Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that everyone must know the importance of education in Islam.
Speaking on Wednesday to madrassa students in Islamabad, he said the Holy Prophet (pbuh) gave the most importance to education and once even said that even if people have to go to China to study, they should. He also cited an example of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) returning prisoners of war who taught 10 Muslims instead of accepting money for their release.
In people’s minds, this idea developed that without education, they cannot progress so for the next 700 years, the top scientists in the world were Muslims, he said. Islam grew not just because of our swords, but because of our knowledge, said the premier.
But, he said the decline of religious education came when the British noticed that the top two madrassas in Delhi had a better standard of education than the college they set up. They then tried to place more importance on money and salaries and gave less to teachers at madrassas, he explained. That stopped the trend of education in Muslims of the Subcontinent, said PM Khan, adding that this was very deliberate.
The British set up a system where a small segment of society goes to English medium schools, the rest to Urdu medium schools and the very poor to madrassas, said PM Khan, explaining that this is the stereotype. There are different syllabuses being taught at these three different schools, he said, adding that he approved of religious education and that it taught people to be human.
Islam teaches us both science and humanity, he said. The same scientists who make bombs that kill thousands can make medicine to save millions, said the premier. “Islam and other religions also tell us about our reasons for coming into the world and what’s going to happen afterwards, but science never does.”
He said because of what science teaches people, they only focus on the now and making money. Religious education teaches us good from bad and what happens in the afterlife, he said.
PM Khan said the government wants to teach students religion and give them the chance to become anything. Our hope, with this new curriculum committee, is to make Pakistani youths into ‘all-rounders’, said the premier, adding that he wants people to know that this country was made for a purpose.
English medium kids get jobs and others should get the opportunity too, he said. We are trying but it’ll take time, said PM Khan. “I want the whole world to see these children and say yes, that’s a Pakistani.”