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Muhajirs, Not Colonizers
These new Muslims of the new age will not colonize, pillage and plunder this world. Just as the earlier Muslims of 1400 years ago did not colonize, pillage and plunder this world. Nor will they conquer and enslave the people of the world and exploit and abuse them.
Instead, they will bring joy and liberation to the people of the world. And they will do so to all of humanity without looking to see who is a friend and who is a foe.
They will be Muhajirs and nation builders, not colonizers and conquerors. They will fill God’s earth with the blessings of Hijrat, just as their Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, did 1400 years ago.
These will be people to whom many a people of the world will gladly and willingly handover the mantle of leadership, even as the people of Jerusalem did to Umar and his followers, without shedding a drop of blood.
These people will then set about building a truly brave new world with a brand new culture of fairness and justice for all, equality for all, liberty for all, education for all and opportunity for all.
And they will build this brave new world based on truth and candor and not based on lies and deception as the modern world is.
These will be men and women of character, truly Islamic character, formed and shaped through a process known as Tazkiyah.
Give a People Education, You Will Change Their Condition
So says the Qur’an we can say.
What is clear is this: Islam is all about education. The first commandment from God to Man in the Qur’an was simple, clear, direct, forceful and unambiguous. It was “Read!” And reading is key to education.
The same passage in the Qur’an points out how God gave education to human beings by means of the pen. Pen and education, in the middle of the 7th Century of the Christian Era? And the notion of universal education that is inclusive of male as well as female genders? How likely is such a scenario?
But that is the truth and that is what happened. We don’t have to take the word or judgment of historians for it. That is the open and secure record that is as fresh in the pages of the Qur’an today as it was 1400 years ago when the Qur’an first came down to earth.
I totally fail to comprehend it. I ask myself: How is it possible?
To me it is one of the greatest living miracles on earth that in the middle of the 7th Century an unlettered man without any formal education or training of any kind comes out of a cave in the Arabian desert and tells humanity “Read!”
And as if that were not enough, he rubs the whole thing in by saying, Oh yes, don’t forget that education comes from the point of a pen. And to make the whole thing even more shocking and mind-shattering, he throws in something that the world did not come to recognize almost till the middle the of the 1970s: Oh yes, by the way, make sure this formula of using the pen to provide education covers not only men but also women.
So, men and women of the world, go forth and seek education. Go read! Embrace the book and embrace the pen and pursue the path of education. And don’t ask if you are male or female, child or adult.
How in the world do you make sense of something like this unless you call it a miracle? And a miracle indeed it was. It is this miraculous world-changing formula that Muslims have been sitting on for all these 14 long centuries.
At one time, Muslims changed the world using this formula. That is precisely what they need to do again – one more time. And many, many more times indeed. Use the tool of education to change themselves and change the world.
For, that is what Islam is all about: education.
And lo and behold that is what the world did for the rest of the 1400 years since the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, gave humanity that glorious command “Read!” The world started to comply with his command and began to “read.” Slowly but surely education – literacy if you want – spread to the four corners of the world.
With the torch of the Qur’an in hand Muslims first spread education throughout the world within a very short span of time and pioneered all kinds of scientific discoveries and achievements. What even some of the brightest minds and most educated people in the world do not understand today is that this was completely and totally unprecedented in the world prior to Islam.
In most cases, that is how pervasive and powerful is the hold of false history, malicious propaganda and sheer ignorance on the minds of the people of the world today. Lying about Islam and Muslims and distorting history and the teachings of the Qur’an has always been a going concern. But it has never been such a widespread career choice, industrial base and market option as it is today.
Qur’an Makes Education a Universal Human Right
According to the Qur’an, education is a fundamental human right. But the Qur’an goes way beyond that. It makes education a most fundamental human duty.
As a result, no man or woman in Islam can be without education. That is the fundamental Islamic law. And that is the crux of that word Shari’ah that both Muslims and non-Muslims use so often and so freely and loosely nowadays.
But if that is the case with regard to the teachings of Islam, then, how did the Muslims end up in this pathetic stage of ignorance in which they are today? How did it happen that the majority of both males and females in the so-called Muslim world is without proper education?
The world had never before seen a universal and popular wave of literacy and education sweep the landscape before Islam introduced education to the world – not only as a universal human right but as a universal human duty and obligation.
