MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, YOGYAKARTA — Chair of the ‘Aisiyah Cultural Center Mahsunah Syakir mentioned literacy among Muslims. One of the prominent Muslims concerning literacy was Hafshah binti Umar bin Khattab.
Since then, knowledge has spread outside Saudi Arabia. Indeed, during the Abbasid dynasty, the literacy of Muslims reached its golden age. It can be seen from the library, Baitul Hikmah, founded by Harun al Rasyid.
“The library provided more than 100,000 books and gave a great reward for the remarkable work,” Mahsunah said on Sunday (13/9) at the Cultural Literacy to Educate the Nation, the Cultural Da’wah Dialogue Podcast.
In the caliphate era, a written work was weighed, and the result became the weight of the reward, which was gold. History depicted that Islam highly appreciates and supports literacy.
The works were translated into many languages so that both Muslims and other believers worldwide could learn from them. Thus, Islam could go into other civilizations without violence.
Literacy in the Islamic world has a strong theological basis, namely the first word that was revealed in Al-Qur’an Iqra (read). In general, literacy is dealing with reading and writing, but iqra’ mentioned in Al-Qur’an has much broader meanings.
“Iqra’ means researching, studying, and analyzing. It’s more than reading and writing,” Mahsunah said.
Muslims experience ups and downs in science, but they are supposed to be excellent at it. For one reason, it’s clearly mentioned in Al-Qur’an and commanded by Allah that Muslims should read.
The command leads to Islam to reach its golden age. The order to read is not only textual but also contextual so that Islam has qauliyah and kauniyah verses.