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Fatima is Fatima

by : Dr. Ali Shari'ati

Astronomy


Astronomy:
Astronomy causes to believe in the influence of the planets in the events and independent impression in composing and establishing certain occurrences. It also indicates the planets’ managing and founding this cosmos. This will certainly lead to denial of God’s existence and His relinquishing in the earthly affairs after creation of these stars. Islam has warned against learning or believing in astronomy. The Prophet said, “He whoever believes in wording of astronomers or fortune-teller is denying what has been revealed to Mohammed.”
As Imam Ali was about to begin his journey, an astronomer said, “If you choose this very time for traveling you will not win your intendment. This is the astronomy.” The Imam gazed at him and said, “Do you claim you lead to the very hour that discharges the evil and the one that brings about the vile? Believing in you is belying the Quran and disdaining God’s help in obtaining the wish and evading the abominated. O People! Beware of learning astronomy except in cases of direction. Astronomy leads to fortune telling. Fortune-tellers are the like of sorcerers. Sorcerers are the like of atheists. Atheists will be in the hell-fire.”.
This is the logic of Islam aiming at believing in God and engaging all of the events to His will and determination. Stars have nothing to do with events except those regarding climate, lunar and sonar eclipses and the like. Those predictions do not confront the religion and its factuality and guidance.
Those banned sciences cripple the conceptual movement, deaden the cognizance and enliven believing in delusions and fables.

Teaching Women:
Islam has not dedicated teaching to men. As a matter of fact, women had a good share of teaching. Islam has aroused the spirit of knowledge among women of Muhajirs and Ansar* and encouraged them on learning reading and writing in addition to religious affairs. Al-Bukhari records that women asked the Prophet to assign a day on which he might meet and teach them and the Prophet did. Al-Belathiri counts the ladies who were teachers of writing and reading among whom were Hafsa the Prophet’s wife, Ummukulthoum bint Awaba and Aisha bint Sa’d who said, “My father taught me reading and writing.”. Easa bin Miskin used to gather his sons and nieces for teaching reading and writing..
Al-Jahiz affirms, “Women should not be taught writing and poetry. They should learn the Quran, especially sura of Nur.”. Al-Qabisi banned women’s learning to avoid depravity. He said, “It is more secure for women to evade learning reading.”
In fact, such opinions lack scientific genuineness and resist the Islamic spirit and guidance. Islam has persistently used all methods and powers for eradicating ignorance and illiteracy, and regarded the acquisition of knowledge as an individual right of every male and female. It has also burdened the governments of arranging equal opportunities of obtaining knowledge apart from race, nationality, and social class. It has declared that every human being should enjoy the right of the expansive participation in the scientific and conceptual activities.
The Islamic mission is based upon knowledge and believing in its being an important element of social progress of individuals and communities since it is not devoted to men exclusively. Women, whose roles in establishing the humane society and life prosperity and maturity have been distinctively and highly praised and estimated in Islam, are also included because they form the basic ground upon which family structure is built. How is it acceptable that Islam that gave women unprecedented respect and granted them as much as possible rights in scopes of general, as well as individual, relations with governments and societies has prevented them from obtaining knowledge, which is the guide to social and conceptual maturity and progress?
It is impossible for women to attain and rank of elevation and perfection unless they construct their lives on bases of knowledge and religion. It is yes that Islam banned women from mixed learning and warned against grooming since these matters push them into depths of disintegration and corruption and nullify their chastity and dignity. Islam aims for preserving women’s dignity and protecting them against slipping in humble levels. Women should be the mistresses of their class, and should manage and supervise the education and guidance of their likes for being active members in this life.

Status of Teachers:
Islam has paid considerable attention to teachers for their being the first brick in the structure of social development and perfection and the cause of guiding and developing behaviors and mentalities of individuals and communities. The Prophet cared for teachers and showed their elevated standings. Once, he passed by two circles of people; the first was supplicating to God while the other listening to a teacher. He commented, “The first is begging God who may or may not give them. The second was learning. I have been sent as teacher.” Hence, he joined the second. This is the best example of the Prophet’s encouraging education and teaching.

