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Education and Environment

Environment is one the most eminent effects of education. Children pursue their environments unfeelingly. The environment plants instincts and habits in the children’s minds easily and readily. The youth follow the environmental effects in good and bad circumstances. However, internal and external factors, that interact and receive medial influences to bring about the moralities and habits, affect the human beings directly.

Signification of Environment:

Educationists have unanimously agreed that the social surroundings are within the most significant elements on which education depends in the formation of human personalities and the achievement of the individuals’ desires within the general frame of civilization. They also contribute in consummating a high degree of social perfection. At the same time, the surroundings reduce the tensions and aspects of aberrant behaviors, and this creates the individuals’ collective combination and loyalty to the goals and values of the society..

The Environmental Responsibilities:

The social surroundings are responsible for any degradation or retardation that affects the educational values since their role is elevating the levels of the national scientific and ethical ambitions. They are also asked for establishing the competent means of promoting the culture and illuminating the intellectualities with science. A deep look into the social surroundings all over the various historical eras will expose that the surroundings of a considerable progression and civilizing had performed their duties of urging the officials on developing the conscience and broadcasting the scientific waves among the various social classes. This is one of the immense goals that are intended in the Prophet’s saying, “You all are supervisors and you all are responsible for your subjects.” Hence, all Muslims are in charge of demanding their governments with founding the means of development and outgrowth for contributing in the constructing of the human civilization.

The Environmental Settlement:

The settlement of the social surroundings and the family order has a substantial pertinence in the rectitude of the behaviors and the mansuetude of the youth. UNESCO has discussed the unnatural effects on the children’s mentalities. After a comprehensive inspection, the following report was submitted:

“The surroundings’ psychological settlement and the families’ mutual amiability are the bases on which the children’s emotional conditioning and the satisfactory social relations are grounded. In case these surroundings deform the children’s piety to parents, it will be so arduous for them to associate socially.”.

The environmental settlement is really one of the causes that contribute in the coherence and prosperity of the children’s personalities, and in avoiding the elements of concern. Psychologists decide that the environmental disorder and the accompanying perplexities and depravities; all these cause the children to feel weak in the face of a world of cheating, trickery, treason, and envy..

Categories of Environment

Educationists determine that there are two sorts of environments in which the human beings live.

One: The Natural Environment:

The natural environment comprises all of the natural surroundings. The earth along with all of what is above or beneath in addition to the powers and energies; all these are the components of the natural environment. The natural sciences beginning with simple information given to the pupils up to biology, chemistry, and physics are related to the natural environment that the students must understand, totally or partially, so that they can condition themselves.

Two: The Social Environment:

The social environment is the society of mankind and the relations between the individuals and groups. Economical, political, professional, cultural and psychological relations are the components of the social environment. Besides, the social sciences, such as history, geography, education, economics and politics, relate to the social environment. On that account, it is preferable for the students to have enough acquaintance with these sciences in order to be able of conditioning socially. The spiritual and mental values play a considerable effective role in the social environment through educating and raising the levels of the early youth.

The Environment in Islam:

Islam has been intensely concerned with the environment since it is an effective element in the educational and social composition. Good environments support the nation with the best and the most proficient individuals who progress in great steps in the fields of virtue and reformation. In like fashion, evil environments bring about the vile licentious individuals who distribute their mental defects among people.

Islam has identified the whole devices and powers of reforming and evolving the environment for achieving justice, right, and equality, and eradicating the elements of lag, retardation, injustice, wronging, and stinginess. It has been also purposed for achieving security and settlement, and eliminating the seditious and disorderly affairs. The Islamic environment has produced those great, excellent, intelligent, and virtuous reformers who were the best of mankind, all over history, in believing in God, inciting to the right, and exerting efforts for the sake of justice.

It is noticeably important to discern that Islam has actually been concerned with the private environments. It has recognized the most significant aspect of raising the individuals’ reactions in acquiring customs and moralities. This aspect is friendship, which is the most powerful educational element that transfers the individuals’ traits and tendencies. Sociologists have affirmed the point by saying, “The social life is the life of influence and perception. Every individual influences and perceives from the surroundings.” This meaning is also asserted through proverbs and literary sayings that prove the individuals’ being influenced by their friends.

