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1) Islaamic culture is distinguished from all other cultures.
2) Each nation has its own culture and policies originating from its religion.
3) Science in the Islaamic culture aims towards instilling deeper faith and assuring certainty in Allaah.
4) The failure of foreign educational policies.
5) The bases on which such policies were founded.
6) The importance of upbringing, policies, and educational curriculum in establishing the Islaamic culture and community.
7) A call to reconsider the use of existing educational curricula in the Muslim countries.
8) Principles and methods of upbringing.
All praise is due to Allaah. May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, his household and companions.
Fellow Muslims! I implore you and myself to fear Allaah, for whoever fears Allaah, He will provide for him light, knowledge and His pleasure and fill his heart with confidence, peace and faith.
“O you who believe! If you obey and fear Allaah, He will grant you a criterion (to judge between right and wrong) and will expiate for you your sins, and forgive you, and Allaah is the owner of the Great Bounty.” (Al-Anfaal: 29).
“O you who believe! Fear Allaah and believe in His Messenger, He will give you a double portion of His Mercy and He will give you a light by which you shall walk (straight) and He will forgive you. And Allaah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Hadeed: 28).
Respect the limits of Allaah and keep to His commandments for you have a pursuer from Allaah and He has invigilators and reckoners over you. Learn lessons from those who were before you, before you become lessons for others. And send forth good deeds for yourselves, you will find them (of benefit) with Allaah.
Brothers in Islaam! Every human civilization has its era; it grows, blossoms, and then vanishes. The Islaamic civilization, however, is an everlasting one. It does not degenerate nor does it wane, because it possesses an inner power, by the permission of Allaah. It derives its power of existence from the perfect and favored religion of Allaah. Allaah says which means, “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you and chosen Islaam for you as your religion.” (Al Maa’idah: 3).
As long as this ummah holds fast to its Islaam and helps its cause, its civilization will continue growing and progressing, and it will not know any weakness or degeneration no matter how the circumstances are. Allaah says which means: “So do not become weak against your enemies nor be sad and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers.” (Aal ‘Imraan: 139).
Equally, there is for every nation a civilization in matters of its belief, religious rites, customs and social relations. Every respected nation forms for itself principles of education that guarantee a safe climate where it can prepare its young generations for its beliefs and concepts and create in them enthusiasm for them and the will to defend them.
Brothers in Islaam! The talk about vitality, steadiness and progress in human civilizations attests to the fact that knowledge and its systems have their drive, essence and impact. This spirit is the reality of this knowledge and its deep effects. The knowledge that Islaam has established bears within it the spirit of belief in Allaah and fear of Him, belief in the unseen and in the Last Day. It is also full of noble characters and virtues. On the contrary, the system of knowledge that has been laid down by paganistic nations such as the Greeks, Romans and others, contain only the spirit of the period of ignorance and polytheism. The same can also be said of educational systems that are based on heresy, atheism, materialism and utter disregard for all that cannot be physically felt or bring forth any quick and mundane benefit. This spirit is inherent in their consciences, educational systems, ideologies, philosophies, poetry, narrations and literature. Educational systems of atheist nations and civilizations cannot be like the systems of a believing nation; it can never be suitable for it nor can it be compatible with it.
Fellow Muslims! When this is so, what does the knowledge, education and awareness mean to a community which does not have a dignifying personality, a message, a creed in which it believes, fundamentals which it has affinity to, spiritually and physically or a message that it adopts and calls others to?
O Muslims! O educators! Every rational Muslim who loves his religion, his ummah and his country will take an assessing look at the state of education in the Muslim countries, in light of profits and losses that are being made by these educational policies which these Muslim countries use in their schools, institutions and universities. What is the proportion of the progress achieved to the efforts and money spent? What have our children and the youth gained there from? What is this horrible ideological anarchy, contradictory views and ideas, doubt in matters of religion, indifference towards obligatory acts, revolting against all morals and blind imitation of non-Muslims which are noticed in most of our youths? Why are many of them blind and in spiritual darkness? Why do they denounce themselves and believe in others? The reason for this is that Islaam has become dead in their hearts. They are carried away by other people’s products, they talk gibberish and walk in an effeminate manner. Education did not impress self-confidence in their hearts nor did it tell them of their position or strengthen their aspirations. It did not create in them any sense of responsibility. They are killed without war and their hearts and minds are preoccupied with the thoughts of material things in life and fashionable clothing.
Brothers in faith! Now is the time to take a serious stance and examine ourselves sincerely. We must admit the failure of the foreign educational systems. They have woefully failed to positively educate the individuals and the community. These imported educational systems actually carried out either of two things: promotion of atheism or separation of religion and worldly matters. These are the fundamentals upon which their studies and theories are based, hence, taking care of only worldly matters and alienating religion from education.
O educationists! It should be clear to all that sciences, arts, systems and educational theories that have appeared – and are still appearing – in the West, East or any other place in the world, are merely human experiments in which their authors may be sometimes wrong or right. The useful aspects of those sciences may be taken after making sure that they are free from elements of atheism, corruption and scorning for virtues. One should then give them the touch of Eemaan before one uses them. Allaah says which means: “(Our religion is the religion of Allaah) and which religion can be better than Allaah’s” (Al Baqarah: 138).
