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    The Concept and Aim of Islamic Education


    The Ummah is in grave condition. Presently the Ummah is being stepped on, humiliated,

    ridiculed, massacred, colonized, robbed of its rich resources or defeated. It has been

    called names such as terrorist, backward, fanatic, and other such demeaning names. The

    Ummah is being attacked from within and without. The Muslims are being secularized,

    westernized and de-Islamized. They are loosing their identity to foreign ideologies such

    as hedonism, materialism, existentialism, and other isms. The worst scenario is the

    Ummah is in continuous war with each other. The pictures that the Ummah paints for the

    outside world are not pretty. This is made worst with the help of biased media which are

    very sensitive to the wrongdoings by the Ummah.

    The irony is that the Muslims are the richest people in the world yet they died because of

    starvation. They have in their possession rich natural resources yet the disparity between

    the haves and the haves not is very great in the Muslims world. The rich has no

    compassion toward the poor. They have the most realistic and practical method of living

    in their possession but they change it to the very system that destroys their identity and

    civilization. The colonial powers have succeeded in dividing the Muslims into several

    small countries and turned them against each other. To ensure the perpetuation of their

    ideologies, the colonialists appointed the local elites who were educated in western

    institutions to lead the country after independence. These political leaders dance to the

    tunes of their western masters. They oppressed their own brothers for the satisfaction and

    approval of their western counterparts.


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    Economically, the Muslims are backward. Most of them are illiterate. They depend on

    the west to provide them with food and services. Western colonialists feed their mind

    with consumerism, thus create vast markets for their consumer products. Western

    imperialists are not concerned with developing the countries they invaded but they are

    concerned with making more profits by ensuring that the Muslims are in constant demand

    for their products. Even though physically the Muslims are independent, but their minds

    are still being colonized. Western imperialists constantly feed the minds of Muslims with

    the superiority of western cultures through the media. Such is the state of the Ummah.

    The Ummah has lost its fine culture and civilization. Westernized political leaders did

    not comprehend the very fact that the Ummah is in such sorry state is because they

    abandon their own belief for secularism. They naively thought that the predicament that

    they are in is because of they are not modern and developed yet. So they find ways to

    disseminate to the masses the importance of physical development as the method of

    delivering the Ummah from further destruction. One most effective way is through

    education system. The education system prevalent in the Muslims world is the exact

    copy of their western counterparts. The end result is the Ummah is experiencing a

    progressive erosion of culture and civilization. The Ummah is in a hurry to emulate the

    Western culture which is seen as progressive and developed. It is stumbling behind

    Westerners to get their seal of approval.

    Therefore, it is imperative that the Ummah scrutinizes its education system and find

    faults within the system. In order to make judgment on the current state of Muslims


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    education system, it is very significant to understand what education from Islamic

    perspective is. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to expound the concept of education in

    Islam. The confusion in the meaning of education will lead to the selection of wrong

    aims and objectives of education which will affect the selection of contents of education.

    The precise definition is crucial since it determines the framework of education. Thus, the

    decision on content selections and programs of education becomes less problematic and

    within the scope of Islamic education. Loose definition will allow irrelevant contents,

    methods, and assessment to permeate into the framework of Islamic education which will

    affect the outcomes of the education system. Hence this paper will first define educationfrom Islamic perspective followed by the aim and objectives of Islamic education. Then

    this paper will compare the aim of Islamic education to the aim of secular education. The

    subsequent discussion is on the root cause of the Muslims dilemma which is prevalent

    through out the Muslim World. Before conclusion, this paper will present several

    recommendations on possible solutions of the malaise of the Ummah.

    The Concept of Education in Islam

    In his book titled The Concept of Education in Islam, Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas

    (1980) asserts that education is something progressively instilled into man (p. 13).

    Education here is not a process but content. The something in the definition of

    education is the content of education that is instilled into man. The word instill suggests

    internalization which lead to a change in behavior. Therefore, education is not merely

    transferring information from teachers to students but transforming a person to a good

    person. To change an individual to be a good person, that something in education must


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    be the truth. Who and what determines the truth? From Islamic perspective, the truth is

    determined through the signs of Allah which are the Quran and Sunnah, the open book

    of nature and reason.

