Channel: Bilal Philips
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education from an Islamic perspective
involves or could be considered
an act of worship.
It involves a teacher,
and knowledge which is transferred between them.
The teacher and the student,
have both been described
as being in
The student, one who seeks knowledge is referred to as
being in the path to paradise
that is guiding others to the truth.
Prophet Muhammad SAW Solomon said
if a person is guided
by one of us to the truth, it is worth more than all that is in this world.
And the knowledge itself
is sacred in the sense
that its origin is from a law.
As a law describes
the whole process of education is considered to be a bad that worship. Prophet Muhammad mega business, we'll find him had said, seeking knowledge is compulsory, on every Muslim, and also, to obey this command of the Prophet Cyrus, I love, to seek knowledge, as he has commanded is, is an act of worship
by us, because we worship God by following the instructions of his prophet.
And the knowledge, as I've said, is itself
something from God,
divine or of divine origin. And the sense that, you know, Allah in distinguishing
human beings from the rest of his creation,
putting them in a special status, it was through knowledge, knowledge, which he gave human beings which was not given to the rest of his creation.
And this is the essence of what God states When the angels questioned the creation of man,
that he knew what they didn't know. And he taught Adam, the names of all things, he gave Adam knowledge, the ability to, to give names to things, which is and and and to discover the relationships between them. And I mean, basically, the essence of it is of, of discovering the, the laws and the principles which govern the world in which he lives in which were put there by Allah.
So, the knowledge,
which is true knowledge, is essentially from God, the knowledge which governs the universe that we are in, on a physical level, biological level, all of these laws are laws, which God has put
in his creation to govern different aspects of it. Human beings discover these laws. So they're discovering the laws and they're discovering they're gaining knowledge, which God has revealed to them.
And it is as he decides to reveal to them, it's not as human beings may perceive, that it is through their efforts and they are able to discover you know, as it was attributed to
Francis Bacon left.
You have to battle with nature to to get these knowledge, this knowledge and right
Human beings fight with nature which will ultimately lead nature gives up its secrets, you know, by the struggle that human beings have with it, but, you know, by God revealing to them at different stages, you know,
as is demonstrated in the circumstances, when scientists were seeking different
sections of knowledge or segments of knowledge and then other things came out of their experiments, other things were revealed to them in the course of these efforts,
even in the area of the maybe called the social sciences, etc, you know, I mean, human beings are discovering,
relationship, for example, between children, how they learn,
between human beings, how they relate with each other, know, psychology, sociology, this type of the studies, though there
to a large degree,
number of theories and concepts of commodity them which are, are very much anti Islamic or very much anti God, you know, Secretary in their view, you know, the fact of the matter is, is an interpretation of, of information, which has been gained, it is not, in and of itself, the information in is not itself, false information, but how that interpret, in that deny that information is interpreted, now will determine, you know, whether it is correct or not, and this is
knowledge as a whole, I mean, though, when the Prophet had instructed people to seek knowledge, it was knowledge for both his life and the next the knowledge which, which is critical in both his life, you know, and in preparation for the next, this is the knowledge has to be given priority, however, the knowledge which is necessary to, to,
to help the community survive to, which is a additional acquired knowledge, which human beings need to, to gain, to establish viable communities, etc. When this knowledge is also
required, it becomes compulsory, by the very nature that this community needed. No, it's not an individual obligation.
The fundamental difference, which
Islamic education and
on Islamic or non Islamic education or education, which is a product of,
culture, which is the dominant world culture today is that
has a different
outlook or there's a different
concept behind it in terms of, of the, the
purpose of that education
from a Western perspective, you know, which tends to be fundamentally a materialist perspective,
the purpose is to prepare some preparing individuals to take their role in, you know,
providing for their material needs and the material needs of the society.
And education, Little People like to think of it in terms of
it's something which can be divorced of, of
our values and just the process of transfer of knowledge. The reality is that, you know, values are being transferred because education, as you know, some scholars have defined define it is really a transfer of culture, it is the way by which the culture of the society is conveyed to its members and to the coming generations.
and the knowledge of Islam
deals with both this life and the next
and in fact
considers the next life to be
The greater or more important phase of, of human existence,
and that this life in fact, is a preparation
for that next phase
in preparation for that phase,
then this concept is
conveyed or is is
education is that education,
any subject when we look at the issue of knowledge, first and foremost,
we have to consider the knowledge which is being conveyed by a way by which the society educates its members by which society
raises or develops members, this knowledge
may be divided
or may be looked at,
from a number of different perspectives.
Imam ghazali razali
into basically six different categories.
the first basic division
of knowledge, which is
true knowledge. When talking about knowledge, really talking about information, facts, and information, which which is true knowledge and knowledge which is false knowledge.
The real and the true knowledge This is fundamentally from Allah.
And the false knowledge is from Satan
is the way by which Satan, satanic forces the evil forces
the creatures deviate them from the past which a law has prescribed for them.
And this process began
with regards to human beings and their education, it began in the Garden of Eden.
Allah educated Adam and Eve
what was permissible for them in the garden, which was everything except for for a particular tree.
That was the knowledge that was the divine knowledge which was revealed to them.
and suggested to them
were they to eat of the tree, it would make them like the angels,
it would make them eternal beings or eternal beings like God.
Now, this was false knowledge
that human beings
would be like the angels
that they would be eternal,
only like God,
this is the attributes of God which belong only to God is this false knowledge. And
based on the human desire,
he wants this concept was introduced the idea of living forever, you know, despite a
part of human nature not to want to die.
it led those human beings to disobey Allah.
