TOPIC:EDUCATION AS A PANACEA FOR BUILDING A BETTER SOCIETY
A’udhu billaahi minash shaytaanir rajeem bismil laahir Rahmanir Raheem. Alhamdu lillaahil ladhee la yamuutu abadan was salatu was salaamu ‘ala rasulihee al kareem.
Our society,NASFAT is in its 25th year and one of the programmes lined up to commemorate this anniversary is a series of lectures. The Abuja series was held on Tuesday, March 10, 2020 with the topic: EDUCATION AS A PANACEA FOR BUILDING A BETTER SOCIETY. Thus, we would be making our Friday sermon topic for this week the same with the anniversary lecture topic.
Education is the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life. Islamic education aims at having a fully informed person about social, political, and economic affairs of the contemporary world in order to play his/her role in collective affairs.
It is very important to state here that the distinctive mark of human beings over the an gels shows the importance of education. The Qur’an says: “And Allah taught Adam all the names…” (2:31). Equally important is the fact that the first verses of the Quran began with the word: “Read. Read in the name of thy Lord who created; [He] created the human being from blood clot. Read in the name of thy Lord who taught by the pen: [He] taught the human being what he did not know.” (96: 1-5). And the Qur’an says: “Are those who have knowledge equal to those who do not have knowledge?!”(39:9).
The Prophet of Islam (saw) has also empha sized the importance of seeking knowledge in different ways:
(a) Time: “Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.”
(b) Place: “Seek knowledge even if it is far as China.”
(c) Gender: “Seeking of knowledge is a duty of every Muslim”
(d) Source: “Wisdom is the lost prop erty of the believer, he should take it even if finds it in the mouth of a mushrik.”
The ideal human society according to Islam is one that is characterized with the security/safety of lives and property,justice with uprightness,tolerance with others,access to education, employment for the populace, etc
However,when there are problems in a society or when we desire to better our lot in a nation, education remains the instrument that can be used to bring about the desired change. Taking Arabia as a case study for example, one will see that it was through the instrument of education that the barbaric set of people became a better one.
At a point in time in the arab land there was a society which was backward and this was prior to the mission of Muhammad (SAW) as a prophet. That period was termed jahiliyyah, a period of ignorance and was characterized with oppression of the weak,gambling,idol worshipping,female infanticide,consumption of intoxicants,etc. Then the prophet used the instrument of education to turn the barbaric society into a better one.
In identifying the key changes education can make to a backward society using the changes made by Muhammad to the jahiliyyah arabs, one can use the speech of Jafar Ibn Abi Talib to the Negus of Abyssinia. Here is a passage on this: ‘Jafar ibn Abi Talib then advanced and made a speech that was moving and eloquent and which is still one of the most compelling descriptions of Islam, the appeal of the noble Prophet, and the depravity of Makkan society at the time. He said, “O King, we were a people in a state of ignorance and immorality, worshipping idols and eating the flesh of dead animals, committing all sorts of abomination and shameful deeds, breaking the ties of kinship, treating guests badly, and the strong among us exploited the weak. We remained in this state until God sent us a Prophet, one of our own people whose lineage, truthfulness, trustworthiness, and integrity were well-known to us. He called us to worship God alone and to renounce the stones and the idols which we and our ancestors used to worship besides God.”
Jafar continued, “He commanded us to speak the truth, to honor our promises, to be kind to our relations, to be helpful to our neighbors; to cease all forbidden acts, to abstain from bloodshed, to avoid obscenities and false witness; to not appropriate an orphan’s property nor slander chaste women. He ordered us to worship God alone and not to associate anything with Him, to uphold prayer, to give charity and to fast in the month of Ramadan. We believed in him and what he brought to us from God and we follow him in what he has asked us to do and we keep away from what he forbade us from doing.
Today in Nigeria, the many problems we are grappling with can be traced to the volume of non-educated members of the nation and if we are truly desirous of a better country it is not just education that we must focus on but the right form of it.
Countries like Finland continue to grow in all aspects because of the importance the managers of that country attach to education.
In conclusion, we thank Allah for what He has done for NASFAT and we pray that Allah will continue to make the organization wax stronger in the promotion of the Islamic ideals. We pray also for the founding fathers of the organization ,all its members, all its lovers and supporters.