Knowledge for Harmony
Every Surah (chapter) of the Quran has a theme comprised of sub-themes. Most of the chapters start with some particular names of Allah out of His ninety nine names. There is coherence and purpose in this selection. The names selected and the particular description of Allah as an introduction of a Surah bear a deep relevance to the theme of the chapter or to the sub-theme that immediately follows.
The theme of this surah, Al Juma'ah, is similar to Surah as-Saff (the preceding one), (with difference in logic and style), as both form a pair. The whole Quran is composed of surah-pairs. In this surah, Bani Ismail has been directed to respect and value the 'Great Bounty' of Allah manifested as the prophethood of Muhammad (s). They are warned not to be deprived of this benevolence being the victim of the jealous conspiracies of the Jews. This surah has the following four sub-themes:
The attribute of Allah mentioned first is His Supreme Sovereignty. No power can restrict His authority and powers. It is not for the Jews to decide whom he should appoint His Messenger for the guidance of Jews and others. His Sovereignty decided to send His non-Israelite Messenger to His subjects to inform about his orders and directives. Thus the first task of the Prophet is to convey the Words of Allah.
The second attribute of Allah mentioned here is the Holy One. He is highest exalted and utmost glorified that His judgment is always correct. Human judgment may have mistakes but His decrees are preferred. Due to His Holiness, He decided to purify the human beings through the Prophet (s) and His message, i.e. to remove the filth of disbelief and polytheism. This is the second task of the Prophet (s).
The third attribute Allah is, the Almighty. He has the coercive power to implement His orders. None can fight Him and win. He has sent the Messenger who is imparting the knowledge of the Quran, Islamic laws and Islamic jurisprudence. If human beings make efforts to establish Islamic laws and Islamic jurisprudence, Shariah, Allah has all the Power to get it established.
The fourth attribute of Allah is, the Wise. He has sent the Prophet (s) who not only educates the Islamic laws and codes of conduct, but also demonstrates it - an example to follow. The Prophet (s) the direction of Allah uses wisdom and strategy for the success of the implementation of the Divine Order in the world. There is full conformity between Allah and His Prophet (s). Whatever He and the Prophet do, it is always the very demand of wisdom. His plans and designs, implemented by the Prophet (s), are so well-planned that none in the world can hinder and frustrate them.
Every education is Islamic education to impart knowledge provided it is organised under the proper approach. There are two sources of knowledge, one that Allah Himself has revealed, His Words, the Quran, now in the form of a book. The other is the whole cosmos including human beings as well. The knowledge revealed in the Quran by Allah is the Absolute knowledge - God-given knowledge and the knowledge attained by human beings by observation, induction, deduction - man's attained knowledge. Divine knowledge is the absolute one while man-attained knowledge is the relative one. Both knowledge are essential for the nice, harmonious and peaceful life of man. All man-attained knowledge must be utilised under the shade of God-given knowledge and implemented for global peace.
Fundamental Islamic education is the attainment of the Absolute knowledge and its application in our worldly affairs. The verses above give us the basic principles of Islamic education.
Comprehension of the Words of Allah and the sayings of the Prophet. Conveying the Message of Allah. The teacher conveys and the student comprehends just as the Prophet was the teacher and the Companions (r) the students. Training of the students to purify their heart and mind from wrong and revolting notions of disbelief and polytheism. The Prophet (s) fulfilled this assignment of purification as a teacher very successfully. No education is fruitful and beneficial without having pure heart and mind. The application of the Absolute knowledge for the interpretation of man-made knowledge and overall actions for living in this world. The strategy and methodology for the action plan should be based on the Wisdom of Allah imparted and demonstrated by the Prophet (s).
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