Islam has emphasized on associating the virtuous, godly, noble, honorable, and straight individuals, through whom good manners and noble traits are acquired. Imam al-Hassan (a) says in his everlasting words of advice: “When you need to associate with men, you should choose those whose friendship graces you and guards in troubles. You should choose those who assist you in exigencies, and believe your discourse, and back you in charges, and participate in virtues. It is they who cover up your flaws, and regard your favors, and give when you need, and chatter in silence, and console in misfortunes, and save from troubles, and do not misguide or disappoint in calamities, and prefer in litigation”.

By those golden words, the Imam has assigned the Islamic duties of friendship that obligate mutual supervision, amiability, and cooperation among friends.

Friendship lead to the acquisition of customs and the interaction with the friends’ ethics, tendencies, and trends. Therefore, Islam has warned against befriending the morally and mentally defected individuals. Imam Ali (a), the great educator, instructs his son Imam Al-Hassan:

“O son! Beware of associating with the idiot. They harm when they intend to benefit. Beware of associating with the misers. They deprive you of the very things that you need. Beware of associating with the licentious. They vend you with valueless. Beware of associating with the liars. They look like a mirage that shows the remote as close and the close as remote.”

Many damages that cause the loss of the behavioral balance result in associating with such individuals. The reference books of hadith are full of many prophetic and imamic sayings regarding the qualities and influences of friends. The Prophet (s) says, “Man pursues his friend’s religion.”.
The youth that accept their religion and doctrine are advised to be careful of the individuals that are defected morally and behaviorally, since such ones lead to sinning and depravity. The youth should also avoid those who bear weak principals, such as existentialism and the like, that call for disintegration and the prevalence of the jungle law.

Unfortunately, the Islamic society has been affected by many of those deviants who do not possess any Islamic or national conscience, and ignore any upright social purport. Hence, they worked poisonously for dishonoring this nation’s social and spiritual divines and values. The faithful youth should be careful of such individuals and should never associate with them so that they would not be misguided.

The Environment in the Present Ages

Modern social surroundings have attained a great scale of merging and similarity because of the new means of communication that approximated the nations and peoples by mutual transference of habits and traditions. This has naturally created the unprecedented extensive reciprocity of ideas. Most people then participated in the same tendencies, traditions, and habits.

The social environments all over this world have painfully had to encounter fears, horrors, and insecurity because of the greed of the politicians who rule the great powers. They have competed with each other on invading, occupying, and subjecting the weak peoples. They have also struggled for distributing their principals. This brought the destroying wars that broke out in some countries and caused the disorder of the social environments and the individuals’ fear and horror.

Modern man is living nervously after the loss of the future expectations. Man anticipates ambiguous future and evils of the great powers that tend misguidedly to wars and destroying by using their entire economic, military, and diplomatic devices for aggressions and massacre. Nothing but the news of termination and massacre are reported every news agency all over this world. The great powers have exploited their people’s wealth in the fields of developing their armament. They have coerced the scientists on inventing in this field exclusively. Hence, the development of such weapons has been highly formidable and fascinating. Satellites and electronic devices have been put in the service of exploring the others’ strategic situations and means of defense and power. The most horrible invention in this regard has been the nuclear weapons that had the ability of destroying any country in few hours. Thus, fear and horror have predominated on the inhabitants of this planet.

These are definitely exhausting and arduous crises and difficulties that people have had to face. Everybody ignores the time in which those gods of evil click on the buttons of these terminating weapons to demolish this life thoroughly and handle the keys of this planet to the Creator. All these dangers have indisputably been the outcome of the lack of conscious education in the interiors of the politicians and leaders of this world. Had they enjoyed a single particle of human conscious, they would have saved this world from such a gigantic hazard and exerted their efforts in the fields of man’s luxury, indulgence, and settlement.

Adapted from the book: "The Educational System in Islam" by: "Baqir Sharif Al-Qireshi"

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