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Islamizing the taleem ….. – 37 (Education- ‘you will only reap what you sow’)

21 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 brother)
Wasak Br. Abid.
I would not define it the typical text book style, but here is what I think education means / should do:
a. Helping in distinguishing between right and wrong
b. Assisting in becoming a good servant of Lord
c. Helping us in seeking ways to get nearer to the Lord.
d. Acquiring certain skills to enable passing through the sea of this current life in an orderly manner
e. Being emotionally composed when things are not going as planned.

Very quickly I can think of these things. There may be some others, I might have missed.


(my response)
Assalamu Alaikum Br. Saood,

Alhamdolillah you are very correct. These should be the aims of education. But let us try to define the notion of education itself. It is an intellectual cognitive intervention or process to prepare a person to achieve your mentioned objectives of life. Right? Of course also to prepare a person for earning a halal (lawful) sustainance. And more important so to perform as the Khalifa (vicegerent) of Allah subhana wa ta’ala on this earth, to live and establish the best possible lifestyle here with Ihsan (excellence) and Itqan (professionally). This is what our early predecessors did. Did they not? These people were prepared by Qur’an and Sunnah. The result was they explored all faculties of life and left a legacy we are just hanging to. Right or wrong?

Every social system, including the education, has some assumptions which the system is built upon or designed. We see the present dominant education system is secular and developed with the western assumptions of life. No God, No soul. The west carries its own objectives of life. Which are certainly not Islamic at all, and cannot be Islamic as it is designed around western secular thought. Do you agree with me?

We see the difference between the two eras of development. It was Islam that motivated the Islamic world to explore all the faculties of life. But with the west it was just the opposite. They had to clash against their religious clergy to develop in natural and, to great extant social sciences. In fact they had to go secular to advance in sciences. Are you with me?

Now if we agree that any education system is designed to achieve national and societal objectives, then certainly the western education system was developed and designed to achieve their objectives of life. All the educational tools, interventions, literature and processes must have been designed to achieve the developers (western) goals and objectives of life here on earth and to prove the correctness of their beliefs about life. It is but very logical, isnt it? Just pick up any of their books, academic or non academic, that will reflect their concept of life. Now their concept of life is diametrically opposite to that of Islam’s. To us God is most important, to them it is not. Our yearning is to succeed in a’akhira, the next everlasting life, and in the process succeed in this life as well. For west it is only this life they focus upon. We believe in Godly guidance as most important, for them it does not matter at all. Can you see some facts in this?

Now if we pass our children through their literature and educational interventions is it not totally unwise to expect that our children will come out as good Muslims. ‘you shall only reap what you sow’, and not anything else.

Another procedure is to pass our children through western education and at the same time expose them vigorously through Islamic beliefs and practices in the hope that our efforts will dominate. I see a complete confused product, especially when we see the school educational interventions are so intricately designed and thrust on our children so intricately in an extremely planned manner. It is totally impossible that the children are not affected by the educational procedures. It is rather absurd to be wishful in this respect.

Why is it so? It is because whatever knowledge is acquired and whatever is experienced in life, designs our perception, which you may call thought structure, paradigm, amal e Idrak, zehan sazi, thinking pattern etc etc.

In my past emails that is what I have discussed. The role of perception in human conduct, the importance of an individual’s perception, the effect of education on this perception. Rather designing of perception is the most important aspect of education.

Please also refer to my article ‘effect of reading on young children’.

I should conclude this email here as my audience have been complaining of long e-mails in the past. Please feel very free to ask any questions and to put forward your understanding of this issue of education.

Br. Abid.