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Islamizing the taleem ….. – 47 (Qalb [heart]: seat of human perception – 2)

1 Dec

(My dialogue through email with a group on the Topic: Islamizing the Taleem and Tarbiyah of our children)

(from a brother)
Walaykum Assalam Werahmatullah Dear Brother Abid,
You have a very interesting topic, for me. Please let me know, have you considered the role of beliefs in formation of perception? ‘Eyes see what mind believes’.

In my opinion, The kufaars (non-believers), can not see the truth because they do not believe in it.

Medical science says, heart has over 40,000 neurons i.e. brain cells and in a fetus, heart is formed before nervous system exist. But remember, that is a fetus not a complete human child.

When “ruh” is entered around 4th month (120 days according to a hadith – correct me if I am wrong) brain frequencies of a child, can be noted on Electro Encephlo Graph (EEG); for lack of example, I would say, it’s like charging the battery for the first time.

At this stage, the baby, in mother’s womb is able to record, unconsciously, what mother is going through. i.e. perceptions begging to develop about certain things.

As mentioned in a hadith, (correct me if I am wrong) “Every child is born on fitra and later his/her parents make him a jew or a christian ….”

Which means, we are not born with any other set of perception, but through external forces the perception is formed & distorted.

It might take a significant emotional experience(s) for someone (as in case of certain sahaba R.A.Aj e.g. Umar R.A) that the distortions are broken and they can get back (i.e. revert) to pre-programmed fitra.

Please do enlighten me with your knowledge, and correct me. I would love to know how do we link it to Islamizing the taleem and tarbiyah of our children.

Kamran Sultan

(my response)
Assalamu Alaikum Br. Kamran,

JazakAllah for an interesting input. Yes as far as I can see beliefs are a strong regulator of perception. I can see both belief and perception interacting with each other and each one influencing the other.

Have you read John Holt. Quite amazingly his research discovery falls quite true to the hadith that you have quoted. John Holt claims that a child is born perfect, is on nature and is born with all faculties. it is we who distort his personality as per our liking. Kindly refer to his books How Children Fail and How Children Learn.

I believe all the scriptures indicate heart as the reflecting and thinking unit in a human body. We can argue that is it the organ that thinks or is it the seat of Ruh (soul) or some other metaphysical element which is actually having cognitive abilities. But old literature is rich with this concept of human thinking through heart, and many Muslim scholars have talked on the five elements that I have talked on in my last e-mail.

The reason why I have taken the topic of perception on this platform (under the topic of ‘Islamizing taleem and tarbiyah …) is because development of correct perception is the main goal of education. I see people on this platform, like yourself, who have realized that something is quite wrong with the contemporary education system, but then I see them making the same mistake as the schooling or madrassah system is making. Subhan’Allah I am amazed to see our educationists quite unaware of the process of education, how education affects us? What is it that which is being effected by their process of educating children. I observe most of the educationists take education as an inert process which loads young children with information, or at the most as a tool for programming children as they, the educationists, like it. This is quite a dangerous assumption. Islamic education is nothing other than natural process of education from Allah’s perspective.

Many alternate words are used for perception, like thought structure, worldview, paradigm, amal e idrak, fikr etc. In the words of an Islamic intellectual Alparsalan Acikgenc, ‘But above all, from the epistemological perspective, a worldview is far more significant than all the other elements of human behavior, because it is the only framework within which the human mind can operate in order to attain knowledge.’ He further claims ‘… all human conduct is ultimately traceable to a worldview.’ The same is claimed by Stephen Covey.

I find words of Allah subhana wa ta’ala (and I have many logical deductive and inductive reasons for same), education is the most effective tool for the development of correct human perception. What many ulama (religious scholars) say as zehan sazi (developing worldview). I also realize that Quran is being just treated either as book of knowledge, or for reading it for ajr (reward) or sawab (virtue) alone. Very few really reflect on the pure words of Allah, the actual kalam’Allah. I see Qur’an as the basic and most important tool for human perception development.

Br. Abid