The Pleasures of Learning
By the 10th century their zeal and enthusiasm for learning resulted in all essential Greek medical and scientific writings being translated into Arabic in Damascus, Cairo, and Baghdad. Arabic became the international language of learning and diplomacy. The center of scientific knowledge and activity shifted eastward, and Baghdad emerged as the capital of the scientific world. The Muslims became scientific innovators with originality and productivity.
For example, Islamic medicine is one of the most famous and best-known facets of Islamic civilization, and one in which the Muslims most excelled. The Muslims were the great torchbearers of international scientific research. Some of the best and most eloquent praises of science ever written came from the pens of Muslim scientists who considered their work to be acts of worship. The same motives led to the establishment of Al-Azhar (800 A.D.) the first university in the world. They hit the "source ball of knowledge" over the fence to Europe. In the words of Campbell, "The European medical system is Arabian not only in origin but also in its structure. The Arabs are the intellectual forebearers of the Europeans."
One of the secrets of success in any profession is to be the most learned or best-informed person in his/her own profession. Learning is a pleasure. If it is not, then one should cultivate the enjoyment associated with learning. Although the pleasure of learning is universal, there are many dull, incurious people in the world. There are several reasons for this. Some people are made dull by bad teaching, isolation, and following a routine lifestyle. For some people it is the pressure of hard work and poverty. For those who are rich, their ephemeral and trivial delights come in the way of the pleasures of learning. The human mind can survive not only poverty but also even wealth with luck, determination, and guidance.
For example, I come from a poor family and due to poor teaching I lost interest in learning mathematics. As a result I scored only 39% in mathematics (35% required for a pass) in S.S.L.C. (Secondary School Leaving Certificate, India); in the Intermediate Science examination I scored 50% in mathematics. When I entered the Bachelor of Science degree class, I realized there is no way I can escape from mathematics and I resolved to conquer mathematics. With determination I found pleasure in learning mathematics by myself. The pleasure was akin to one derives in falling love with his/her beloved girl/boy friend or would be wife/husband. This pleasure changed my whole life. I started to score 100% in mathematics in all the class tests and mid-term examinations. In the final B.Sc. examination I scored more than 70% in mathematics.
Take the example of Archimedes. When he discovered the principle of specific gravity by observing his own displacement of water in a bathtub, he leaped out with great joy, and shouted, "Eureka, Eureka!" ("I have found it. I have found it!") He was overwhelmed with joy and ran naked. All children possess the same instinct that prompted his outburst, and the rapture of its gratification.
Learning is a natural pleasure. This pleasure is inborn and instinctive. The pleasure of learning is one of the essential pleasures of the human race. Without learning, survival itself is threatened. It is said that the propagation of the human race might be endangered if the knowledge of sex through seeing, reading, or hearing is withheld from everyone.