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Muslims and Modernity

“Seek knowledge even you have to go to China” (Al-Bayhaqiy)
Science and technology have changed the world in the 21st century which is not hidden from a rational Muslims’ eyes. Its effect has given alternative life styles and economic growth which resulted in the establishment of civilized and modern nations. Modernity symbolizes discovery of scientific invention, revolutionary defensive equipment, remarkable transports facilities, and unimaginable use of computer, mobile and plane. Holy Quran has always emphasized on the importance of education.

Allah has specifically mentioned in Quran that- “Read in the name of your Lord who created you. He created man from a clinging substance. Read, and your Lord is the most Generous. Who taught by the pen. Taught man that which he knew not” (96:1-5). It was the first revelation in the Quran; the verses not only emphasize to get only religious knowledge but also to achieve modern scientific knowledge. The word llm (Knowledge) is a common word which inculcates all including technology, maths, philosophy, psychology, medical study etc.

The Prophet Mohammad (SAW) said, “Seeking knowledge is an obligation for every Muslims” (Al-Bayhaqiy). It commands all Muslims to achieve knowledge with hard work and sacrifice themselves for it. It was followed by Muslims in the early age of Islam by opening Maktabs (Schools) and appointing teachers (Imams). His companions were learning and teaching others. Seeking education is compulsory for all Muslims. It does not mean only to get religious knowledge but also get all modern educations, because Islam never instructs its followers to lose their supremacy and face backwardness. The most prominent fact is that knowledge is the strongest weapon to win the world economically, psychologically and scientifically.
Many medieval Muslim reformists were not only great cleric but also great educationists. Prominent amongst them include Abu Nasr Al- Frabi (872-950)- the Arab scientist and philosopher. Al-Battani (858- 929)- Arab Mathematician, scientists and astronomer who improved existing values for the length of the year and of the season. Ibn Sina (980-1037) a Persian Philosopher and scientist. Arab philosopher and scholar Ibn Rushd (1126-1198), an Algorithmic Mohammad Ibn Musa AI Khwarizmi (780-850). Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) was Persian.

Mathematician, astronomer and poet. Thabit Ibn Qurra (826-901) the Arab Mathematician, Physician and astronomer. Abu Bakre AI- Kazi (865-925) was Persian alchemist and philosopher, the father of Arab chemistry etc.
Countless Quranic Verses and Hadis vividly proved that Muslims should achieve modern knowledge for their prosperous and happy life. If they do not get modern education, they cannot compete with the world. Today, fight for supremacy is carried out rapidly by scientific discoveries and new inventions. Countless Quranic verses were later proved to be true by scientific innovation. But only a miniscule minority amongst the Muslims ever bother to understand whats written in Quran. All they do is rot learning. They follow a prefixed system which teaches them to learn Quran but not to understand it. After the fatwa forbidding use of typewriter during Osmani Khilafah, Muslims lagged in the fast pace of development which resulted in European supremacy. If Muslims want to regain their lost space in the field of science of innovation than they need to create a fine balance between religious education and modern education. If they fail to do so, they are bound to fall and lag behind in the race.


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