Recite,in the name of your Lord!
He Who created!
He created man from a blood clot.
Recite! Your Lord is most bountiful.
He taught with the pen.
He taught man what he knew not.
The Blood Clot, Al Alaq Surah 96, 2-5
I think there is a certain beauty to it because it is the first message Gabriel gave to the Prophet Mohammed, and he asks him to read before he asks him to do anything else.
So, there is a certain importance to education: that it is important to be knowledgable and have these skills. It was a very forward-thinking religion. A lot of people at that time would have been illiterate, much like the Prophet, but they were being encouraged to become literate and intelligent people. I like that a lot. It’s very significant, it’s very clever.
I actually think they both feed each other: the world strengthens your belief in your faith and your faith strengthens your belief in the world.
You have to remember, these things came out 1,400 years ago – people did not understand these things. You could not just tell someone: “There’s a Sun and there’re planets that go around the Sun, and there’s this connection that we all have with each other through the universe.” You cannot explain these things.
So, what do you tell them? You say, “there is one truth” – you bring it to them in poetry, in a beautiful language, you convince them in a way that is cohesive and coherent. It makes sense, it is beautiful and the underlying truth that the Quran has not been disproved – that is a miracle. For a book that came out 1,400 years ago – out of the mouth of an illiterate man – that is incredible. He never once contradicted himself.
He was a normal human being, but his message was so profoundly different from all of the messages that everybody else would preach: that his was a religion of peace – they were united. He did not submit to any of the religio-political rulers. It was a religion that taught everyone to be together, to be literate. It was progressive.
* Ahmed Alshaer
Ahmed Alshaer is an Emirati-Lebanese computer-engineering student.