A good Muslim needs to be educated
In Islam, as in many other faiths, ignorance is considered to be unworthy of a follower of God.
It isn’t considered shameful not to know something, however it is most shameful to be in the presence of knowledge and thereby ignore it.
Ibn Mas`ud heard the Prophet (SWT) saying: “There is no envy except in two: a person whmo God has given wealth and he spends it in the right way, and a person whom Allah has given wisdom (i.e. religious knowledge) and he gives His decisions accordingly and teaches it to the others.” Sahih al-Bukhari 1409.
Indeed, religious and general education are the most important values – ones that should be preserved sacredly. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “The seeking of knowledge is obligatory for every Muslim.” – (Tirmidhi, Hadith 74). Nevertheless, this image is sometimes distorted in the minds of individuals.
Such was the case in Pakistan in 2007 when the invading Taliban groups decided to close down all the schools for girls in the city of Swat, and over 100 were razed by 2008 throughout Pakistan, with women deprived of any active social roles.
In the same year, a 10 year old girl named Malala Yousafzai, gave a speech in the city of Peshawar titled: “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education”. Few were those who dared oppose the Taliban at the time, so young Malala proceeded to post blogs for the BBC on the living conditions under the Taliban in the name of all those who didn’t have a voice.
In 2011, she was awarded Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize which soon turned out to be a double-edged sword. Following this award, she began to receive death-threats from the Taliban.
One afternoon, in October 2012, Yousafzai was returning from school on the bus when a Taliban member suddenly emerged from the doors and shot the fifteen-year-old in the head, injuring two other girls.
Many around the world showed financial support for her critical condition and, after several months of hospital treatment, she was finally able resume lessons by 2013 in Birmingham.
On her 16th birthday, she decided to give a speech at the UN saying: “I am not against anyone, neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban or any other terrorist group. I’m here to speak up for the right of education for every child”.
The following year in October 2014, she became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Thus, the actions of a single individual have made an even greater impact in providing the opportunity for hundreds of thousands of kids to attend school and seek knowledge, carrying out Allah’s (SWT) will.
Without a doubt, many of us when we were younger took mandatory education for granted, not valuing the great opportunity that has been bestowed upon us. It is now our duty as Muslims to constantly remind ourselves to pursue knowledge whenever we can and help those who are deprived of the ability to develop one of Allah’s (SWT) greatest gifts: the conscious mind.