|Al Azhar University - Cairo , Egypt|
Through Islamic history we find a strong link between the Masjid and the pursuit of knowledge . Education began at the Masjid. The word university is 'Jamiah' in Arabic .the word ' Jami' means Masjid. Basically what that means is the word university in Arabic is the female version of Masjid.Masjids in Islam form part of the earliest universities. Perhaps one of the most widely known Islamic university is the Al - Azhar university in Cairo. This institution is over 1000 years old.One of the first universities in history is In Morocco, known as Al- Qarawiyin . This was built in 841 CE by Fatima Al Fihri .This institution was a community based one beginning with religious instruction and eventually to all subjects. Subjects included Quran , astronomy, theology, law , logic , arithmetic , geography , and medicine.
In baffles me when people make statements like 'secular' and Islamic education , why is there differentiation between the two? Islamic history shows how well it is able to be intergrated! Another thought comes to mind, why is it that the Masjid has only become a place to read salah? Is it not supposed to be a community centre , a place of broad learning , a place where academic discussions should take place?
I believe that a major mind set change has to occur, gaining knowledge in all spheres should become highly sought after.The solution is clear, we as a community need to go back to the values of the great leaders during the golden era of Islam , and develop ourselves holistically in the divine and applied sciences. We need to work together , unified in order to make education and the Masjid the focal point of our community.
( facts above was based on the book '1001 inventions of Muslim civilisation' )