GOING TO CHINA FOR EDUCATION - A WEAK HADITH NARRATION:
The hadith on going to China for education is a weak hadith narration and not authentic. China was never the center of learning 1400 years ago in any case, so our dear Prophet (pbuh) could not have mentioned it in his sermons to incite his followers on gaining education. However, the need to gain knowledge is highlighted in Islam very clearly.
The most important kind of knowledge in Islam is one which prepares us how to live this life to attain salvation in the hereafter. We should not neglect that and then we have to pay attention to acquiring knowledge which benefits us in this world also - in other words known as "worldly knowledge". But before becoming "obsessed" with "worldly knowledge" it is necessary to know the do's and don't's of leading our life in compliance with the principles of Islam.
Secondly, in these times, we have to check also what kind of education is being delivered by our institutions. We have influx of money-making educational institutions now-a-days with more focus on Westernization and cutting off our youth from the roots of our culture and Islamic values. We need to strike a balance between our Eastern values and Western knowledge.
Also, there is a difference between gaining knowledge and getting a degree. If one acquires a degree, it does not automatically mean that one has acquired knowledge. Knowledge is something else and one has to work hard for it!
- Syed Roman Ahsan.