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Conflict and its Impact on Education

Due to an escalating amount of inhumane violence by terrorist groups, and instability within many countries, an enormous amount of the youth will be stripped of their right to be educated. In 2015, The UN Fund for Children, UNICEF,  published an alarming report indicating that more than 13 million children across six nations in the Middle East have been deprived of education and around 900 schools damaged due to conflicts. Before these conflicts, some countries in the  Middle East  performed as the  largest and most distinguished higher education systems in the region. Unfortunately,  the results of conflicts have brought forth annihilation of the Universities.

    The effects of conflict and violence are often overlooked  and the impingement that it has on  children and families who suffer in society long-term. Picture the world with uneducated humans the world where people are not able to advance in the field of medicine technology, science, agriculture and much more. This will be our future if we don’t pay close attention to the innate human right to us all to learn and be educated. H.E. Sayed Muhammad Shirazi has been quoted, from the section titled  In his words which applies to all  who have been forced to leave their land due to the recent conflict and violence in the middle east. H.E. Shirazi states;

“ Almighty Allah  has said in the Holy Quran: Are they equal? – Those who know and those who do not know.  Also, in the prophetic traditions: ‘The seeking of knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim man and woman.”

    Often times education being one of the most vital elements of succeeding in an evolving world, it has been one of the first casualties of war. Experts have shared that according to the “Education for all Global Mentoring  Report titled “ The Hidden crisis Armed Conflict and Education “ that 42% of all primary school-age children who are not in school globally live in a country affected by armed conflict. It is clear that education provides an asset that people affected by conflict can carry with them. Also included in the report is a rare personal testimony from the women in Africa who fled at the time of conflict who attested that, “We had to leave behind all of our possessions. The only thing we could bring with us is what we have in our heads, what we have been taught our education. Education is the only thing that cannot be taken from us.” **

This shows the importance of education in the rebuilding process of one’s life. These women could very well be mothers of a family who contribute to the future achievements in the education of their children when education fail society fails. The question is presented to the respected readers, how will the children of these families be affected in the world when they are held back so many years from the education process?.

According to an article published by the USIP, millions of children are suffering from not being able to attend school due to the conflict in the Middle East but despite the danger  “Syrian children still wanted to be in school, fearing that their future ambitions will be impossible to achieve if they are unable to keep up with their education.” ***

According to an article written by the U.N. titled “Neighbors Seek Burden-Sharing for Swelling Numbers of Refugees” which went into detail about the growing refugee crisis. Experts asserted that in 2015 extreme concern about the more than 2.1 million children inside the Middle East who were out of school or attending irregularly, it was mentioned that some 670,000 had been deprived of education following the closure of schools by terrorist groups. Pressing the Council to take the lead in addressing the serious gaps in implementing resolutions. ****

H.E.  Shirazi states briefly in the matter of education and various topics ;

“The Shia (Muslims)  believe that Islam has not neglected to make clear anything, so politics, economics, education, society, peace…. , agriculture, manufacturing industry, family life, government, and all other affairs to do with mankind from his birth to his death are all clarified in Islam and have particular systems and just laws. If mankind implemented them they would find happiness in this  world and the next”.  *****

We also draw your attention to a great example of what can be accomplished when  society gathers to put education as a priority. This very important story can be found under the footnote section regarding the steps that the Family of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)  would take to educate the less fortunate people in society. The story is as follows;

“The Messenger of Allah and his pure family, in a bid to put an end to the slavery system, proactively encouraged Muslims to free their slaves, by setting free their own servants and slaves. Furthermore, the imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them, introduced a system of education and emancipation of slaves on a large scale. For example, it is reported that Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, peace be upon him, used to buy at least one thousand slaves every year, and he used to educate them with the teachings of Islam and free them into the society as well mannered, educated, and honorable members of the society within a year. It is reported that he bought, educated and freed some fifteen thousand slaves during his lifetime”. ******

As for our future the youth and the importance of their education we present this quote from H.E. Sayed Sadiq Shirazi derived from the books of Islamic law;

“It is imperative for the (youth) leaders to facilitate education of the youths in every sense of the word”.*******

Education is momentous, when it comes to rebuilding society as a whole we will suffer tremendously if we don’t pay close attention to the words of the respected scholars who has put the value of education at a high level. We conclude with a quote from  H.E. Shirazi where he states:

“And in Islam, too, … There is cultural liberation: Every man has the right to attain whatever knowledge and education he wishes to achieve. No obstacle, be it money or anything else, should prevent him from going to university and beyond” ********


*The Shia and their beliefs, Pg.19 By: Sayed Muhammad Shirazi

** The Hidden crisis: Armed conflict and education Report

*** Article published by  USIP  titled “Syrian Children’s Future Jeopardized in Education Too”  By  Rachel Brandenburg

****Article written by the U.N. titled, Running Out of Words’ to Describe Horror in Syria, Senior United Nations Officials Tell Security Council, Calling for More Vigorous Action byRachel Brandenburg

***** Shia and their belief By Sayed Muhammad Shirazi pg .29

****** The Islamic Law By Sayed Sadiq Shirazi  pg. 278

*******  Islamic Law Books One and Two Handbook of Islamic rulings on Muslim’s duties and practices

pg. 409      

******** Aspects of the Political By Sayed Muhammad Shirazi pg. 15

Gathered by:  

Ibrahim Jabbar    


Shirazi Foundation Washington D.C