Reflections on Islamic Education
Channel: Ismail Kamdar
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Last week, we spoke about the importance of parenting, and some ideas on the part of parenting. And one of the most important things that any parent can do for their child is to give them a good Islamic education.
As a community, we face two challenges when it comes to Islamic education. The first challenge is that there are some families that don't take it seriously at all, where the focus is only on the worldly education. So we have people who will grow up to be experts in many different fields. But with no understanding of a religion.
And this is a problem.
The other problem we have is that sometimes we
have the resources and the time and the investment to educate our children. But the curriculum we may choose, or the way in which we teach about Islam may not be what is best for them. We may be using an outdated curriculum, our teaching methods may not be suitable to the environment. And because of that, we end up losing.
So today, I want to share a few tips on how we can improve the way we teach children about Islam. And how we can take this Islamic knowledge and make it transformative. And one of the first things I want to mention is that we have to stop thinking about
our subjects as two separate things like we have this problem that we have these two separate things, we think our child is either going to study work the subjects, we call it, the academic or the secular subjects. So you know, a child's going to be an expert in science or mathematics or medicine, whatever it is, or is going to study this if we have this either or mentality, right, then he's going to be a doctor, or he's going to be a model. We think of it as two separate fields. And that if you're going down one path, you're not going to be able to go down the other path. And this is a problem that started within the past 200 years. It doesn't go back to what early Islam, because
in early Islam, when you study the Great's of early Islam, you will find they didn't have this distinction, that you would meet someone who was an expert in Vedic, but also expert in mathematics, you need someone who's a philosopher, a master Aqeedah, and a Master of medicine, that you will meet people who are like the pioneers of Psychology at the same time, the new Quran and Hadees. So in early Islam during the Golden Age of Islam, these were in considered separate tracks in life, where you either pursue worldly knowledge or you pursue Islamic knowledge. Rather, all of this was considered important knowledge, anything that benefits the individual and benefits the Ummah, what
considered important knowledge. And children were pushed to study that which they were good at that which they excelled them, even though it was very different things they were pushed to study many different things. So this is the first thing we need to change is our attitude to what Islamic, because what happens is, sometimes, even when we think that, you know, Islamic knowledge is recorded, and we give our children maybe two hours of adresa in the afternoon, what happens, because we have in the back of our mind that the world the study is the more important, you know, when you start getting to the higher grades, and the need more time for the worldly studies, what's the first
thing that drops off. But there's a lot of our schools don't have address of a high school, because the parents don't want the children to do it because they want them to focus only on the worldly subjects. So you have to change his outlook. Islamic knowledge is very important Islamic knowledge is going to be that which transforms them. And that takes us to the second problem. The first problem is our attitude that people have towards Islamic knowledge where they think it's not important when secondary why something you just learned in the afternoons, you know, they don't think of it as important as it should be. The second problem is the way we teach.
You see the way Islam is taught sometimes in some places. The child is taught to fear Islam. They taught to fear the teachers, they taught to fear the parents. They taught Islam from a position of being something scary, something harsh, something that you make one mistake, you go into Johannah they're not taught the love of Allah. They're not taught the level Rasulullah saw us. They're not taught to love this religion. They're not taught the beauty of this religion, the proofs of this religion. Now we need to change this we have to change our philosophy of education.
We have to take Islamic knowledge. And we must understand that Islamic knowledge is meant to transform hearts. So the way we are teaching Islamic knowledge to children is not transforming the hearts, we have to change our teaching methodology, we have to change our teaching methodology. And this is on the parents because because at the end of the day, the education of your children is a Aman it is a choice to Allah upon you. How you choose to educate them is up to you, whether you choose to homeschool them, or send them to an Islamic school, or sent to a madressa, or hire a private teacher, whatever it is, is up to you. But you have to do what's best for your child, you
have to look at all the pros and cons of all the systems available out there and choose what's best for your child. And what's suitable for one child might not be suitable to the dentist. But each parent has to make this decision for themselves. So the first thing that needs to change is our attitude. The second thing that needs to change is our teaching methodology.
And this is, you know, a area where we need a lot more discussion, a lot more explanation.
It's not just teachers, they need to learn teaching methodology. I believe every parent needs to learn teaching methodology because whether we like it or not, every parent is the primary teacher of digital.
