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Islamizing the taleem ….. – 29 (Education and perception – 2)

14 Nov

(The writing that follows is my dialogue through email with a group on the Topic: Islamizing the Taleem and Tarbiyah of our children. I am maintaining the email format for ease of understanding as well as for maintaining originality of this dialogue.)

(from a sister in response to my last message [post])
Assalam alaikum!
it is CLEAR!!!
Khurram murad’s book ‘Way to the Quran’ has an introduction in which he writes about his memories of his mother’s association with the quran. how she used to read it with dedication. i never forgot that. how simple it was. how pure. and that brought about a life long companionship with the quran. his perception of his mother’s interest and her love for the quran bound him to it. so i try to recite the quran to my children in my best voice and the best qirat i know. i hope  i’ll evoke the same feelings that khurram murad felt. i’m developing their perception of how allah’s word is to be recited and treated.

the best teacher i ever had believed that we cant teach anybody anything. we can only facilitate his learning by providing him the right environment. if the child perceives ‘studies’ are to be studied the way they are enforced in school; he’ll always take them as a burden. but if his curiosity is sparked and he’s guided rather
than being taught he’ll retain his passion for making sense of the world around him.

if perceptions dont influence us than why are billions spent in advertisments? why do we automatically name a bearded person maulvi sahab? why the turban and eastren dress is perceived as backward and the pants otherwise? why are books like the kite runner acclaimed?why are movie stars heralded even though all they do is get paid for ‘acting’?

i’ve always been amazed at how Mohammed (saw) trained his sahabas, with love, with dedication. nothing fancy; just right simple living. thats what home schooling should be like. natural,simple and with a lot of love.a lot of right living.

p for perception and p for powerful! i saw the video and it was amazing.

one of the best teachers i ever had, told me, that we can’t teach anybody anything. we just facilitate the learning and provide the environment.
Today we claim to love the prophet Muhammed (s) but we don’t love or care for his MISSION anymore

(From an Imam brother)
sorry for my silence so far Abid bhai due to my hectic engagements and here is my response:

i agree perception is important, but its not the most crucial thing. you had laid facts that Quran builds perception which is true to some extent, because there were many in past and present who rejected the Quran and hence their perception could not be affected or effected. why may I ask?

i believe perception argument is secondary, because primary goal is something else. what is it? i have yet to discover myself in the field of education, but i do believe its something challenging the paradigm that causes people to accept the perception shift you are talking about i hope and i may be wrong….please forgive me for that.

yes education is key in changing perception, but even greater role than that of education is to discover the Creator and then only listen to His Speech in order to “change” the perception. this i deduce from the first revelation of “Iqra” where Allah is demanding from humanity to acknowledge the Creator’s existence first and then only study to get to know Him, The Master
thus if you do not “acknowledge” the Creator, God, Allah then you will never change your perception for example we have many hindu and christian students in Cambridge system schools who study the whole ‘O’ Level Islamyat syllabus and get As in exams, but their perception never changed, why? because they DO NOT want to acknowledge the Oneness of God in the first place, and so no matter how much of God’s words they read their perception never changes.

such was the case with the native Arabs in Makkah 1400 years ago, likes of Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab who REFUSED to acknowledge Allah and yet listened to the Quran in their mother tongue, still it did NOT change their perception.

so education needs to find how to break that first barrier and then only work in its secondary goal of perception change

this so called “mind game” has been done beautifully by the Western education systems who have (i would say) successfully “weaned” off children in schools from the concept of One God, One Creator over the years thru their educational curricula and hiring such teachers who further their cause of mysteriously “polluting” young innocent minds, about whom the Prophet (saw) said they are born on fitra (natural insticnt) to recognise One True God.

so they have succeeded in their agenda, then how can we succeed too in our agenda of the primary role of education to make every child recognise the Creator first, and then “transform” the perception of the child according to that Creator’s Will

(from another sister)
assalam wa alikum
another thing i forgot to mention to jawad bhai is hat why the Hindu and Christians don’t change because they know it is only a study no practical they saw from Muslims. what change does comes to our lives after reading history of Muslims and sahabas and RASULULLAH SALALHUALAIHI WASALAM.. because we think they are not in real like any comic book aur any story book. we don’t take them as a real Muslim GREAT person they are just stories for us.
for years and years we are reading a Qur’an in Arabic, in Urdu; because one should think that i am reading this book to change myself to learn HOW to live in this world. what to do with our lives.
we don’t have aim of doing something. While reading Qur’an or SEERAH
sorry if i am been harsh. but what i do think i share with you.—

No role models.
Living in dreams only and not interested in amal.
Wrong priorities. Following what negative impulses of heart desire.
Not living Quran at all.
We are aimless.

