Ignorance Is Not A Bliss

Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?”

– Quran 39:9

The first divine verse Allah has revealed to prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was Iqra which means “read”. This gesture truly indicates the importance God has given to education/knowledge. The benefits of education are numerous as it plays an indispensable role in life and greatly contributes to the development of individuals and nations. Education creates employment, improves living standards, reduces chronic poverty and preventable diseases.  It unlocks the human mind as it spurs creativity, imagination and innovation. Similarly it leads to critical thinking and reasoning. When people are educated, they are hopeful and are socially & politically aware. They cannot be easily misguided, manipulated or exploited. On the other hand, when people are uneducated, their social mobility is limited and they have fewer choices in life.

Education is the gateway to society’s development and growth. The more a country’s citizens are educated the more chances that country will have to grow and develop economically, socially, culturally and technologically. Japan barely has any natural resources, yet in the 1960’s and 1970’s its economic growth was averaging nearly 8%. This is a true testament to the value of education which is a human capital.

In the 21 century, the future belongs to those who heavily invest in education since we are now transitioning to a knowledge-based economy where education is of paramount importance. That is why it is now more imperative than ever to invest more time, energy and money on education. Governments should invest heavily on education and make education one of its main priorities. Education is a precious gift. I believe that it is in our nature/DNA to share things. When we receive a good news we can’t wait to share it with someone else. Likewise, education is a glad-tidings and therefore it should be shared. We should not just expect or demand from the public and private education institutions to educate people as we know that governments cannot solve all the problems that exist in society and cannot also educate every single citizen. Hence,  we should all embrace the spirit of volunteerism . Every educated individual should strive to share his/her knowledge and try to educate the unlearned ones.

Ironically there is this wide-spread believe that only through teachers one can truly get full education and knowledge. Of course the primary role of a teacher is to disseminate knowledge to students. However, we have to realize that our teachers cannot teach us everything specially when there are many other students sharing the class with us. You have to take the initiative and educate your self. You have to realize that your teacher is just there to guide you.

Education is a long-term project. It is challenging and time-consuming. You need to have patience,perseverance and determination to successfully gain your desired level of education. To those who want[ed] to study but found it difficult can I hope get inspiration and courage  from the following classical examples. A man  once found studies to be extremely tough. He lost his will and confidence and decided to go back to his home town. On his way back he saw a well on the other side of the road.  To his astonishment he saw how constantly drawing water  from the well makes the soft rope cut the hard stone. Then by getting encouragement from what he just witnessed said to himself:if this soft rope can cut the stone, why shouldn’t I also master my studies.” Suddenly he decided to go back convinced that he will finish his studies. This man was none other than  the great Islamic scholar, Ibnu Hajar Al-Asqalani.

Always remember that nothing in life is impossible when heart and mind is put into it. In the words of the great inventor, Thomas Edison,” Every time I failed, I was one step closer to success.

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