    Before expounding the concept of education in Islam further, it is imperative to

    understand the definition of man, aql, meaning, amal, justice, and wisdom first since

    these terms are related to the concept of education in Islam. This paper then will discuss

    the Arabic word that denotes education which encompasses the comprehensive meaning

    of education. The discussion about the concept of education will be based on SyedMuhammad Naquibs (Al-Attas) point of view.

    Nature of Man

    First we have to understand the meaning of man because man is the one who is being

    educated. The contents of education will be determined by the nature of man. Man is

    born with fitrah which means that he has recognized that Allah is his Creator innately but

    with the potential of being a nonbeliever. Therefore, he has to protect himself from

    external agents of misguidance with the help of external divine agents which are the

    prophets and the revelation from Allah (Yasein 1998). Man has dual nature, the physical

    (body) and the abstract (mind and soul). Mans physical nature is an agent that feeds the

    soul with information through sense perception and rational perception so that meaning

    of the information received can be understood. Therefore, there should be no dichotomy

    between heart and body because the heart depends on the body to provide them with

    information through the sense faculties and reason; and the body depends on the heart to


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    liberate it from succumbing to its lower nafs. Concisely, both dimensions of man must

    be developed according to the truth.

    We have mentioned that rational perception and spiritual perception are done in two

    separate faculties. According to Yasien (1998), rational perception is done in the mind.

    The locus of the mind is the brain. It is capable of reasoning which is the projection of

    aql on the mental plane (p. 92). We know that man differs from other animals because

    man is bestowed with the ability to reason and communicate using language through

    speech. The process of articulating words in meaningful structures is done in the aql(mental plane). Al-Attas (1980) defines aql as an innate property that binds and

    withholds the objects of knowledge by means of words (p. 14). He claims that aql and

    qalb (heart) are synonymous. Spiritual perception is done in the aql. Aql is capable of

    both reasoning and intellection i.e. comprehending revealed knowledge. Qalb (heart) is

    the locus of aql. This means that the function of the heart is not only to pump blood to

    the entire body but also as an organ of spiritual cognition (Acikgenc 1996). The Quran

    refers to qalb (heart) as thinking organ in the following verse:

    Have they not traveled through the land so that they have hearts to think with, and

    ears to hear with? It is not the (physical) eyes that are blind, but the hearts within

    the breasts. (Al-Hajj (22): 46)


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    From this exposition, we conclude that man is dual in nature; however both the physical

    and abstract nature of man is interdependent. Therefore, education system should be

    planned in a way that both dimension of man can be cultivated.

    The Meaning of Meaning

    Man is equipped with reason and aql so that he is capable of making judgment and

    formulating meaning. Language is the tool that man use to make judgment and

    understand meaning. What does it mean when we say that we understand the meaning of

    something? Meaning, according to Al-Attas (1980) is the recognition of a place ofanything in a system which occurs when the relation a thing has with others in the system

    becomes clarified and understood (p. 15). What he means by this statement is that we

    cannot understand the meaning of a thing without recognizing its different position in

    relation to other things and without making connection and association with other things.

    For example, we can only understand the meaning of an object called pen when we

    associate it with writing. To know the object pen is merely information, to understand

    the meaning of a pen is to recognize its position in relation to writing. Therefore, the

    meaning of a thing is the purpose of that thing. Furthermore, if we ask a person who

    never heard of the word axiology before, he could not understand its meaning because

    he could not make the connection between axiology and other concepts that are stored in

    his memory. He does not know where to place axiology in his mind and he does not

    know the purpose of knowing axiology.

    The Meaning of Knowledge


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    Meaning has close connection with knowledge because we acquire knowledge after the

    meaning of the objects of knowledge is understood. It is significant to distinguish

    between information and knowledge because ontologically information does not

    transform or change a person for the better. Information without meaning is mere speck

    of data contained in ones brain. When information is related and associated with other

    information in the brain which resulted in using the information for specific purposes,

    then the information contains meaning which makes it knowledge. Hence, information

    that gives meaning to ones soul can only be considered as knowledge. Al-Attas (1980)

    defines knowledge as the arrival in the soul of the meaning of a thing or an object ofknowledge (p. 17). We have clarified that meaning of a thing is not the thing

    independent of reality but the meaning of a thing is other than what the thing really is.

