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   March  12, 2014


Movement for Nifaz- ul- Sharea Chitral {MNSC}
First Step
Integration of “HUNAR” Modern and Islamic “ILM” Education in Chitral

Every one of us, young or old, man or woman, should at least acquire sufficient knowledge (ILM) to enable ourselves to understand the essence of the teachings of the Quran and the purpose for which it has been sent down. We should also be able to understand clearly the mission, which our beloved Prophet (S) came into this world to fulfill. We should also recognize the corrupt order and system, which he came to destroy. We should acquaint ourselves with the way of life which Allah has ordained for us.

No great amount of time is required to acquire this simple knowledge. If we truly value Iman, it cannot be too difficult to find one hour every day to devote for our Iman.

Centuries old monarchy, colonialism and the oppressive rule of their own people have brought about moral and spiritual degeneration of Muslims throughout the world. To retrieve them from this degeneration, its about time that the Muslim Ummah restructures its educational priorities along Islamic lines with modern knowledge, fulfilling the existing needs as well. By virtue of such an educational program where combination of modern (HUNAR) and Islamic (ILM) teaching and values are amalgamated, then the future generations will become the torch-bearers of Islamic values and play an effective role in the present world. The challenges of modern times call for rebuilding the structure of our educational program on such a foundation as to fulfill our spiritual as well as worldly obligations. Today we need an education system which can produce, what the late Sayyid Abul Ala Mawdudi said, "Muslim philosopher, Muslim scientist, Muslim economist, Muslim jurist, Muslim statesman, in brief, Muslim experts in all fields of knowledge who would reconstruct the social order in accordance with the tenets of Islam."

The Muslims today are the most humiliated community in the world. And should they persist in following the same educational program as given by their colonial masters, they will not be able to recover themselves from moral and spiritual decadence.

The importance of education in Islam is well known to all of us. The very first verse of the Qur’an revealed to the Prophet of Al-Islam (SAS) on the night of power (Laylathul Qadr) in the month of Ramadan in 611 CE reads:

Read: In the name of thy Lord who created Created man from a leech like clot
Read: And thy Lord is the Most bounteous Who taught by the Pen Taught man that which he knew not.
Surah: A1-’Alaq (The Clot), 96:1-5
As we see the very first word of the Qur’anic revelation starts with ‘IQRA’ (read) or recite. Some scholars rightly think “Iqra” should be the sixth pillar of Islam. In Surah al-Zamar the Qur’an asks its readers “Can they be equal-those who know and those who do not know? and the famous Ahadith that “The ink of the scholar’s pen is more sacred than the blood of the martyr” and “The best form of worship is the pursuit of knowledge” are known to all. The Glorious Qur’an categorically states that those who are educated and enlightened can truly understand the Glory and Majesty of the Creator. How can an illiterate Muslim understand and appreciate the Signs of Allah (SWT) as commanded in the Qur’an. (2:118,164,219-220; 3:190; 10:5-6; 30:20-27; 45:3-6, etc.)

The followers of Islam should be educated believers and Islam is the religion of the educated masses, otherwise they cannot read, understand and implement the teachings and guidance of Quran Majid
With such a magnificent background one would have expected the Muslim community to be the world leaders in education leading various nations from darkness into light. Yes, they did for almost one thousand years, starting from the eighth century of the Common Era. Unfortunately the picture today is very different and the average literacy rate is about 38% among the Muslims of the world.

Pakistan is the most scientifically and technologically advanced Muslim country, however, the literacy rate for Pakistan, home to the world’s second—largest Muslim Ummah, is even lower than the average for the Muslin nations. What is most shocking is that India, the second most populous nation in the world, has a significantly higher rate of literacy than Pakistan and Bangladesh. Why this deplorable state? What can be done to change this gloomy picture? There are hundreds, or even thousands of Madrasahs both in Pakistan and India where the children receive instructions only to become Alim/Fazil. Madrasahs are falsely accused of as breeding grounds for extremism. The world conditions demand that the education for Muslims should consist of an integration of modern science (HUNAR) and Islamic education (ILM)

The aim of combined (ILM and HUNAR) education is to initiate total change in a person-beliefs, actions, potential, faculties, thoughts, expressions, aspirations, energies and everything relating to that person; in other words the balanced development of the whole personality of a human being-the vice-regent of Allah on earth. It seeks to motivate every member of society to promote and encourage everything good (right) and discourage and forbid evil (wrong). Islamic education should facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, skills and virtues to achieve success and happiness not only in this life but also in the Aakhirah, by the Mercy and blessings of Allah (SWT).

I pray to Allah (SWT) for His Blessings and Mercy for all of guidance and us to follow His right path. Ameen!
The framework of Islamic thought represents a comprehensive view of life and the universe. A Muslim is therefore required to acquire both religious and worldly knowledge. In fact, Islam advocated knowledge (ILM-O-HUNAR) at a time when the whole world was engulfed in ignorance. In a matter of years the early generation of Muslims became a learned and refined people, for Islam had awakened in them the faculty of intellect. Those early Muslims understood from the teachings of their religion that useful knowledge is necessary for the benefit of the self and of humanity. Hence, they pursued it to such a degree that they surpassed other nations in development and productivity and carried the torch of civilization for many centuries.

