The Importance of Education
Wake up, pack our bags and plug our headphones in to block out the hustle and bustle of the commute to work and school. When Lockdown hit, the endless Zoom calls and constant alarms/reminders to complete tasks became overwhelming for everyone as they entered an online world never experienced before. Teachers worked late hours from home, students struggled to adapt, while parents became overwhelmed working from home; trying to balance their children’s social lives with education. Everything had changed in a day and nobody was prepared for it.
Nelson Mandela once said:
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”
One in five adults lack the written communication skills they need to progress in life and approximately 57 million children around the world have never stepped inside a classroom. Therefore, to ensure academic progress around the world through equal opportunities is a global challenge. In a historic address in Singapore in 2013, His Holiness, Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community emphasized how Islam teaches that “Every child, no matter his or her background, should be provided proper education so that they can develop into skilled and truly beneficial members of society”.
The online world of communication has become the norm. Living in the 21st century, we are expected to uphold certain standards for employment opportunities. Even in a pandemic, employers are searching for people with excellent communication and practical skills learnt through education. Contemporary society maintains standards of equality and good leadership skills, all of which are attained through education. Thus, the importance of education through not just books, but also practical experiences outside the classroom is vital in maintaining a balanced but structured lifestyle. Digital education enables us to connect with people and organizations from around the world through video calls and free courses to learn from based around our interests (i.e. photography, art, beauty, IT skills etc.)
High standards of education essentially refer to an individual’s expertise and ability to maintain knowledge around a certain topic in the workforce, in order to sustain a good socio-economic status through securing high income. Experiences gained through education illuminates a person’s mind and way of thinking; as well as developing human personality, thoughts and the ability to deal with different situations with patience and assertiveness. His Holiness also stressed how it is important to “learn that Islamic teachings require Muslims to work towards fulfilling these same objectives and to continually strive for the progress of humanity”.
The Holy Quran states:
“And say, ‘O my Lord, increase me in knowledge” [20.115]
The Holy Quran “throws light upon science, history, economics and so much more. It teaches us about human rights- such as the rights of women, the rights of the poor and deprived and the rights of the child”.
What is so unique about education is that it will always remain unbiased and teaches people to consider and accept others opinions, regardless of gender, race or culture. At a UNESCO conference in 2019, His Holiness also emphasized the importance of gender equality in relation to education by explaining how Islam establishes the educational rights of women and girls through the teachings of the Holy Prophet of Islam. His holiness also shed light upon how “based upon the teachings of the Prophet of Islam, Ahmadi Muslim girls across the world are educated and excelling in various fields. They are becoming doctors, teachers, architects and entering other professions through which they can serve humanity”
Education grants us skills that help us educate one another about culture, religion and history to maintain standards upheld by contemporary society.
“Do not waste these golden educational opportunities, but instead grasp them and seek to achieve excellence in your chosen fields of interest”
Through the words of His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Islamic teachings in regards to education are constantly emphasized through references to the Holy Quran and teachings of the Holy Prophet of Islam.
“Education serves a purpose when it affects the heart in a positive way, when it enlightens a person and motivates him or her towards doing good and taking care of others feelings”