Teachers are exemplars:
Teachers are indisputably their pupils’ none such exemplars. Pupils acquire the good traits and sound trends, as well as the virtuous behavior and equanimity, from their teachers whose guidance and conducts penetrate to their hearts. On that account, teachers must overdiscipline themselves and train on virtuous and noble morals and manners to be the best exemplars of their pupils.
As a caliph appointed a teacher for his son, he instructed, “The reformation you will provide to my son should be a part of your self-reformation. Flaws of pupils are totally related to yours. They will deem good only what you deem good and deem evil only what you deem evil.”.
An educationist states, “Teachers are the good exemplars to whom the pupils refer inadvertently.”. Another educationist says, “Majority of people are pursuing states of the speakers. Those who are not are very rare. Hence, teachers should care for themselves more than improving their ways of teaching.”. It is said that admonitions of masters that neglect applying them are being very unstable in hearts.
Abul-Aswed ad-Dueli composed a couple of verses in which he said:
O, man that teaches others! You should have taught yourself first
Warn not against a manner while you are doing
This is the great shame on you
Begin with yourself in interdicting sins
If you do it then you are truly wise
Only then, your admonition will be acceded
And your words will be ensued and teaching be useful.
Self-disrespect and immorality of some teachers have been the cause that resulted in the present youth’s irregularity and deviation from the social traditions.

Teachers’ Rights:
Teachers enjoy abundant rights on their pupils since they are sources of their perfection and familiarity with life experts. They are also sources of their mentalities’ illumination. Therefore, teachers’ rights are preferable to fathers’. Pupils are required to show their teachers the highest pictures of respect and reverence. Imam Zeinul-abidin says, “The right of your instructor is dignifying him and committing to solemnity in their classes and good listening and attending. You should provide for your instructor with mental presence and conceptual attendance and heart retaining and sight propinquity. The way of all these is laxness of desires and confine of lusts. You must understand that you are the emissary of what you have been received to the ignorant you may meet. Then, you should convey properly and never breach the mission if you should perform.”.
These golden words have been definitely suffocated with teachers’ rights that bring about the nation’s guidance in behavior and morals.
Teaching stuff should enjoy the most remarkable rights not only on the students, but also on the nation. This is because teachers’ being the source of illumination and cognizance from which we recover elements of our renaissance and development. Teachers’ efforts are the source of establishment of civilizations and prosperity of life characters as well as achievements of the great expectations for which the nation yearns.