    Thus, the meaning of knowledge is not knowledge for the sake of knowledge but the

    meaning of knowledge is the purpose of seeking the knowledge. The true purpose of

    seeking knowledge is determined by the Quran and Sunnah.

    We have demonstrated that we understand meaning of a thing when the relationship the

    thing has with other things is understood. To understand the meaning of knowledge, we

    have to understand it in relation to man and education. Knowledge is the method or tool

    to discipline the body, mind and soul of a man. We have also established that is

    something in education that is progressively instilled into man. That something is

    knowledge. Thus, knowledge that should be the content of education is knowledge of the

    purpose of seeking knowledge. However, recognizing the purpose of seeking knowledge

    alone does not make education complete. To render education an education, recognition


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    of the knowledge must be followed by acknowledgement of the knowledge. In other

    words, after one recognizes his "proper place in the order of creation, such that it leads to

    the recognition of the proper place of God in the order of being and existence (p. 18),

    one acknowledges it through action (amal). Recognition is Tawhid Rububiyah and

    acknowledgement is Tawhid Uluhiyah. Acknowledgement is the manifestation of

    recognition. Thus, the definition of content of education is recognition and

    acknowledgement of the proper places of things in hierarchical order of creation, such

    that it leads to the recognition and acknowledgement of the proper place of God in the

    order of being and existence (1980, 19).

    The Concept of Adl (justice) and Wisdom

    Ontologically, things are arranged hierarchically in their proper places. For example, in a

    family the father is the leader. The leader of all prophets is Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

    The condition of things being in their proper places is called justice (adl). Hence, when

    we leveled the Prophet (SAW) at the same level with other men, we are doing injustice to

    ourselves and others. Injustice brings disorder and chaos. In order for a man to make the

    correct judgment of the proper places of things, he must have wisdom. Wisdom is the

    knowledge given by God so that man who has wisdom can evaluate things justly. It is

    the purpose of education to produce man of wisdom who perpetuates the condition of

    justice. Therefore, the knowledge to be progressively instilled into man is knowledge of

    how to be just to the self, family, society, the environment, and to Allah. Furthermore, if

    we replace the phrase the proper places of things in the order of creations with the word

    justice, the meaning of content of education will be recognition and acknowledgement of


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    justice, such that it leads to recognition and acknowledgement of Allah as the source of

    justice. If man has recognizes and acknowledges justice, the end result is man of


    The Meaning of Education in Islam

    All the concepts that this paper has discussed is related closely with the meaning of

    education in Islam. Now that we understand those concepts, we can conclude that the

    meaning of education is recognition and acknowledgement, progressively instilled into

    man, of the proper places of things in the order of creation, such that it leads to therecognition and acknowledgment of the proper place of god in the order of being and

    existence (Al-Attas 1980, p. 21). Our next task is to match this definition to the accurate

    Arabic word.

    We have established that the content of education is the knowledge of the purpose of

    seeking knowledge. The purpose of seeking knowledge is to produce man who

    recognizes and acknowledges his proper place in the order of creation, such that he

    recognizes and acknowledges Allahs proper place in the order of being and existence. It

    means that man who practices what he had learnt and knows his station in relation to

    Allah. After he bears witness that Allah is his Creator, he acknowledges it through right

    actions. The right actions are determined by the Quran and Sunnah. In other words,

    man who uses wisdom to generate the condition of justice. Therefore, according to Al-

    Attas, the correct word to represent this is adab since adab is the discipline of the body,

    the mind, and the soul so that it brings the condition of justice.


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    Adab is the discipline that ensures the recognition and acknowledgement of ones station

    in the hierarchical order of creation; the discipline that enables man to recognize his

    position in relation to Allah. In other words, the discipline that ensures man to say in

    conviction that Allah IS my creator (rububiyah), that I am only a humble servant of

    Allah, thus my actions(uluhiyah) must be in accordance to Allah. Al-Attas (1980) claims

    that the succinct definition of adab is the spectacle of justice as it is reflected by

    wisdom (p. 22). Adab includes both iman and amal. Therefore adab is the knowledge

    of the purpose of seeking it which is the same with the content of education. Hence wecan conclude that education is tadib the noun of the word adab. This claim is strongly

    supported by the following saying of the Prophet (SAW):

    My Lord educate (addaba) me and made my education (tadib) most excellent

    (reported by Al-Askari).

