15 May

So far Allah subhana wa ta’ala gave us the opportunity to discuss the requirement of different age groups.  And in my last email we discussed the general requirements in the facilitation center from the perspective of learning environment. Today I will take up an important issue, which I am sure you all must be getting puzzled about, that how is Iqbal associated with what we have discussed so far. I will like to discuss some very basic aspects of Iqbal’s educational approach which insha’Allah will fix all the puzzle pieces in place.

  1. Iqbal holds Tawheed as the beginning and the end of all education. All education has to be linked with Tawheed. We have to ask ourselves how much of tawheed is involved in contemporary education.
  2. Iqbal puts all activities of human endeavors under the complete guidance of Shariah. As such education cannot leave the limits of Shariah. Is our education under the umbrella of Shariah.
  3. For Iqbal most important objective of children education is to preserve and strengthen child’s ‘Khudi’. The Khudi is a very vast concept which includes self-identity, self-realization, self-respect, the realization that I am solely responsible for my action (and I have to stand before my Creator all alone on the last Day of Judgment). This intense feeling of responsibility is covered by the concept of khudi. The upper limit of khudi lifts the person to a ‘Self Contained Exclusive Center’. A complete responsible khalifa or Insan. Insha’Allah we will be discussing this term later. Is our present education, right from the birth of a child, to preserve and strengthen khudi or to curb it, to make it weak? What are the practices of the contemporary education doing presently? Nearly all the procedures that it is following are negatively impacting Khudi. The result is a delinquent or careless product, with no clear objective of life. How can this person act as khalifa of the Creator and as you see we are not. Are we?
  4. Iqbal clearly defines role of each element and subject of education, be it history, natural sciences or arts. He also clearly defines the role of education for each gender, man and woman. This he has done from Islamic perspective.
  5. Iqbal considers the five arakan e deen as a very strong source of education for human being which have been designed by our Creator. Are they being effectively used in the present nizam e tarbiyah?
  6. Iqbal vows that whatever he has recommended is not even a little out from the Qur’anic perspective. Iqbal’s that it is directed to make each person the Khalifa of the Creator on earth. That should be the main objective of any educational endeavor. Is it not?
  7. For attaining and working at the status-hood of Khalifa of the Creator, every human being is required to develop his/her Khudi to a height where s/he develops the extreme sense of responsibility to take stand all alone on the Last Day of Judgment and account for her/his actions in this life.
  8. Iqbal explains that success in a’akhira (next life) is dependent on a person’s performance in the practical life in his stay on earth. As such one has to fully involve in the worldly affairs and not abstain from it. As such every child is be fully prepared to function correctly as per Creator’s command and run the world affairs as the representative (Khalifa) of the Creator.
  9. For Iqbal, creativity is a special characteristic gifted to the human being and the Creator wants human being to fully develop and utilize this potential.
  10. Iqbal describes human nature as developing challenges for itself and then endeavoring to conquer those challenges (Iqbal depicts that as creating one’s own enemies and then conquering or defeating them). Once these challenges, which the human creates for itself, are surmounted the person elevates him/herself in his own eyes, his/her khudi is strengthened. This is described as a process of human growth. This is quite explicit in a young child’s nature. I feel when Iqbal is explaining human nature, the processes are more apparent in children who are closest to the natural human and as they grow up they get influenced by the environment and education system. This I say because as per my observation Iqbal’s elaborations about learning process is more vividly observed in small children.

The important aspect of Iqbal’s recommendations for education is to prepare every child/person to effectively function as Khalifatullah fil ard (God’s representative on earth) so that s/he can  succeed on the Last day of Judgment. Iqbal explains that for achieving this status every single person has to have a very strong Khudi (self-identity, self-realization) which is fully subservient to Allah subhana wa ta’ala and none else.

The above views from Iqbal are written from the perspective of education for small children (0-10 Yrs of age). Iqbal’s educational detectives are much  broader and are quit inclusive for the designing of an education system from Islamic perspective.



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