On 13th March 624 CE, the Battle of Badr started between the Muslims in Makkah and the pagans. Badr-one of the most decisive battle in Islam is mentioned in the Quran where the Muslims beat the pagans when Abu Sufiyan one of the rich and most acceptable leader among pagans was leading a powerful caravan from Syria to fight the Muslims of Makkah.
The sudden decision of Abu Sufiyan to take on Muslims left the Muslim camp in tatters and in the rush of it Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) gathered the 313 companions and left for the Badr to fight them back. The strategy of Prophet and the obedience of his companions led to their victory with only 13 causalities.
Pagans ran from the field after suffering causalities up to 70 notwithstanding the power and weapons they were possessing on the battlefield. Muslims captured the top ten leaders of the pagans alongside many other soldiers and declared them as prisoners of war. As per the Islamic law, the prisoners of war are sold in the market as slaves.
So the process began, however, Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) held the process and set the new condition for the release of the top leaders of opponents. The pagans had picked up the sword against the spread of Islam.
They wanted Islam shall not spread and Prophet PBUH shall stop the practice of preaching. On the other side, these non-believers were well qualified and educated of those times. They were having the hold on the literature, culture and other all kinds of knowledge except the Islam which they were not ready to believe in at all.
Prophet announced each of the prisoners can be released on the condition of teaching ten Muslims.
Even after fifteen hundred years of this battle, this example continues to find its space whenever the debate on education crops up. Islam has always upheld the values of education and in fact, the first verse revealed on Prophet was Iqra “Read”
Ironically, despite Kashmir being the Muslim majority region and passing through a political impasse, the education seems the first and worst causality of it. On one side it continues to lose its well-educated youth like engineers, doctors, architects and scholars after picking up guns. On the other side, the education is compromised.
For over three years, the system of education has been derailed and bringing it on rails is emerging a daunting task. No brighter sides to be in sight with our young generation refusing to attend the schools. Many exams have been deferring since last three years which resulted in the delay in receiving the degrees by hundreds of students.
One of the worst things happened in 2016 when very few civil service aspirants from Kashmir could apply for the Civil Service exams and the majority of the selected candidates for the white colour jobs hailed from Jammu region.
Those who were born after 2014 in Kashmir didn’t even have their next three years in school due to continuing shutdowns and protests followed by vacations announced by the government authorities.
In the early 1990’s when the armed insurgency broke out in Kashmir, it suffered huge losses economically and the massive infrastructure like schools, hospitals, bridges were reduced to rubbles apart from huge human losses. Somehow with the normalcy returning after a decade, the infrastructure is being built up.
But the question here comes up can we replicate this same model with our young generation and send them to school afresh after the peace returns. Never! In case there are no methods and ways found collectively at the societal level and left the education politics-free, Kashmir is heading for a major loss which cannot be compensated for coming decades.
It will continue put its adverse impact on coming generations in this changing and competitive globalization. This is high time to ponder and act!