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Concept of Education in Islam
Thursday, 01 March 2012
Preface:
  The human minds are the combination of both spiritual as well as rational aspects. Man is the best of all other creatures as created by Allah Taala. To live with his best nature and shape he needs some basic or particular things to be learnt or acquired. Among those basic needs the education or knowledge is the first one. It has been proven true throughout the history of mankind. Because of this reason, very out set of the revelation of al Quran on Muhammad Slm., in the year 610 A.D., AllÉh TaÑala addressed the issue of education or knowledge first, despite the presence, existence and prevalence and subsistence of countless issues in the known  world in general and the Arab peninsula  in particular during the age of sending of revelation. It shows that inhuman, unlawful, immoral or animalistic behavior of human being are being caused due to the lack of  proper (revealed) education  or knowledge. As such, knowledge acts and functions as the prime mover or motivator factor towards the solving of human needs as well problem. It was the application of education vis-à-vis the law of Islam, responsible for bringing up of  a wild nation of the past like Arab, into the model  nation for that time and the time to come. Therefore, building up of a community into qualitative, responsible and accountable nation the application and role of education has no alternative. Since Islamic concept of knowledge is the motivating factor for nation building process, therefore, it requires to know first as to what does education means, what are the objective of education, what are the end results that are to be derived  and what the method of  implementation to be applied for seeking of the education.   Concept and Importance:
  Knowledge means a thing that a man knows. It is an information, skill and understanding usually is gained through learning and experience. Education also means the process of learning, teaching and technique of any discipline. Education or knowledge have its own sources which differs from  man to man, religion to religion, nation to nation.  All religions other than Islam, considers the source of knowledge are the as human reasoning, intuition, empirical experiments sonly. In other words, all together acquired experiences are the main source of knowledge to them.  But to Islam, the first and foremost source origin of knowledge or education is AllÉh TaÑala that is al Quran and al Sunnah. Intuition and reasoning, empirical experiment are also admitted as the secondary sources. As such, the source of knowledge in Islam the combination of revelation and acquired experiences.  As regards the source and the importance of seeking of knowledge, AllÉh TaÑala commands, “Read in the Name of your Lord Who has created. Created man from congealed blood. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous. He taught men which he knew not. Who taught man with pen” (al ÑAlaq, 96:1-5). As such, it is Allah - the Creator of man Who is the source of education and means of preservation of education is pen and subject matter of education is all those things what are not known to him. As regards its importance the Messenger of Allah says, “Seeking of education is obligatory for all Muslims.” (Tirmidhi, k. al Ñilm). And AllÉh TaÑala further says, “Say! Are those equal who know and those who do not know? It is the only those who are endued with understand (knowledge) that receives admonition” (al Zumr, 39:9), And Say, Are the blind equal to those who can see or the depths of darkness equal with light”? (al RaÑad, 13:16) Based on this definitive  rule (dalil al qaÏÑi) there is no way for any man or woman to remain uneducated under Islamic rule as it is to drive out the darkness of ignorance. This education is for all. Because, even if non Muslims under Islamic rule remains uneducated  they would a burden as well as a barrier to peace, tranquility and development for an Islamic government. Therefore, the question of communality has no place under Islamic legal system.     Objectives  of Education:  There are several objectives of seeking of education or knowledge. All are to fulfill the needs, requirement and welfare of the learners. But the most suitable and generally accepted definition of education is to be that: “The education is a system of learning something so as to create clean hearted, obedient, submissive and accountable learners. This objective is in conformity with the following Quranic and Sunnatic injunctions.  The objective education is Islam is to produce clean hearted God (AllÉh) fearing obedient and submissive learners. It may further defined that the objective of education in Islam is to produces such a learners or man power who would obey (worship) their God voluntarity in all aspects of life in accountability with purified soul. As AllÉh TaÑala says: “Indeed I  have created men and Jin only for worship none but Me.”(al QurÉn, DhÉriÉt: 51:56). As regards the soul Allah TaÑal says, “The Day wherein neither wealth  nor sons will avails except him who comes with a clean soul” (al Shuara, 26:88-89) The Sunnatic provision   as regards cleanliness  or purification of soul the Messenger  of Allah says: “As a matter of fact, I have been sent to perfect the character/soul (of the people)” (ØaÍiÍ Muslim).   As such, the sole objective of the creation of men and Jin, based on the Quranic injunction is to worship AllÉh - that is to obey the entire set of injunctions of Allah and His Messenger without any reservation. In addition to that, based on the Sunnah of the Messenger, sole function of the prophetic mission was to build good character by cleaning or purifying the soul. The purification requires the removing  of the dirt or evil spirit from the soul first. These two paramount objectives can only be learnt and internalized through education and practical demonstration thereof. As regards the function of the Messenger of AllÉh the Quran provides that, “Similarly We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, reciting you Our verses and purifying you and teaching the Book and the ×ikmah” (the Sunnah of the Messenger of AllÉh) (al Baqarah, 2:151, and 129).    Based on these revealed laws the sole and basic objective of education is to produce clean hearted submissive learners. A leaner with this quality would be able to be truthful, upright, tolerant, perseverant, hardworking, trustworthy, reliable, moderate and accountable one on whom a nation can pay their trust to run their affairs. In short, the sole objective of education in Islam is to produce pure-hearted and submissive (to God) learners. A learner with these qualities would be self motivator towards every thing that is lawful and be a barrier towards everything that is unlawful.   Level and Expenses of Education:
