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Edunatural (7)– the Islamic way to educate children (Definition of education from Ummah’s perspective-2 – some discussions).

7 Apr

(The below correspondence has been taken from a group mails, focused on redefining and redesigning education from Islamic/Natural perspective)

(from a sister)
I agree with you.  And although every action that we do must be for Allah I think we should expand the objectives slightly.

So besides the success in a’akhirah (next life) education must lead to the following (technically these points fall into success for a’akhirah [next life])

1. Implementing islam completely in our lives
2. Betterment of society (financial,  environmental,  social, moral etc)
3. Dawah (invitation to Islam)
4. Implementing Allah’s law in the land

These are all I can think for now.  Please do suggest more

(from a revert sister)
Assalaamu alaikum,

Can any activity in education be out of this concept of abdiat (obedience)? NO

Can we use any tool or methodology in education which is against this spirit? NO

First of all I think education can be broken down into 2 types for clarification, one is the formal process of schooling, like today’s education system and the other would encompass everything else.  We are lifelong learners, whether it is for a job, learning a new language or hobby etc.  Nothing we do can go against the concept of obedience to Allah swt.

I think since the two become separated at a young age, they are seen as separate instead of integrated.  It is then the “awe of the west’s” education system of the cambridge schooling system here that removes Allah swt from the equation.  I cannot speak for the matriculation at all since I am not familiar.  Then as children grow, it is the parents that instill: I want my child to be a doctor, engineer, accountant, etc.  Parents are not steering their children into halal professions for the sake of Allah, money and status is the motivator.

When I first put my eldest into an Islamic preschool (before I knew that formal education was not encouraged until age 7), it was a wonderful preschool held in a small homey masjid.  All learning materials had been created so that Allah swt was always discussed in every subject, integrated.  It wasn’t until I switched her to another “Islamic” school for first grade that I realized that is was basically public school with Arabic, Islamic studies, and prayer time thrown in.  They used all the same books as public school since they had to meet those state requirements.  It made the kids see Arabic and Islam as subjects to be studied to get a passing grade, not something to be integrated into their lives.  I think that is what the Cambridge system does here with “Islamiat” class as well.  The books are not written from an Islamic frame of mind.  Moreover, parents who may not be very practicing, throw their kids into Islamic school hoping to get more Islam into their kids. (This was in the U.S.)  Parents need to “walk the walk” and “talk the talk” to use a loose expression. Parents need to be a child’s first and best teacher. That is the main reason I chose to home school. That needs to continue when choosing a profession.  Girls needed to be guided to jobs that can possible be done at home if they are going to work.  Jobs in haram fields as insurance and banking need to be avoided for example.

Waiting to here what other’s think as well.

Wasalaam.

(from another sister)
I don’t understand one thing… is implementing Allah’s law in land a part time job or will it require an extreme of all we can offer even our lives that we keep coming up every now and then,  again and again  with careers and how schooling is bad and how we need to bring in only Islamic values to professions around? I think our objective must be much, much higher than that.  I think all of us are Well Aware of the eternal damages of any system that comes from kuffar (nonbelievers) let it be education, system of governance etc etc hence we stood up for a change right? . Once we start of with the thought of ‘la ilaha illallah ‘ it is itself such a humongous responsibility over the shoulders of our children and ourselves that nothing else would consume us in-sha’Allah. This is why we see no sahabi (prophet’s companion) or Prophet having a constant profession. A sister once described it beautifully how our children should be ‘skilled to earn’ which literally doesn’t mean degrees.. She gave amazing examples about ibne sina etc etc….

This new education system in-sha’Allah must first n foremost keep “Establishment of Allah’s nizam (system) as it’s prime objective, according to the model set by Rasul Allah n sahaba (prophet and his companions) only then can we be sure of following sirat e mustqeem (correct path) in educating the youth and empowering them for Ruling as abd Allah (servants of Allah) not a mix and match of what batil (non-Islam) offers and Islam tells so they fit in” … I think this is why we separate ourselves and our children from what the society offers ( i.e. schools ) at such an early stage because if we don’t intensely keep this as an aim i.e. to educate and provide our children with all necessary tools required to fulfill as the prime objective, I fear we are initiating nothing more than a humble jumble of what already exists and has failed to deliver.

(My response)
Jazaki’Allah sisters and brother,

I agree with you all, sisters and brothers . Here my main objective is to rationalize that there is no activity outside the domain of deen (Islamic way of life). The theory and practice of something of this and something of that does not comply with our deen (Islamic way of life). I see this concept as main drifter of the present times.

My last email was putting forward the premise or prerequisite for developing any activity in education. I am not mentioning the objectives of education here. Insha’Allah we will be taking up that a little while later. The present stage is to define education and my last message is just a premise, an agreement to proceeding any further.

When I mention of deen it is not the contemporary narrow definition of deen (Islamic way of life), rather a holistic one. This I tried to explain in my last email. I like other participants of the project to also convey their agreement or disagreement. As I have mentioned earlier we have to move on with consensus.

If we agree that our whole life’s intentional activities have to comply with deen (Islamic way of life) , than it will imply that any activity which is going against the spirit of deen (Islamic way of life) is unhealthy for us and our children, both for this life as well as a’akhira (next life).

All the learning activities that we design or adopt should not be contradictory to our deen, the deen of Islam as elaborated by Quran and Sunnah (practices of prophet). We have to look at all activities from the dimension of Quran and sunnah (practices of prophet) . Please do let me know if you agree with this basic guiding principle.

Br. Abid.

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