11 December, 2018 | 2 Rabi al-Thani, 1440 H

"Silence saves you from regret"

- Imam Ali (as)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

Abstract

Knowledge and education in Islam are primarily a means to transform one’s soul and attain closeness to God. Their value does not lie in the world, but in the Hereafter.

INTRODUCTION 

 

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters. 

 

Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel!   

 

In this lesson, we will earn what knowledge and education mean in Islam. In other words, we will see how knowledge and education are fundamentally tools of salvation and spiritual reform and enlightenment, something which Islam shares with the older tradition of the Christian West but is now unfortunately forgotten.  

 

BODY OF TEXT 

 

Is one who is devoutly obedient during periods of the night, prostrating and standing [in prayer], fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord, [like one who does not]? Say, "Are those who know equal to those who do not know?" Only they will remember [who are] people of understanding. (Chapter 39, verse 9 of the Holy Qur’an) 

 

The word for knowledge in Islam is ʿilm. Just like many Arabic words, there are root words that have varying but interconnected meanings. One of the root meanings of ʿilm, in addition to knowledge, is an imprint. So for example, you will see the word ʿalāmah, whose root word is ʿilm, means sign or imprint in Arabic.  

 

The word for teaching in Islam is taʿlīm, which means to instill knowledge in someone, but it also it means to imprint. The connection between these two is very important. In Islam, knowledge is not just information where you know something about something or someone. In Islam, the ʿilm, and the act of taʿlīm is to leave an imprint on someone. 

 

It is to imprint on someone’s heart and soul and to transform them to the better. Acquiring knowledge in Islam is therefore an act of transformation. So in this sense, knowledge, in the technical Qur’anic sense, is not just simple random facts and information, it is instead a way of being, a way of existing which is inexorably bound to God. Interestingly enough, the word knowledge in English comes from a old 12th century word that meant to acknowledge worship of God.  

 

How about education? The word education comes from the latin word educatio which meant to “rear” or to “bring up.” Similarly, the word for education in Islam is tarbīyah, meaning to rear, bring up or nurture someone.  

 

Education and the acquisition of knowledge therefore function in two ways in Islam:  

 

  1. Knowledge is not random facts and information. The ultimate goal of knowledge is not careerism or about making money either. Knowledge is supposed to leave an imprint on a person’s heart and soul. It is to transform them to the better, it is to set a person to the path of enlightenment and closeness to God. 
  2. Education or tarbīyah works hand in hand with knowledge. Tarbīyah is there to make us dignified human beings. It is there to fundamentally transform us into loving, compassionate and moral beings. It is a form of both spiritual and as well as bodily discipline. One is trained to want the good in others, to control one’s emotions, to develop empathy and compassion for others and so on and so forth.  

 

The ultimate goal of knowledge and tarbīyah is the creation of a mu’min, that is, someone who has true faith in God and in whose heart one finds the living light of God. In one perspective, Islam, as a social system, is therefore there to act as a cradle to nurture īmān.  

 

Who are we to gain knowledge and education from? In Islam, we are encouraged to ask others when we do not know. However, we are also asked to make sure that our sources of knowledge are credible. A troubling phenomenon that exists today is that of self-created scholars where people think that simply by reading books one can become a scholar.  

 

In Islam, we believe that books are not enough, we are in need of proper and credible teachers. As such, we must be careful in choosing which people we take as our sources of information. We must make sure that these scholars are properly trained and are part of a tradition of learning that goes back to the Prophet (s) and His Ahl al-Bayt (as).  

 

In other words, scholars are not self-made, they are taught by other people whom in turn are also taught by others. The best teachers are those teachers whose chain of learning comes back to the Prophet (s) and his Ahl al-Bait (as). 

 

So in one way or another, we must always be connected to the Prophets and Apostles of God. The first place where learning and education take place according to Islam is at home. Parents must therefore take proper care in learning Islam both from credible teachers as well as reading relevant books in order to transmit Islam properly to their children, both in terms of knowledge and in social and spiritual comportment.  

 

Knowledge and education are therefore a means of exaltation to God, and this starts from home. 

 

The Qur’an says: 

 

O you who have believed, when you are told, "Space yourselves" in assemblies, then make space; Allah will make space for you. And when you are told, "Arise," then arise; Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do. (Chapter 58, verse 11 of the Holy Qur’an) 

 

Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh

ʿilm

knowledge

taʿlīm

to teach, to convey or instill knowledge

tarbīyah

to rear, to nurture someone spiritually and morally

mu’min

someone who has deep faith in God

Q1

What is knowledge in Islam?

It is a form of awareness that leaves an imprint in the soul. That is, it is an act of knowing that transforms a person and gets him or her closer to God.

Q2

What is education in Islam?

It is rearing and nurturing a person on spiritual and moral grounds

Q3

How does knowledge differ from information?

Knowledge is there to transform people’s souls so that they may grow closer to God.

God
Allah
Hereafter
Religion
Salvation
Soul
sin
sins
Ahl al-Bayt
knowledge in islam
education in islam
ʿilm
tarbīyah
taʿlīm

Al-Kafi Vol 1: The Book of Excellence of Knowledge by Muhammad al-Kulayni

Self Knowledge by Mohammad Ali Shomali