the end result of this unfortunate nation will be? In order to value human dignity and respect as well as to recognize humaneness, there is no alternative besides Islam. We have repeatedly mentioned in these pages that salvation in the next world and fortune in this world can only be attained through Islamic education and Islamic guidance and laws. Apart from this, there is nothing but destruction upon destruction. The objective of knowledge is the upliftment of the soul and its purification, the raising of one’s lifestyle and character, purity, and chastity both outwardly and inwardly. This can only happen when the body of knowledge has within it the soul of Islam to enlighten it. On the other hand, if you are making every effort, leaving no stone unturned in your attempts to destroy Islam and make every effort to mock at the Islam and thereby humiliate it, you should then remain prepared for its worst possible results.
SOURCE: Daur e Hazir kay fitny, aur un ka Elaj, By Maulana Syed Muhammad Yusuf Banuri