Teachers’ Qualities and Responsibilities:
The ancient Muslim educationists referred to a number of qualities and responsibilities that the teachers should apply on their teaching life. These qualities may participate in making the teachers the noble exemplars and achieving the prosperity of education and teaching for creating a generation of equanimity and good manners. The following is an exposition of these qualities:
- Teachers should offer their disciplinary activities for God’s sake. Their acts must aim at reforming the Muslim young generations. They should avoid thinking of riches or positions. Deviation is the inevitable fate of any teacher that intends to gain good livelihood or high positions through his missions. Sufian bin Uyeina says, “I had been gifted the understanding of the Quran, but when I received those riches from Abu Jafar I lost the understanding totally.”
- Teachers should be of extraordinary faith in God the Exalted, and should perform the rituals for showing the Islamic norms and destroying the seditious. They should also acquire noble traits so that God will cast understanding in their minds. Ibn Masud said, “Knowledge is not the abundance of narration. It is an illumination that God casts in minds.”
- Teachers should avoid humble professions, such as cupping or tanning, during the rest hours. - Teachers should clean their bodies and practice the other ablutionary activities such as clipping the nails and avoiding malodors.
- Teachers should economize in their clothing, food, and lodging. Ashafii said, “I have not been saturated for sixteen years.”
- Teachers should keep themselves away from the ruling authorities as much as possible. Al-Awzaii said, “Nothing is more hateful to God than the scholars’ visiting the viziers.”
- Teachers should copy the virtuous and pious men among the Prophet’s companions and their followers.
- Teachers should be concerned with the serviceable knowledges and avoid the useless and disputable.
- Teachers should be concerned with the knowledges that take to the affairs of the Hereafter. Shaqiq al-Belkhi asked his student, Hatem al-Asem about the questions he had learned. “How long have you been with me?” asked the teacher. “They have been thirty three years,” answered the student. “What have you learned all these years?” asked the teacher. “I have learnt eight questions,” replied the student. The teacher expressed his sorrow and said, “I have finished my years with you, but you have learnt eight things only!” “That is it,” expressed the student, “ I do not want to lie.” “Well,” said the teacher, “Let me hear.” “They are the fondness of the good deeds, shoving the caprices away, decency and god-fearing, befriending the right, antagonizing the devil, adhering to obedience, leaving the humiliation of seeking earnings to people, and depending on God,” counted the student. The teacher expressed his great admiration and esteem and said, “O Hatem! God may prosper you. As I looked in the Torah, the Bible, the Psalms, and the Quran, I found these eight questions be the pivot of these Books.”
- Teachers should not engage themselves in positions higher than their abilities until they accomplish their profession and grant the certificate of master teachers. As-Shibli says, “He whoever has the front before attaining suitability is meeting his shame.”
- Teachers should discipline the pupils with their accounts and deeds in addition to words and admonition.
- Teachers should love their pupils and guard them against harm. Abu Abbas said, “The most respectful -for me- is my student who leaves all people to come to me. I protect him to the degree that I exert my efforts for preventing even the flies from reaching him.”
- Teachers should pardon and acquit the pupils who make mistakes. They should use intimation in attracting their attentions to their faults. If they do not conceive, teachers then may state the fault openly. Then comes the reproach. The Prophet (s) said, “Teach without chiding. Teachers are preferable to the scolders.” He also said, “Use leniency to those whom you teach and those who learn you.”
- Teachers should welcome the attendant pupils and ask about the absent.
- Teachers should not answer questions they ignore. They may confess they do not know. Ibn Masud said, “O people! He, whoever is familiar with something, should say it, otherwise he should say: Allah is the most knowledgeable. This saying is a part of knowledge.”
- Teacher should realize the levels of the pupils and offer to them according to their understandings. They should intimate to the smart, elucidate for others, and repeat for the unintelligent.
- Teachers should refer to the unchanging rules and the exceptions of the materials they teach. They should also urge them on working and ask them to repeat the matters they had to memorize, and chide the negligent and praise the good retainers. They should also ask them for testing their understandings and order them of moderation especially when signs of physical or mental fatigue are shown. They should recommend the bored ones of rest and relaxation.
- Teachers should not ask for intolerable matters that do not fit the students’ minds and age. They should not ask the students of reading books that are mentally unattainable. They should test before referring to a subject to be perceived. After test, teachers may refer to books that accord the pupils’ minds. They should not engage the pupils with several subjects at the same time.
- Teachers should not teach when they are annoyed or complaining an illness, hunger, or anger since these states may harm the students and themselves.
- Teachers should neither prolong nor shorten the lessons unacceptably. Likewise, they should neither raise nor reduce their voices inadequately.
- Teachers should allot certain times to receiving the scope of the pupils’ memorized items. In the ancient times, teachers allotted Wednesday night and Thursday morning to recalling. Friday was the day off.
- Teachers should treat the pupils equally and avoid any sort of discrimination. The Prophet is reported to say, “Teachers who have three students- of different social classes- and do not treat them equally, will be in the line of the traitors on the Resurrection Day.”
- Teachers should supervise the pupils’ tendencies and mental desires so that the suitable subject is chosen. They should lead the pupils who seek another subject to the correct direction. Avecinna says, “Not every desired profession is possible and attainable for boys. They should be fit enough for conforming it. If all of the professions and knowledges were responsive, none would lack arts and professions, and people would have the same arts and professions or the opposite. Wardens who intend to select a profession for the wards should first test the nature and suitability. Hence, professions should be selected on the bases of suitability and capability.”
- Teachers should reward the hard-working pupils and praise them before the mates. Ibn Maskub said, “Pupils should be praised and rewarded for any good manner and favorable act they show.”
- Teachers should be accurate in treating the pupils. They should count their breaths and account their entire movements and activities.
The desires of seeking knowledge should be evolved in the pupils’ minds. Teachers should refer to the most significant matters that advance them and their societies plentifully. Pupils will surely pursue knowledge resolutely if this noble tendency is sewn in their minds and, consequently, the conceptual and scientific life will be prosperous in the country..
Because they applied those programs, the teachers of the early eras of Islam could produce those virtuous generations of such high traits and perfect maturity, and achieve the most remarkable scientific renaissance the sparks of which have covered all of the ages.

