"The major problem with education (today) is that it has been defined by a materialistic, hegemonic system that doesn't acknowledge other forms of knowledge."
(Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Crisis of knowledge)
We at KNOW are all about education. We believe that there can be no true revival and reformation in the ummah without a serious reformation of the education system.
Just like you cannot have a healthy body by consuming junk food. Just like you cannot have a healthy mind by being surrounded by negativity. Similarly you cannot have a sound intellect unless and until you receive a holistic education that nourishes your mind, body and soul.
But what if your education system doesn't even recognize that the soul needs nourishing? Worse still.
What if you are educated in a system that doesn't even recognize the existence of a soul? That is the case with the global education system today. This is how the school system around the world functions. For the contemporary education system 'knowledge' is just a physical entity that is achieved through sense experience and transferred through the medium of language and books. It does not recognize anything beyond that.
But we as Muslims are well aware that there is another form of knowledge that cannot be arrived at by our five senses. This kind of knowledge is not achieved by intellectual reasoning and analysis. Instead, it is 'beyond' all of these means.
What is this kind of knowledge then? This is spiritual insight. One of the most powerful form of spiritual insight is revelation (wahy). This is what the prophets encounter.
The Quran alludes to it in multiple places and in different ways. Like when it says,
"Have they not, then, traveled on earth so that they should have had hearts to understand with, or ears to listen with? The fact is that it is not the eyes that turn blind, but what turns blind is the hearts contained in the chests." (22:46)
Meaning the heart (the spiritual heart, not the blood pumping mechanism) is the primary organ that recognizes truth from falsehood. That is what determines the ultimate fate of an individual.
One of the most powerful form of spiritual insight is revelation (wahy). This is what the prophets encounter. But ordinary people can also recieve a rudimentary form of spiritual insight. The Islamic literature calls it 'ilham' or 'firasah' or 'baseerah' or 'dhawq'. There there are many hadith that talk about this higher sense and source of knowing.
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said, “Beware of the intuition of the believer. Verily, he sees with the light of Allah.” Then, the Prophet recited the verse, “Verily, in that are signs for those of discernment.” (15:75)
(Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3127)
Ibn al-Qayyim said, “It is a light that Allah bestows in the heart of his servant, by which he distinguishes between truth and falsehood, advantage and disadvantage, the honest and the liar.”
(Madārij al-Sālikīn 2/453)
We as Muslims believe that this is one of the primary sources of knowledge. Because only through this form of knowledge can the ultimate reality of the world be known. Only through this source of knowledge can one attain certainty. The created world ie the physical world is a world of probabilities. It is only through spiritual insight that one can experientially 'taste' the truth.
But guess what? This is completely disregarded as a viable source of knowledge in the current education system.
And it could be said that this is the main fitnah of Dajjal. This elimination of viewing the world from the spiritual 'eye' and the undue insistence on only the apparent and physical is what Dajjal's 'one eye' symbolizes. The world order of Dajjal, the False Messiah is an extremely materialistic and physicalist world order that only insists on the reality of this world and this world only. It vehemently denies the existence of any other reality beyond the material world. Thus it views education also an a completely materialistic and physicalist affair, where knowledge can only come from the senses and any knowledge that is derived from, say prophetic revelation or spiritual intuition is nothing more than fiction. Such a hyper materialistic view of education is responsible for the global ecological crisis, for the global moral breakdown and for the looming threat of nuclear annihilation that the current civilization faces.
This caging of knowledge in a materialist prison is the primary reason why the youth today suffer from an existential crises regarding their faith coming out from universities. This is why there is an increase in atheism, irreligion and materialism in the Ummah.
This needs to change. And we at KNOW are committed to bringing about this change.