Islams academic tradition lost

He disseminated to Europe the Islamic knowledge and learning he had gained by attending Islamic centres of higher learning in Spain and at al-Qarawiyyin in Fez, Morocco.

Al-Qarawiyyin is now the world’s oldest existing, continuously operating university; it is recognised as such by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the same reason. The next oldest, still operating university is University of Bologna in Italy, which was founded in 1088, more than 200 years after al-Qarawiyyin.

Perhaps it is no surprise that the world, including many Muslims, would be amazed to learn that the world’s oldest, still operating, centre of learning was founded by not only a woman, but a Muslim one at that, and that the young Malala Yousafzai is one among many intelligent, brave, thoughtful and visionary women Islamic civilisation has produced.

The state of current education and learning may lead some to assume that Muslims have always been a backward people. The truth however is very different. For example, the first university to be established and one which is still in operation was set up 200 years before any university in the West. This is great news but we must answer the question: What happened after that? This needs to be an open and honest enquiry so that we may find a solution to what ails the Muslim world.

Original Source: NST

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