Finding the relevancy to up to date knowledge and bringing it into the line with
Quranic wisdom in order to make a thematic purpose for this write up. Innate obligation to
recite this book for the sake of attaining virtues and inner peace, I have been reciting this
book since my childhood. I did memorize it at the age of 14 and since then I am habitual of
reading it almost every day. However, with the meaning, depth of its powerful knowledge
and its worldview to various aspect of life, I was not fully aware of. While pondering and
studying the available literature on this I found new horizons of Quranic education and its
key role in building the basis for different fields of education in the western world, too. Even
Dr. George Holmes (1988) rightly explained that how the period of Islamic scholar in the
Middle-Ages was a golden era but western scholars did fail to acknowledge their entire
contribution towards educational reforms and inventions. This standpoint encouraged me
more and I intended to study further by digging out the philosophical worldview of
contemporary education in the light of Quran.
Since, the Holy Quran holds significant status as a supreme authority in Islam. About
fourteen hundred years ago this book was revealed by Allah Almighty to His last messenger
Prophet Muhammad PBUH as the book of law and guidance. In Islam nothing goes beyond
the teaching of Quran hence Muslims follow the instructions which have been revealed in this
commanding book as a primary, divine and definite source of guidance. Among the Muslims,
Quran is also considered a complete code of life; from birth to death, and here to here-after. It
talks about the human life, reasons to its existence and metaphysical concept of life and
death. Although, Quran is not a typical book of science or its any discipline however it also
shows the way out to any concerns related to human life. This false perception must be
rectified that Quran was only revealed to guide the Muslims; in fact this is made-up notion
that has always been misunderstood. Through Quran, Allah addresses to whole His beloved
supreme-creature, to human beings, calling as O people O people.
The Quran consist of 114 chapters, every chapter is called “Surah” and each contains
certain number of verses called “Ayah” which means sign or miracle. This magnificent book
invites readers to ponder into its deep-meant ocean to dig out their answers; it depicts the real
functioning of religion which drives one’s life to discover Allah. If a person wants to find out
what type of life should be led? What kind of contribution is wanted to make this world a
peaceful living place? What the glory is and the true meaning of attainment? How the talent,
abilities and strength can be the best used to humanity. How egoist and self-centered life
pushed a person far away from their Creator. It also answers and throws light on every aspect
of life to its seekers.
“Recite in the name of your Lord who created.
Created human from a clinging substance.
Recite, and your Lord is the most Generous.
Who taught by the pen.
Taught human that which he knew not.”
(Quran, 96: 1-5)
This was the first revelation by Allah Almighty to His last Messenger Prophet
Muhammad PBUH in which He enlightens the creation of human being and knowledge
acquiring. In a number of other verses, besides this verse, Allah has asked human beings to
study and acquire knowledge and make a good use of pen. Humans can never understand
Allah and His creation properly without using pen and acquiring knowledge. The Prophet
Muhammad PBUH also focused on acquiring knowledge with extreme sincerity by following
the instructions of Quran. While reading and understanding the Quran one can easily come to
know the place and importance of education in Islam but unfortunately, except few eminent
personalities of early periods after Prophet Muhammad PBUH, the Muslims from all over the
world, Could not emphasize on Quran’s education and even, those who have attained degrees
and claim to have acquired knowledge, have not understood the spirit either of Islam or of
education. In Quran, one can also discover the educational foundations that have been
described and categorized at par with the modern philosophical point of views; in such a way
and believe that it is a lived-book of modern world.
To understand the educational perspective and the divine spirit of the verses of Holy
Quran related to knowledge and education, demands conscious study and philosophical
pondering. Since acquiring knowledge in Islam is an ample virtue therefore it has been
conditioned compulsory for both men and women. Emphasizing on importance of education
the Holy Prophet Muhammad PBUH said, “He who goes out to acquire knowledge, remains
in the path of Allah, until he returns” (Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2647, Grade: Hasan). In Quran,
an educated human being having the ability of understanding, has been asked to look at the
things and events around him and tries to understand them. Similarly humans have been
asked to offer their prayers (Salaat) timely and do practice the good deeds because they will
be judged according to their actions on the Day of Judgment.
The full and final revelation by Allah through His last Messenger would guide
humans till end of the days. As the Quran is word of Allah and Prophet Muhammad PBUH is
the role model and assigned teacher to whole the humanity hence no further guidance would
be sent to show the path. All directions for the success of both the worlds have been stated in
Quran; in the light of those directions the Islamic education system defines definite principles
to lead a preposterous life. Through education it is preached that have firm belief in the
oneness of Allah, His immortality, His mercy and the supreme powers. The establishment of
a social welfare habitat through charity and brotherhood by incorporating the laws stated in
Quran. As humans are answerable in front of Allah so they need to be well-prepared for the
accountability of their actions and deeds on day of rebirth. For the development of social
consciousness among diverse humans the sensitization of right and wrong must be taught. It
alerts if anyone misuses his freedom by perusing the path of disobedience and revolt, he will
fail and the one who chooses the path of obedience to Allah will be successful in this world
and world of hereafter.
There are multiple examples from Islamic history portrays that as far as the Muslims
had been following their wisdom-book, had been the rules of the world. They have been
enjoying the status of the most advanced civilization of the world at that time. When it is
deeply looked the main reasons behind was not but Islam’s prime focus and esteem to
education. Qur’anic teachings moved many Muslims to contribute in science and medicine.
The East has been the origin of knowledge, power and civilization. The Arabic language was
the symbol of learning, diplomacy and the most scientific knowledge.
It is believed that Quran is second most read book on the face of earth. It was not
descended to recite only but to prosper the lives of humankind and to show them the right
path. Hence no person can afford to be ignorant of the Quran without knowing the Creator of
whole the universe. It speaks with definite knowledge by exposing the truth and calls humans
to the way of truthfulness. It encloses all necessary information about human destiny and
educates individuals the moral values, ethics and intellectuality.
Through this article, I attempted to find Quran’s worldview on education and the
discourse that Quran has already communicated fourteen hundred years ago. I know even
many of Muslims perceive that Quran is just a religious book that talks about doings and
prohibitions; this perception is incorrect because of their unawareness to this miraculous
book. On this point, I partly agree to them as one can find little research in the field of
Quran’s far-reaching vision, its expansion to variety of subjects and its powerful command on
the narrative, even the contemporary world does not deny or challenge to its brilliance. One
may find chain of materials on reading, memorizing, and reciting the Quran that also deal
with science and math too. But this article, backing the educational perspectives typically
answers the questions; what importance of education has been emphasized in Quran? How
Quran talks about various aspects of education exists within? This write up starts with an
overview to Quran and further explores various features of the nature of human being, to
mean developing the person as a whole whether spiritual, social, or mental. It also narrates
the scope and significance of education, aim of education and it implication to the lived
world. Similarly, concludes with the overall Quran narrative, human’s freedom of choice and
reason to distinguish between right and wrong.
(The author of the article is pursuing his M. Phil in Development Studies at Kathmandu
University, Hattiban, Kathmandu-Nepal.)