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Education in Islam
09/16/2015
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Islam places great stress on seeking knowledge and education. Generally speaking, one can’t find the proper right path in this world, this is true in all times and places. Knowledge is very important for two reasons. Firstly, it makes the man a right thinker; no one can think properly without having a fair amount of education. It also helps man to take the right decision. Secondly, Knowledge is that only through gaining many levels of education, man is able to gain more information from the external world.
In fact, Islam called upon seeking out knowledge on all the levels. The first word of the Qur`an, revealed by God to prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was read, which highlights the importance of science and learning.
The prophet (PBUH) said:seeking knowledge is a compulsory on every Muslim.
He also said: whoever follows a path seeking knowledge, God will make his path to paradise easy.
In Islam, education process derives its pillars from Holy Quran and Prophetic Traditions, and sayings of Companions, Followers and the opinions of pedagogy scholars. From this balanced blend, the Islamic education derived its objectives, elements, means and methods, in the context of integrated system organized by Islamic teachings. Education process in Islam is a process of building and directing individuals to reach its maturity. For this aim, messages were revealed and messengers were sent to build individuals spiritually, mentally and physically, in the light of balanced system that enables them to perform his duties.

Importance of Education in Society

The importance of education is clear. It can be safely said that a human being is not in the proper sense till he is educated. When the Qur’an was revealed, the first word of its first verse was ‘Iqra’ meaning read. Education is thus the starting point of every human activity.
Education and knowledge are mandatory upon both men and women in Islam. God the Exalted says in the Qur`an:
Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know? It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition. (Az-Zumar,39:9)
In Islam, great respect and admiration is given to the learned people of knowledge. They hold an extremely high rank in society. Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) said:
If anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, God will cause him to travel on one of the roads of Paradise. The angels will lower their wings in their great pleasure with one who seeks knowledge, the inhabitants of the heavens and the Earth and the fish in the deep waters will ask forgiveness for the learned man. The superiority of the learned man over the devout is like that of the moon, on the night when it is full, over the rest of the stars. The learned are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets leave neither dina or dirham, leaving only knowledge, and he who takes it takes an abundant portion.
The importance of education cannot be neglected. Especially in today’s world, the role of education has become even more vital. It is absolutely essential for economic and social development.
The importance of education in Islam is based on many factor as follows:
• Knowledge is the heritage of the prophets,
• Knowledge lasts, but money vanishes by expending;
• People of knowledge is guarded by their knowledge but people guards money;
• By knowledge, man can find the way for God`s stratification; and
• Knowledge is the light that guides people.

Many other factors that can be considered for the importance of education.
It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered a Messenger from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom, – although they had been, before, in manifest error; – (Al-Jumu`ah, 62:2), with this aim messengers were sent; that it educate people.
The following are some sayings of Islamic scholars about the importance of education:
Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib – May God be Pleased with Him- said Knowledge is better than money; knowledge guards you but you guard money, knowledge is governor but money is governed, and scholar is better than who fasts and prays at night………… Abu Al-Aswad said there is nothing better than knowledge; kings are the governors of peoples but scholars are the governors of kings. Imam Al-shafeai said seeking for knowledge is the best this after performing the duties that God has imposed.
It is well said that Without education, man is as though in a closed room and with education he finds himself in a room with all its windows open towards outside world.
Educational process in any part of the world is based on certain ideas and visions: the true nature of human being, the purposes behind their engagement in educational system, and the knowledge they have about how human beings develop and advance toward the given objective (s). So that, every system of thought can be shaped by these visions and understandings.
Islamic educational process is also based on a series of particular principles, coming from an Islamic vision. The Islamic society is, however, based on principles of belief and conduct. As observer, one can see strong connection between values and practice matters in all Islamic life. Therefore, it is necessary for us to pay attention to these values, and then explain educational practical principles of Islamic education.
The vision of education process in Islam differentiates between teaching about Islam and teaching about being Muslim.
The educational objectives are defined as what society want for itself. The general context of Islamic educational objective is to achieve happiness in this life and the last life that is upbringing human mentally, physically, artistically, ethically and intellectually and providing him with knowledge, orientations, values, and experiences necessary for sound growth in consistence with Islamic message. Imam Mawardi defines the objective of Islamic education as preparing individuals for life in the hereafter and in this world.
The methodology of Islamic education is keen to upgrade the educational objectives to meet the sublime aim, that is compliance with the directives of God, and responding to the needs of individuals and nation in a balanced integrated system. The most distinctive criteria that governs the Islamic education objectives are as follows:
1. The Islamic education objectives are real and achievable in accordance with the capabilities of man o burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear (Al-A`raf, 7:42)
2. The Islamic education deals with all human aspects Nothing have We omitted from the Book, and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end (Al-An`am, 6:38)
3. The Islamic education stresses the connection between the practical and theoretical aspects in accordance with the needs of individual and community Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness, and says, I am of those who bow in Islam? (Fussilat, 41:33). Imam Ghazali says the educator should apply what he learns, because knowledge without practice is madness, and practice without knowledge is not possible

4. The Islamic education stresses the continuity of education; Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says seek for knowledge from cradle to grave. Imam Abu Hanifah said to his students who thinks that he can do without education, he must lament himself.

5. The Islamic education supports the scientific thinking and research; disposing all myths. Say: Behold all that is in the heavens and on earth; but neither Signs nor Warners profit those who believe not. (Yunus,10:101).

6. The objectives of Islamic education is flexible; Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib says teach your sons by methods other than your methods; your time is different of theirs.

7. The Islamic objectives are keen to employ all human senses Say: It is He Who has created you (and made you grow), and made for you the faculties of hearing, seeing, feeling and understanding: little thanks it is ye give. (Al-Mulk, 67:23)
8. The Islamic education stresses self-promotion and belonging to Islam.
9. The Islamic educational objectives supports the principles of democracy, justice, equality and respecting humanity Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects Evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. (Al-Baqarah, 2:256)

Practical Educational Principles in Islam
1. Evaluation of Educational Materials:
The content of education is evaluated in a way that assure avoiding extremism which may terminate in bodily harms, or even sometimes psychological abnormalities.
2. Encouraging the Sense of Self-respect:
In Islamic education methods stimulate educator to develop a sense of self-respect. A teacher, therefore, should make his students aware of the facts around them. A teacher and educator should also consider students as trusts of God, entrusted to him/her in order to be taught the best material by the best method and to be trained in the best manner.

3. Attentiveness toward freedom in action:
Giving the attention to the role of “free choice” in the human motion toward perfection, instructions are given the opportunity for freedom in action, instead of pushing him/her into passivity.

4. Observing the principle of graduality:
Considering graduality of human progress whethe atural or acquired into account, a teacher has to be aware about what the students’ age and natural/social factors necessitate. Accordingly, teacher has to try to elevate the instructed gradually and step by step, without expecting swift and sudden jumps.

5. Flexibility:
Since individual and group differ, the observation of flexibility is a must in both programming curriculum and its enforcement.

6. Giving priority to what is more important:
Educators play a significant role in growing young students and enhancing their potentialities. They have to take the expedience of each and every learner into account, as well as what is suitable for the whole of the Islamic society and the human society in general. Therefore, planners of curriculum and teachers should steer clear of programs and courses that waste time or record low compared to superior goals. Also, they have to pay more attention to the effective issues concerning with human eternal wellbeing and teach them more suitably.

7. Natural and social knowledge:
Islam pays more attention to students’ age and mental requirements as well as society’s needs and possibilities before introducing natural, mathematical, and social sciences to a curriculum.
The teachings of Islam encourage people to pursue knowledge; and hold people of knowledge in highly remarkable place.

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