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Fatima is Fatima

by : Dr. Ali Shari'ati

Back You are here: Home Books Family The Principle Of Education (Up' Bringing)

The Principle Of Education (Up' Bringing) - 2. It all starts from here

Article Index

Every nation dreams of progress, every community is in search of peace, every race is desirous of safety and harmony! Like all, Muslims too wish to lead an honorable life, with peace and tranquil, of contentment and satisfaction Well ! at present it is beyond our scope to survey the needs and outcomes of other nations.

Presently we are concentrating upon the Islamic world, and only they are our primary focus. However, at this juncture, two issues need to be well understood. Firstly, the meaning of "nation" and "community"? and secondly, how can the earnest desire of individual and collective success could bear fruits?

"Nation", according to the sociologists, "is a group or community among human beings, linked together by a common heritage, traditions, customs, history and system of economy, and is habituated in a particular geographical location, desirous of living under the influence of a particular government",

and its members consider that all reforms and multidimensional development and progress is only possible through nationalism. They believe that all the evils would fall apart, the day the nationalism succeeds, and would be first day of heavenly bliss.

However, it is noteworthy that Islam call upon the group of it's believers as "community" or "Ummah" rather than a nation. 1 and also distinguishes the qualities and distinctions of Ummah, from the known concept of a "Nation". The details of these qualities reveal that in no way the thinking approach, and the aims and objectives of the followers of Quran, match with the thinking and objectivity of the others. The 'Deen-e-Hanif (True religion)" bases "Ummahism" neither upon caste or creed, nor on heritage or colour. It uproots traditions and customs, and the linguistic ties, to be the basis of it's civilization. The historical or geographical entity could not also find it's way in Islam, and even the bonds of "politics and states have always been considered as "unreliable".

Further, the Holy Quran enumerates that, "Deen-e-Tawheed (belief on the Oneness of Allah)" is a universal theory. It's aims and objectives being cosmological. Those who follow it, are bestowed upon a complete code of life. Moreover it constrains all the members of the community (Millat) to direct their thinking, psychology, standards, values, and objectives, in accordance with the instructions of Almighty Allah.

And under no circumstances does it allow, to dispense away from the direction of it's teachings, due to any external effect or idea, whatsoever it may be.

The Holy Quran stresses that only Deen (religion) is the foundation of thought, the ultimate source of reference, the only potent driving force, the ultimate objective, and the base of all deeds and actions.

And thus from the chandeliers that lits due to this Ideology, the shades it casts, the fragrance it emanates, the elegance it radiates, and the carvings that it engraves; evolves a culture, which is known as the Islamic civilization or the Islamic culture.

Now the demand of the Islamic spirit, culture, heritage, and doctrines is that, whether it may be the rules of politics or the civic etiquettes, economic regulations or the social norms, educational patterns or the methodology of education (upbringing), in brief, every segment and fragment of human life should only be in rhythm (accordance) with the dynamic and revolutionary system of Islam.

Moreover, the "religion of Allah" has it's own specific philosophy regarding felicity and punishment, exaltation and pit fall, progress and backwardness, and even good and bad luck; which consistently reminds us, that the Islamic Ummah would neither achieve it's aims, nor find a place in history; until it does not mould it's words and deeds, in consistency with Islamic thoughts and conscience, In accordance with Quran, and does not acquire the attributes of "the recognition of self and Allah", or Otherwise it would be:-

"Who knows what befalls in the Hereafter".

Well in these words, the Holy Quran discloses the reasons of the downfall of nations and the decline of societies, and announces the path of Almighty (Sunnat-e-lllahi) : -

Allah The Almighty does not change the state of a nation, until it does not change itself from within, and when Allah decides to punish someone, then it cannot be altered by anyone, and no one can be a Guardian and a supporter of such nation in front of Him. 2

Altaf Hussain Hali, has expressed the same idea in one of his very popular verse, he says:- Allah does not change the state of that nation; which does not ever bother about altering it's state And in the Surah Anfa'al, the Almighty Allah has mentioned in this way:-

Allah does not deprive any nation from it's blessings till it does not alter it's correct thinking and courage, and Allah is all hearing and all knowing. 3

Anyway, when a society or it's concerned members, part off from their "school of thought and action", then at. a later stage, they give up their actual thinking, and also their real identity. As a result, nothing worthwhile is left over with them.

All the glamorous colours, which once filled their lives, fade out. All the splendour get deserted. The history of mankind reveals that at such a stage, all their creative qualities get buried' down. deep in the earth, presenting a scene of utter bewilderness.

Moreover, on a nation such conditions prevail for a long duration, are extremely dreadful and awfully admonitory.

Let us see, the reality of life to which, Ami'r-ul-Momineen. Ali-lbne-Abi Talib, the unmatched personality in mankind and the revealer of divinely wisdom, has warned us. Wake your conscience (Taste of acquirement), and hold to heart, each of His words.

"When someone is blessed with zenith and ascend, then the qualities of Qthers, also turn to be the gleaming star of his turban; but when this world drag it's face away, and ill-luck falls upon him, then even the wealth of his personal qualities, is snatched away as booty!" 4 Well, let us evaluate ourselves at this juncture, cast an eye on the days gone by, evaluate our present period, and then keeping in view the past and the present, pay a bit of attention on our future, because this issue not only concerns us, but also our children, our dear ones, and above all, it is an issue linked to the fate of the coming generations.

Our "children" are our wealth --- They are our bequest (heritage), the guardian of our history, the preserver of our philosophy of life, the custodian of our culture, the protector of the sacrifices of our ancestors and their prestigious deeds and more than this, are the twilight of an honourable, prestigious and a bright future.

Therefore, we all are obliged to evaluate with full honesty and sincerity whether we are really doing justice regarding our personal responsibilities and to the careers of our 'children? or it is otherwise?

