The Basis of Islamic Education

Islam is not only faith in a single God: it goes beyond what is essence defined by word “religion”. A set of practices, behavior, and observances concerning the social arena and defines a lifestyle whose objective is to perpetuate and protect the faith. Practicing Islam is not confined to the private domain: it includes a community domain with a strong identity. This all encompassing characteristic of Islam is in particular when the religion is being passed on to children. According to a famous hadits by Bukhari and Muslim, “All newborn babies are born according to the fitra; it is their parents who make them a Jew, a Christian or a Zoroastrian.” Sayyed Nasr (1975) believes that fitra means “the primordial nature (of man), the nature he bears deep within his soul”.

Thus, there is a natural aspiration towards God in the conscience and heart of every person (Nasr, 1975).

Islam teaches that the revelation by the Prophet “goes back to the sources of the fitra, find the original spirit of mankind, and brings them to life through the call” (Ramadhan, 1995). “If their parent do not bring up their children religiusly, it is their fault if the children do not recognize God” (a Brussels Moroccan Imam). In Muslim thinking, the Qur’an enables people to learn about all sciences. the transmission of faith must therefore precede the learning of the other sciences. In several surah the Aur’an states that education is one of the duties of all Muslims, particularly parents. The surah, which provides most instructions regarding the up-bringing of a child, is the one entitled “Luqman” (Amdouni, 1992). At the end of surah, the children are encourage to observe nature around them which is part of the goodness created by God. These verses, that encourage them to rely on their own observation, constitute a prelude to the development of a scientific attitude.

But in Islam, individual responsibility is always seen also from the point of view of collective responsibility. The preservation of the ummah is regarded as an important aspect of faith and dependent on the success with which believers have managed to protect their community from adverse external influences. Thus, the community must exercise some control over the behavior of its member.

The Basis of Islamic Education
The Basis of Islamic Education
Source: Process of Homogenization in Muslim Educational World in Brussels

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