What does it mean to be illiterate? Dictionary.com defines it as below.
1. unable to read and write
2. having or demonstrating very little of no education
3. showing lack of culture, esp. in language or literature
4. displaying a marked lack of knowledge in a particular field: He is musically illiterate
78: Muhsin Khan: And there are among them (Jews) unlettered people, who know not the Book, but they trust upon false desires and they but guess. (Surah Al Baqarah 2:78)
According to this verse, the definition of illiterate would align well with definition #2 and #4, the particular field being Islam. And according to this definition, if one has a Phd, but has no knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah whatsoever, one is considered illiterate. In the eyes of Allah, the illiterate are those who do not have knowledge of the Quran and sunnah, and I suppose this is what really matters for us.
Of course, the definition of illiterate referring to Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alayhi wasallam would be definition #1, for he did not know how to read or write.
I guess then, I can consider myself pretty illiterate, and I’m not too proud of that.
How about you?