When it's sitting around the table at dinnertime, having a conversation with his in the car on the way to school, your child brings up some of the problems he discusses with you, with your child asking you to help you with your homework, at some point or another, you are your child's teacher.
So it benefits every parent to learn how to teach. Because sometimes our wrong approach to knowledge, actually, education could be disastrous. Let me give you an example.
Your child comes to you. Maybe someone a preteen or teenager, and he asked you a question about something that you and I know is immoral. That you and I know is vulgar, did you and I know is haram. Now a parent who does not know how to teach a child might get me it might say stuff, you know, why are you talking about that? Why are you asking me about that? Why do you know about that. And if I show a child, they might fight to their child. As a result, that child's anti Christian never gets it. That child's doubt never goes away. The child's not opening up to that parent, the child goes to Google for the answers, and the answer they get your Google or not the answers you
want them to learn. But if you learn child psychology, if you're teaching methodology, now when your child comes to you with a question, you say thank you for asking me and have it someone else. Let's sit down, let's talk about this talk about why this is wrong. Let's talk about why this is important. This talk about why we don't do this and why they do.
And you can have upon this conversation with your child and you can educate your child, and you can give them the foundation upon which they can learn. So don't take the education only for the teacher. Education starts at home the best and the most important education happens. When your child is learning about life, you should be the one who they come to questions, we go back to the story of Yusuf Ali salaam, when he had his dream about the liberal stars, and the sun and the moon was training to him. He went straight to his father. He didn't go to his articles, he teaches his brothers, his mother, his stepfather, nobody. He went straight to his father. And he told me, This
is my dream.
Why? Because his father had the trouble of communication with him, that you can talk to me. If you have something happened, you could speak to me. And I'll help you. We need to do the same.
To teaching methodology is really important. And it's something that every parent, every teacher needs to learn. And again, this is one of the mistakes we have the very often the people who study Islam, and they teach Islam, no way along the way they study teach methodology. This is the problem. So we have someone who's studying Islam for seven years. And immediately after the seven years are over, they start teaching Islam, but no one taught him how to teach.
And so you know, we get frustrated with the teachers that you know, why are you shouting my child? Why are you hitting my child? Why are you so mean, but we never taught them how to teach. They just mimicking what their providers what they teach is. A simple solution to this is that there shouldn't be a teacher training program for people who are teaching Islamic Studies. Every school should have one everybody should have one. Every article should have one. The teaching methodology should be part of the curriculum. Because you are studying Islam, you're going to be a teacher at some point in your life, we should include a course on how to teach, even if it's just six months or one year,
it will go a long way to fixing this problem. And again, it's not just for the teachers for the parents as well. Parents also need to learn how to teach. We also have to realize that there are cultural differences. And sometimes a teaching method that works in one culture and apparently method works in one culture won't work in another. And I speak specifically about this cultural practice of hitting children and beating the Quran into
It may have worked in India. It may even have worked in South Africa in the 1960s. It doesn't work today. It doesn't work today. When you teach Islam to the sick today, you are chasing those kids away from
90% of the cases that have to deal with or people who are fascinated who left Islam. People who Islam was beaten 80 90% of the cases they will tell you, my parents asked me to memorize the Quran and they would beat me by that.
And this became the image of Islam. There is a religion that beats you up if you don't memorize the book.
We have to put in practice in the past. Firstly, the practice is not even sooner. That practice is not even sooner. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam never hit a child in his life. And he was the best of teachers. He thought the Sahaba the Quran would love. He taught him to love the Quran taught him to love him Rasul Allah Saloni, Assam to love Islam. He never even raised his voice with children, he was on eating them. And you see the children around him the kind of people they could look at the example of really good Sabbath radula Zane Even sabich was an orphan from the unsub his father died in the battle about one year before the picture. So one year before the prophets also
moved to Medina ZD with savage father dies in a battle. So he's often growing up under his uncle in Medina. He's a child, by the time the prophets lie some comes to Medina. And he is presented to the Prophet SAW yourself as one of the most intelligent children's community because he was a young boy from Iraq, 10 years old. And at that point, he already knew how to read and write, which by the way, in that culture was very big. in Makkah, 1400 years ago, only like 1% of adults knew how to read and write. So for a 10 year old child to really know that was like way ahead of its time. Number two, by the time the prophets had come to Medina Zedi Metabones already memorized a lot.