    Educate (addibu) your children and improve their adab (reported by Ibnu Majah

    from Ibnu Abbas r.a.).

    These hadiths prove that education in precisely tadib.

    The Impact of Tadib to the Discipline of Body, Mind and Soul

    The term tadib is encompassing both the education of body and the soul. The discipline

    of the body does not mean the physical strength or health education only but includes all

    education which will ensure mans sustenance in this world such as means of generating


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    income, social responsibilities, environmental responsibilities, and etc. In other words, to

    discipline the body, one has to have knowledge on how to manage the system; which is

    classified as knowledge of fardh kifayah. Man comprehends knowledge to discipline his

    physical self through mental faculty which is located in the brain. Thus, Allah has

    bestowed upon man reason in order to understand the knowledge of fardh kifayah.

    Tadib also refers to the discipline of the mind and soul. Man is endowed with

    intellection faculty which is located in the heart so that he could understand revealed

    knowledge in order to discipline his soul. Thus, man could discipline his mind and soulthrough the knowledge of fardhu ain which is received through the heart (qalb). Since

    heart is the king in mans little kingdom, heart must be disciplined first. This is in line

    with the Prophets (SAW) saying:

    Behold, within the body is a lump of meat, if it is good the whole body is good,

    and if it is rotten the whole body is rotten. Behold, that lump of meat is the heart

    (reported by Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Abdillah An-Numan ibnu Basyir).

    The Prophet (SAW) said that if the heart is disciplined to recognize and act according to

    what is ordained by Allah, the physical body will be saved from destruction of following

    the lower nafs. Therefore, to have knowledge on how to discipline the heart is obligatory

    to every Muslim man and woman. This revealed knowledge is called knowledge of fardh

    ain. Thus when tadib is used to denote education, it means that education which include


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    both knowledge i.e. knowledge of how to manage self so that man can become an abd

    (servant); and knowledge of how to manage the system so that man can fulfill his

    obligation as khalifah (vicegerent) of Allah. There is no dichotomy between the two

    disciplines; hence, the end result of tadib is man of adab or man who brings justice with

    his wisdom.

    Aim of Islamic Education

    The aim of Islamic education is to produce good man. Good man means man of adab.

    Man who recognizes his station in relation to Allah, his society, his self, and other beings;and act accordingly so that he produces the condition of justice with his wisdom. Man

    who recognizes and acknowledges his role as servant and vicegerent in this world. Good

    man is a man who possesses the knowledge to manage his self and the system that he

    lives in. In other words, man who recognizes that Allah is his Creator and manifests his

    conviction through right actions. Right actions are determined by the Quran and the

    Prophets (SAW) traditions. Concisely, good man is a man who emulates the Prophet

    (SAW) as close as possible. To be good man is to be good both to the self and the


    Therefore, good man subsumes good citizen. Good man is a man who is successful in

    this world and in the hereafter because he removes every obstacle that comes between

    him and Allah. According to Al-Ghazali, the purpose of mans life is to gain happiness

    in this world and in the hereafter. Therefore, he concludes that the aim of Islamic

    education is to cultivate man so that he follows the teaching of the Quran and the Sunnah


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    to ensure eternal happiness in the hereafter (Nofal 1993). Good man defines himself as

    an abd which assures eternal relationship with Allah; and accepts the role as vicegerent

    which makes him the manager of the systems that ensure justice is done to the occupants

    of the earth and to the planet earth itself. Man who does justice to himself, to society he

    belongs to, to other creatures of Allah, and to the environment he lives in is the man who

    serves Allah in totality. Therefore, the ultimate aim of Islamic education is to actualize

    the following verse of the Quran:

    I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me (Az-Zariyat (51): 56).

