If you ask most ‘modern’ folks (ignorant creatures) about the link between Islam and Education, they would give you a blank look if not scoff at the very idea!
Mankind has a twofold nature-the soul and the body. Both with equal importance for our well-being. Islam being the most perfect religion as well as a system of life, every minute detail of life has duly been given substance. Based on the nature of mankind knowledge also has a dual nature. The two parts of it are:
(a) Fard al A’yn and (b) Fard al Kifayah.
Fard A’yn is obligatory on every individual whereas Fard Kifayah is obligatory on the community, i.e. there should be members in the community who follow this duty. If the entire community wishes to follow it, they can. However, all should fulfill Fard A’yn.
Fard A’yn is what has been directly revealed to us by Allah (SWT). It includes the knowledge of the pillars and tenets of Islam and the Sacred Law (Shari’ah). This basic knowledge is for the nourishment of our soul (interlinked with the nourishment of the body).
Fard Kifayah is the knowledge that Muslims should acquire for their survival in this world (interlinked with a position in the Hereafter-Haquq AL-Ibaad). These include the sciences and of course technology.
Dr. Yedullah Kazmi, a professor at the International Islamic University gave a splendid parallel in this regard to Associate Professor Dr. Rosnani Hashem. The correlation between Faith (Fard ‘Ayn) and Logical Self-Thinking (Fard Kifayah) is like the correlation between a kite and its string. There is perpetual friction between the kite and the string. Is the string is broken due to external forces the kite will fly waywardly. Accordingly, when thinking is not based in faith, a person will go waywardly from his/her duties.
The purpose of both the parts to knowledge in Islam are to strengthen the individual’s Faith. If knowledge and Islam were at conflict with each other, Qur’an would not have innumerous scientific facts revealed in it.
Regarding what we now know as the ‘big bang’ theory and the fact that life originated from water, the Qur’an says:
“Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then We parted then. And We made from water every living thing. Will they then not believe?” (Qur’an, 21:30)
Furthermore, the Qur’an has complete embryological information stated along with many other scientific data. About 30 years back scientists were able to discover all the embryological stages. When Dr. Keith Moore (University of Toronto) was asked how the discovery made could be stated in the Holy Book- Al Qur’an Al Hakeem- he replied, “It could only have been divinely revealed.”
Hence to state that Islam does not recognize any other form of education is without a doubt the epitome of stupidity and senselessness of the person.
To wrap it up, Islam recognizes both the fundamental parts of knowledge as indispensable for the prosperity of the individual in both the Worlds.