Sunday, April 5, 2009

knowledge follows faith

God created man and women to live in this world in prosperity and accept each other the way they are. Islam teaches humanity and love for one another, no where in quran is it mentioned that violence is the answer to any problem.
"O mankind! We created you from a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know and honor each other (not that you should despise one another). Indeed the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the most righteous." Chapter 49, Verse 13.The importance of gaining knowledge is very high in Islam and it goes as far as the fact that faith and knowledge come together. In Bukhârî's arrangement therefore "knowledge follows faith." Islamic institutes in Pakistan concentrate a lot on teaching there students the religious book called quran and that is all they emphasize on. However what they forget in teaching only Quran is that in Quran itself it is stated that one should have all required knowledge to walk in line with the other entire nation. Prophet Muhammad (S.W) said: “People are mines, like mines of gold and silver; the more excellent of them in the days of Ignorance are the more excellent of them in Islam when they attain knowledge."[10] (M-Msh. 2:l.) . Islamic institutes provide quranic education as well as some other subjects. Mostly quran is being taught in these institutes and because of which a stereotypical image of Islamic institutes have been made by the outsiders that they produce terrorists. Quran or Islam does not state anywhere that non-Muslims should be killed in the name of Islam. Ahadis is any authentic statement given by the last messenger of Allah, however the authenticity has to be confirmed therefore one hadis which states :
"If anyone insults me, then any Muslim who hears this must kill him immediately."
Some terrorists believe that based on this hadis they have the right to kill anyone. However what the holy prophet actually said was:
"Religion is very easy and whoever overburdens himself in his religion will not be able to continue in that way. So you should not be extremists, but try to be near to perfection and receive the good tidings that you will be rewarded."
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 38

Enigma of Madrassa in Pakistan*

The problems Madrassas in Pakistan face, their history and background, the misconception of West and International media about them and reforms being carried out by Pakistani government to make them better. The author has honestly admitted that though few terrorists that have been caught were educated in Pakistani Islamic institutes, but labeling all Madrassas in Pakistan to be “breeding factories of terrorism” is unfair. He has also admitted that few institutes where extremism and terrorism are taught have maligned the good name of Madrassas and tarnished the Pakistan’s effort to fight terrorism. Nobody could deny the fact he pointed out that Pakistani governments’ efforts to make Madrassas better and eradicate those who teach extremism or terrorism will only bear fruit if there would be international media’s will to change their perception about Madrassas and portray the true image of Madrassas.
*Khalid Khokar (26th July, 2005)

Battling the foreign legion of media*

The author tells how the foreign journalists flooded into Lahore after one of the four London bombers of 7/7 attacks was supposedly known to attend one of Madrassas in Lahore. Their perception about Madrassas as militant camp is shocking. The article clearly gives us an image of how foreign journalists think that all the Madrassas in Pakistan are working under terrorists to breed more. A very valid point in my opinion is the statement of a senior Madrassa leader who said that they wanted to be open to Western media so they recognize Madrassa as centre for learning but after covering what they wanted, foreign journalists went back and portrayed everything negatively and completely opposite from the truth, the way they wanted to. Ofcourse that is discouraging for Madrassa administration that even after their cooperation, International media has constantly treated them as extremists and terrorists, whereas they have been teaching peace, harmony and humanity to their students.

*Ahmed Khan of BBC News, Lahore (17th July, 2005)

Islam and the West: distorting realities*

The author highlights the differences between the West and Islam, the reasons behind those, how they have been increasing and how both are responding to each other. The author has held media, especially American, responsible as a major source of spreading Islam’s bad image in West. One has to agree with the author that US government and their intelligence agencies have influenced the media to portray an exaggerated image of Islam and Madrassas and associate them with extremism and terrorism, to fulfill their own political needs and to get public support. Author’s idea that the television news channels to compete amongst themselves, to attract viewership and to provide “entertainment” through news are deviating from reality and showing fiction by exaggerating the true state of affairs is nothing but truth. They are portraying Madrassas as institutes where they teach how to explode bombs use automatic machine guns and to sacrifice there lives in the name of Jihad, which is all wrong. These are institutes where true essence of Islam is taught, and Islam is the religion of peace and humanity. These media channels are giving a false image of Islamic institutes and Islam.

*Touqir Hussain (DAWN, 25th April, 2004)

Madaris...An Institution for poors*

There are about 12000 madras’s in Pakistan with more than 1.5 million students enrolled. Madras’s usually exist because the people of Pakistan do not have enough money to give there children the proper education. A madras’s is a place where they can send their children without giving much money and have them fed as well that is why most of the poor families have there children sent there. Madras’s nowadays are becoming modernized according to this article as they have installed computers. However they still do not teach science or other subjects but they have installed computer in there labs. When asked the reason for this the owner of the madras said that computers are essential for there lives ahead but what will they do with social science? These sort of assumptions are what the madras have. For them getting religious knowledge is the most important aspect. However Islam does not only restrict Muslims to get religious knowledge. One famous proverb of prophet is that “Seek knowledge even if it is in China”. This shows that no matter where you are getting knowledge is very important and not just knowledge about Islam but also worldly knowledge. The article states that madras’s are being violated by the local police because the government of Pakistan wants its madras’s modernized. Therefore in order to keep the police away from themselves they install computers to show that they are going towards modernizing there institutes. Islamic institutes are teaching what they think is the right way of teaching. They do not consider how and why should there be any changes. What the Quran says about gaining knowledge is being misinterpreted. Therefore in order to understand the true meaning of Islam and its teachings one has to learn more about what the Quran says about it.
*An article by Manu Joseph dated 04.26.04

Pakistan: Religious Education and Institutions*

The writers say that when Pakistan became a U.S. ally in its war against terrorism in the aftermath of the events of 9/11, it became the focus of world attention. Its madaris (religious educational institutions) and their perceived role in harboring and nurturing terrorism have generated heated debate. They say that the media, government, policymaking institutions, the 9/11 Commission, the U.S. Congress and Cabinet all are apprehensive of madaris. An important part of the article states that numerous reports in the west have highlighted the REI system, syllabi, curricula, content and function and have strongly recommended that steps be taken to rescue the world from their “evil designs.”
The writers are aggrieved on such statements from the western world and try to clear the image of madaris by mentioning that the courses being taught in these institutes are not teaching their students extremism but on the contrary they are educating students with Quranic as well as modern science. The only draw back is that these institutes are not updating themselves continuously which is resulting in this misconception by the western world. The writers also mention the fact that private institutes are not providing quality Islamic education. Instead they treat Islamiat as any other ordinary subject.
The writers, in very detail, discuss the role of terrorist activities in ruining the image of madaris and on what is being taught there. They mention the services of some great Muslim scientists who had got their education from these madaris. The two writers have very nicely put together the facts about madaris and modern world education and have also given solid proofs to convince the reader that yes there is need to work for the betterment of these important educational institutes.
*An article by Khalid Rehman and Syed Rashid Bukhari from the institute of policy studies, Islamabad Pakistan
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