[In a talk expounding the need for attaining Quranic Education, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi r.a states]
“The correct method of attaining Secular Education is to:
Firstly, acquire religious education. One should consult an Alim and chart out a course for oneself.
Secondly, one should keep a connection with the company of Ulama.
Thirdly, refrain from reading books from different methodologies and only read the material of Ulama e Haqq.
After this, if one wishes to study secular education then there is no harm in it. This is provided that we accept the need to study the secular education; otherwise Ulama have a somewhat different temperament in this regard. You will find Ulama who do not even consider it necessary to study secular education and can provide silencing evidences. My temperament is that I do not get into arguments and fights. This is why, for your sake, I have accepted the claim of necessity of this secular education and have rectified the issue.
This is like the doctor who prohibits his patient from eating an eggplant and the patient doesn’t agree to this treatment. So, some doctors will argue and fight over this, while other who are more mild natured will rectify their prescription and permit the eggplant, but with the condition that it is mixed with yogurt or spinach (to reduce the effect of eggplant).
So as I was saying, Alhamdulillah, most of our Muslims are such that they are saved from the confusions of Aqeedah, simply because they have not studied secular education, while there are some who have been influenced by this secular education and have faced many doubts. Those laymen who sit in the company of these people also get influenced to a certain level. This is why it is necessary to rectify this issue, and if it is not done at the right time, there is a chance of bigger corruption.”
Khutbaat Hakimul Ummat, vol. 2, pg. 28