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Fatima is Fatima

by : Dr. Ali Shari'ati


The
Educational
System
In Islam

By
Baqir Sharif al-Qarashi

Translated by
Badr shahin

Table of Contents



INTRODUCTION

The intellectual renaissances all over history have been the inevitable result of the development, prosperity, and progress of education and the reciprocal response to the social and individual lives. People that are supplied with the elements of conscious education will indisputably attain their goals in the fields of society, policy, and economy. On the other hand, people lacking such disciplines will surely retard and be unable to catch the procession of the civilization and the coinciding with the developed nations.
Without the availability of the conscious education, -that aims at achieving a true composition and development of the cognizance, and constructing the personalities- man will definitely be too short to attain scientific maturity and social evolution. Education should not be considered as a luxurious mark or an extra deluxe phenomenon. It is, in consequence, a life necessity and a humane original affair that plays the greatest role in the individuals’ general, as well as the private, lives. With all of its schemes and issues, education is responsible for training the individuals for associating in societies altogether with their rules, regulations, principals, and traditions. Moreover, it enables to socialize with others in the frame of such rules. Some characterize the education as the mirror on which philosophy, expectations, and goals of the societies are reflected. Human civilization had never been a heritage that is received easily. It was indeed a social tradition that took the greatest share of man’s endeavors for acquiring and saving it for thousands of years. Education has been the only course through which such an effort-exerting heritage was conveyed to the other generations. This education carried, trustfully, the intellectual fortunes, noble values, and esteemed habits to the next generations. An educationist expresses that the reason beyond the essentiality of education is the fact that babies are not born as humans, but they become so through education..
The educational processes, without which the individual and social lives would extinct, propose sound plans of the growth and durability of the social movements. John Dewey’s says that existence, as well as the continuation of societies, depend exclusively upon the process of the cultural conveyance which occurs only via the transference of the customs of working, thinking, and feeling from the adults to the infants. Life cannot continue unless the fine patterns, expectations, ambitions, criteria, and opinions are delivered to the new comers..
The source of the acquired psychological and social composites is, simply, education. On that account, the necessity of education for individuals, as well as societies, is substantiated.. “Supposing people leave this earth without their children, and return twenty years later, they will find them as same as cattle.”. This saying is accurate to a great extent.
In the western north territories of India, it happened frequently that wolves kidnapped some children and slain most of them. They, however, pitied some and kept in safe. As some men could identify the places of those children, they went there and could overcome the wolves and save the children. Later, they named them the wolves’ kids or wild kids since they followed the very same natures and habits of wolves. They also imitated the wolves’ cries, and ate like them, and torn their clothes, and confined themselves in isolated dark places, and behaved as if they were real wolves. Nonsuccess was the result of every attempt of civilizing, educating, or teaching those children how to talk.
In his ‘Life in Indian Jungles,’ Valentine Paul describes one of those wild children whom was put in an orphanage in February, 4, 1867:
“That boy showed signs of idiocy; such as the lowness of the forehead, anxiety, and disorder. He often opened his mouth just like a wild animal. He used smelling, rather than tasting, for identifying things. It was impossible to leave him without supervision. He used to use his legs and hands in moving. Few months later, he could use his legs only. He used to pause suddenly and walk unsoundly. He used to move his head swiftly to the right and left, and gaze on things as if he was waylaid. Until his demise, he could not change his way of life.”
Accordingly, education is an acquired matter. This is tendered in God’s saying:
And Allah has brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers, you did not know anything, and He gave you
the hearing and the sight and the hearts that you may give thanks.*
Evidently, the Quranic text emphasizes that knowledge and the intellectual growth are obtained through acquaintance and received by the hearing, sight, and intellectuality. In this regard, the holy Quran has preceded the modern educationists.
Anyhow, education can be a principal base of developing humankind, especially in the fields of intelligence, when it aims at achieving the general boom of personalities, and cares for sowing the virtual tendencies of spirits. Otherwise, man will certainly lose originality and character.
The religious education is the most considerable since it focuses on the spiritual progression, self-discipline, and the development of performance in addition to the regard of the virtuous conventions, the honorable ethics, and the dignified patterns.
Psychoanalysts focus a considerable light on this topic as they affirm that religion supports individuals with powers of faith, intellectuality, and acuteness. These powers form the spiritual vitalities resulting in depositing virtues in minds. This is indeed the most favorable and decent human goal..
Religion is the one and only restraint against irregularity and aberrance. It controls the tendencies, manages the desires, cleans and saves the soul from ruination, and protects against collapse and the pollution of sins and impulses. Religion, when finds a shelter in souls, props up a huge power that prevents from crimes and forbids aberrance, and inspires the doing of good and the competition in the fields of virtue.