We already had memorized a lot of the Quran, so he was already on his way to being a happiness. So what does Rasulullah soysambu Destroy, this is an orphan who is very intelligent, who shows that he has skills would land which would write him a memorization.
He gives this child a curriculum that is based on his on his areas of expertise or the areas you grew into the area that is stronger. So he encourages this child to study Hebrew, to study Brazilian languages to learn how to read and write in these languages, so that the proper voice will have someone to help him correspond with other nations. So if someone sends him a letter in Hebrew, or in Syria, he's able to read it because he has someone to translate it for him as to say even SABIC gold and he studied these languages, and he becomes proficient not just in writing Arabic, but writing other languages as well. And he becomes the correspondent for The Prophet sallallaahu Salam. On top
of that, the Prophets the likes of notices that he's good at memorizing the Quran, he becomes one of the first Sahaba to memorize the entire Bible, one of the first Sahaba to memorize the entire Quran. And even more than that, when Rasulullah sallallahu I think it was a process away. And Abu Bakr and Omar are discussing it, we need to preserve the Quran in one book. And we need you someone to handle this project, the putting the productivity in one book, who do they hire, who's the first person that comes to their mind for this job? Really good.
Because he's skilled at reading and writing. He's memorized the entire Quran, and he's learned directly from the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Now again, this whole story, no one ever taught in Islam trivia. No one ever beat Islam into what we see the real education methodology. The prophets also notices that he's skilled at reading and writing. He makes you become an expert in reading and writing. He noticed the the skill of languages, he allows a teacher he encourages him to learn multiple languages, he noticed he's good at memorization, he encouraged him to memorize the Quran. Because of all of this. He is the most important person in the history of the preservation of
the Quran. They even serve it in both the title aboubaker anatomical smart is the most important person in the history of the preservation of Quran, but it comes with a real education. And that leads me to my next point about education. One of the problems with the education system today is that we want everybody to learn the same thing. This is a problem, right? You want everybody to do the same thing. And so some kids are naturally gifted at mathematics. Some kids are naturally gifted at languages. Every child has their own gifts. When you want everybody to be the same. Everybody suffers. Now back in the Islamic Golden Age, what do they do? They would you know, a teacher would
talk to an age old a nine year old and realize this person is really good at memorization. Sinequan gives this person is really good. They understand the human body. Let him become an apprentice to a doctor of medicine. This person is really good into understanding deep topics. Let him go and study Akira let him go and study philosophy. They will
Look at a child, learn the child's strengths and develop their child's curriculum around the strengths. So some of them grew up to become scholars of Hades, others grew up to become scholars of others grew up to become masters of mathematics and grew up to be masters in many different fields. But the point is the education system was designed to help people excel in the area of expertise. And this is something that has been lost in the past one years, it has been lost, and especially Islamically, they'll be completely lost. Because today, you know, if you have someone who's very intelligent, and really good at working out laws, how many of us here let's make him a cookie, let's
make him a goofy, let's make him a Master. No, we send him to become a lawyer. Instead, we want him to learn the laws of the fire, but not the laws of Islam. And then we complain, there's no one to deal with a contemporary issues. We need to understand in some Allah has gifted us with youngsters, who are intelligent in these fields, who are able to learn quickly are able to understand fake deeply who are able to understand Islamic history, we should encourage them to become experts in this field. And this is another problem we have, that we tend to devote Islamic knowledge to the motto. We don't want our children to become Alama we want them to become everything else. But if we
want the best for our children, and Allah has gifted them with Islamic with the ability to understand Islamic topics, we should encourage them to become master skills. That's the only way we want to divide the tradition of having real first names of boxers and yoga hadiza. One second year puppies amongst us is when we take the most intelligent of people in these fields, and encourage them to study these fields at a young age. So these are some ways in which we can improve the education around us. We can teach our children more mercy, we can teach them to love Allah subhanho wa Taala and every religion, we can push them to studying to hear the other day or more expertise at
the war, stronger the areas where they are showing that they can become experts in.
We could choose different methods of education, not we don't have to stick to a specific method. And we have to we have to change our own mindset towards Islamic knowledge. And the standard is very, very important for this world and the next, that we all have to understand our religion well and those of us who are gifted should understand our religion. We should study our religion.
