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Islamizing taleem and tarbiyah of our children – 4 (Tawheed: Foundation of Education)

19 Oct

(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.)

Assalamu Alaikum,

“One of the main dilemmas for us is the non-awareness of ‘how the education affects us’. Specially the young children”, was one of the concluding statements of my last e-mail. How many of us have ever tried to investigate into this important question? If we do not understand this process it is very likely that we are going to land ourselves with our ladders on the wrong wall? I can see this happening with most of us parents.

We are aware of the broad idea that education makes our minds. But how does it do that, and what are the activities which are involved in education, needs to be understood. For if we do not understand this aspect we will be giving nutrients from one hand and poison from the other.

Every man made system has certain theories and assumptions or presuppositions on which it is built. If the assumptions and theories are incorrect, the system too will be incorrect. For example if you want to establish a school, you will have some theories already in your mind around which you will design all the activities. This is true for all activities in this life.

Now let us come back to the concept of tawheed as the foundation of all education. If we take the main function of education as the process through which a person learns the status of all things in this realm of existence. Which Al Attas calls Adab. To know the status of everything as it exists and is placed by the creator, and to use it correctly from the Creator’s perspective. Than it is vital, or most important to realize and recognize the status of the Creator Himself. Because if we do not have a proper understanding of the Creator, it is impossible to understand the correct position of the created. This logic holds good for all the activities in this life.

Now let us imagine different situations:

Denial of the Creator himself will put us all totally in conflict with all the facts that normally emanate with the belief of a Creator. Right / Wrong? Any education system developed by such people will never be able to lead us to realize the correct status of anything which exists. It will only reflect the assumptions or preconceived ideas of the designers of that system. What about the outcome of such prepared human beings on the Day of Judgment?

Wrong belief or misunderstanding about the Creator will not be much different, as again the objectives of education will be deviant due to wrong understanding of the Creator, and wrong assessment of the status of all created in relation to the Creator.

Let us take one common example: a beggar comes to us in a pathetic condition; highly heart-rending and pitiable. We can have two approaches: one is we feel greatly moved and feel that if we do not help this person he may suffer and die of hunger; the second approach can be that we take it as a testing situation from God for us, and approach the matter accordingly, fearing His disapproval in not helping such person.

The first approach emanates from a subconscious belief that there is no one looking after the beggar and if we do not feed him he will die of hunger. We make Rab or sustainers of ourselves. The feeling that there is no God looking after him, or a God who does not know the situation, or incapable of sustaining His created. Will it not be an entirely wrong approach? The second approach accepts the correct status of the Creator and His expectations from the created.

Now let us look into ourselves and see what would have been our reflexive action? Not much different than the first one for most of us. It is not that we do not believe in God as sustainer, it is because the prevalent education system has defaulted in creating deep belief in same, instead it has given us a materialistic approach to everything. It has greatly faltered in teaching us the correct status of the created and the Creator.

Creating a mind structure with the deeply ingrained correct concept of Tawheed cannot be under stressed as one of the main goals of education.

By these arguments my main objective is to develop a case to lead the readers towards the concept of perception, and its role in human personality, and to elaborate how it is affected by the educational processes.

Br. Abid.