National Qur’an Literacy Camp in the Caribbean:
Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It!
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time!
Taking the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It —
And which One Does Not?)
Wonder of Wonders: A Qur’an Literacy Camp
The 2nd National Qur’an Literacy Camp is under way in the West Indies even as I write this piece in the middle of the month of July, 2008.
The wonder of wonders is that the Qur’an that threw open the doors of literacy and education to the whole world for the first time in human history has itself now got to be taught to its believers and self-professed adherents using special literacy camps at the local, regional, national and international levels.
What the world in general does not know or appreciate, and what most Muslims also do not know or understand, is the fact that the Qur’an came to make the world a literate and educated place – the whole world that is. It came to inaugurate a new era of literacy, education and enlightenment for the entire human race – with no exceptions or exclusions whatsoever.
That is right.
The Qur’an came into our world to wipe the last traces of superstition, ignorance, backwardness and bondage from the face of a benighted planet earth and usher in a new birth of liberty and empowerment for all human beings regardless their birth or status or gender.
And yet today Muslims have strayed so far from their patented and copyrighted path of education, enlightenment and mass empowerment the Qur’an had emblazoned that we now have to hold Qur’an literacy camps for Muslims themselves.
But it is a good sign nevertheless.
It is a blessing from Allah that we can turn to the learning and teaching of the Qur’an once again. That we are on the path, once again, to rekindle the love and learning of the Qur’an in the hearts and minds of broad swaths of Muslim masses – and everyone else that would open their bosom to the light, power, radiance and guidance of the Qur’an.
Qur’an Brings a New Era of Literacy into the World
When humanity was steeped in the depth of darkness of every kind, from near-universal illiteracy and lack of education to near-total tyranny over the minds and bodies of men as well as women – to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson – the Qur’an threw open the gates of universal literacy and education for all – male as well as female; child as well as adult; rich as well as poor; slave as well as free.
It inaugurated in the history of humanity a new and unprecedented era of literacy and education not just for kings and their families, not just for the priestly classes and professionals, not just for the rich landlords and barons – the Royalty, the Clergy and the Nobility, as they used to be called – but for every one.
That means all the slaves; all the peasants; all the serfs; all the poor and landless people; and all those in any from or fashion that qualified as members of the human race.
And it also included, for the first time in human history, all the women. That is right, women, who until that time – and until very recently in fact – continued to be treated as chattel or property by much of the world, including the Western-Christian world.
That is because till that time – till the advent of the Qur’an in this world at the top of the Seventh Century – reading and writing were forbidden arts. They were open, available and required of the Royalty, the Clergy and the Nobility but they were forbidden territory to everyone else.
At times on pain of death.
That means those ordinary human beings who were caught reading or writing, often the Scripture, were subject to corporal or physical punishment, including decapitation and death.
And that also generally included women, who in the Western world could also be burned alive – at the stake as they say – as witches for the crimes of being experts in reading and writing, for knowing too much, and for just being too smart, too capable and too skilled, especially as compared to the men folk.
The Qur’an came into this world and put an end to this sorry state of the human race. It declared an end to the era of illiteracy and ushered in a new dawn of freedom and discovery for the human race.