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Islamic Education

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Text Preview Concept of Education in Islam and Its Objectives
The Arabic language has three terms for education, representing the various dimensions of the educational process as perceived by Islam. The most widely used word for education in a formal sense is ta'līm, from the root 'alima (to know, to be aware, to perceive, to learn), which is used to denote knowledge being sought or imparted through instruction and teaching. Tarbiyah, from the root raba (to increase, to grow, to rear), implies a state of spiritual and ethical nurturing in accordance with the will of God. Ta'dīb, from the root aduba (to be cultured, refined, well-mannered), suggests a person's development of sound social behavior. What is meant by sound requires a deeper understanding of the Islamic conception of the human being.

1) Importance of Education
Education in the context of Islam is regarded as a process that involves the complete person, including the rational, spiritual, and social dimensions. As noted by Syed Muhammad al-Naquib al-Attas in 1979, the comprehensive and integrated approach to education in Islam is directed toward the "balanced growth of the total personality…through training Man's spirit, intellect, rational self, feelings and bodily senses…such that faith is infused into the whole of his personality" (p. 158).

Educational theory in Islam:
In Islam educational theory knowledge is gained in order to actualize and perfect all dimensions of the human being. From an Islamic perspective the highest and most useful model of perfection is the prophet Muhammad, and the goal of Islamic education is that people be able to live as he lived. Syed Hussein Nasr wrote in 1984 that while education does prepare humankind for happiness in this life, "its ultimate goal is the abode of permanence and all education points to the permanent world of eternity" (p. 7). To ascertain truth by reason alone is restrictive, according to Islam, because spiritual and temporal reality are two sides of the same sphere. Many Muslim educationists argue that favoring reason at the expense of spirituality interferes with balanced growth. Exclusive training of the intellect, for example, is inadequate in developing and refining elements of love,

kindness, compassion, and selflessness, which have an altogether spiritual ambiance and can be engaged only by processes of spiritual training.

Education in Islam is twofold:
1. Acquiring intellectual knowledge
(through the application of reason and logic)
2. Developing spiritual knowledge
(derived from divine revelation and spiritual experience)
According to the worldview of Islam, provision in education must be made equally for both. Acquiring knowledge in Islam is not intended as an end but as a means to stimulate a more elevated moral and spiritual consciousness, leading to faith and righteous action.

1. Emphasis on Acquiring Education in Qura’an:
In a society where religion and knowledge in general and science in particular do not go hand in hand, it seems necessary to briefly describe the position of Islam vis-à-vis knowledge, Islam, in theory as well as in practice, has always promoted knowledge. Distinctive mark of human beings over the angels is knowledge: "And Allah taught Adam all the names…” (2:31)

The first verses of the Quran began with the word:
"Read. Read in the name of thy Lord who created; [He] created the human being from blood clot. Read in the name of thy Lord who taught by the pen: [He] taught the human being what he did not know." (96: 1-5). The Qur'an says.

"Are those who have knowledge equal to those who do not have knowledge?!”(39:9).

2. Emphasis on Acquiring Education in Hadith:
The Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his progeny) has also emphasized the importance of seeking knowledge in different ways:

(a) Time: "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave."
(b) Place: "Seek knowledge even if it is far as China."
(c) Gender: "Seeking of knowledge is a... Show More

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