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Defining an Islamic education

Published: 24/08/2011 12:32:00 AM GMT
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What is a complete definition of an "Islamic education" when we are talking of educating children in an Islamic school? What are its key elements? And how does it relate to academic excellence?


Answered by

Sheikh `Abd Allah al-Zâyidî, professor at al-Imâm University

The term ‘Islamic Education’ could mean of a number of things:

It can refer to the religious education in which the person studies religious knowledge, starting with the Qur’ân and matters of worship like purification, prayer, Zakâh, fasting and Hajj. He may also learn other matters like the etiquettes of eating and drinking, Islamic dress, family relations, business transactions, criminal law, and inheritance.

All of this knowledge is drawn from the Qur’ân and Sunnah and from the writings of Islamic scholars. This is called the Islamic studies.

The term ‘Islamic Education’ can have a broader meaning, embracing knowledge in general in a framework where the teacher, the student, the school, and the syllabus all comply with Islamic values and teachings.

In this environment, the student learns whatever he needs to learn of reading, mathematics and the various sciences. The syllabus will include a generous amount of coursework devoted to Islamic studies. Moreover, the syllabus would not include any texts that contradict with Islamic beliefs and teachings. For example, in studying Biology it should not be said that nature is the Creator of life. Likewise, in talking about eating behavior, it will not be said that the left hand is preferred to the right. It should not be taught that relationships between the opposite sexes are permissible before marriage.

These are merely some initial thoughts.

Source: Islam Today




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