The pursuit of knowledge is compulsory on every Muslim man and woman. RasulallahSAW specifies man and woman, leaving nothing to doubt or possible misinterpretation. Note also, that he uses the word ‘Ilm’ in itself without any qualification whether the knowledge you seek should be only deeni or should include worldly knowledge as well .
In keeping with the teachings of Rasulallah SAW, the schools and colleges that have been established by Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA and by Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin RA are for both boys and girls; Al Jamea Tus Saifiyah has male and female students through its eleven year curriculum. The commitment to Rasulallah’s SAW ideals is reflected in the fact that the community is credited with a literacy rate of one hundred percent.
The presence of educated women in the community is not a phenomenon of modern times. A quick scroll through history attests to the presence of women who were literate, educated and intellectually at the forefront of their times. Beginning from Maulatena Hawwa AS who was Adam Nabi’s spouse to Maulatana SarrahAS who had studied the books and portents in them to recognize Ibrahim Nabi AS as the next Prophet to Maulatena Aasiya, who as the Pharoah’s wife, shielded and nurtured Musa NabiAS to the women of Rasulallah’sSAW household – all are outstanding models of intelligence and virtue. Maulatena Arwa Binte Ahmed as Sulaihi, better known by her title Al Hurrat Al MalekaRA, is revered as one of the most respected and effective rulers of Yemen. For us, she is even more revered as the person who established the continuation of the Daawat during Satr through the office of the Dai al Mutlaq. Syedna Mohammed BurhanuddinRA always referred to her as the “Ma Saheba of the Doat Mutlaqeen”.
Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS, declared, quoting Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA:
بئيرو تعليم لسس، اهنا سي مرد نو ككهر اْباد تهائي ؛
Syedna Aali Qadr Mufaddal Saifuddin TUS emphasizes that women must acquire an education. It enriches the home of their husband. How so? It has to do with an appreciation of the role of women in our world. Women have the power to shape the course of history because, as mothers and home makers, they shape the minds and values of the children that constitute future generations.
RasulallahSAW said “Heaven lies under the feet of your mother” in recognition of the unique role of a mother in the lives of her children, and he put a seal for all time on her elevated position. If any factors or circumstances were to militate against the enormous responsibilities of this position, the harm to future generations is immeasurable.