    Man who lives his entire life to submit to Allah alone is a man who is responsible and

    amanah when they manage the system. Therefore justice will prevail in the society;

    corruption will be minimized.

    Aim of Secular Education

    Secular education comes in many forms such as liberal education, democratic education,

    or education that aims at perpetuating materialism, scientism, utilitarianism,

    existentialism, and other isms. The common aim of these types of education is to

    equipped students for worldly life. Their utmost concern is to transfer as much

    information as possible so that students can be marketable in the job market or to give

    them skill to function in a given society. For example, one form of secular education is

    democratic education from the perspective of John Dewey.


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    This paper will illustrate a brief overview of Deweys aim of education. In his book

    titled Democracy and Education, Dewey (1916) asserts that in an ideal democratic

    society where everybody has equal opportunity the aim of education is to enable

    individuals to continue their education -- or that the object and reward of learning is

    continued capacity for growth (Chapter 8 p. 1). He further claims that since an ideal

    state of democracy is not possible, aim of education must come within the education

    process not from the without which is clearly stated in the statements below:

    In our search for aims in education, we are not concerned, therefore, with finding

    an end outside of the educative process to which education is subordinate. Ourwhole conception forbids. We are rather concerned with the contrast which exists

    when aims belong within the process in which they operate and when they are set

    up from without. And the latter state of affairs must obtain when social

    relationships are not equitably balanced. For in that case, some portions of the

    whole social group will find their aims determined by an external dictation; their

    aims will not arise from the free growth of their own experience, and their

    nominal aims will be means to more ulterior ends of others rather than truly their

    own (Chapter 8 p. 1)

    He believes that aim of education must appear from internal i.e. within the education

    system which means he advocated learner centered design of education system. The

    society has no influence in manipulating the aim of education. The danger of this

    philosophy is that it will create unbalanced individuals who could not perform well

    within the society. Thus lead to disharmonious condition. Furthermore, ontologically

    man does not know what is good for him, what more young students. If man knows what


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    is good and what is bad for him, there will be no destruction in this world. The truth is

    only Allah knows what is good and what is bad for man. Therefore, letting the students

    to dictate what they want to learn is letting them to do injustice toward themselves. This

    philosophy will also produce students who are concerned with their own personal growth

    and disregard the growth of the community.

    Democracy from Islamic perspective is only to decide particular issues when the

    available choices are permissible according to Islamic jurisprudence. For example, one

    can practice democracy in deciding whether to use problem based learning or contextual

    learning in implementing a particular curriculum. However one cannot use democracy to

    choose whether to include aqidah or not in content of education. To understand aqidah is

    obligatory for every Muslim man and woman, therefore it must be included in the content

    of education. Muslim students cannot vote this subject out of the content of education.

    Deweys concern is to produce individuals who possess the capacity to grow. The aim of

    education is to equip students with the ability to continuously progress. Content of

    education are not determined by the market forces but by the students own interest.

    Conversely, the aim of education which has been practiced almost every where in the

    world today is to produce citizens who are able to develop their country economically.

    Content of education are determined by industrial needs. Therefore, more and more

    subjects on values are sidelined; sometimes discarded all together from the content of

    education. This is the reality that one cannot deny because it happens ubiquitously. The

    utmost concern of todays education is to produce individuals who can produce more


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    products effectively, therefore bring more profits to the organizations that they work for.

    The end result is profit maximization.

    Malaise of the Ummah

    Because of the overemphasis on profit maximization and consumerism, education in the

    Muslim world emphasizes contents and knowledge that can produce skilled and

    professional citizens. Students are more concerned with filling up their minds with as

    much information as possible so that they can excel in examination. Their motivation to

    learn is not because they want to be good men and women but to enter into prestigioushigher learning institutions so that they could secure good jobs after they graduated. The

    consequence is they learn what ever the market dictates them to learn. The result is

    Muslims are lacking in knowledge to manage self, thus inflict injustice to themselves and

    others. This is what Al-Attas called the condition of loss of adab. He defines loss of

    adab as

    the loss of capacity for discernment of the right and proper places of things,

    resulting the leveling of all to the same level; in the confusion of the order of

    nature as arranged according to their maratib and darajat; in the undermining the

    legitimate authority; and in the ability to recognize and acknowledge right

    leadership in all spheres of life (1980 p. 34).