TEACHING METHODS

The ancient Muslim educationists adopted a special method of teaching that promotes the recipients of knowledge. The following are some articles of the teaching methods:

Forsaking Tension
Teachers ought to treat their pupils leniently and kindly and avoid any tension and cruelty since these two things impede the mental growth and author serious psychological complexes. Ibn Khuldun says, “Tensional teaching injures the pupils, especially the children and the harshly educated.”

Physical Discipline
Pupils of irregular behavior and negligence should be disciplined if they ignore the advice. The ancient Muslim teachers used to beat and detain even the kings’ sons. Abu Merriam, the educator of al-Amin and al-Mamun*, caned them so harshly that one’s arm was injured. Before his father, the boy showed his hand, and the teacher was summoned. “What for did Mohammed –al-Amin- complain you?” asked ar-Rashid. “He is full of naivete and slyness,” answered the teacher. The caliph then said, “You may kill him! His death is better than being dull.”.
In his instructions to al-Ahmer, one of his sons’ educators, ar-Rashid said, “You should first reform him by means of kindness and lenience. If he refuses, then you should use tension and coarse.”
Fathers used to say to the educators of their sons, “Your share is the flesh while ours is the bones.”
Beating and tormenting were the most important means of education. This is incorrect indeed since it is undecided to Islam that regards mercy, kindness, and lenience as the most matters on which education should settle. All of the crooked ways should be avoided in the educational processes. Teachers should not exceed in disciplining the irregular and deviant pupils since it creates mental complexes and impedes the maturity and prosperity of education and personality. Ibn Khuldoun says, “If the educator uses coercion, this will distress the pupil and confine his delighted spirit and urge on indolence and lead to lie and malignancy for avoiding more coercion. In addition, this coercion will teach the pupil trickery and fraud, and the pupil may take them as customs and qualities forever. The educator, whether teacher or father, should not exaggerate in disciplining the sons.”. The Prophet (s) said, “Teach without chiding. Teachers are preferable to the scolders.” Ibn Quteiba said, “Teachers are recommended not to use tension or pride.”.
Teachers are compared to the compassionate father. It is said, “Teachers are the substitutes of fathers.”. It is also said, “Teachers ought to care for the students’ interests and treat them like the dearest sons with kindness, courtesy, benevolence, and patience on probable alienation. Teachers should apprise of their flaws by means of advice and sympathy, not chiding and crudeness.”. Al-Qabisi, one of the master educators of the fourth century –of Hegira-, was asked whether it is recommended for teachers to use coarseness or lenience with students, he answered, “Disciplining should never occupy the good teachers’ lenience and mercy to the pupils. Teachers are the substitutes of their fathers. It is discommended for teachers to be always frowning. This will make the pupils disrespect them.”.
Teachers’ roughness originates mental troubles and leads to the students’ refusing the lessons.

Suggestive Rebuke
Muslim educationists believe that the insinuative rebuke should be within the teaching methods in case pupils show irregular behavior or imperfect work since this method is more impressive than expression. They said, “Teachers who notice an irregularity or a crooked behavior should not state it directly to the pupils. They should insinuate within their common speech by referring to the disadvantages of such a behavior. This will achieve the intended convention.”.
This method, in fact, is more useful than direct reproach, which may lead to rebellion and insistence on the wrong. Islam has asserted this topic in the fields of education and teaching. It is related that Imams al-Hassan and al-Hussein, the grandsons of the Prophet, once noticed an old man perform the ritual ablution incorrectly. They avoided stating to him directly; hence, they agreed on making him the arbiter who should rule of the most accurate ablution. As they performed the ablution before him, the old man said, “O masters! You both have performed the very accurate ablution, but it seems that the old man can master nothing.”
Islam has adopted this necessary practice since it saves the deviant from irregularity and aberrance and takes him back to the truth and right. Educationists said, “The pupil that is not amended by insinuative impression, owing to lack of understanding and perception, secret expression and frank warning should be used. If this method is unsuccessful, the teacher may warn openly and reproach. If this is also unsuccessful, the teacher then may dismiss and leave the pupil till he returns.”.

