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Islamizing the taleem ….. – 91 (Redesigning education system for ummah – a dialogue on methodology 3)

24 Feb

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

(from a brother)
Jazak Allah Abid Sahab. Coming to some meaningful steps on going forward with resolving the problem at hand, what I understood from Mr. Khalid Baig’s article was that an integrated curriculum could be of help. How to develop one was of course not mentioned in his article. Moreover, I think just having a well-designed integrated curriculum will not be fruitful, until the teachers are Muttaqis (God fearing) themselves. A kid sees more and listens less as the experts say. Anyways I searched on the internet about “Integrated Islamic Curriculum” and found a document. Reading that document – i felt it gives a fair bit of idea as to how to design this integrated curriculum keeping in mind the goals that need to be accomplished when designing this curriculum. I thought since you have quite a long experience on this subject, you would be better able to guide us on it. Attached is that document. I would appreciate, if you can review this document and provide us with the feedback. Wasalaam.

(my response)
Assalamu Alaikum Brother,

JazakAllah for the article. It was informative and was quite detailed. Basically it was for the development of Islamic Studies subject.

My assessment is that normally the educationists think that the present educational system is THE SYSTEM and do not speak of its compatibility with the child learning faculties and Islamic approach to education. Whereas I feel, we have to re-define the concept of education and its foundational assumptions. As I have mentioned in my discussions earlier, we have first to understand how education affects a child. Is it an inert process where the child just absorbs information or does it impinge directly on the thought structure of the recipient? I also discussed what role does perception play on the conduct and personality of a child and how it can be correctly developed?

I hope some educationist takes the initiative to understand these aspects which are the core of any education and cannot be escaped from. If we escape from these foundational aspects, we will be developing our structure of education on wrong foundations. And this has been happening so far in the last few many decades, or I will say a few centuries. To say that all was very OK prior to British seizure of India is not a correct statement. Muslim decline was in a span of centuries. And a nation starts declining when the systems become corrupt. Some assess that the educational decline started in the 9th century when the knowledge started to be instutionalized. It may be an overstatement but my assessment is that the decline in the process of education should have started around 12th century when the Muslims fell for the world and people like Salahuddin Ayubi (died 1193) had to revolt from the Fatimid Khalifa who had gone extremely corrupt and was playing in the hands of Jews and Christians.

Now, here I do not want to confuse you or the readers. It is just telling you that the education requires redefining and it may be futile to look for Pre-British period educational structures only. You may think it is an impossible task, but I do not see it as such and Insha’Allah with the team of few dedicated people it can be initiated. I find Iqbal extremely relevant in this respect. His recommendations are multi-dimensional and amazingly cover most of the foundational aspects. Specially his focus on Khudi (self-respect, individuality), which we seem to be quite totally lacking in this era of western subordination. I can observe this renaissance of Khudi (self-respect, individuality) as the tipping point to any ummatic progress.

Br. Abid.