Islam has sanctified knowledge. Knowledge is sacred in Islam. Going after knowledge is a sacred endeavor. It is not true that knowledge is merely a tool for earning money. Of course, it is possible to earn money through knowledge, but its sanctity should be preserved. “Knowledge is light.” It is this characteristic of knowledge that should be taken into consideration.
Combining science with spirituality, religious faith and ethics is what is missing in the contemporary world. An Islamic university combines science with religious faith, spirituality and ethics. It promotes science and determines its orientation on the basis of ethics and religious faith. Discussions about consistency or inconsistency between science and religion are due to the inability to recognize the areas that science and religion can cover. Science and religion cover different areas. Combining science with religion means that religious faith is used to determine the orientation of science. Science is like a weapon that can be used against the best or the worst people: it depends on the hands that this weapon falls into. This weapon is science and religious faith determines its orientation.
If religious faith had control over Western knowledge, it would not have developed into atomic bombs and they would not have faced the dilemma of how to deal with these bombs. They would not have faced the problem of limiting the use of atomic bombs in order to save the world from destruction. They would not have reached this point. If knowledge had been accompanied by religious faith, neither colonialism nor neocolonialism – which was the product of knowledge – would have emerged. Domination over countries, occupation of countries, violent hegemony over nations and the plundering of national sources of wealth – which has afflicted the world and nations for the past two centuries – would not have emerged at all. This is the characteristic of science that is not accompanied by religious faith, and an Islamic university is supposed to fill this gap and combine science with religious faith. That is to say, in an Islamic university, you should immerse the essence of knowledge and its uses and implications in religious faith.
Statements made at a meeting with academics and students of Imam Sadiq(a.s.) University on Jan 19, 2006