Education that is formed on religious criteria achieves the most victorious success of societies. It eradicates the causes of tenseness and rebel, and authorizes the individuals to live naturally in their environments.
Failure is the inescapable fate of any education that ignores the religion. Such education will surely cause a great amount of disorder and nonsuccess for those living under its shades.
Spiritual powers leave a rich influence on man’s behavior, and direct to mental and intellectual balance. Faith, if based upon an ideology and creed, influences the interior and exterior organs and, consequently, calls to charitable deeds and behaviors.
Like many others, psychoanalysts have agreed unanimously that the religion plays the greatest role in the general composition of life, and the construction of security and settlement. They also affirmed that it is impossible to have a respectful life of amiability, geniality, and settlement without the existence of the spiritual education, which creates self-improvement, governs the habits, and takes away pride and whims.
The weakness of people’s religious conscience was the main reason beyond the spread of crimes, immoralities, unethical principals, and the consequent crises. This weakness caused the most terrible calamities that overcame the societies and traveled over the intellects. It also composed the horror and dismay that the modern man has had to face. Involuntarily, peoples of this world have been misguided into a dead end. Meanwhile, the great powers have been chasing each other in the outer space and the deep oceans, using weapons of termination, such as the atomic and nuclear bombs, for extending their supremacy and colonialism over the powerless peoples who possessed nothing for defending their homelands.
The prevalence of the modern culture and the increase of the scientific renaissance could provide no help in the fields of saving man from wars and the other arduous problems. Some people presuppose that the promotion of sciences and cultures, as a substitute for the religious and moral disciplines, may guarantee peace and luxury. This presupposition is too degraded to be discussed. Science is a two-edged weapon. Like being used for construction and reformation, it may be used for demolishing and deformation. It has been turned into a crisis and an essential origin of the international horror and fear only when politicians and rulers neglected the religious restraint. Robert Milkan says, “The most important matter in this life is the faith in the actuality of minds, and the value of ethics. The decline of this belief has been the direct reason beyond the public war. We must now exert efforts for acquiring or bracing this faith, lest science will be worthless, and this world will be disastrous for mankind.”.
Robert Hushance affirms, “As the material science has attained its climax in the fields of knowledge, technology and nature, it has attained the deepest point in the circle of policy and morality.”
In consequence, people have been recording their outstanding triumphs in the fields of biological and geological sciences. We are living in the competition of inventions, and there has been a magnificent progress in the outer space and the other planets. Humanity had never even dreamt of reaching the surface of the moon. Moreover, there are serious endeavors to reach the other planets.
We should ask whether such explorations and inventions have achieved good for humanity in the fields of cooperation, association, and luxury, or not. The answer is that the contrary has occurred. Such scientific progress has taken humanity lower and lower into the savage fighting and the enormous disputation that carried permanent horror to mankind. It has also taken man to the bottom of ethical worsening and sexual confusion.
The trends of modern sciences pushed men to degrade each other. This is clear in the United States where a racial discrimination has been the characteristic of the legislative regulations. This discrimination is mainly noticed in schools and universities. The authorities there ruled that the white should possess lodging higher than that of the black. There has been a difference in penalties, too. Al-Ahram, the Egyptian journal, mentions in the issue dated on 30/8/1958, that the international body of antiradicalism called for protesting against the death sentence issued to Jimmy Wilson, the black American man, for the accusation of larceny of $1.95 from a white mistress. This sentence would be executed in September 6.
The scientific progression of the United States could not eradicate such a wrong and transgression.
The material sciences have lacked the ability of being fair and amiability and cooperation among individuals. Majority of philosophers refuted the idea that the salvation of humanity from combats and disasters lies mainly in the scientific progression. In addition, they declared the falsity of this supposition. Mr. Leman says, “During the First World War, it was believable that the salvation of humanity lied in the scientific progression. Today, this illusion has been unveiled.”.
Iqbal warns people firmly against such sciences. He declares, “Beware of the studies you are receiving. They have the capability of killing the spirit of an entire nation.”. As he exposes teaching, Iqbal says, “Modern teaching is as same as the acid that works for melting humans’ personalities and recomposes them as it likes. Acid is more influential than any other chemical material since it can change a high mountain into rubbish.”
At any rate, modern sciences have not been interested in developing human behavior or leading the new generations to the accurate entrance to the social lives and the participation in founding sound societies of amiability and teamwork.
The material sciences have neglected the spiritualities and disdained the mental disciplines. This has been the most serious disadvantage that resulted in the pervasiveness of the moral defects. The gravest defects have been the commonness of crimes, the absence of human ties, and the release of family links and ethical rules. All the above caused the modern man to live in a dreadful nightmare.
