"Read! In the Name of your Lord who has created (all that exists). He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood). Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not"[Quran, 96: 1-5]
The simplistic term “Read” or in Arabic “Iqra”, was the first word to be revealed by Allah (Glorified and Exalted) to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as part of the Quranic revelation. Whilst literally the term seems simple and easy to define, the word “read” holds a hugely deeper meaning which in turn demonstrates the importance of education in the modern day and further the exploration of Islamic Science and knowledge.
It is becoming more and more obvious that the decline of the Ummah over its increasing misdirection comes as a direct result of our failure to fulfill our Islamic duty in pursuing knowledge and progressing through education. All the calamities that we face in our lives could be improved by us uncovering knowledge which could in turn impact and make a difference- whether this is in Islamic Sciences, Medicinal Science, Entrepreneurship, Industry or Law.
Allah (Glorified and Exalted) states in the Quran:
“and say: `My Lord! Increase me in knowledge” [Qur’an, 20:114]
“Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allah will make a path to Paradise easy for him” (Al-Bukhaari)
Not only is it our duty to pursue science and knowledge as Muslims, it is also our duty to excel in everything we do, as this is the core Islamic value of excellence (Ihsan). Many Muslims see the exploration of Islam as the basis of knowledge, but what we must NOT forget is that the worldly ‘knowledge’ (Medicine, Business) directly correlates with Islam- an an understanding of that is a short way to understanding Islam as a whole- it almost defines it.