What do I mean by ‘Education from Creator’s Perspective’?

8 Jun

(My dialogue with a reputable international organization engaged in Islamization of Knowledge)

Assalamu Alaikum brothers,

It seems our meeting at your venue was not as productive as I had expected, as we moved on two parallel expectations. It would have been better if we had shared our expectations beforehand.

For me I have been involved in child education for the last twenty years and have acquired my PhD for the cause of redesigning education for ummah’s youth. From what little knowledge that Allah has given me, I see the train of ummah’s youth education totally derailed and a blind following of western theories and assumptions (Zan).

To explain my viewpoint I will like to follow the reverse logic or an inductive approach and request you to bear with me. I am not selling you anything, as I had mentioned it is for you to realize the shortcomings for your own sakes and accountability.

To start with, each soul has to bear her/his own burden alone and at the end it will either be hell or heaven eternally. This ‘being’ does not have a second chance. This implicates that each being is created with that perfect disposition and all faculties required for performing and taking this solo stand. It cannot be any lesser, as that could be used as a viable defense before our Creator. This also implicates that every person born has been instilled with a very autonomous and self-regulating personality that is compatible with the end activity of solo accountability.  Iqbal calls it ‘Self Contained Exclusive Center’; and as referred in Qur’an, ref Al-a’raf 172-173.

Amazingly this aspect of every child has been observed by many western educationists and less by the Muslim intellectuals. This amazes me, as Qur’an should have guided us in this respect. The historical evidence is also in line with this observed attribute, as we do not see children learning being made a fuss in history. The contemporary phenomenon of extensive learning intervention for child learning is just around 150 years old and more so in the last 30 years. The west wanted to produce manpower for its industries. This fact has landed us in the present dilemma of external forced learning.

Now since ‘acquiring Ilm or knowledge is mandatory for each Muslim male or female’, with no mention of any prerequisites, and we see the contemporary education heavily relying of external resources for this activity, we can deduce that the present trends are not natural. On the other hand we observe children overwhelmingly inclined to learning all the times and we also observe that this enthusiasm is inhibited when they are put into schooling. As such it can be deduced that schooling is not friendly to child’s natural urge for learning.

A point we should reflect on is that learning is a pleasure for human, where as schooling is not, because schooling is based on programming and not learning. Programming is relying on external intervention, as it is not natural, where as learning is internal activity of a human. This has been pointed out by most of the Muslim as well as non-Muslim renowned educationists.

The Secular West cannot fully adopt this notion of learning as it is not based on Haqiqah or Creator created nature, since secular west rejects any involvement of the Creator, rather is in full defiance of accepting this fact. They have built their systems based on their own theories erected on their on assumptions of this life and its purpose.

As evidenced in the human history, education is a very easy process as it relies on a person’s internal mechanism, which when exposed to different phenomena, quite naturally get intrigued and fall on the investigation mode to discover the secrets behind, and this we observe in each and every child. This attitude is depicted in the Qur’an as we are continuously reminded of different natural and historical phenomena. We do not require a lot of resources to fulfill this natural developmental urge of human. Vast resources are required for programming, and not learning.

From the above and from various ahadith, and historical evidences I conclude that education is not at all an inconvenient process and takes place more firmly when children’s urge to learning is not tempered with, and just facilitated, as it was for thousand of years in human history.

From the Islamic and natural (God created) perspective we have to keep the following in mind:

  • Every child is pre-programmed to recognize its Rab (Creator with the full implication of the term of Rab)
  • Every child is programmed to learn by itself and should remain an ardent learner through out its life.
  • Learning is an activity, which realizes a strong urge in every human and thus is pleasurable. If it is not it is programming.
  • Since learning is fard (mandatory) under all circumstances, unlike many other fard linked to certain preconditions/pre-requisites, it cannot be linked with money or other expensive resources. If the condition applies, it implicates that the activity is out of the domain of learning as ascribed by the Creator. It should be equally accessible to all strata of society.

In addition to my above observations Allah subhana wa ta’ala has given me the opportunity to observe and analyze various correct alternatives to the contemporary programming structure of education as well as has given me a very keen observational eye on child’s learning psychology. This greatly convinces me of the shortcomings of our present approach to child education

Iqbal’s educational approach has been one of the focuses in my doctoral research, which was carried out under the supervision of Mr. Khurram Ali Shafique, a contemporary scholar on Iqbal. Alhamdulillah I see in Iqbal’s educational approach a greater solution to our corrupted educational paradigm. For Iqbal the education has to fully endorse and blossom man’s individuality and self-respect and not be treated one among the herd. Ummah is considered as a string with finest of individuals (gems) synergizing together for the purpose of establishing the Creator’s world-order, and not as a drop of water losing its identity in the greater ocean of water.

Does such a dynamic education system exist? Yes it does, as it did for many thousands of years prior to the contemporary education system which is just around 150 years old and has been designed by secular forces to achieve their objectives. Learning is natural and an innate characteristic instilled by the Creator in each child and has to be facilitated. We just require a paradigm shift to adopt this system.

Do we get any guidance from our Prophet regarding this? Yes we do. We are told to impose the external intervention of the institution of salah at 7 yrs. and fully implement same at ten. That is introducing a child to structured learning at 7 yrs and expecting him/her to develop clear Furqan or discerning ability by age of ten where if still not adopting the institution of Salah has to be forced for same.

Historically this was followed and amazingly we see many western countries now adopting same.

My recommendations:

The thinking framework stabilizing Age (1-7 yrs):

  • Nature develops the rationalizing/logic perceptual-framework for the stabilizing of personality. Any external intervention which a child cannot rationalize leads to cognitive shock, which destabilizes a child’s perceptual framework. Child is a self-directed and extensive learning entity and will learn actively for what it feels the need to learn to operate in this life. This is a natural instinct, and a natural faculty. The child has just to be exposed to different phenomena.
  • No external learning intervention till age of 4-5 yrs. Encouraging development of language and playing worthy role models. Facilitation and no teaching approach.
  • Introduction to Qur’an Nazra at around 5 years of age where a child starts taking interest in reading and writing. Strengthening of Mother tongue for thinking-language development. Simple introduction to Qur’anic language understanding. Listening to Qur’an and meaning in mother tongue.

The developing Child (7-10 yrs):

  • Focus on developing proficiency in pure Kalam Allah. Establishing direct contact with the Creator through Kalam Allah (the pure Qur’an) and nature. Qur’an expounds observation of nature and natural phenomena. This approach leads a child to go further deep into Qur’anic investigation when need felt, by him/herself. New venues can be introduced externally.
  • The learning has to child centered and not teacher/school/curriculum centered. There are multiple reasons to this.

Please note nature, Qur’an (Kalam Allah) and human intellect are main tools in a human’s learning process designed by its Creator. These have to recognized as such.

I have avoided details to keep my message short, as you are very busy people whom I observe over-obsessed by the western educational approach.

Allah subhana wa ta’ala has given me the opportunity to methodically pursue my objective of redefining Nizam e Trabiyah for ummah in the last around twenty years. I have also been given the opportunity to research on Iqbal’s educational recommendations. I discover that Iqbal’s are not just recommendations but carry a deeper understanding of human learning psychology, and how the education is to be directed towards playing the role of Creator’s representative in this life on earth.

I hope I have conveyed my message to you.

Wassalam u Alaikum.

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