Recite: In the Name of your Lord Who created man from a blood-clot. Recite: and your Lord is the Most Generous, Who taught by the pen — taught man what he did not know
(Surat al-Alaq: 1-5)
This article was written by Shehzada Dr Aziz bhaisaheb Qutbuddin in 2014.
The Quranic ayat quoted above has a very deep meaning. The basic literal command to Rasulullah SA, read, is applicable to all humans. With the Pen, Allah Ta’ala teaches man ‘what he did not know.’ It is that knowledge that distinguishes mankind from all other creations. Rasulullah stated very clearly that,
"To seek knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim man and every Muslim woman"
(طلب العلم فريضة على كل مسلم ومسلمة).
Amirul Mumineen SA said,
"Knowledge is the best inheritance"
One day, Amirul Mumineen gave a comparative view of money and knowledge to Kumail bin Ziyad: “The wealth of knowledge (‘ilm) is better than material wealth (māl): ‘Ilm protects you and you have to protect your maal. Material wealth depletes when you spend it; and the wealth of knowledge increases when you give it to others. As your money decreases its ability to garner favors diminishes, and knowledge continues to garner respect in one’s lifetime and positive remembrance after death. Knowledge rules, and money is ruled over.”
He continued to say to Kumayl, "the hoarders of money die while they are alive, and those with knowledge (ulamaa’) remain forever; their (physical) persons are lost, but their example and legacy remains in people’s hearts.”
The ‘ilm of Aal-e-Mohammed, the knowledge of the meaning of the Qur’an, the tenets of Shari’at and their taweel, the akhbaar of our Hudaat and the knowledge of Haqeeqat – this knowledge is the water of eternal life. It is through that ‘ilm and through the ma’rifat of the True Nabi, Wasiyy, Imam and Dai that one attains salvation.
The knowledge of this world is also necessary. In a qasida, Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA, describes this world (dunya) and religion (deen) as two twins. We are ensured success in Dunya and Deen so long as the affairs of this world are conducted according to the guidance Allah’s Awliyaa’,
Our Hudaat have always urged us to seek the knowledge of Deen, "to enlighten our minds with the light of knowledge" and to seek the Truths in creation. They have also urged us to seek and acquire all knowledge that is ‘useful’ and to work hard for it. Syedna Taher Saifuddin encompasses these ideas in one of his Qasidas:
Syedna Taher Saifuddin’s verses reflect the philosophy of Ikhwan-us-Safa. The Ikhwan state that “it is obligatory upon our brothers…that they not abhor any one of the sciences, or shun any one of the [available] books, and not be unduly biased against any religious denomination, for our philosophy and creed encompasses all creeds, and encompasses all knowledge and sciences. That is because our creed consists of studying all existing things in their entirety… with an eye to getting to their Truth, with the understanding that they [existing things] all stem from one source, and one cause, and one world, and one soul, which encompasses their different essences, their diverse species, their various types and their changing forms.”
Syedna Qutbuddin TUS is encouraging Mumineen to seek both the knowledge of Deen and the knowledge of Dunya. The knowledge of Deen ensures a pure and fruitful life (hayaat tayyiba) Here and in the Hereafter. It is complemented by its twin, the knowledge of Dunya or secular knowledge.
The importance of secular education has never been more apparent than it is today. It is because of the guidance of our Hudaat that our community is today one of the most educated Muslim communities in the world. Syedna Qutbuddin’s vision is a continuation of that vision that accounts for the changing dynamics and demands of our world today. In order to encourage students – boys and girls – to obtain Higher Education, Syedna Qutbuddin has launched the Qutbi Jubilee Scholarship Program – QJSP.
QJSP is one of the manifestations of Syedna’s vision. May it encourage students – boys and girls – to strive for excellence in education with Maulana’s guidance and with his doa. May Mumineen get involved and participate in this noble cause.
Syedna Qutbuddin’s vision and practice are a realization of Maulana Ali’s kalaam – the best of Deen and the best of Dunya – that is indeed the best.
ما أحسن الدين والدنيا اذا اجتمعا
Syedna Qutbuddin has led by example, personally educating his own children in the ‘ilm of Aal-e-Mohammed and also encouraging them pursue degrees in Computer Science, Psychology, Mass Communication etc. All of Syedna’s sons and daughters have graduated college and six family members have obtained PhD’s from world renowned universities. All this was done by the raza and doa mubarak of Syedna Burhanuddin RA. Today Syedna is encouraging the children of his Dawat, urging them to seek the ‘ilm of Aale Mohammed, facilitating its learning and also encouraging Mumineen – boys and girls – to seek the best secular education and facilitating it.
This is the guidance and action of the True Successor of the legacy of the 52 Du’aat. May Allah Ta’ala grant him a long life in sehhat and aafiyat and may we continue to benefit from his guidance and efforts.