Pakistan Cyber Force: The Islamic Education System vs. The Western Education System

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Islamic Education System vs. The Western Education System

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The youth of this generation are the leaders and governors of the future. Consequently their education, ways of thinking and values are of great importance in shaping the world of tomorrow. In this short treatise we will explore some of what the Western Education system offers our children and we will present the true alternative Education system as it will be under the Islamic State, which is soon to come, Insha’Allah.
Islam's policy regarding seeking knowledge and education has always been aimed at building the Islamic mentality and the Islamic disposition (tendencies or inclination), which together form the Islamic personality. Islam develops a comprehensive understanding about life. And through this understanding, it shapes our actions; it also shapes our likes and dislikes. Children would, therefore, not only perform their Islamic duties, but they would do so with pleasure. Islam has dealt with both of these matters and linked them directly to the 'Aqeedah (creed), so some of its texts deal with the thought (the mentality) and other texts deal with the tendencies (the emotions).  


“Read in the name of your Lord Who created. He created man from a clot. Read and your Lord is Most Honorable, Who taught (to write) with the pen. Taught man that he knew not.” [Qur’an: 96: 1-5]

Al-Azhar University in Cairo is one of the oldest operating universities in the world. The Islamic university is connected to the beautiful and historic Al-Azhar Mosque

During most of Islamic history, every major city within the Khilafah possessed public and private libraries. Libraries such as Cordoba and Baghdad boasted collections of over 400,000 books. Arabic became the most important scientific language. The Muslims use of the Zero, which was previously absent in mathematical Sciences enabled great advances, solving problems that for centuries remained unsolved.
Muslim mathematicians devised and developed algebra and the concept of algorithms were thought up by Al Khwarizmi. Ibn Sina’s textbook of medicine (Al Qanun) was used as a standard reference in Europe for almost 600 years. Muslims had developed the mechanical robots. Science flourished under the Islamic Education system.
Al-Azhar Mosque
The Muslims were the most advanced in the world in fields such as: mathematics, geometry, optics, astronomy, medicine, physics, natural sciences, engineering and many others. Today the Muslim world is plagued by astonishingly high levels of illiteracy. The Messenger of Allah (saw) tackled head on the issue of illiteracy amongst Muslims. He (saw) made the ransom of each prisoner at Badr to teach ten Muslims how to read. The Islamic state would strive to ensure every Muslim thus turns into either a scholar (mujtahid) or a learner (muttabii).

Our Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) said: “Seeking Of Knowledge Is An Obligation Upon Every Muslim, Be It A Man Or A Woman.”

Lets realize what are the causes and lacking in our current education system which, today, is not producing the greatest scientists like Ibn Sina, Jabir Ibn Haiyan, Yaqub Ibn Ishaq al-Kindi, Abu al-Nasr al-Farabi, Abu al-Qasim Khalaf bin 'Abbas el-Zahrawi, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, & Ibn Khaldun etc.

Consider a typical day in the life of a Muslim child in a school based on western education system. You drop off your child, feeling satisfied that they are about to enter an environment that is safe and secure. Lets assume that first lesson is geography. The child will be taught about the different countries: its resources, population, peoples and culture, language, its national flag etc And many of these will inevitably be of Muslim countries. It all seems quite harmless until you realize that Islam does not recognize most of these countries as separate identities. Islam looks to the Muslims as one nation not separated by these national identities which have been designed to cause disunity amongst the Muslims. Allah (swt) says:
“And hold fast all of you together to the rope of Allah and do not be divided.” [Qur’an: 3:103].

