In Islam the first Quranic command was Iqra, meaning ‘read or ‘recite’ followed by the reminder about use of pen, instrumental in learning and dissemination of knowledge as a result of which we progress in all fields of life. It is the attribute of knowledge worthy of humankind that makes us responsible for our existence on earth and the use of its resources: “READ in the name of your Sustainer, Who has created…man out of a germ-cell! Who has taught the use of the pen, taught man what he did not know! Verily, man becomes grossly overweening whenever he believes himself to be self-sufficient.” With emphasis on attribute of knowledge, we are also reminded about our nature to become arrogant if learning process and progress is not guided by a sense of God consciousness. The Quran is a book of guidance revealed precisely for this purpose. Unfortunately, a learned in a purely secular setting has no sense of such consciousness; hence, pride follows such highly educated, resulting in their denial of responsibility before their Creator. Imam Ghazali explains how our nature expresses learning: “Education is like rain water which comes down pure. Trees, plants and leaves drink that water which assumes different natures according to their different kinds. Water increases bitterness in a plant that is bitter and sweetness in a plant which is sweet.People acquire education and change it according to their conduct and desires. One whose object of learning is to boast increases his boast by education. One whose object is to increase God-fear increases his God-fear by education.” Unfortunately, purely secular educated carry internal blindness that cannot be fixed except through internalization of God consciousness through revelation, providing a sense of accountability in hereafter for their use of education.
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