ISLAMIC CONCEPT OF EDUCATION
Islam has presented the concept of accountability of deeds in hereafter and the universal philosophy of life. Islam is the discipline or religion created by Allah. It is the religion of nature. Accordingly men being the creation of Allah are free from all kind of defects and faults. Islamic philosophy lays down the most precious and valuable principles of Islamic way of life including the doctrines of unicity of Allah and the prophet hood of the Holy Prophet peace be upon him. They can be regarded as the guiding principles of Islamic concept of philosophy. The holy prophet peace be upon him preached that
Acquisition of knowledge is obligatory upon both Muslims male and female
He also acknowledge the importance of travelling to far off place to enhance the experience
Acquire knowledge even if you have to travel to china
Islamic philosophy of education envisages “righteous thinking and action” to make the individual aware about his purpose of creation and to identify him self and to have cognizance of Allah.
Islamic concept of philosophy preaches that the purpose of life is “achievement of pleasure of Allah.” This pleasure does not restrict the human activities to mere worships of Allah but it educates the people to realize the system of rights of all the living creatures and also the non living things which are the requirements to establish an exemplary worth living society.
ISALAMIC CONCEPT OF EDUCATION IN THE LIGHTS OF HOLY QURAN:
Surah 96 is said to be the very first chapter to be revealed of the Holy Quran. It starts with the word “read”. It says “read in the name of the Preserver, who created, who created man from a clot of blood. Read and thy Preserver is the greatest Benefactor: he taught through the pen. He taught man what he did not know.”
From this already, we see a strong bias in Islam in favour of Education. This book was revealed when reading and writing was well known, unlike other Scared Books, which were revealed before the art of reading and writing was current.
Surah-i-Baqar emphasizes Study and Observation of the Universe and Nature, for these “are the signs of Allah for those who use their brains.”
In surah 3 verse 16, god mentions himself first, angels second, and then men of knowledge third, showing how much honour they are held by Him: “Allah bears witness that there is not God but He, and the angels, and men endued with knowledge, established in righteousness”. In surah 58 verse 12 Allah says: “Allah will raise in rank those of you who believe, as well as those who are given knowledge”.
In surah 2, verse 123, Allah says “teach them “the book” and wisdom. The above verses from the Holy Quran show the importance of education according to Islamic point of view.
ISLAMIC CONCEPT OF EDUCATION IN THE LIGHT OF HADITH:
Holy prophet peace be upon him laid great stressed on acquisition of education and here are some hadith which would enlighten the importance of education according to the sayings of Holy Prophet:
Acquire knowledge from the cradle to the grave.
Whoever honours a scholar honours me (The Prophet).
The ink of the scholar is holier than the blood of Martyrs.
Learned people are the heirs of the Prophets.
The passing away of a whole tribe is more tolerable than the death of one learned man.
The Prophet peace be upon him asked Gabriel what the supreme authority was and he answered: The Intellect.
Increase in learning, and thou wilt draw nearer to God.
CHARACTERISTICS OF ISLAMIC CONCEPT OF EDUCATION:
The following are some of the characteristics of Islamic concept of education
· UNIVERSAL RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHY:
Islamic philosophy of education is unique and universal in nature in comparison to the philosophies of education of other countries and as well as philosophy of Idealism, realism, naturalism and pragmatism. This is the philosophy created by Allah for the guidance of human minds.
· ALLAH IS THE CHIEF RESOURCE OF THE KNOWLEDGE:
According to the Islamic concept of educational philosophy Allah is the chief source and centre of knowledge. It is Allah who is like possessor of all the informations of the universes and He is the only source of authentic knowledge through his revelations the prophet has also been provided knowledge. According to Islamic preaching acquiring of knowledge is compulsory for every Muslim and it is the modest desirable activity of human beings in the sight of Allah.
· SUPPORTS TO MAKE KNOWLEDGE PURPOSEFUL:
Islam supports to make knowledge purposeful. According to the Islamic educationists Islamic concept of education is not only theoretical or imaginary but it almost adopts the shape of a regular and practical aspects. Apart from acquiring pleasure of Allah by having education man can get other benefits also which include
a) Universality of education
b) Progress in literature
c) Progress in science
d) The know how about religious education
e) The know how of ethical and moral principles
g) Citizen’s right and duties leadership in political principles
h) Use of natural resources
· THE PURPOSE OF LIFE ITSELF IN THE AIM OF KNOWLEDGE:
According to the Islamic philosophy the purpose of life and the purpose of knowledge are both same purpose. Hence the purpose for which Allah has created the man is same as the purpose of acquiring knowledge as the creation of man is for acquiring the pleasure of Allah and this can not be fulfilled by only worship. Islam does not allow man to lead the life of hermit. Therefore to ensure the pleasure of Allah along with all the prayers the believers have to participate in social and political affairs of the society which have been entrusted by Allah to all the Muslims.
· FULFILMENT OF HUMAN NEEDS:
Islam clearly makes it followers to understand the ascent of humanitarianism and provide complete opportunities to meet the needs of life. According to the principles of Islamic education the complete and versatile development of human being becomes possible. Equal attention is paid to spiritual, emotional and moral growth on one hand and to economical and social growth on the other hand. As such none of the human needs escape from being encompassed by the Islamic concept of education.
· IN FAVOUR OF PROFESSIONAL DISCIPLINE AND SKILLS:
In the modern time acquiring of skills and professional education have become very popular. It is also said that these aspects are the creation of modern man’s thinking. But it is evident from the Islamic history that Islam has always provided whole hearted support and favoured the adoption of various professions such as agriculture, medicine, science etc, to which Muslims had made large contributions.
· IT CONTRADICTS NARROW MINDEDNESS:
Islamic concept of education does not favour narrow mindedness because Islam has a broad out look about life. Right from the early period Islam acquired the service of non Muslims and showed great interest in learning the languages of non Muslims and their other discipline. Many Greek disciplines are translated into Arabic. Muslim educationists said that “knowledge has no boundaries”. The basic concept of education from centuries in Islam is that “knowledge is regarded to be the lost inheritance of the believers and it has to acquire from all the available sources”.
· IT BRINGS EDUCATION AND LIFE CLOSER:
Islam is the religion does not accept to escape from the realities of life. Hence its philosophy of education emphasizes to acquire such education which may be helpful to solve the problems of life. The Muslim experts of education have classified the discipline into two types:
But they did not make a distinct demarcation between the two. The Islamic concept of education is provision of such knowledge which makes the problems of human beings and their societies.
· ACQUIRING EDUCATION IS A JOINT RESPONSIBILITY:
Whereas Islam has made acquiring of education as compulsory it has also made it obligatory that they should provide the light of knowledge to others who are still in the darkness of ignorance and illiteracy. In Islam this is the responsibility of every educated person to part knowledge to the possible extent to others who do not possess such knowledge. Thus propagation of knowledge is a joint responsibility of Muslim society.
· IT IS A COLLECTIVE SYSTEM:
In Islam concept of education is not fulfilled by reading few text books and participation in some educational activities. Islam presents a collective system of education based upon practical training. Islamic philosophy of education is neither teacher centred nor students centred but it is a collective system in which neither the teacher has to adopt punitive measures nor the students are allowed to take undue advantage of the teachers’ soft attitude.
Islam is a complete code of life therefore the concept of philosophy of education which Islam present is complete to develop human beings spiritually, emotionally, morally, ethically, socially as well as economically. To help the the Muslims lead their lives according to the teaching of Holy Quran and Sunnah to achieve success in life here and after death.