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Islamizing the taleem ….. – 86 (Extensiveness of Iqbal’s educational thought)

13 Feb

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

(continuation of post 85)
Assalamu Alaikum sister,

The below may help you understand a few aspects of education:


For Iqbal, the most important aspect of education is the development of ‘ego’ or individuality the height of which is ‘self contained exclusive center’, a person who can face the Creator independently on the Day of Judgment, where no intercession will avail. An individual has to prove him/herself in in all aspects in this life alone, affirming the Creator’s laws and working for the establishment of Allah’s (S.W.T.) world-order on earth. As such, the thrust of the education should be for the preparation of this vicegerent of the Creator. Consequently, Iqbal focuses on the development of an individual with a very strong self. This strong self, Iqbal asserts, is a prerequisite for a vicegerent’s role. Furthermore, the establishment of Creator’s world-order cannot be carried out with the sole efforts of one or a few individuals. This has to be done collectively. As such these developed individuals should work under the larger community – the ummah. This ummah is the follower of the last prophet from God, and as such has to perform the prophetic role in this world, and has to be trained for this purpose. This is the premise to Iqbal’s educational philosophy.

Iqbal describes a human self as very creative and proactive entity, which is self contained, and programmed for self-development. This calls for an education system that is not interfering adversely with this urge for self-development or self-growth. In other words, the educational system should be facilitating rather than instructive; it should be lose rather than over structured. The educational process should be primarily focusing on development of Creators vicegerents, rather than giving this aspect a secondary importance. It should be religious to the foundations, rather than being secular or dualistic. Another foundational feature of this creative human being, which Iqbal emphasizes, is that it is not perfect, and requires Divine guidance. This divine guidance is Qur’an and Sunnah. As such all individuals can best operate within the boundaries of Shariah—the science of Qur’an and sunnah. Thus, education system should also focus on the teaching of shariah.

Since this developed individual can only perform effectively being a part of Millat or larger community, education should create proper realization of the foundations of Millat, and should use all relevant tools and interventions for making him a contributing component in the cause of establishing God’s world order. This includes a proficient education of arts and natural sciences. But Iqbal clarifies that sciences should not be taken as an end, rather means to an end. The end has to be the establishment of Allah’s order on earth. The science has to be a slave and not a master. Iqbal also emphasizes that education should be role oriented from the gender perspective. As properly groomed mothers can produce best human beings. Mother has a primary role in education.

Iqbal’s philosophical educational model is comprehensive and all-inclusive. It puts all the elements of education in their proper perspective from the Islamic paradigm.

Br. Abid