It is illogical and unwise for this ummah to adopt these foreign sciences and theories wholly with all their elements of corruption. Rather, it should only take what leads to increased Eemaan, piety and God-consciousness. Allaaah says which means: “It is only those who have knowledge among his slaves that fear Allaah.” (Faatir: 28).
Allaah also says when describing some qualities of men of understanding, which means: “… and think deeply about the creation of the heaven and the earth saying, ‘Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose. Glory be to You. Give us salvation from the torment of the fire.” (Aal ‘Imraan: 191).
Brothers in faith! The issue of education is one of the major issues in Islaamic countries. It is an issue in its own right because the nation of Islaam is a special one in its nature, policy and goals. It is a nation that possesses a concept, creed, message and Jihaad, hence education and learning should be subject to all this. All types of education or learning that do not carry these meanings are regarded as betrayal to this ummah.
In Islaam, education does not leave room for sheer human efforts and imported concepts and ideologies to control Muslims and divide them into progressive, reactionaries, socialists, capitalists or whatever else.
Education, dear brothers, should not be a commodity to be exported. It is rather a system that reflects the reality of a community and its true features. Education should be a system that embodies the objectives of the community. It should embody its firm belief, its language, its exemplary way of life and its history.
Muslims, therefore, need an educational system and policy that suits their nature and is compatible with their noble values in their belief, law, and spirit of jihaad in order to regain their glory. It should be a system of education upon which the life of the Muslims can be built and that will include all the classes of the Muslim society; one that will remain part of their lives.
The Islaamic education system is the one that caters for all stages of one’s learning life from kindergarten to the highest degree, and causes great change in society through reform, uprightness and repossession of the lost glory. Islaamic education reforms the hearts and purifies the minds. It recognizes talents and human differences.
Education in the Islaamic view means creating real men, refining their intellect, safeguarding manners and actualizing the goal of all fields of knowledge in order that man may be able to live his life in this world according to noble goals and sublime objectives.
Education is an undertaking by every Muslim to reform himself in matters of his belief, worship and conduct. It is an effort that one puts in order to achieve happiness in this world and the next.
O educators! Regardless of what people say about happiness and its meaning, it is a sure fact that education and its cultivation in Islaam mean that the Muslim nation must preserve those values upon which its life revolves; to fight for that cause and transfer it sincerely to the coming generations. (This is true happiness.)
According to us Muslim, there is a clear difference between belief and disbelief; religion and atheism; abiding by Islaamic injunctions and slackening in upholding them; the lawful and the forbidden. We have lines of demarcation for all that. As for others, their creeds are unclear. Allaah says which means, “You (true believers in Islaamic monotheism) are the best of people ever raised up for mankind, you enjoin all that is good and forbid all that is evil.” (Aal ‘Imraan: 110).
Fellow Muslims! Fellow educators! Now is the time to formulate an education system and policy in all Muslim countries that will be purely Islaamic in all its aspects. Knowledge should be recorded and books authored in the spirit of Islaam in such a way that nothing thereof will be contradictory to it. A system of education that will establish Eemaan and certainty. If the Muslim Ummah can do that, it will be creating generations that will think Islaamically. This is, in fact, a huge responsibility, but with zest and, above that, the permission of Allaah, it will be easy to carry out. Committees and commissions must be set up under the canopy of Islaamic governments and their support to carry out these duties, and it will be easy Insha Allaah with sincerity and determination. Allaah says which means, “And say (O Muhammad) ‘Do deeds! Allaah will see your deeds and (so will) His Messenger and the believers. And you will be brought back to the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. Then He will inform you of what you used to do.” (At Tawbah: 105).
It is through the Islaamic education that a Muslim can become a productive member of his society and carry out perfectly the duty of succession he is assigned to. It is then that Allaah will increase him in power and grant him good enjoyment. Allaah says which means, “And seek the forgiveness of your Lord and turn to Him that He may grant you good enjoyment for a term appointed and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace.” (Hood: 2).
He also says which means, “Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain and add strength to your strength.” (Hood: 52).
Islamic education is rich in great concepts that encourage piety, mercy, altruism, forgiveness, brotherhood and strength. It recognizes the rights of Allaah, the rights of parents and that of the old and weak people, and encourages giving each his due right. Islaamic education promotes morals and ethics like manners of greeting, seeking permission to enter other people’s homes, talking, eating, seeking knowledge, and visiting the sick.
Islamic education encourages setting good examples, mutual admonition, sincere acts of worship, seeking the truth, academic research and serious learning. It also protects from arrogance, hatred, jealousy, hypocrisy, self-delusion, love of this worldly life, following the desires, stinginess etc.
The path of education in Islaam is the straight path, the path of those on whom Allaah has bestowed His Grace, from the Prophets, the Siddiqoon (those followers of the Prophets who were first to believe in them like Abu Bakr), the martyrs and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are! They are far from the path of those who have earned Allaah’s wrath and of those who have gone astray.
The Glorious Qur’aan and the pure Sunnah are the foundations of Islaamic education, in all its stages, and the first and foremost model is our Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu 'alaihi wasallam. It is through him that Allaah taught us that knowledge should precede sayings and deeds, where He says which means, “So know that none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah, and ask forgiveness for your sins and also for the sins of believing men and women.” (Muhammad: 19).
May Allaah provide for the Muslims, their leaders, educators and scholars the light of knowledge, pure conscience, honesty in sayings and deeds and adherence to the straight path of Allaah.