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Islamizing the taleem ….. – 54 (Muhammad Iqbal: Madrasah and School education)

10 Dec

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

(From a brother)
Came across a few verses of Iqbal which I thought were very relevant with the topic under discussion:

Gala To Ghoont Diya Ahl-e-Madrasa Ne Tera

The schoolmen have strangled thy nascent soul,
And stifled the voice of passionate faith in thee.

Utha Main Madrasa-o-Khanqah Se Ghamnaak
Na Zindagi, Na Mohabbat, Na Maarifat, Na Nigah!

Monasteries and schools left me sad and dejected,
No life and no love; no vision and no knowledge.


(My response)
Assalamu Alaikum Br,

It is not only madrassah that Iqbal was critical of. He criticized the western education system as forcefully:

Modern learning is the greatest barrier—
Idol-worshipper, idol-seller, idol-maker!
Its feet are tied to the feet of the sensibles;
It has never jumped across the sensory limits.

Is this the whole fortune of the modern world—
Luminous minds, gloomy heart, arrant eye?

Alas! The young and hot-blooded schoolboy
Is falling a helpless victim to the Western sorcerer.

I have a complaint, O God, against the schoolmen
They are training the children of falcons to roll in dust (instead of flying).


(Response from same brother)
I agree with you. We are living in a western dimension and look at things from western perspective. And this western dimension and western perspective has been gaining ground all the time. I remember in our school days our Urdu and English books (not just the Islamic studies book) had chapters like “Abu Bakr Siddique (RA)”, “Khalid bin Walid (RA)”, “Hasan (RA) and Husain (RA)”, “Abdul Qadir Jilani (RA)”, “Salah-ud-Ayyubi (RA)”,etc. I don’t know whether such topics are still part of the curriculum.

Just a few weeks back – I saw a book at a bookshop on “Salah” and “Sawm” for kids written by a non-Muslim. The shopkeeper was trying to sell that book by saying “We have read this book and it is perfectly fine – your kids will enjoy it”. This reminds me of a saying – “They will give you material which is 99% correct and 1% incorrect and that 1% will take you to the Hell-Fire”.

(My Response)
Assalamu Alaikum Br.,

JazakAllah for your contribution. I believe the first step to come out of the western dimension is to sit down and analyze why are we so overawed by the western society?

(Capt. Muhammad Abid Ali).