True, the Greeks knew how to read and write. But it was their elite, not their masses who knew it. This was also precisely the case with the Romans. Just as it was also the case with the Indians – the people of India, I mean, not the American people whom Christopher Columbus erroneously dubbed Indians.
Others have maintained this most gruesome and shameful mis-nomination, mischaracterization and national character assassination and identity theft of the American people for the past five centuries.
Nor were the Mesopotamians or Chinese different.
Prior to Islam, all peoples, nations and societies of the world practiced just the opposite of what Islam gave the world. They all adhered with fanatical devotion to the universal law of denial of education rights to anyone but the kings and their royal households and the aristocracy and the rich and the elite.
But one thing was clear even then. Even in ancient times, the ability to read and write was thus the passport to power and privilege throughout the world. Or at least it was a perk of power and wealth.
For, everywhere in the world, it was the rich, the powerful, the royal, the privileged and the priestly classes that knew and practiced the art and science of reading and writing. But never the ordinary people. Never the common masses of humanity.
The Qur’an, Islam and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, completely flipped that equation on its head. They took education out of the privileged hands of the elite and privileged segments of society and placed it squarely in public and popular domain. They made education a basic right for all and not merely a privilege for the few.
Furthermore, Islam made education a fundamental human duty and obligation. For both males as well as females everywhere.
Islam, thus, made education a basic human right at all levels of society and not merely a jealously guarded privilege of the rich, the well-connected and the powerful few. What is more, Islam took education from the realm of being merely a right and made it a universal human obligation.
Thus, the Qur’an, Islam and the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, made education a synonym and not just a component or correlate of Islam. Thus, in most cases, to be a Muslim became more or less the same thing as being educated.
That means Islam meant education. And no education meant no Islam. Let the Muslims of today deal with that issue. Let them come to terms with the challenge of this statement.
The Rest of the World Had No Choice but to Follow
Since Islam had opened the door to universal education, which it did for males as well as females, the rest of the world had no option but to embrace this Islamic doctrine universal. So, the world began to follow suit. But it did not do so immediately. Nor did it come to accept it without a long and painful struggle.
Selfish and corrupt leaders throughout the world kept their followers from following the light of Islam by using all kinds of false propaganda and wicked lies about it. This happened in Makkah, the birthplace of Islam.
And this happened in other places, notably, in Europe. Just like the people of Makkah, the Europeans too had a special knack for concocting and spreading all kinds of vicious lies about Islam, about Muslims and about the Prophet, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
As they continue to do to this day.
Thus, European leaders, both secular and sacred, headed by the Pope, launched centuries of Crusades, cruelty and barbaric warfare against the world of Islam. They did not embrace Islam’s enlightened culture of science and education almost until the last Muslim had been packed out of Spain in 1492 or burned alive at the stake in what is known as Spanish Inquisition.
European scholars and reformers suffered everything from death to torture to being burned at the stake in their pursuit of the goals of science and education that Islam had made so alluring and unavoidable.
Jan Huss was killed for the crime of asking Christians to read the Bible, the way the Muslims read the Qur’an.
Martin Luther was hunted and hounded for questioning the Infallibility of the Pope and wanting to reform Christianity using the example of Islam.
Giordino Bruno was burned at the stake.
Galileo wisely repented and made peace with the Church before he suffered the same fate as Bruno. He did die under house arrest.
All this for the crime of seeking education; of pursuing science and enlightenment; and of wanting to believe and act as Muslims were doing right under their noses, and as Muslims had been doing for a long time right there in Europe.
For example, to believe in such things as:
- No human being could be infallible.
- Jesus Christ was not a son of God.
- It is the Bible that should be read and followed, not the Church and the Pope that should be blindly obeyed.
- The sun was not a chariot dragged across the sky by a team of horses.
- The earth was round, not flat.
Europe, mostly under the influence and direction of the Christian Church, punished its sons and daughters severely and ruthlessly for wanting to be like the Muslims and for embracing the individual teachings of Islam if not the actual and complete Deen of Islam itself.
Thus, the Qur’an made it clear that human success and salvation lay in reading and education. And the Muslims showed the world how. They became the Education People of the World.