How Islamic Science Led To Develop Oxford University (3)

Published: 2 July 2023

Eid Special

By Shofi Ahmed

Islamic academic science has significantly helped develop Oxford University. I tried to highlight that in my previous article. In that article I also put a notion through that current Islamic education systems, which mainly consist of Madrasha have curbed academic studies. That’s true. In this article I would like to clarify the likely reasons behind it and its implications.

The main reason could be to focus more on the life hereafter. Akhira, the hereafter, is certainly far superior than here. The proposition that the hereafter is superior is rational in academia as well. As in our scientific world everything is on the go, is moving. Like us all humans we grow old, we need medical check ups because none of us is here for good. Nor any planetary particle is, that is on the constant move too. But the hereafter is there, it doesn’t need an update like our phone does. The busier a professional is needs more faster communication, laptop and systems. Because what’s now fast becomes old. But not the Akhira, it’s time and space is far greater, making it evernew.

Therefore practically it’s better to engage in learning to settle in that bigger portion. On top of that life on earth is becoming more complex, far from some easy steps. That is usual given that religion advocates that as the end of the time draws closer strange things will happen. That’s bound to add to the complexities that people are already facing. Obviously, in such a situation it’s better to stick firmly on one big side. Rather than trying to squeeze into two big slides. So our religious education system focuses on the hereafter.

If we then add our profound religious knowledge to academic studies we can shine a positive light on the innerworks of academia. We can add to it a more moral and ethical perspective. We can add the vital plus to the Akhira minus academia. Muslims with a lens to observe the better Akhira is better capable of adding that vital plus. It’s historically true.

Because that’s what happened when classic Muslim scientists like Ibn Sina, Al-Khoawrizm who were versed in Islam and science embarked in academics they changed the scientific landscape for good. The result is evident to the world till today. The invention of Algorithms, which is regarded as the engine of modern science. The further developments of Salamanca and consequently Oxford University just to name a few.