Muslim history abounds with examples of scientific and cultural ingenuity. Muslims inherited the knowledge of the nations that came before them, developed it and placed it in the context of a precise moral framework. Muslim scholarship made a vital contribution to the enrichment and advancement of human civilization.

While Europe was still in the dark ages, religious Muslims were making great advances in the fields of medicine, mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, architecture, literature, and history documentation to mention but a few. Many important new procedures were transmitted to medieval Europe from Muslim regions, such as Arabic numerals with the principle of the zero vital to the advancement of mathematics and the use of algebra. Sophisticated instruments, including the astrolabe and the quadrant, as well as good navigational maps, were first developed by Muslims. Only after people lost sight of their religious beliefs and obligations did the scientific achievements of the Muslim world cease and fall into obscurity.

Similarly, Islam does not now oppose any modern inventions that are beneficial to mankind. It is sufficient that they be used in the name of God and for His cause. In reality, machines, instruments and devices have no religion or homeland. They can be used for either good or bad objectives, and the way they are used can affect much of the earth's population. Even something so simple as a glass can be filled either with a nourishing drink or with a poison. Television can provide education or immorality. It is up to the user to decide, and a Muslim is commanded to make good use of all the means at his disposal while being prohibited from causing harm to himself or others. Failure to use the proper means toward benefit is, in effect, a deprecation of Islamic teachings.

A truly Islamic government is required to the best of its ability to provide all means that promote adequate education for its citizens. Education is a right for all individuals and the required moral duty of every capable Muslim. All able, intelligent and skilled individuals in an Islamic society are required to educate themselves not only in the basics of their religion but in necessary worldly affairs. Further, it is obligatory upon qualified people to study every beneficial field of knowledge. For example, since every society needs doctors, it becomes obligatory for some people to go into the field of medicine to fulfill the needs of society. Advancements in science and technology are among the ways and means to achieve development of the Muslim world. Islam calls upon Muslims to pursue knowledge in the broadest sense of the word. Prophet Muhammad said, "Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim. "[Narrated by Ibn Majah] He also said, "For one who treads a path to knowledge, Allah will make easy the path to Paradise. "[Narrated by Muslim] And the Qur’an contains numerous references to knowledge and its importance, such as:

"Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and day are signs for those of understanding."[3:190]
"Say, 'Are those who know equal to those who do not know?'"[39:9]
"Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge by degrees."[58:11]

Qur’anic verses encourage study and contemplation of the universe that surrounds us and is particularly concerned with those sciences that give human beings the ability to benefit from the world around them. While encouraging investigation, the Qur’an contains references to a variety of subjects which have been shown to be scientifically accurate. This is the fulfillment of God's statement over 14 centuries ago:

"We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth."[41:53]

Thus, when a Muslim has a sincere and wholesome intention to obtain knowledge Islamic “ILEM” and scientific knowledge “HUNAR”, then it will have a positive effect on his faith. For knowledge reinforces textual evidence for the existence of the almighty Creator and assists in appreciation of the many scientific allusions found in the Qur’an.

There has never been an established scientific fact that contradicted the teachings of Islam. Whatever modern science discovers only increases the Muslim's knowledge of God's magnificent creation. Thus, Islam actively encourages scientific endeavors and the study of God's signs in nature. It also welcomes beneficial technological advances and allows people to enjoy the fruits of human ingenuity.

To a Muslim, conflict between science and religion is an impossibility, for religion comes from God and so does His system of creation and development. The modern, purely materialistic approach to scientific and technological advancement has indeed granted man a measure of physical comfort, but not mental or spiritual comfort. Islam advocates the incorporation of knowledge within a just and balanced value system where anything beneficial for one's spiritual and worldly improvement is encouraged and advocated.

To seek knowledge is a sacred duty, it is obligatory on every Muslim, male and female. The first word revealed of the Qur?an was "Iqra" READ! Seek knowledge! Educate yourselves! Be educated.

Surah Al-Zumr, ayah 9 reveals: "Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?" Surah Al-Baqarah, ayah 269 reveals: "Allah grants wisdom to whom He pleases and to whom wisdom is granted indeed he receives an overflowing benefit."

Ibn Masud (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: The position of only two persons is enviable; the person whom Allah bestowed wealth empowering him to spend it in the way of righteousness, and the person whom Allah gave wisdom with which he adjudges and which he teaches to others.

According to Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah, Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: A single scholar of religion is more formidable against shaytaan than a thousand devout persons.

Islam is our greatest gift. We have to be thankful for this gift. We have to render to Allah His due. Allah has given us so much by making us a part of the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (S) so we must totally commit ourselves as followers of the Prophet (S). We must become true Muslims.

Now how can we become Muslims in the true sense of the word? First lets define what a Muslim is. A Muslim is not a Muslim simply because he’s born one. A Muslim is a Muslim because he is a follower of Islam, a submitter to the Will of Allah. We Muslim if we consciously and deliberately accept what has been taught by the Prophet Muhammad (S) and act accordingly. Otherwise were not true Muslims.

