…Says Those Forbidden Secular Education in the Name of Islam are Religious Hypocrites.
The former Acting Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Ambassador Muhammad Ahmad Wali has charged muslims on the need to synchronize both Islamic education with western education for national development.
He said the time has come for muslims to wake up and see the need to attach importance to secular education, most significantly, sciences just as they adhere strictly to Islamic ethics and practices.
Ambassador Wali gave the charge while delivering a lecture on a topic titled “Islamic education: The Challenge of Educational Dualism”, at a seminar organized by Jama”at Ta’awoonil Islam, Iwo, Osun State.
The ex-Acting INEC Chairman who was the guest lecturer, attributed the current challenges facing the country to lack of prerequisite understanding of existing religions which according to him had culminated to compound socio-economic, political and ethical complications.
The guest lecturer frowned at what he described as religious misconception which created dichotomy between the secular and Islamic education, saying Islam as a religion is not in any way against the contemporary-western education.
He advocated for more participation in sciences, technology and engineering which according to him God created to make life more abundant, comfortable and lucrative.
Ambassador Wali remarked that it is erroneous for anyone to develop an impression against western education which he was emphasized in several verses of the Holy Quran.
He hinted that the permission of secular education by Almighty Allah was purposefully aimed to promote existence, therefore creating avenue for comprehensive understanding of Islam as religion and as well portends clear picture of nature.
He said in asmuch as education especially Islamic education remains key to understanding ones relationship with Allah, family, society and nature at large as well as for any meaningful societal development, there is need for muslims to urgently and completely invest in both Islamic and secular education for general development and betterment of society.
“Acquisition of both Islamic and secular education is the key to any conceptualization of development because using education as a tool, it has tried to produce manpower that could serve in different capacities and contribute positively to the world’s socio-economic and political development.
“No doubt in the fact that the sustainability of our developmental drives as well as aspirations can therefore be guaranteed through continuous provision of meaningful Islamic and acquired education.
“There is need to draw our attention to the confusion and deliberate misrepresentation of what Islamic education is all about and whoever for instance studies geography, physics, literature, biology, chemistry among others should understand that it is part of what Quran stated about because over one thousand verses in Quran emphasized Islamic and science education.
“Meanwhile people should stop discriminating between science and islamic education because it is part and parcel of islamic education just as they have already been integrated.
“While revealed and acquired subjects should be henceforth well treated in all the islamic institutions and colleges to improve the world for the betterment of all because only what muslims need is to bring Islamic values into secular education”, he opined.
Ambassador Wali stated further that higher levels of education have been patronized with a view to producing informed intellectuals as well as high level professionals in both government functionaries and the organized private sector, hence called for the need to properly integrate and encompass both Islamic and western education.
He disclosed that the Islamic and secular education largely achieved and contributed tremendously to the society through the establishment of institution of higher learning such as universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and monotechnics in different parts of the world.
According to him, secular education is embedded in secularism, which is concerned with worldly things with the study of sciences, engineering, medical and helth sciences, arts, socioal and environmental sciences and philosophy that are regarded as nonreligious, nonspiritual, or sacred.
“Thereby, Islamic education, on the other hand, combines both the secular and religious education because statistically, the word “knowledge” appeared 704 times, “Book” 230 times, “Writing” 319 and “Pen” 2 times. Or, put differently, the word “Mind” appeared 49 times, “Knowledge/Science” 768 times, “Sight” 147 times, ” Remembrance” 268 times.
“Generally, out of the 6,326 verses of the Quran, 1,300 talk about knowledge, sciences and related matters, while only 535 speak about Sharia, governing relationships.
“The beauty of the Islamic concept of education is that it is multidimensional in outlook touching on the spiritual and physical realms of existence as well as on character building.
“For this, Islamic education can be said to comprise revealed as well as acquired knowledge, while the revealed knowledge includes studies of matters and issues decided by Allah and His Prophet and covers such areas as Quran Recitation, Theology, Jurisprudence, History among others.
“The acquired knowledge is that which facilitates further understanding of the greatness of Allah, the Creator, in the scheme of things and enables man to benefit from the vast potentials of his environment.
“A distinction has continued to be made by non-Muslims and the less informed Muslims between Islamic education Westerner or secular education as if Islamic education is not concerned with the earthly or the so-called secular education, or as if the secular or acquired education is the exclusive preserve of the West”, he added.
Ambassador Wail however said the dichotomy between Islamic and secular/earthly education is largely responsible for emergence of groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon which according to him remains lack of understanding of Islamic and scientific based education.
He said, “because of the continuing crises occasioned by failure to align revealed and acquired knowledge, Muslim countries partly continue to suffer instability, life and infrastructural destruction that will take time to mend.
“The major challenge in the dual educational system in Nigeria is the value system attached to educational pursuit, as every system of education is based on certain values.
“The time has come to give Islam and its educational details their proper definition in global educational conceptualization.
He therefore commended the organizers of the forum for being committed to the cause of Islam and to supporting members of their community.
Speaking on a theme; “Importance of Developing and Managing the Resources of Ummah”, the former INEC Commissioner and Professor of Sociology, University of Lagos, Professor Lai Olurode, charged people at the corridor of power to genuinely portray governance as service to the people just as they are also expected to do away with greediness and corruption.
Professor Olurode attributed the current socio-economic, political, cultural and religious unrest in the country to what he described as ostensible negligence, greediness and palpable corruption on the part of nation’s leaders which he said had eaten deep into the nation’s potentiality.
He therefore implored all and sundry to be of brother’s keepers and help one another for the better of the society as well as the entire country.