Islam urges people to read and learn on every occasion.
The verses of the Qur'an command, advise, warn, and encourage people to observe the phenomena of nature, the succession of
day and night, the movements of stars, the sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies. Muslims are urged to look into everything
in the universe, to travel, investigate, explore and understand them, the better to appreciate and be thankful for all the wonders and beauty of God's
creations. The first revelation to Muhammad showed how much Islam cares about knowledge.
"Read, in the name of your Lord,
Who created..." [96:1]
Learning is obligatory for both
men and women. Moreover, education is not restricted to religious issues; it includes all fields of knowledge, including biology,
physics, and technology. Scholars have the highest status in Islam, second only to that accorded to prophets.
Almost from the very beginnings of the Islamic state Muslims began to study
and to master a number of fields of so-called secular learning, beginning with linguistics and architecture, but very quickly
extending to mathematics, physics, astronomy, geography, medicine, chemistry and philosophy. They translated and synthesized
the known works of the ancient world, from Greece, Persia, India, even China. Before long they were criticizing, improving
and expanding on that knowledge. Centuries before the European Rennaissance there were Muslim ³Rennaissance² men, men who
were simultaneously explorers, scientists, philosophers, physicians and poets, like Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Umar Khayyam, and