Why can we not spend even a tenth part of our time and energy on things, which are necessary to protect our Iman, which only can sustain us in the present life and in the life to come? It is not necessary to study extensively to become a Muslim. We should at least spend about one hour out of twenty-four hours of the day and night in acquiring the knowledge of this Deen, the way of life, the Islam.

Knowledge is identified in Islam as worship. The acquiring of knowledge is worship, reading the Quran and pondering upon ( HUNAR science) it is worship, travelling to gain knowledge is worship. The practice of knowledge is connected with ethics and morality with promoting virtue and combating vice, enjoining right and forbidding wrong. This is called in the Qur?an: amr bil-l ma?ruuf wa nah-y ?ani-l munkar.

Not only should we seek knowledge, but when we learn it, it becomes obligatory on us to practice it. Though we must remember that correct knowledge should come before correct action. Knowledge without action is useless because a learned person without action will be the worst of creatures on the Day of Resurrection. Also, action should not be based on blind imitation for this is not the quality of a thinking, sensible human being.

The main purpose of acquiring knowledge is to bring us closer to God. It is not simply for the gratification of the mind or the senses. It is not knowledge for the sake of knowledge or science for the value of sake. Knowledge accordingly must be linked with values and goals.

One of the purposes of acquiring knowledge is to gain the good of this world, not to destroy it through wastage, arrogance and in the reckless pursuit of higher standards of material comfort.
Another purpose of knowledge is to spread freedom and dignity, truth and justice. It is not to gain power and dominance for its own sake.

The following ahadith shows how important and how rewarding knowledge is.
"He who acquires knowledge acquires a vast portion." AND "If anyone going on his way in search of knowledge, God will, thereby make easy for him the way to Paradise."

We, the children, are the future. The future lies in our hands, but only through knowledge because whoever neglects learning in youth, loses the past and is dead for the future.

Writing all this is not just to inform or bring awareness to my sisters and brothers of Chitral. The main purpose is to practically apply this in our education system in Chitral. Chitral as every body in this world know that we are peaceful and law abiding people, most importantly parents poor or rich believe in getting their children educated both in Islamic ILM or scientific HUNAR. But the two systems are moving in two parallel tracts and never meet at any point of line. Scientific or modern education is spreading like a fire which is totally useless and un Islamic, as the new generation have no idea about the teachings of our beloved Prophet (S)or the commands of Allah. We need our system to be changed where knowledge is linked with true Islamic values and goals.

I thereby request all my sisters and brothers of Chitral who have read this and to request them to join hands with MNSC in pursuance of the right “ILM” in taking our first step of establishing an Islamic University in Chitral an institute where “ HUNAR” Science is seen and practiced in the light of Din e Ellahi. Secondly bring change to our Schools curricular system private or government giving equal importance to “llm ul Islam” and IIm ul Duynya (science). We Muslims should not give a name to worldly knowledge as modern education, because teachings of Islam is modern education (ILM). The first and most crucial obligation on us is to acquire knowledge and secondly to practice and preach this knowledge in accordance with Islamic teaching. No man becomes truly a Muslim without knowing the meaning of Islam or science, because he becomes a Muslim not through birth but through knowledge. Unless we come to know the basic and necessary teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (S) how can we believe in him, have faith in him, act according to what he taught? It is impossible for us to be a Muslim, and at the same time live in a state of ignorance.

A person without knowing ILM and HUNAR together is like someone walking along a track in complete darkness. Most likely his steps will wander aside and he easily can be deceived by shaytaan mardood as all the people who are leaders of the country, all government departments, and business men to shopkeepers poor to rich are all corrupt and followers of Shaytaan. This shows that our greatest danger lies in our ignorance of Islamic teachings and in our unawareness of what the Quran teaches and what guidance has been given by the Prophet (S) and how should apply ILM in getting HUNAR. But if we are blessed with the light of knowledge we will be able to see plainly the clear path of Islam at every step of our lives. We shall also be able to identify and avoid the dangerous paths of Kufr, Shirk and immorality, which may cross it. And, whenever a false guide meets us on the way, a few words with him will quickly establish that he is not a guide who should be followed.

On this knowledge depends whether our children and we are true Muslims and remain true Muslims. It is therefore not a trivial to be neglected. We do not neglect doing whatever is essential to improve our trades and professions. Because we know that if we do neglect, we will starve to death and so lose the precious gift of life. Why then should we be negligent in acquiring that knowledge on which depends whether we become Muslims and remain Muslims? Does such negligence not entail the danger of losing an even more precious gift ? our Iman? Is not Iman more precious than life itself? Most of our time and labor is spent on things, which sustain our physical existence in this life.

May Allah (SWT) give us strength to behave and act just as He likes us to do and be pleased with us, and that should be the purpose of our lives. Rabbi zidnee ilma (O Lord, increase us in knowledge). Join the Movement and work for a better and true Islamic society till we get ready to establish Sharea in Chitral. Aameen.


Shahzada Mohammad Raza ul Mulk
Mizghigram Arkari, Tehsil Lotkoh


mail @ chitraltimes@gmail.com

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