Delegation of Scholars meets Afghan Minister of Education in Kabul
The delegation of Ummah’s scholars visiting Afghanistan, led by the International Academy of Islamic Fiqh, met with H.E. Mawlawi Habibullah Agha, former Chairman of the Kandahar Scholars Shura Council and currently Minister of Education, on Tuesday, Safar 19, 1445, corresponding to September 5, 2023, at the delegation’s residence in the capital, Kabul,
The meeting began with a recitation of the Holy Quran. H.E. Prof. Koutoub Moustapha Sano, Secretary General of the Academy and head of the delegation, delivered a speech in which he expressed the delegation’s thanks and appreciation to the authority for the generous welcome and warm hospitality, thanking His Excellency the Minister for his generosity in meeting the delegation at his residence as confirmation of his respect for science and scholars. He also expressed the feelings of joy and pleasure the delegation felt when they saw primary, middle and high school girls walking the streets of Kabul carrying schoolbags, in implementation of the authority’s decision to open religious schools throughout the country.
His Excellency added: “It is possible that these feelings will be greater and deeper when they see Afghan girls also crossing the streets with their younger sisters, to get to their universities and colleges, access to which they have been denied for reasons that should be resolved as soon as possible, because Islam considers education, both religious and worldly, and all its stages, to be a legitimate, sacred and established right for males and females. It also considers it a duty of the family, society and the state towards children, male and female, and that no one, whoever he may be, can deprive a woman or a man of any kind of education, nor is it permissible, according to Sharia law, to give preference or differentiation between men and women with regard to this innate human right.”
Her Excellency then spoke about the Ministry of Education and its great responsibility to enable Afghan girls to receive education, in both directions and at all levels, stressing that both religious and worldly education are compulsory and that there is no difference between them, because the purpose of education is to enable the learner to acquire the knowledge, skills and values that will help him or her to worship God, develop the universe and achieve happiness in this world and the hereafter, and this goal can only be achieved with both types of education. This is why it is the duty of this blessed ministry to advise the Commander of the Faithful, urge him to achieve these reforms.
The search for knowledge is a good thing and must be spread, and every girl and boy must be allowed and encouraged to receive education. Ignorance is an abomination that must be fought and eliminated by all means. His Excellency concluded his speech by saying: “The scholars of the Ummah ask Your Excellency to convey to the Commander of the Faithful their thanks for taking the decision to open religious schools for girls throughout the country. We hope that this decision will be followed by a decision stipulating the need to teach scientific subjects alongside religious subjects in these schools.” Religious schools for boys and girls to enable them to learn the basics of religious and worldly sciences in preparation for university entrance to pursue their studies in the fields of their choice. They also ask Your Excellency to convey their appeal to His Eminence to enable girls to return to the universities and colleges of which they have been deprived for reasons that can be addressed later, in cooperation with OIC member states benefiting from their expertise and experience.”
The delegation’s scholars continued to remind us of the importance of religious and worldly sciences, as well as the importance of empowering girls and boys, and stressed that there is no valid legal evidence in the Qur’an and Sunnah that discriminates between men and women with regard to their right to education, both religious and worldly. This is a legal obligation on which the Ummah has not diverged through the ages.
For his part, His Excellency the Minister expressed his thanks for meeting the delegation of scholars, highlighting a number of efforts his Ministry continues to make to enable all the sons and daughters of Afghanistan to receive education, both religious and worldly, and stressing that work is underway to review the curricula left behind by the occupying forces in order to purify them of ideas that oppose the values and teachings of Islam, as well as Afghan customs and traditions. His Excellency stressed that the Ministry had completed the preparation of curricula for the primary and intermediate levels, and would soon complete the secondary level, and noted in this regard the Ministry’s need of support of Islamic countries in printing new curricula, renovating educational institutions and building schools in remote areas to enable children from all regions to have access to education throughout the country. His Excellency the Undersecretary also spoke, summarizing the Ministry’s efforts to eliminate all the obstacles and difficulties it faces, reiterating the appeal to the Islamic world to support the emirate and help bear the costs of printing, and provide means of transport.
H.E. Prof. Koutoub Moustapha Sano, head of the delegation, promised to convey the Ministry’s request to the relevant authorities and to endeavor to respond as soon as possible through the fund established by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to support construction and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.