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Ethics

Education Versus Training

As we saw before animals naturally recognize their good and evil, their food sources, and their ways of life. In this way, their capabilities manifest themselves. On the contrary, man knows neither his pains nor their remedies, neither his friends nor his foes, and possesses neither instruments nor his defense mechanisms. He has obtained all these through education and experience:

    "واللهُ اخرَجَكُم مِن بُطُونِ اُمَّهاتِكُم لا تَعلَمُونَ شَيئاً وجَعَلَ لَكُم السَمْعَ والابصارَ والافئدةَ لعلكم تَشْكُرونَ"

“And Allah has brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers – you did not know anything – and He gave you hearing and sight and hearts that you may give thanks.”30

In order for man's skills and capabilities to flourish in diverse dimensions such as talking, having high morals, walking, living honestly, and loving justice, he needs instructors. Thus, education helps him improve his knowledge and culture; whereas training is employed to direct his innate capabilities and his spiritual dispositions. An educator teaches him the things he does not know, whereas a trainer guides his innate abilities in the right direction.

Notes:

30. Qur'an 16:78.

Adapted from: "Imam 'Ali's First Treatise on The Islamic Ethics and Education" by: "Zainol Aabideen Qorbani Lahiji"