THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISLAMIC AND WORLDLY KNOWLEDGE
Last week, I had the chance to listen to a lecture of Hassan Nisar, a renowned columnist of Pakistan. I may disagree with him on a lot of things but this concept I learned from this man and finally it cleared my all confusions I had since my childhood. I always used to think that there are two types of knowledge. The kids who go to madrassas are getting Islamic knowledge and kids who go to schools are getting worldly knowledge. That is not the case. You do not have to be guilty if you are getting worldly knowledge.
When people say that seek only Islamic knowledge, it means they are saying that all the other knowledge exists in the world is non-Islamic. Quran is the ‘word’ of God and ‘universe’ is the work of God. There is a deep connection between the two. For example, if there is a botanist who devoted his entire life on researching about plants and he contributed in saving thousands of lives by suggesting pharmacists the plants to be used to cure different kind of diseases. Now the question is who created plants? If God created the plants then the knowledge of plants is the way to understand the God.
Lets take another example, what is geology? The knowledge which deals with the physical structure and substance of the earth, their history, and the processes which act on them. Now if there is a professional who devotes his entire life in understanding the earth and proposes to other professionals to dig down and get clean water, gasoline, gold, silver, gypsum and hundreds of other minerals. Now again, the question is, who created the earth? If God created it then the knowledge of earth is also the way to understand God. Take another relatable example of a doctor. He learns about the human body throughout his life and the human body is created by the God.
He said, “the people who differentiated Islamic knowledge with world knowledge may not have had bad intentions but it ultimately created the confusion in the nation. This is the main reason our kids in madrassas do not get the scientific knowledge which is also derived from Quran.
Now lets examine another situation arised in Prophet Muhammad’s own life (PBUH). When Makkah was conquered, few companions came to him and asked about the dealing with prisoners. He immediately said that those who are educated, ask them to teach to our children and
we will release them. Was he expecting them that they will teach about the religion to the children? There are several other sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) where he discussed about knowledge. “Knowledge is the lost property of the believer.” “Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim”.
He did not specify which type of knowledge in the above quotes. If we look at the first five verses revealed from the Holy Quran, we can see that the word “Iqra” (read) is repeated two times, the word “Qalam” (Pen) is mentioned once and the word “Ilm” (knowledge) is repeated twice.
On another occasion he said, “Whoever travels a path in search of knowledge, Allah will make easy for him a path to Paradise. People do not gather in the houses of Allah, reciting the book of Allah and studying it together, but that tranquility will descend upon them, mercy will cover them, angels will surround them, and Allah will mention them to those near him”. There are hundreds of verses in the Quran where our Almighty emphasized us to deeply think over the universe and know the secrets of His presence. “And there are signs for those who understand.” (Quran)
Everything in this universe belongs to God. If you are enrolled in a school, collage or university and you are learning and providing for the humanity, you are on the right path. If you are running your own business, serving the people and creating employment in the society then you are exactly on way to God. Just make sure that you do it lawfully. The Prophet was asked which was the best kind of earning, he replied. “That for which a man works with his hands. And honest trading.”
When people say that seek only Islamic knowledge, it means they are saying that all the other knowledge exists in the world is non-Islamic. Quran is the word of God and universe is the work of God. There is a deep connection between the two.