Khalid (2005) confirms that Imam Ghazali was born in at Ghazala near Tus in 1058 A. D. He is called Ghazali because he was born at Ghazala and also his father was known as ghazali by his profession. His early education took place in Tus and he moved to Jarjan and finally migrated to Nishapur to acquire learning from the most learned man of the time Abul-Maalai. He possessed the great ability of clear expression and of addressing the people. He used to lecture before audiences of three hundred and even more great learned man in his time to their satisfaction. He used to live in Syria Egypt, Mecca and Madina. He used to wandering here and there while contemplating and thinking of the sufferings of mankind at the same time.
Imam Ghazali wrote several books nearly 78 on many subjects like tafsir, jurisprudence, hadith, politics and education. Some of his famous writings are Cheemai-i-Saadat, Mairajus-Salikeen and Aqeedat-i-Misbah and Ihya-ul-Ulummidin. He is regarded as a reviver and Imam or leader by a millions of Muslims today.
He focuses spiritual and also emphasis materialistic development of man. According to Ghazali worldly business is important for the peace of mind and for a pleasant life. He advises the people to get the basic necessities of life and forbid them to indulge in luxurious life. He believes that man should work and labour because God has made this world for that purpose.
Curriculum and Ghazali’s philosophy
Khalid (2005) stats before Ghazalis’s philosophy came more time was devoted to religious education and he opined that equal attention needed to pay both to religious and secular education and suggested to incorporate useful subjects in the curriculum. He considered logic essential for intellectual development and thinking. He also emphasis religious and moral education of learners. He regarded religious instructions important for the goodness of character. He emphasis to include religion in the curriculum. Imam Ghazali first time identified compulsory and optional subjects for the curriculum and insited the learners to learn the compulsory subjects.
Aim of education and Imam Ghazali:
According to Khalid (2005) character and personality development of the learner is the main purpose of education in the point of view of Imam Ghazali. Education should promote desirable traits and behavior of individuals. Individual is good by nature but people lead him towards the good or bad in the society. Education should enable the learners to distinguish between true and false, good and bad, right and wrong doings. He advocated that controversial issues should be taken out from the curriculum and Quran and Sunna be made part of it. Imam Ghazali advocated the need of moral education both in theory and practice. Imam Ghazali held parents responsible for their children education at earlier education. He made education compulsory for both man and woman.
Imam Ghazali and methods of teaching:
Khalid (2005) stats his method of education appears modern than the educationists’ of contemporary society. He is in favour of conducting lessons in an interesting way. He made teaching aids part of a routine lesson so that the students will be able to participate in the lesson. The teacher should develop the lesson according to the learning level of the students. The teacher should proceed from simple to complex and from concrete to abstract. He favoured lecture, participation of students in the teaching and learning process, discussion and tutorials.
Discipline and Imam Ghazali’s philosophy:
Khalid (2005) stats Imam Ghazali forwarded very important views about discipline. He is not in favour of maintaining discipline on the basis of fear and intimidation. Discipline should be maintained on the basis of love and understanding. He is in favour of developing a good relationship between the students and the teachers. The teacher should not scold the students and treat them with kindness and sympathy. The teacher should act as a role model for the students. He is deadly against of using punishment in educational institutions, because it did not bring any positive result in the learners. It does not encourage students to be creative and flourish their minds.
Khalid (2005) says Imam Ghazali was a great Muslim educationist and presented many fruitful theories, aims, methods and curriculum of education. He suggested a utilitarian type of education to enable the learner to carry a successful vocation and profession. He emphasis personal experiences and teacher- pupils’ relationship. The same views have been presented by the modern educationist even after lapsing of one thousand years. Whatever he had presented many years before is implemented today. He was a great educator.
Note: Also see:
Khalid, T. (2005). Education. An introduction to educational philosophy and history. Islamabad: National Book Foundation