According to a tradition, one night in 610 AD, the Prophet of Islam was secluded in the cave of Mount Hira. Suddenly , theangel Gabriel appeared and said, “O Muhammad, read!“ Prophet Muhammad, being unlettered, said, “I cannot read.“
The angel again said, “O Muhammad, read!“ The Prophet repeated his answer. For the third time, the angel said, “O Muhammad, read!“ But again the prophet said he could not read.
Then the angel embraced him and he began reading the revealed words. This story gives a great lesson: a lesson of struggle. It should be interpreted as meaning: read even if you cannot read, learn even if you cannot learn. Fromthen on, the prophet and his companions availed of every opportunity to acquire learning and education. Later, after the migration to Medina in 622 AD, theProphet and his companions were attacked by the Meccans.
The Prophet and his companions won the war and were able to capture 70 of theiropponents. But the Prophet of Islam did not mete out any punishment to them. They were educated persons. The Prophet told them that if any of them couldeducate 10 of Medina’s children, his service would be accepted as ransom and he would be set free.
It was more than likely that these people might again start a war against the Prophet. But judging by this incident, the Quranic message is that even if you are unlettered, try to learn, and learn even if you have no teachers other thanthose with whom you do not have good relations.
Source: Economic Times
Date: 5th August 2016