Maybe the next lesson in the daily routine will be science. You expect the child to gain an understanding in science that will further his/her future career. But it is easy to forget that many of the ideas taught in this subject are in direct contradiction to the Islamic belief. After all, many theories, hypotheses and speculations, which have no firm foundation in evidence add which are subject to dispute among experts, are taught as if they are established facts. The Theory of Evolution suggests that humans evolved from apes. The principle of Conservation of Energy proposes that energy is eternal (cannot be destroyed or created, but just transformed). Humans are put in the same category as animals. The water cycle is presented as a self subsisting system and many more satanic ideas.
Al-Qarawiyyin- university located in Fes, Morocco. Founded in 859, as a religious school, the university is one of the leading spiritual and educational centers of the Muslim world. It is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest degree-granting university in the world.
The only history that is taught is that of the West. Its wars, its political development, its achievements, discoveries and inventions etc. Islam is not considered as having any important history, having little effect on the world. Its glories are portrayed as just an episode of world history that is now over. Moreover it is taught as a religion that subjugates and oppresses the innocent. The child will learn more about the Romans than of the Muslims. They will learn more about the wars and battles fought in the way of Capitalism rather than the wars fought by the Muslims in the way of Allah. There will not be discussed the Great Ghazwas of Our Holy Prophet (s.a.w), great wars of Sahabas such as the battle of Yarmouk or Ajnadin, the expansion of Islam to Iraq, Persia, Rome, Egypt, rest of Africa, Europe, Central Asia and South Asia. In this child's religious education (RE) lessons Islam is compared to the likes of religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism etc.
Al-Qarawiyyin
The uniqueness of the Islamic belief is not presented but is diminished. Even labeling Islam as a religion is not accurate since Islam is a comprehensive way of life, covering all aspects from personal worship to governing life's affairs in a state. Even if some aspects of Islam are taught but they are still incomplete and lacks the true spirit of Islam which was present during the times our ancestors. Moreover, education does not only happen in the school. Society itself plays a major role in educating a child. It can be thought of as a bigger school: instead of using blackboards, teachers and classrooms, society employs television, radio, advertising, billboards or children's magazines to educate the child with un-Islamic practices. The child may grow increasingly alienated from Islam. He or she may become more aware and accustomed to non Islam.
Now, lets analyze how the Islamic Education System differs from the Western education system:
  • Firstly, The child's education would be free since it is the state's duty to provide, as a basic necessity, free education for everymale and female at primary and secondary levels. Every citizen of the state must be provided with education of that which is needed in all aspects of life.
  • There would exist an Islamic curriculum with the objective of building the Islamic mentality and Islamic disposition (i.e. inclinations) in the child. So not only would the child's actions be shaped by Islam but also their likes and dislikes would be in accordance with Islam.
  • They should as a result of school understand the halal and the haraam and follow them with enthusiasm.
Let us consider a similar scenario as above. The child arrives at a school in the Islamic State, and begins the day by greeting his/her colleagues and teachers with the greeting of Islam. The child has the first lesson, perhaps a science subject. It could be a selection of the experimental or pure sciences. It would be taught with the Islamic 'Aqeedah (belief) as the basis and an overriding guide.
You as the parent, could rest assured that ideas such as the Theory of Evolution would not be taught; humans would not be considered as advanced animals. Whereas science in the West is seen as a contradiction to belief in God, within the Islamic State science would be a confirmation of the existence of Allah. The child would come home and explain that he/she learnt about the water cycle: how Allah (swt) causes water to rise as vapor from the seas by evaporation and form clouds; then Allah (swt) would cause these clouds to give rain once they were over the lands; and Allah (swt) would cause the rain water to gather and return back to the seas to once again start the cycle.

Allah (swt) says:“Lo in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is of use to men, and the water which Allah sends down from tire sky, thereby reviving tire earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and in the ordinance of thewinds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth, these are signs (of Allah's sovereignty) for people who have sense." [Quran: 2:164]
The child's next lesson may be a cultural subject such as languages, geography, history or fiqh (jurisprudence). In geography, the child would be familiar with the Islamic atlas. He/she would learn about the vastness of the Islamic State; how the Muslims are unified in one land under one leader. How its resources are managed according to Islam; its citizens, whether Muslim or non Muslims working together under one system.

The child would learn to be proud of being part of the leading nation. In languages the child would team the language of the Qur'an, not French or German (these could be studied in higher or further education). The child would not have to go to additional out of school Arabic lessons. He/she could read and understand the Qur'an, or refer to books in Arabic. In history, the child would be exposed to the rich Islamic history. He/she would study the different Khulafa'a and their achievements; the famous scholars and the roles they played; the discoveries and inventions that were made; the conspirators against Islam and how they were dealt with; the positive influence of the Khilafah upon the world. The child could show how the achievements of the Muslims of the Islamic State placed them hundreds of years ahead of their contemporaries (who were in the Dark Ages). They could give accurate accounts of the battle between Salahudeen and the Crusaders, or the life stories of the Sahabah (ra).

The child would gain a sound knowledge of the fiqh (jurisprudence). They would be able to provide detailed evidences for rules in Islam. They may even be able to correct your own actions as advice to the parents. They would understand the respect and obedience that Allah (swt) requires from the child to the parent. The universities and madrassas will not be separated but will be merged into one greater institution of enormous knowledge. Islam will not be taken as a separate element of life but as a part of life which will influence every aspect of a person’s individual and collective life. In the bigger school society, there would also be education of Islam through the state's media. Through television, radio and children's magazines, only Islamic ideals and values would be passed.

All these measures would guarantee the nurturing of a fine generation that could be the leaders of the Khilafah. And the child could contribute to this. In the Islamic State, the Education System is geared towards building the Islamic personality in all the students. This prepares them to live their lives in accordance with the orders and prohibitions of Allah (swt). They will be taught all they need to know about the various aspects of Islam, such as social conduct, prayer, Islamic law etc. In addition they will be motivated to achieve excellence in the fields of science and technology, commerce and the arts. These will be taught within the framework of Islam, such that the hypothetical ideas which are propounded as facts in the West, like evolution of humans from apes and matter and energy being eternal, will not corrupt their minds.In this way, the educational curriculum will ensure that Islam, science and the affairs of life will not be seen as separate and unconnected worlds, but will be regarded as a holistic and intricately interwoven whole. In the society as a whole, which teaches people as much as any school, by means of the television, magazines and radio; unacceptable images of sex, violence and crime will not exist in the Islamic State as an influence over the people. Rather, these unfruitful pursuits will be replaced with stories of the Prophet (saw) and his Sahabah (ra), or other lessons in the Islamic way of life.

Written By: -Av


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