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Meditation 466
The ink of the scholar

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I encountered an interesting quotation:

In trying to verify the author, I encountered several other quotations relating to education and knowledge attributed to the very same man:

  • To acquire knowledge is binding upon all Muslims, whether male or female.
  • The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.
  • He who travels in the search of knowledge, to him God shows the way of Paradise .
  • Acquire knowledge, because he who acquires it, in the way of the Lord, performs an act of piety; who speaks of it praises the Lord; who seeks it, adores God, who dispenses instruction in it, bestows alms; and who imparts it to its fitting objects, performs an act of devotion to God. Knowledge enables its possessor to distinguish what is forbidden from what is not; lights the way to Heaven; it is our friend in the desert, our companion in solitude, our companion, when benefit of friends; it guides us to happiness; it sustains us in misery; it is our ornament in the company of friends; it serves as an armor against our enemies. With knowledge the creatures of Allah rises to the heights of goodness and to noble position, associates with the sovereigns in this world and attains the perfection of happiness in the next.

All these statements are part of the Infallible Sayings of Muhammad.

I wonder, given the source, and the claim that they are infallible, why these sayings are so little honoured in the Islamic world.

We see supposed martyrs honoured for horrendous acts of terror, while scholars are scorned.

We see girls denied the most basic education.

We see rote-learning to recite the Qu'ran in Arabic like a trained parrot given more importance in madrassahs than actually learning Arabic to understand the meaning of the text.

We see knowledge redefined to be simply the Qu'ran and the hadiths and ignoring the wider meaning of knowledge such that so-called Islamic scholars are ignorant of the real world and they revel in this ignorance.

If Muslims revere the words of Muhammad, why do they ignore them?