The false knowledge caused them or let them once they accepted as false knowledge It led them to the disobedience of Allah
and as such
That disobedience, that false knowledge, that individual obedience led them into sin
when one is involved in the process of education, whether on a primary level secondary or
higher levels of higher learning, one has to consider
the body of knowledge which is being conveyed,
whether in fact, it is true knowledge or whether it is false knowledge.
an aspect of false knowledge which now plays a major role
western education is that of the Darwinian theory of evolution.
Though the Darwinian theory
misunderstood to be merely a biological
interpretation or fact.
The reality is that this theory has affected virtually every single branch of the sciences,
whether the pure sciences or the social sciences,
it is a fundamental principle which is
a fundamental principle
is the basis of
the secular democratic
view of Western culture, which now represents
the world culture.
That secular view has its roots, the secondary view in which religion concepts of God are divorced from all walks of human life.
This view is based on the fact that human beings have evolved from
a common ancestor with apes, and as such,
the concept of God itself is a figment of human imagination.
Another example of false knowledge
seeking of a cure for death
or a cure for old age
a way or means, to create life, create living beings, in all of these will be classified as false knowledge
because of the fact that a lot who is profit has informed us that there is no cure for death or old age.
And the lies stated that human beings know all of creation could not even create a fly.
Even if they all got together with all the knowledge they had, it would not be able to create
even a fly
may be further divided
from an Islamic perspective,
into useful knowledge and useless knowledge
that knowledge for the sake of knowledge
or for knowledges sake,
is foreign to the Islamic
way of thinking or Islamic view.
Allah revealed knowledge for a purpose
for the benefit of man
knowledge which is of no benefit,
when it doesn't benefit human beings
is knowledge which should be avoided.
And Prophet Mohammed mega disinvestment, the finding and one of his
favorite supplications used to seek refuge in knowledge which was of no benefit,
while also beaker, Minelli Min lionpaw.
Now, the lack of benefit may be relative relative or benefit may be relative in and of itself.
So, in the
process of transfer of knowledge,
there needs to be some kind of prioritization
pressing and more immediate needs of human beings should be given precedence over
needs, you know are projected
in the process of education also,
plays a major role
in the process or in the contents
or I shouldn't say the content perhaps I should say in the in the conveyance of Islamic knowledge
the essence of the Islamic message
is in fact focused on morality the prophet may God bless him and said that he was only sent to perfect for human beings the highest of character traits. So,
the essence of Islamic teachings is
that of developing a moral individual one with a sense of right and wrong, which is based on divine criteria
in human, the human beings relationship with God, with his fellow human beings, with the community around him and when the environment in which he lives.
There are moral principles, which govern all these spheres of human relations.
And the knowledge which is gained
or which is conveyed
and which we refer to as the process of education
carry with it or should then
have as its
Well, it doesn't say the development let's say instead,
that, when the knowledge is being conveyed, that is knowledge which is not specifically
religious, you know, we could say,
the revealed knowledge or we divide knowledge into the two categories of the revealed knowledge and the acquired knowledge, right human human beings have gained through experimentation and empirical studies, etc. Know that knowledge which we tend to refer to a science in the various sciences, this that knowledge when it is being conveyed, it should be conveyed within the confines of
the moral principles, which have been outlined
And which would then guide I mean, these moral principles would
provide guidelines as to how this knowledge may be used, because, the fact of the matter is that
mean scientific experimental knowledge is is neutral
how that knowledge is utilized
May be good or evil, this is where the morality comes in. So, so, education should impart to the students in the process of the transfer of knowledge, a sense of morality which would guide them in utilizing that knowledge in a way which is beneficial to human society.
Because Islamic education,
the process of imparting Islamic knowledge is considered to be
an act of worship, as I earlier mentioned,
certain qualities to be
qualified to impart knowledge
in an Islamic way,
that teacher has to himself or herself, look at
their role or their
job as being a bad
if they do not
to be anything more than a means of earning a living
for which they are paid, etc, meaning that it is only looked at from a materialist perspective, then
the information which is being conveyed, will be seriously hampered, of course, the
necessary qualifications for teaching, which includes
those qualifications which have already been established in the western models in the western systems, I mean, these are not to be excluded, simply because they were not developed by Muslims for example, or in an Islamic context
where there are sound principles of education, where sound principles or education have been developed, which take into account the psychology of children etc, etc.
these principles should be used and should be taught, you know, for example, and the principles again, should, should be divorced from their ideological roots, if those roots are
unacceptable or against Islamic teachings, you know, for example, the, the modern approach to learning in the classroom, which is referred to as collective learning, where the traditional
one on approach of, you know, the straight ahead, teacher student approach where it's just the teacher imparting knowledge to the students, you know, I've been shown from numerous studies that where the children participate in the, in both the learning and teaching process, that much more learning takes place in such a setting. Now, this principle
as it develops, some people gave ideological reasoning to its foundation as being a an expression of the democratic process, you know, where, you know, all the students have a say, and they should have a say, in their being trained in this democratic process, you know, but of course, the democratic process which, you know, rejects absolute truths, and which
gives human reason, the,
the status of, of,
of defining for society,
right and wrong, you know, right and wrong. On the overall scale. I mean, he's rejected by from an Islamic perspective,
because of the fact that the absolute rights and wrongs do exist, you know, morality isn't relative, when this is based on divine revelation. So
that Islamic perspective but
that doesn't deny the reality that
in the collective learning process, more learning takes place
where students are involved in teaching each other, you know, that doesn't necessarily mean that the student has to be on the same level as the teacher in the sense that the opinion of the students you know, is as as, as valid as the opinion or the information which is being given by the teacher. No, I mean, the teacher still maintains that status as being the instructor and is respected and etc, etc, you know, as Islam requires, but yet, you know, collective learning can still or simultaneous to take place. And this is not something new to the Muslim world, in terms of education, because the traditional schools in which the plan is taught, I mean till today, follow principles and collective
learning. The Quranic teacher