    Loss of adab is the result of confusion and error in knowledge. Erroneous knowledge

    results in ones inability to discern that everything in this universe is ordered

    hierarchically. This mistake leads to ones error in making correct judgment which leads

    to leveling everything to the same level. For instance, one levels the Prophet (SAW) as


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    the same level as other men. The effect of this leveling is man considers the teaching of

    the Prophet (SAW) is not relevant in modern times, there should not be taught in school

    or should not be followed by modern men. Another example is that one considers the

    law derives from the Quran as the same as law invented by man. This incorrect

    judgment leads to injustice to oneself and others. Reality shows that man made law

    cannot hinder man from indulging in criminal activities. Instead of solving the problems

    of a society, man made law increases the problems that exist in the society. These errors

    in judgment lead to injustice to the self, the society and others.

    Another effect of loss of adab is the inability to recognize and acknowledge right

    leadership in all spheres of life. Leadership in all spheres of life means leadership in all

    human endeavors such as leadership at work, leadership in academic circles, leadership in

    politics, etc. For example, people who do not have the right knowledge will not

    recognize the right leadership which will lead to electing or acknowledging the

    unqualified leaders to lead the country. Unqualified leaders who have no adab lead the

    country according to the erroneous knowledge that they have. Thus, bring chaos and

    disharmony to the society. The condition of loss of adab nurtures the growth of false

    leadership of the Muslim Community; leadership who does not know his proper place in

    the hierarchy of things and beings. This leadership creates the condition of injustice

    which will prolong the loss of adab since they do not have the knowledge of putting

    things in their proper places. These leaders were elected by followers who have no adab

    or wisdom, hence inflicted injustice to themselves and others by putting those corrupt

    people in the wrong place. False leadership will advocate education system that produces


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    more people like them either out of ignorance or out of the need to ensure their continued

    control of political power. This process goes round and round in the vicious circle. This

    vicious circle as depicted in figure 1 will continue unless the right knowledge is made the

    content of education.

    Figure 1: The malaise of the Ummah

    Holistic Education

    Several measures can be made to break the vicious circle. One is through holistic

    education which aims at producing good man; man of adab who knows how to manage

    his self and how to manage the system. Man who understands the consequence of

    Loss of adab

    Due toConfusion and error

    in knowledge

    Which lead tounqualified

    individuals beingappointed as leaderswho perpetuate thecondition of loss of



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    recognizing is acknowledgement; and understands that Tawhid Uluhiyah is the

    manifestation of Tawhid Rububiyah. Hence, the content of holistic education should

    include both categories of knowledge. Al-Ghazali (cited in Nofal, 1993) asserts that the

    curriculum of Islamic education should include both obligatory and optional sciences.

    Obligatory sciences include religious science which is revealed and related or auxiliary

    disciplines such as linguistic and literature. Optional sciences, such as mathematics,

    medicine, philosophy, human sciences, etc, are studied according to the wishes of the

    students. The criterion for selecting optional sciences is that the sciences must bring

    goodness to the students and the society.

    Al-Attas (1980) agrees that the curriculum of Islamic education should include both

    knowledge to cultivate the soul and inner being of man and knowledge to cultivate mans

    body and physical faculties and senses. They are revealed knowledge which is obligatory

    sciences (knowledge of fardh ain) and acquired knowledge which is optional sciences

    (knowledge of fardh kifayah). Through both kind of knowledge, Islamic education will

    be able to instill true knowledge in man, thus produce man of adab. Rashdan and Anis

    Ahmad also have similar views on the content of Islamic Education. Rashdan asserts that

    the content of education should include religious sciences, human and natural sciences.

    The sources of the knowledge are from the revelation and the study of creation or nature

    (cited in Ahmad 1996).

    The content of curriculum of Islamic education is summarized in figure 2.