You ask Allah to accept our efforts and to grant our children righteousness and piety and ecology. Johanna Robinson, the school for salam ala Musa.
hamdu Lillahi wa Salatu was Salam ala when Lana Viva la Vida De Sica below him Honey Honey Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam for Charlemagne was designed to have
once Rasulullah sloggy set up was sitting in the masjid with some of the Sahaba and there is some bigger ones they from from the outlying areas of rain, and Rasulullah sallallahu Sallam his grandson was probably like three or four years old at the time he came running into the Masjid. He grabbed his grandson and he kissed him. One of the Bedouins looked at him and said, you kiss your children. I have 10 sons I've never kissed anybody. Rasulullah sallallahu sallam said, is to nourish suitable ones. He said one relation says that he told him what can I do for Allah as you move compassion
and adoration. He said, Whoever does not show compassion will not be shown compassion. Whoever does not show mercy to the younger generation should not expect in.
Our philosophy of parenting education needs to come from the service. That the way we raise our children, the way we teach our children this religion, it must come from a place of rubber. It must come from a place of compassion. We need to understand that.
Another mistake we make as parents is that we expect our children to be perfect. And this is a major problem in our community. Many parents expect a level of perfection from the children that when they mess up as teenagers, we act like it's the end of the world. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi salam was not like this. He understood that people are going to make mistakes. You have to show them the way back to Allah. You have to show them how to make mistakes. You have to show them how to make Toba. You have to show them how to learn from the mistakes. You can't write people off because they make mistakes. People are going to learn they're going to grow they're going to make mistakes. And we
have to handle that with Rafa. We have to handle that compassion. And we see this in how Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam dealt with the opposite of his community. When a young boy came and said he wants to commit sin up Rasulullah saw him explain to him why it is not explained to him why it is wrong, and he may do our way and this was able to bring it back onto the stream when another young man came to Rasulullah sallallahu ala Islamic and said that he kissed the girl
Because the lady and he asked Rasulullah saw some how do I deal with this Rasulullah saw some showed him how to make a stick but he showed him to play to rocket Salah to become for yourself and taught us about any of your moment to sit like this. No, this is how you make up for it. He said he was realistic. He didn't say Oh, you want to my Sahaba exhibiting since you know what are people going to do? Have you understood that people need to learn and they need to learn to compassion. Once one of the young Sahaba the prophets own cousin father even a bus was on a camel would Rasul last volumes up on the way to Hajj and imagined the holiness of this you will Rasulullah sallallahu
sallam, you're on your way to hatch, a beautiful young lady comes to us Rasulullah saw some some questions about Islam. And he notices that God is what we would see to be looking at her in a way that is, you know violates the lowering the gaze command. Like he's looking at it. He's a young man, teenager, and she's also a teenager. Right? As you can see today's Rasulullah saw some gently touch buttons face away and teaches him then whoever lowers the gaze with ease.
There's no shouting. There's no arguing there's no fighting. He understands young people need gentleness.
And this is to me the most important thing we can learn when it comes to parenting and education, especially for teenagers. We have to do it with compassion. We have to do it with gentleness, they are dealing with fitness that on another level. Sometimes I look back 20 years ago at the fitness we dealt with when we were younger 30 years ago, right? I look at that compared to now. What we went through it was easy compared we didn't have cell phones with the internet access that they have. We have access to the amount of of immorality they have between have this whole alphabet fitna that was going on. Now we have all these problems. They are growing up in a community and a society where
there is so much more fitna around and we have to gently pull them away. We have to gently guide them away. We have to explain to them nicely why Islam is right and why Jesus movements are wrong. We have to do it with compassion, we have to do even wisdom, because if we don't do it, it will seek answers. If we are harsh, if we are unapproachable, if we close the door to communication, when it comes to these topics, our children will seek the answers and the answers they find at Google the answer they find in their school the answer if I anywhere else may not be the answer is that we want them
to let us be the type of people who have opened up communication of children. Let us learn teaching methodology should we know how to answer these questions for them. Let us develop curriculums that are the cover these modern topics they need to know about and then must be compassionate. Whether you're dealing with your students or your own children or your grandchildren or your nephews and nieces or whoever it is, but be compassionate and just and merciful and wise in how you teach them.
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