Source: wikimedia

The first word revealed to our Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) from Allah SWT was “Iqra” which means to Read! To seek knowledge! Educate yourselves! Be Educated. As our Prophet (PBUH) said “TALAB UL ILMU FARIZATUN ALA KULLI MUSLIM”. Acquiring knowledge is obligatory on every Muslim, the Knowledge of Truth and Wisdom

“Seek knowledge” was the known commandment of Islam for Muslims, in the middle ages the golden period of Islam and they followed it for almost 800 years.

Edward G. Browne (1862-1926) had cited that,

“when Caliphs of Baghdad and Cordova fostered education amongst their subject to the extent that every boy and girl of twelve could read and write, Barons, Lords and their ladies in Europe were scarcely able to write their names" (A literary history of Persia, 1902).

In 15 th century, Muslims had started distancing themselves from education and knowledge. They had full interest in other fields like painting, architecture, music, metalwork except for modern education, science, and research in the Islamic world.

According to historian Donald Quataert, Muslim literacy rates were only 2 to 3 percent in the early 19th century. Even during the mid-20th century, the situation was not satisfactory. Only a few countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Syria, Turkey, and Albania had an average literacy of more than 30 percent. Most Prominent may be the Refusal of printing press in the 15th century which may be the cause of lagging behind. Scientific and Industrial revolution in Europe may lead to the last nail. But now the scenario is changing Muslims had understood the power of modern education and higher literacy we cannot able to counter the exploitations done by the non-muslim world.

Education is reemerging in Islamic World

According to a survey by John Miller, five Muslim countries, namely Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, find places among the 25 countries with the highest literacy rates of 100 percent.

World Bank and UNSECO data for 2018 show that 25 Muslim majority countries have achieved average literacy above 90 percent.

  • Saudi Arabia (95 percent),
  • Indonesia (94 percent),
  • Malaysia (94 percent),
  • Iran (90 percent),
  • Jordan (96 percent),
  • United Arab Emirates (94 percent)
  • Turkey (95 percent).

Now Muslim world is lagging in Research and Tertiary Education. We need to develop an Integrated system of Principles of Islam and Scientific education irrespective of gender. It's fact that Tertiary education in western countries is 40 % while in Muslim countries is 2 to 6% . This is the area of serious concern.

Now the countries like Turkey, Saudia Arabia, Iran, and Qatar are spending funds for research but most of the Islamic countries are lagging far behind. This area has to be fulfilled.

Image by Wahyu Astungkara from Pixabay 

Women’s emancipation reflects in a report “that the United States falls behind thirteen Muslim countries in the percentage of women graduating in science to the total science graduate population. The countries whose ratio of women science graduates exceeds that of the United States include Bahrain, Brunei Darussalam, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Qatar, and Turkey. Morocco exceeds the United States in the ratio of women engineering graduates as a percentage of the science graduate population.

Those countries which are lagging in Muslim education, All we need to implement our own madarsa system of primary education The experiment of Masjid or maktab schools was cost-effective to achieve the goal of a 100 percent literacy rate. But, to achieve this goal it was imperative to equip madaris with modern technology and education system.

These madarsas are providing free education to youth at near their hometown. No gender discrimination should be there. As we all had witnessed that those countries that have realised the importance of knowledge and technology for embarking upon the high path of growth now occupy top positions amongst the comity of nations; while some other countries, despite their vast natural resources, lag far behind. 

Photo by Monstera from Pexels


  • 🇹🇲Turkmenistan 98%
  • 🇦🇪UAE Emirates 97%
  • 🇦🇿Azderbaycan 97%
  • 🇧🇭Qatar 94.71%
  • 🇹🇷TURKEY 94%
  • 🇰🇼Kuwait 93.80 %
  • 🇹🇳Tunisia 93%
  • 🇸🇦SAUDI ARABIA 91%
  • 🇦🇱Albania 90.8%
  • 🇴🇲Oman 90%
  • 🇮🇷IRAN 82%
  • 🇰🇿Kazakhstan 80%
  • 🇽🇰Kosovo 89%
  • 🇲🇻Maldives 87%
  • 🇱🇾Libya 79.2%
  • 🇺🇿Uzbekistan 77%
  • 🇰🇬Kyrgystan 76%
  • 🇩🇿Algeria 75%
  • 🇪🇭Jordan 72%
  • 🇹🇯Tajikistan 71.16%
  • 🇧🇩Bangladesh 71%
  • 🇲🇾Malaysia 64.9%
  • 🇮🇳INDIA 59- 64% 🇮🇳
  • 🇪🇬Egypt 64.51 %
  • 🇶🇦Bahrain 60
  • 🇰🇲Comoros 60%.

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  • Literacy improving in Muslim world. Mohd I H Farooqi
  • World Bank and UNESCO data 2018
  • Ban on printing press
  • Female literacy rates