Importance of education and educational institutions - Glenwood Musallah
“O! Allah increase us in knowledge.”
Having returned from a short visit to the UK, I will make some observations. InshaAllah these observations will stimulate our thinking and serve as a source of inspiration.
Firstly, the educational institution namely; Oxford and Cambridge Universities are not like most conventional universities rather they comprise of a number of independent colleges, each with their own endowments, placed under one administration. The interesting point is that this concept and set-up a - quadrilateral block with one side having a prayer facility and the other sides for research, lecture theaters, residence, meals and even an open quad for recreational activities - originated in the Muslim World. These colleges were a model of Islamic Universities found in Spain, Baghdad etc. In fact during the time when Europe was in the Medieval Times (Dark Ages), the Muslim World was advanced in knowledge. Unfortunately the Muslim World reached a point of stagnation and subsequent retrogression.
Secondly, all these colleges have their own endowments. Endowment is essentially an Islamic concept (Waqf), well known and traced back to the noble companions (RA) of the Prophet Muhammed (sallahu alaihi wasallam). They had setup Waqf or endowments for various benefits of the Ummah. In fact the entire concept of a welfare state was well known and established in the Muslim World.
Thirdly, the libraries in these universities contain manuscripts that come from the Muslim World. These manuscripts are kept with utmost and meticulous care. The arrangements to preserve these manuscripts are amazing. May Allah SWT revive this legacy of learning, research and preservation of knowledge in the Muslim Ummah.
Lastly, the establishment of Islamic Studies faculties, as well as Islamic Centers in these universities. Arrangements have been made with the universities, in the future for the accreditation for those who study at these Islamic Centers. Also beautiful Masajid have been established within these Islamic Centers. We hope InshaAllah with the structures in place, the spirit and rooh is placed therein and great scholars and leaders will be produced who will contribute towards the success of the Ummah.
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