"Recite: In the name of your Lord who created, Created man from a clinging substance. Recite: And your Lord is the Most Generous Who taught by the pen, taught man that which he knew not." (Quran, 96:1-5)
These are the first verses of revelation Angel Gabriel delivered to our Beloved Prophet Muhammad. Seeking knowledge, or educating oneself, is vital to one's Islamic foundation. The Prophet recommended his companions to seek knowledge wherever they may find it, even if they have to travel to China. For the Arabs at the time, this was a very long and arduous journey, emphasizing the importance of knowledge. God advises us numerous times in the Quran to ponder, understand, and reflect on His creation and He will reveal attributes of Himself to us. If knowledge is sought from a theocentric perspective, it becomes a form of worship lifting us to a higher state of being. For an educated Muslim, there is never any conflict between Science and Creation. Learning the sciences helps us understand the Creator's creation. There are numerous signs in the Quran relating to the big bang theory, embryology, weather cycles, astronomy, and much more. The science of mathematics provides an order to the 'randomness'.
Throughout the history of Islam, the focus on theocentric based knowledge removed all limits in pursuit of Knowledge as God is limitless and can continue to create. This led the Muslims to be leaders of the civilizations of their time and learn more about God's creation through the discoveries and analysis of His signs. Some of these discovers from the Muslim 'Golden Ages' are at the foundation of modern day progress ranging from computational sciences, astronomy, engineering, postal system, sustainable developments, and much more. The success of their Golden Ages spread the passion for knowledge beyond thier borders and had immigrants migrating from Europe, Asia, and Persia to enrich themselves.
Pursuit of knowledge is a lifelong journey starting from birth and continuing throughout our life. The community of the Islamic Society of Central Florida (ISCF) understands and takes this responsiblity very seriously. After having developed the first Mosque by the Muslim pioneers in Central Florida, the second institution the early community members founded was a full-time school focused on the above philosophy. ISCF continues to develop this aspect of our community by having developed a daycare to start the journey, continuing with the full-time k-12 school (Leaders Preparatory School), as well as offering numerous classes for the college and adult population of our community via ISCF University.