  Under existing system education or learning starts from the age of 4-5 and culminates up to a certain level together with various branches of degrees. Islamic law is absolutely committed towards it. In addition to that, Islam intends to starts it not only at the age of four or five rather at the cradle - soon after the birth of a child. For doing so Islam intends to take all due care of the mother at the process of conception and  in the womb of the mother too for entire period till the delivery. Because, a cleaned and sound minded and sound hearted and a healthy mother can only present a healthy child. Since education is the first or to say for most needed requisite of mankind therefore, Islamic law would take or consider  it as the most senior Department of the government and come up with the idea of infant, child, primary, secondary, higher secondary, tertiary, post tertiary and   life-long level education. The life is level is based on the saying of the prophet that ”education is to be from cradle to grave”. Islam gives equal emphasis on both the education of man and woman. Upon completion of the basic or obligatory education then the learner might have given chance to choose specialization as to whether one is willing to master in Islamic discipline or in the general disciple. Each level have its equal emphasis but for higher education higher attention is to be given with the objective that the learner can be master of knowledge and can be the leader of knowledge in the world in all disciple including latest one. For higher level, existing Madrasah education can be more upgraded so that the learners are able to take challenges of all contemporary issues in the perspective of al Quran and al Sunnah. As regards fees, Islamic law may adopt the policy of proving education free of cost up to a certain level and up to the courses that would fall in the category of ‘obligatory education” to learnt. Subsidy can be extended in its heights form for education Department. An special fund may be raised  to look after this department.   End Result of Education:
  The end or expected result of education also varies from man to man, religion to religion, ideology to ideology and place to place. The secularim, socialism, communism, capitalism and positivism based education is committed to produce their own pattern of secularist, socialists, Communist, capitalist and positivist learner, respectively. Therefore, its devotion is solely towards the production of its own pattern of followers only at the exclusion of all others. But Islamic concept of education is meant for all. As Islam is the universal religion meant for entire mankind. It is to produce good citizen first at the same time good Muslim too.  For Muslim, through education, he should be able to obey His Creator Almighty Allah and for non Muslims to their respective gods. Both Muslim and non- Muslim learners have to purity their own soul through the method prescribed by Islam for Muslim and  for non Muslim by their own methods. There will be no compulsion for any one in this regard. As such, there is no arbitrary place for partisan policy in Islam.      As such, as far the end or expected result or outcome, Islamic law wants to see that a learner is colored with Islam and familiarized and imbued with the knowledge and practice as regards the following factors.  That is: every one has to be familiar –  • with tawÍidic paradigm that is to say with the Unity of Allah the Almighty • with the institution of prophet hood in general and prophethood of Muhammad (s) in particular   • with the existence and role of revealed  books that is al Quran in particular  • with the presence and reality of the life  here and here-after • with the all theoretical and practical aspects of Islam. In other words, he has to be a purely practicing  Muslim and law abiding  citizen and he has –  • to be a well mannered and  cultured and civilized learner by challenging all types of unethical, obscene  and improper cultural penetration, aggression as well as  imperialism   • to be equipped with revealed knowledge and  acquired  knowledge  • to be able to know the worldly affairs including latest development of knowledge in all fields • to be able to be master of knowledge with Islamic and conventional perspectives in all fields like  humanities, science, commerce, arts and social sciences, technology, medicine and so on so forth • to be equipped with all branches of the knowledge of Islam from staring to ending level • to be able to answer to any modern or ancient issues in the light of Islam as well as modern  perspectives • to be a Allah-fearing learners for Muslims and gods fearing for non-Muslims  as per their respective belief  • to be moderate, balanced,  polite and humble learners with evil-free soul.   Because, the presence of purified soul is the ultimate means of the acquiring of virtues and temperance and the elimination of evil and darkness. It is the defect-free soul only that can guarantee the creation of crime-free society and the education of Islam can only provide that type of soul. Therefore, there is no alternative of the adoption and implementation of education as given by Islam.    Ways of Application:   Any rules or law can not have its full application without lawful authority that is the lawful government.  Though partial application of it is possible by individuals or groups of individuals, but ultimate say rests with a government. Because, it requires formulation and adoption of course curricular, recruitment and training of teachers, establishment of institutions, conducting of exams, examining of the answer scripts, remunerations of the teaching and administrative staff, grant for research and so on which requires the patronization of government. In fact, government means a government declared to be Islamic, known to be Islamic, promised to be Islamic, duty bound to be Islamic. A government does not commit to the cause of Islam, its party ideology is not for Islam, election manifesto is devoid of Islam that government may not be able to apply the education of Islam. It is only the party that have clear idea of Islam, committed to Islam, promised to the nation and nation knows them to be Islamic, if that type of party comes into the power with the support of the people they only able and eligible to introduce Islamic system in all aspects of life including education.    Basic Feature of Education in Islam: Islamic Education considers that,  • Allah TaÑala is the originator of all disciplines  including education • it is the combination of reveled source and acquired source • Allah TaÑala is the main source origin of education • seeking of education is compulsory for all irrespective man and woman, race, color and creed • education is to be free from beginning up to a particular level • education is to produce cleaned and pure hearted learners that volunteers to obey the law of Allah  • education Department is to be considered as the most senior Ministry.     Bangladesh Jamaati Islami being an Islamic party, known to be its Islamic for its commitment to the people at home and abroad, for decades,  is committed for the establishment of Islam and Islamic system of education if it comes to power with popular support of the people.