By the Spiritual Leader of the Salawatia Mission of Ghana,
Sheihu Hussain Rashid Salwat (QUTUB AZ-ZAMAAN)

Assalamu Alaikum, dear brothers and sisters in Islam, we thank Allah for this wonderful occasion and pray Peace and Blessing of Allah to be upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his household. I extend warm greetings to you all on the occasion of this year’s Eid ul-Fitr celebration. May Allah reward you abundantly for your sacrifices and endurance during the month of Ramadan. I take this opportunity to assure you that your Lord Allah the Almighty will reward you all the good things you did during the Holy Month of Ramadan. I therefore encourage you to continue to exhibit these good deeds throughout the year to the next Ramadan, Insha Allah.

 

My message on the occasion of this year’s Eid ul-Fitr celebration is on “Education and Development”. No society can develop if it fails to place education on top of its agenda. The developed societies have made it not through any other means but Education. Stressing on the importance of education, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said “Seeking knowledge is incumbent on all Muslims”. This means that the acquisition of knowledge for the development of mankind is recommended to all Muslims,  irrespective of their sex. Knowledge such as Islamic Studies, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Politics, Chemistry, Medicine, Administrations, Agriculture, Nursing, Pharmacy, Engineering, Biology, Psychology, Philosophy, Astronomy, Astrology, Geology, Metrology, Criminology, and Sociology, among others. The Quran contains all these disciplines and more especially in the fields of science and technology. Allah says Quran 31:11. These are the Creation of Allah; now show us the creation of others other than Him, what have they created? But the Transgressors are in manifest error.

As Muslims, the acquisition of knowledge should be considered part of our lives. The first verses revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) talk about the acquisition of knowledge of Creation in general. (Chapter 96 verse 1-5). Allah says “Read in the name of your Lord, Who created creation in general. He created man, out of a conception after the union of the opposite sex that hangs in the worm. Read for your Lord is Most Bountiful that He taught the use of the Pen and taught man that which he knew not.” These verses of the Holy Quran point out the relevance of Education to the Muslim. Obviously, these verses show the importance of both religious and secular education in the life of mankind as mentioned above.

 

The Muslim scholar who attempts to interpret the Holy Quran should be well informed not only in Islamic Knowledge but also in other disciplines such as science and technology. This will put him in a better position to interpret the Holy Quran as expected. He should be a rite model to inspire the youth and indeed up-coming scholars to seek knowledge. The science and technology that students study in educational institutions are all confirmed by the Holy Quran. Why because the Author of the Holy Quran is the creator of science and technology. Muslim scholars who interpret the Holy Quran to others must demonstrate this knowledge
to motivate the youth in their quest for knowledge. Any attempt to interpret the Holy Quran without an insight to these disciplines is indeed misguiding, misleading and misinforming his congregation which can never be in interest of Islam. For instance, the biology student who has studied human reproduction, would loose confidence and respect for his spiritual leader who erroneous tells him that human reproduction starts with a clot of blood. Whereas the Quran emphasises that human reproduction starts after the union of the opposite sex and should conception takes place, the foetus hangs in the mother’s worm. The Muslim scholar would have got it right if only he had followed the Quran’s version of the first stage of human reproduction.
Despite the emphasis of the importance of education to Muslims mentioned in the Holy Quran and taught by the Prophet of Islam (SAW), it is sad to note that Muslims are rather backward in Education. Worldwide, Muslims are associated with illiteracy and backwardness. The story is not different in Ghana today. Truly, it is in Muslim communities that you find children of school going age either not in school or if in school but not properly taken care of. Nation building needs an enhanced human resource base which can only be acquired through Education. Due to lack of education, poverty and many vices such as teenage pregnancy and waywardness are common in Muslim communities. Many parents shirk their responsibility of catering for their children in school as a result of either poverty or ignorance. Regrettably, it is said that give the Muslim leaders the wrong information and they will be at each others throat. Say the worst things about them in the books, they would never see it or read about it. The general thinking of the Muslim is that he sees himself on top of affairs and that he knows everything but indeed he know nothing or very little about his creation and his environment. With this behaviour, Allah warns us by saying in Quran 61: 2-3; “Believers, why say things which you do not do? It is grievous sin in the sight of Allah that you say things that you do not do.”

 

Brothers and sisters in Islam, I take this opportunity to appeal to Muslims to take the issue of education very seriously, illiteracy is alien to Islam. I want to stress that we need to institute measures to assist brilliant but needy children to climb the academic ladder to levels their brains can send them without any impediment. It is an Islamic responsibility that we must all collectively put
our heads together to find a solution to this problem.

 

The early Muslims did not shine away their Islamic responsibilities in the acquisition of knowledge for human development as we are doing nowadays but led exemplary life by inventing almost what we know now as modern science and technology.

 

In conclusion, I would like to stress that education is the only means by which we Muslims can free ourselves from the endemic poverty in which we find our selves today.

 

I pray for the Government and for all Ghanaians. I pray for the prosperity of our dear country. I pray for permanent and an everlasting peace for the Dagbon.  I pray for Peace for the entire world. I pray for all Muslims the world over and I ask the Almighty Allah to accept our fasting and reward us accordingly.

 

Once again, I
say Assalamu Alaikum. I wish you a happy Eid Celebration

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