Neglecting any objective treatment of the educational affairs, Christianity dedicated the activities to the invitation to the other life, the negligence of this world, and the lessening of the value of the earthly desires. It called for confining in temples and churches. The Christian education, as an educationist emphasizes, dedicated its mission to the preparation for the other life. Meanwhile, it neglected the discussion of any worldly affair, including those aiming for developing the acceptable tastes and intellectuals. From this cause, we can rule that the Christian education antagonized the liberal individual education of the Greeks, and the scientific one of the Romans..
Priests devoted all efforts to the affairs of the other life. Willula confirms, “The essential purpose of education is reforming what our forefathers had ruined, by deciding on the best recognition of God and opting for the best way of cherishing Him and committing to His path through acquiring virtues.”.
The church stopped in the face of the intellectuals and any invitation to progression and reformation. In the same way, it was recruited for serving the benefits and the ill deeds of the imperialism. Merrill Kurthy says, “The alliance of the church and the ruling authorities reached its climax in the occupied territories, especially the states of New England. The various religious sects exploited education, which is surely a strategic weapon purposed for supporting the political powers of the ruling authorities and protecting them against the competition of principals and anti habits..
Such states gave the missions of teaching to the churchmen exclusively. Hence, it depended upon churchmen’s recognition..
Churchmen courted three hundred thousand scientists, among whom thirty two thousand were sentenced to burning penalty. Churchmen also punished Borneo the naturalist for his opinion of the plurality of worlds. He was burnt alive. By the same token, Galileo was sentenced to death penalty for claiming the movement of the earth around the sun.
As a result of such struggle, the revolutionary naturalists decided that science and religion should never come to an understanding..
This caused the other scientific and reformist organizations to declare war against churchmen for eradicating their fables and intolerable regulations that antagonized the scientific and the logic rules. This intellectual uprising brought about the French revolution that produced the Chart of Human Rights. The most remarkable articles of this chart were the declaration of equality, freedom, and justice among people apart from their different nationalities and races.
In any event, the church could not issue any article referring to the scientific or professional education. Generally, the Christian education was subject to fables, myths, and parables of the churchmen.
Thanks to God, Islam has been using and equipping positively all powers for finding the sound education aiming at developing the human conscience and expanding the social and intellectual levels in the boundaries of a single educational process upon the base of which the individuals are formed in one mode. This formation tends to pursue the right and justice and compete in the fields of virtue and goodness. Unlike Christianity and Jewism, the feature of the Islamic education has not been a sort of utter religion or utter worldly regulations, like that of the Romans. It has been a harmonious structure of religion and worldly customs since it aims at achieving a comprehensive renovation of the two. The Islamic education has taken in consideration all of the social classes to which it has dedicated the most excellent courses based upon the most modern means of civilization, development, progression, and maturity of mankind. It is the only source of Muslims’ civilization and glory all over their golden ages. An Islamic educationist says, “It is impossible for any educationist or historian to deny the fact that the Islamic education has been the firm ground of Muslims’ civilization. The eminent idealities of this education comply with the modern trends. Islam has sanctified knowledge and scholars, and elevated science to attain the rank of worship. It has cared greatly for all types of education in general, and the spiritual, religious, and moral in specific. Islam has called for liberty, equality, and equal opportunities of learning, disregarding the social classes. Moreover, it has eradicated the classification of societies and imposed learning upon every Muslim -male and female- after it provided every attainable means of studying.
The portals of mosques, institutes, schools, and libraries in addition to the scientific and literary sessions were widely open before students. The Islamic states provided the students and scholars with whatever they needed, including lodgings, free medical care, and financial supports for guaranteeing good living and sparing enough time for studying. The principals of modern education -that came forth in the twentieth century but have not been applied yet- had been conceived and applied by the Islamic education in its golden ages tens of years before the modern formulation.. Islam has presented for all peoples on this globe the intellectual booms that included the bases of renaissance, progress, and comprehensive rectification involving all of the courses of life.
Generally, Islam has made knowledge the essential element of the social composition and Muslims’ collective revival. It has encouraged the receiving of knowledge and made it one of the doctrinal precepts.
The imperialistic powers, initially, manipulated the Islamic homeland and divided it into small weak humble states that lack the capability of self-defense. These small states wanted the potential of independence since the imperialists bounded them to their wheel, and controlled them thoroughly. The next step of imperialism was terminating Muslims’ powers and genuineness by contending with the Islamic conscience and opposing the doctrine and morality.
They recognized the reason that made Muslims achieve the triumphant conquests- it was the genuine doctrine that rejects humiliation, dishonor, and slavery. Hence, they equipped all their powers and intelligences for opposing the Islamic conscience along with its illumination in minds. They exercised the intellectual conflict, which has been the fatal weapon of mentality. They also brought into play the most modern technical means for controlling such conflicts.
The following are the most significant means of the intellectual conflicts.