To know this, it is imperative to atleast ponder over the facts mentioned below:-

1. Are we aware of the rights of our children?

2. As the head of family, do we perceive our obligations?

3. Along with the provision of physical amenities, have we ever cared to provide intellectual standards to our children?

4. Have we ever tried to analyse and evaluate the heritage of attitudes and traditions, which we are passing over to our children?

5. Along with the desire for economic prosperity, have we ever tried to inculcate in our children, the spirit of self confidence and high moral standards?

6. Are the environmental conditions of the location conducive for the upbringing of the children, where nature has bestowed upon us this responsibility?

7. Is any deficiency left over in their education and upbringing?

8. Are all the conditions for character building being met?

9. Are we developing the intellect of our child in a manner that he would accept with vigour the principles of life being extracted from the Holy Book and the Sunnah and Ser'at of the infallibles (Masumeen)?

All the above mentioned issues pertain to "the Islamic Philosophy of Education". If a satisfactory answer to them is in hand, then all the aspects of the subject would be vividly clear, and from it if some new idea emerges, an unknown feeling takes shape, the heart's but sprout, a new idea unveils, the tongue gains clarity, a new path emerges, then there is a possibility that some mystic and lively destiny might readily unfold itself. And thereby, the "metropolis of aspiration" may start glittering with radiance and grace.

Well! Islam is, --------- a message of peace and guidance,-----------desirous of peace and tranquil, ------------- a patron of human prestige and stature,---------- and the torch bearer of rectitude and well being for the 'sons of Adam' on all courses and domains.

The purpose of this Deen (religion) is that every individual on this Earth should find restitude, and be totally submissive only to Allah. To be so the, the necessary requisite is that he should at all instances be endowed with ease and comfort in this world, and also be blessed by Allah's boundless Grace in the Hereafter.

To those who believe in both the worlds, the Holy Quran directs them to supplicate from Allah in the following manner:

Oh creator! Also bless us with felicity in this ` world, --- and also reward us with well being in the Hereafter." 5 It is a fact, that this supplication completely conveys the essence of a pious person (Momi'n). Moreover, what else could be wished, in comparison to this "desire"?

But, now the question arises that, does the Beneficent just accords it in a supernatural miraculous manner? That, even sitting idle, all these desires would be fulfilled?

The answer is but obvious! Could you think that in the environment where the theory of the system of thought and action is based upon the following saying, that: Man is only rewarded of, for what he strives: 6

then the longing to acquire such favours under these constrains, could not be else than a mirage! For the attainment of the targets, efforts are obligatory, and for the realization of the objective, the determination of the path and destiny, needs to be performed, only and only through the prescribed procedure, the processed as explained by the religion, and under all circumstances it is necessary to keep in view all of it's details.

In these regards, Islam has set forth it's own specific view point, and has also delineated the approach for action. What is right? What is wrong? What is advantageous? Why are there sufferings? How to evaluate welfare? How to assess evil?

Then, what are the means of attaining virtue? Further, what are the methods of safe guarding against evils? etc, etc.

All these issues have been eloquently explained in the Islamic literature, And since the issues related to education (upbringing) being of fundamental significance to human life, has been stressed emphatically.

It is correct, that the scholars, philosophers, and experts in ethics have toiled hard in this subject, and have expressed upon on this subject in depth and detail, but it is no way comparable with the religious directives, especially the intellectual guidance being provided by Islam.

The fact is, that the philosophers and the scholars have mainly discussed the theoretical view point, and moreover they are least concerned with the practical problems that engulfs a common man!

Of course, it is accepted that, there is a lot of information in the works of these scholars, but what so ever one may deduce from them, muddles the brain in doubts and suspicions. Moreover, these scholastic proposals, howsoever good they may be, are not backed by practical example and pattern which could be followed.

As a result, these distant philosophical doubts, either carve impression upon the brains of just a few knowledgeable individuals, or gets adored in the closed books, elegantly decorated in shelves. And thereby at the mass level, they never shape out in practice! On the contrary, there is a miraculous wisdom concealed in the directions of the heavenly religions, and in the preachings of the prophets of Allah and His appointed leaders.

The eloquence of the Godly acknowledged persons, have the capability to rule the hearts, their sayings have the potential to spread far and wide! The Godly ordained person directly communicates with the individual, and also themselves puts their sayings to practice!

The Last Prophet of Allah, never spoke behind the veils, or in an unperceivable expression. What so ever He (SAWAW) used to express, was In public, in the common man's language, and so elaborate that even a layman would not find it difficult to understand, and to draw upon a conclusion.

Every saying of the Benefactor of Mankind (the Holy Prophet) was as vivid as the full moon; and bore the fragrance of the blooming roses! Moreover whatsoever He (SAWAW) used to say, He (SAWAW) would demonstrate it by His (SAWAW) actions, and this is what is termed as His Excellent Pattern (Uswa'e Hasana), and which the Holy Quran has ordained to be the way of life.

Similarly, the divine and pious life style (Se'rat) of the pious Ahle Bai't, the devoted participants of the successful revolution of the Holy Prophet, and the protector of the spirit of this intellectualo and life bearing revolution; either supplicating in niche bent in His Grace like a sword or behind the bars, are a living assemblage of the sayings and deeds of the Holy Prophet, and are the Allah's endorsed explanation and commentary, for our way of life.

Therefore, the principles and rules regarding education and upbringing of children and "training and development" of the new generation, as set forth by Quran, Islam and real leaders of this system, has boundless ability to create enlightened brains, foster examplary ethics, and develop ideal manners and habits.

On one side, these preaching's are extremely simple to follow, while on the other side, when incorporated in ones practical life, guarantee's a sure success.