(another email from same sister)
assalam wa alikum.
thanks to all brother and sisters who are there to guide us.. and i was really appreciate brother abid he help us much about things.
i want to share my opinion about perception. that when we are young our perceptions are strong. and many people were different in nature. i want to share that ABU LAHAb or any other non muslim cannot except because thier GERAT QABAILY didnt allow them to do so.
they although accept great ness of
and another things is that if young children dont change beacuse they are not opposed the force of islamic society. means they dont accept Challenges.
ther all are LAKER ke FAQEER . thats why else slowly and grdually through influence of this educatin can change parents also. beacuse they think if we stop our child they become LOOSER in society.
sorry if i said any thing wrong else my knowledge is too less about things.
ASSALAM WA alaikum

Intentional misguidance
Not accepting challenges of facts other than practices of society.

Assalamu Alaikum,

Br Jawad your email is of great interest and you have raised some genuine questions that I always like my audience to ask. Better late than never, right? No brother I value your reflections as they come from an educationist and a da’ee. What I feel is that you have taken a part of what I call perception and left out others from the very concept of perception.  Perception is wholly how you see the world and respond to any stimulus from the environment. Perceptional development is not very inert that what you listen or see you just actually digest. Perception consists of some basic beliefs, which some may call assumptions and in my case I call them convictions. Like the belief or disbelief in the Creator. These beliefs are developed by the educational process itself. Please do not mistake the educational process with just the schooling process. There is much more to education then schooling, or reading books. These are just a few interventions or tools for education. Probably the most effective tool is role modeling which the sister points out, and of course providing the most suitable environment as another sister points out. One thing which stands out in all our decisions in this world is our ‘free will’, the Godly attribute for which alone the human will be held responsible. What did s/he choose? The two ways have been made clear by the Creator and left on his creation—the human beings—to decide. I feel this is inculcated in ones perceptional process itself. If I am made to perceive that the ways of my forefather are the most important deciding factor, I will shun all other ways.  Followers of other religions will not change due to some factors. But first we have to ask why do the Muslims not change. We should have been the first to change, but we give more importance, priority to other things in life than taking risk or pains. These for me are all perceptional faults which the education has to address.

The religious studies taught in our schools hardly affect the Muslim children, as you yourself realize, how will it affect the Hindu children. Their perceptional filters that have been developed by their parents’ culturing is much strong than any educational intervention by the school. This goes to the teaching of Qur’an as well. It will only be effective who sincerely believes in Qur’an as the Creators words and who is willing to pay heed. This requires some prioritizations in your belief and practices. Probably there are some other basics to perception development which we have not yet discussed, which I believe may make my concepts about perception clear.

The word perception is a little complicated to define as there are some antonyms such as paradigm, worldview, thought structure, amal e idrak, zehan, fikr and probably few more. They are not exactly same, but may be used as substitutes.  Perception is how you want to perceive, how you want to understand, this is governed by your paradigm of life or your worldview.  You have mentioned that ‘paradigm that causes people to accept the perception shift’. I believe it is the other way more affective. It is the strong signals form ones perception that causes paradigm shift. Paradigm is a more set entity where as perception is the receptor unit. The fact is it is education which develops paradigm, worldview, amal e idrak, as well as perception. They are all very much inter-related and inter-reactive.

Jawad bhai when you say that the ‘Western education systems who have (i would say) successfully “weaned” off children in schools from the concept of One God’, it is all again through the perceptional process as the sister points out. That is at least how I understand it. Alhamdulillah you are people practically at work and see the result more closely than I do. You can see how the western education has eroded our value system and superimposed a shameless one. Right or wrong? It takes a long time to create Haya but a few novels to disintegrate it. Right or wrong? It is only Allah subhana wa ta’ala who can protect us from misguidance. Iman I believe is in Allah’s hands as was time and again reminded to our Prophet (SAW) by Qur’an. I firmly believe the belief in Creator is ingrained in our souls. Every soul has feeling of its creator as mentioned by Qur’an. Our free will can either re-enforce it or try to reject it due to some other ulterior objectives. It reminds me of a joke of a self proclaimed atheist who upon looking into some weaknesses of believers remarked, ‘thanks God I am an atheist’. I lived two years of my youth life as an agnostic and when I finally rediscovered the Creator I was amazed to see how much anti-God proclamations skewed my perception away from common and manifest observations of God through nature. I found it much easier to claim God’s existence than to renounce it. It was influence of western and communist propaganda of sixties and seventies that had lead me astray.

I can keep on writing but I fear this message to be lost. I expect many more educationists and reflective people to participate in this discussion. JazakAllah br. Jawad for your thought provoking comments and opinions. InshaAllah I will be discussing on them more and expecting more active role from your side in this group discussion. I am also thankful to sisters and Br Ibrahim for their responses to my last email. Some points were really of very high intellectual value and relevant for further research. Generally I feel my audience has good understanding of what PERCEPTION is and the importance of education in developing right or wrong perception. Alhamdulillah.

Br Abid.