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‘Students of Knowledge’

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By Wasim Ahmad

‘Students of knowledge’ is an expression that we hear from time to time. It appears to be a well-meaning and a harmless expression. On a closer scrutiny, however, a few questions arise – something to the following effect:

Are the students of Information Technology and Business Administration ‘the students of knowledge’?

Are the students of Engineering and Medicine ‘the students of knowledge’?

Are the students of Astrophysics and Mechatronics ‘the students of knowledge’?

The matter gets further compounded or clearer if we add ‘(of TRUTH)’ after ‘the students of knowledge’. And then one may ask which particular discipline and department is the ‘knowledge (of TRUTH)’ confined to?

If the students of all schools, colleges and universities in the entire world claim that they ALL are ‘the students of knowledge (of TRUTH)’ (what else are they?) then how will we handle that situation?

‘The students of knowledge [minus ‘of TRUTH’]’ seems to be directly related with the current state of affairs of Muslims in general. It appears to be one of the major factors behind the condition that we find ourselves in.

The main concern seems to be in the possibility of the above expression being rooted in the division of knowledge (of TRUTH, which is neither “religious” nor “secular”) into “religious” and “secular” categories.

‘The students of knowledge’ is among the psychological barriers hindering the unleashing of human (in fact, Muslim) potential. It is among the many factors behind the marginalization of Muslims from the mainstream life in the world.

‘The students of knowledge’ will perpetuate self-doubt among the ‘modern educated’ without feeling obliged to relate with life all that is taught to the ‘traditionally educated’. Hence, application in the latter and excellence in the former will keep missing.

[Wasim Ahmad is Department Head of Islamic Studies, Preston University, Ajman, UAE. He can be contacted at or +971505363235]
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