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    Figure 2: Curriculum content of Islamic education

    Islamization of Knowledge

    The second measure that could be taken to resolve the confusion in knowledge and the

    conflict between reason and revelation is through the process of Islamization of

    knowledge. According to Al-Attas (1993) Islamization of knowledge means the act of

    setting the knowledge free from secular interpretations and influences. It is the process

    of filtering foreign elements out of every branch of knowledge especially human sciences

    and infused the knowledge with Islamic elements and key concepts so that the knowledge

    being instilled into man is true knowledge. Omar Kasule defines Islamization as a

    process of modifying human knowledge so that it does not contradict with the basic

    Islamic principles. The process does not suggest that the Muslims have to reformulate the

    Curriculum Content ofIslamic (Holistic) Education

    Knowledge to manageself - Religious Sciences

    (Fardh Ain)

    Knowledge to manage thesystem Rational sciences

    (Fardh Kifayah)

    The Quran: recitation and tafsirThe Sunnah: History and The

    Prophets traditionsThe Shariah: Fiqh and lawTheology (tauhid)Arabic language

    Human sciencesNatural sciencesApplied sciencesTechnological sciencesEtc


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    whole knowledge but suggests modification, correction and reorientation of the existing

    knowledge using Islamic principles and values (Kasule 1996).

    It is imperative that Islamization be implemented since the knowledge that is instilled

    into Muslim children is secularized knowledge. From the views of the various scholars

    on Islamization, it is clear that what renders knowledge Islamic is the values, purposes of

    seeking the knowledge and sources of the knowledge are not contradicted with the beliefs

    and injunctions of Islam (as enunciated in the Quran and Sunnah) (Kasule 1996). When

    the knowledge instilled in man is true knowledge, man is liberated from false and

    erroneous knowledge. Therefore, man will be disciplined according to the truth revealed

    by God which leads to a change in mans behavior which is inline with the teaching of


    Hence, the most vital knowledge to be Islamized is human sciences with the priority

    given to education and political science (Abu Sulaiman 1993). The priority is given to

    education and political science since education is the knowledge that is used to transform

    man from one state to another; and political science is important because without political

    powers the changes that Muslims plan to implement will be challenged by the powers

    that be. Through Islamization of knowledge, confusion and error in knowledge can be

    rectified. The end result is the knowledge that is the content of education is true

    knowledge which, God willing, will result in producing man of wisdom.


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    We have established that the purpose of seeking knowledge is to discipline the body, the

    mind and soul; that is seek knowledge to manage the self and knowledge to manage the

    system to bring justice and harmony in this world. Sources of knowledge to discipline

    the body, mind and soul is from the Quran and Sunnah, nature and reason. Nevertheless,

    knowledge that is prevalent within the Muslims world has brought confusion instead of

    peace and justice. Knowledge that is disseminated through the education system is

    westernized knowledge. Western knowledge is knowledge for the purpose of worldly

    life and seeking knowledge for knowledge sake. In order to rectify this problem, one hasto understand the nature of man first so that all dimension of man is being educated.

    Since ontologically nature of man is dual, man is obligated to develop both dimensions.

    Neglect in either one dimension will produce disharmony or injustice. Therefore

    knowledge must be balanced. Balanced does not mean equal weight but proper division

    according to the hierarchy of the knowledge. Leveling of all knowledge to the same level

    or overemphasis on certain knowledge will cause injustice. For instance, overemphasis

    in knowledge to manage the system will produce individuals who have no values, lack of

    wisdom, corrupt, etc. Conversely, neglect in knowledge to manage the system will

    produce individuals who are not able to develop the society thus, allowing outside forces

    to develop the system using alien philosophy which is contradicted with Islamic



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    This paper has discussed the concept of tadib which encompasses education that

    disciplines the body, the mind and soul. The aim of tadib is to produce man of adab who

    has the knowledge to manage his self and the knowledge to manage the system he lives

    in. In conclusion, when the true knowledge is inculcated into man, the education system

    will produce man of wisdom who will become the leaders in all spheres of life which will

    perpetuate justice (figure 3). Therefore man will achieve happiness in this world and in

    the hereafter.

    Figure 3: The effect of the right and true knowledge instilled into man

    True knowledge isinstilled into man no conflict between

    reason andrevelation

    produces man ofadab; man who

    possesses wisdomwhich enable him to

    make correctjudgment

    Qualified andquality leaderships

    perpetuate thecondition of justice


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