THE LEARNERS’ MANNERS

Muslim educationists have been greatly concerned with the learners’ affairs. They constituted the considerable methods that aim at disciplining and acquiring the virtuous ethics and noble manners.
- Learners should seek knowledge for God’s sake purely, neglecting any worldly interest or valueless purpose. God will surely raise the respects of such learners, facilitate the difficulties, grant perception and intelligence, and combine the welfare of this world and the Hereafter.
- Learners should carry out the religious instructions and precepts as well as the noble morals and ritual practices. They should fear God in their hiddens as well as their appearances and purify their hearts against discommended qualities such as envy, ostentation, pride, and arrogance since these characters are the vilest and the most unassuming. An educationist says, “Prayers are invalid without extrinsic purification. Likewise, heart worship that is seeking knowledge is invalid unless the hearts are purified from ill manners and immoral qualities. Knowledge is not the abundance of narration. It is an illumination that is cast in hearts.”
- Learners should enjoy self-possession and sedateness. The Prophet (s) said, “Seek knowledge and convey to people. Use composure, tranquility, and modesty to those from whom you learn and those to whom you convey. Do not be the despotic of knowledge.”. Imam as-Sadiq said, “Seek knowledge and use self-possession, composure, and modesty to those from whom you learn. Do not be the despotic of knowledge, otherwise the wrong will remove your right.” Students of such perfect moralities will naturally be the exemplars of others and influence positively in the people’s behavior and ethics.
- Learners should exert all efforts for seeking knowledge since it is not inspirational. Knowledge is acquirable. It depends upon the scope of the efforts that lead to obtaining scientific fortune. Learners should respect time as well as their lessons. Any tardiness will waste the classes and cause the teachers’ carelessness.
- Learners should not exaggerate in studying lest their powers and energy will be exhausting and the mental maturity be impeded. It is essential for learners to have sufficient time for rest and physical relaxation. Men should regard the rights of their bodies. Al-Ghezali said, “It is essential to give the pupils sufficient time for acceptable amusement and relaxation after the fatigue of teaching. Preventing the pupils from entertainment after the exhausting teaching will deaden their hearts stupefy their minds. This will also cause a life disturbance and oblige them to look for trickeries for the sake of getting rid of such a disturbance.”
- Learners should not ask rigor questions otherwise they lose prosperity owing to disrespecting the knowledge and dishonoring the teachers whose approval should precede everything else.
- Learners should respect their teachers who should enjoy rights that are preferable to the fathers. Ashafii said, “I used to reverence my teacher, Malik, to the degree that I skimmed over the books so slightly so that he will not hear the sounds of the papers.” Learners should also esteem their teachers in their presence or absence, use various styles of honoring and veneration, neglect using their names, and stand their flaws and roughness. Ashafii reported, “People informed Sufian bin Uyeina that some people, who had come from distant districts, would leave him because of his harshness.” He said, “They are surely ignorant if they leave their advantages because of my ill manners.” Learners should also be in the class before their teachers, sit in front of them, not lean to a wall or a pad, and not turn the back before them. All these affairs contradict the teachers’ rights. They should also listen heedfully to their teachers and save them against repeating the teaching materials. Moreover, learners should avoid yawning, eructing, laughing, mocking, or practicing any deed that dishonors the teachers.
- Learners should not combine two subjects of study at the same time, lest their minds will be exceedingly disturbed. Ibn Khuldoun says, “Learners must not mix two matters of knowledge at the same time, lest they will be too deficient to obtain any of them since this causes mind confusion and leaning to one on the account of the other.”
- Learners should not associate with other than the hard-working students so that they receive the good behaviors. It is said that the social life is influential and being influenced. Each individual gives and takes from the surroundings. Lazy and slender individuals will surely convey their qualities to their associates.
- Primary learners should not involve themselves in discrepancies and ambiguous opinions of the master scholars especially in conceptual theses, lest these variant opinions will weaken their mentalities and natures.
- Learners should not move to another lesson before they master the earlier. Negligence will surely cause tardiness and skillessness.