I have summarize this topic from the article entitle "Knowledge In Islam & The Crisis in Muslim Education" by Yassin Mohamed. (30th September 2004)
The Nature of Human Being.
- State of fitrah : innate inclination to believe in & submit God.
- Spirit : enabling us to play a role as Khalifah.
: to enjoy a greater affinity to God & other creation.
- We are physical, psychological & spiritual beings.
- Allah endowed us with 2 organs of spiritual perception -heart
- We can understand the divine revelation & recognize the Creator.
- Islam : the way of life.
: the best suited to our nature & necessary for inner happiness.
: guide us by revelation of Quran.
: sensory, intellectual & spiritual - the highest level in the hierarchy of
- human cognition.
- Western : recognize our capacity for sensory & intellectual perception only.
The Purpose of Human Beings.
Knowledge of God : purpose & action with respect to ourselves & God.
- Purpose : submit to the divine will which accords with our essential nature.
- Islam is harmony with the nature of human being.
- However, forgetfulness which is the cause of disobedience of God & injustice to
ourselves & others.
- Allah equipped people with – faculty : distinguish right from wrong
- prophets & divine revelation : to warn us forgetfulness
Meant to be Khalifah.
- Amanah upon us & responsibility of divine will on earth.
- Fundamental – روح : higher self.
- نفس : lower self.
- If we permit نفس : against fitrah & committing injustice.
- If we control نفس : reaffirm the covenant with God & express action in obedience.
- When transform it into the highest level of spiritual development (نفس المطمئنة)
through obedience : do justice as a khalifah.
- Without worship : trust of freedom & intellectual will be abused.
: arrogated to Lord & ourselves.
- Worship : practice of servant to fulfill our task as Khalifah.
The Aim of Islamic Education.
- God provided human beings with spiritual & intellect to realize the full potential
of our fitrah.
- He also sent guidance of prophets & divine revelation to achieve through submission
to the will of God as expressed in Quran & Sunnah.
- As khalifah : have to honor with our duty to implement will of God on earth.
- Islam is harmony with our human nature that follow our nature as well as spiritual &
- Aim : to actualize the fitrah in all dimension of social context.
- Islamic education concern with the development of whole person (body,mind,spirit).
- If people deviate from divine norm, our responsibility to bring out about the divine
- Islamic education is rooted in definite a priori principles, which provide criteria for
evaluating society and individual.
Primary Classification of Knowledge in Islam.
1. Revealed Sciences (فرص عين).
- Compulsory on every Muslim.
- This knowledge will guide us to believe & worship God in order to fulfill our fitrah.
- Priority over the acquired sciences.
- Serves the needs of soul & prepares for salvation in hereafter.
- It constitutes: Quran, Sunnah, Shariah, Theology, Tasawwuf, Arabic Language.
- Hereafter is better than the life of world because it is everlasting.
- It is not rejects world itself but rejects the world without God unguided by
revelation & prophets.
- Islamic world view : no distinction between revelation & sciences.
- Every action needs an intention to please God.
2. Acquired Sciences (فرض كفاية).
- Compulsory on some members of the Muslim society.
- Helps people to fulfill pragmatic ends in this world.
- Includes social, natural & technological sciences.
- Why revealed priority? As a criteria to judge acquired sciences.
- Islam involves the perception of acquired sciences in the light of the revealed
sciences – no separation between religion & secular.
- Preparation for eternal bliss in the hereafter.
- Al-Attas includes Human sciences, natural sciences, applied sciences, technological
sciences refers to this acquired sciences.
- prerequisite knowledge : Islam, Iman &
- acquired through revelation.
- permanent objective truths.
- reveal true relationship between people
& their Lord.
- sciences through observation &
- acquired through speculation & rational.
- sensible date necessary for daily
- need the guidance of revealed sciences
to lead to the good life.
- Revealed sciences compulsory on all & precedes the acquired sciences because it depends on revealed sciences for its Islamization.
Crisis in the Muslim Mind.
- Conflicting values from the predominance of western civilization & attenuation the
- Materialistic permeated through colonization, technology, mass media & secularism.
- Muslim imitate slavishly.
- Modern Muslim : alienated from Islamic tradition.
: conform to Western thought unreservedly.
: distort the teachings of Islam.
- Western secular perception rejects spiritual substance of people.
- So, Revealed Sciences discarded as futile & Acquired Sciences affirmed as valid
branch of knowledge to be pursued of the sake of satisfying worldly need.
- They negate God & devoid sacred values.
- Humanize : do not recognize the divine principle & rely that power of human reason
to guide them.
- Muslim student : exposed to modern disciplines & alienated from Islamic tradition.
- Traditionalist scholars : have no intellectual tools of Acquired Sciences- how to face
the challenge in the modern world.
- That's why Islamic Conception recognizes both revealed & rational sciences.
- Now, the gap between the 2 systems has widened, Traditional system failed to
prepare the young to cope with the modern changes in the society.
- Urgent need to reconcile these 2 systems.
Reform and Islamization of Education.
1. Muhammad 'Abdu.
- Conflict between formal education at school & informal education at home.
- Sought to bring about synthesis between the dual system.
- Introducing Islamic subject into the school curriculum & introducing modern
disciplines into Al-Azhar curriculum.
- Purpose of education : bring up minds & souls to achieve full happiness in this
world & after death by using these 2 elements – minds & soul.
- Mind must be educated through acquisition of correct concept.
- Education of soul means creation of qualities & good manners and training & keep
away from bad qualities.
- Islam could be reconciled with western thought.
- Islam to him was a religion fully consistent with the claims of human intellect &
discoveries of modern sciences.
- A pure Muslim is one who uses reason in the affairs of the world & religion.
- The ideal society is one, which submits to God's commandment & interprets them
rationally for the sake of welfare for society.
- The separation of the education can make confusion & enhance the problem of
adaptation to modern challenges.
- Realization of dual system of education.
- Stressing the discipline of soul – moral & spiritual training.
- Difficult to realize the conceptual difficulties that introduced in traditional & modern
education into Al-Azhar.
- Student concentrates more on acquisition knowledge rather than thinking creatively.
- He did not explain how the modern sciences relate to revelation.
2. Ismail Al-Faruqi
- He comments on the early reformers reform Islamic education.
- The problem of duality education is different approach at school and home.
- Reconstruct theory & methodology to harmonize it with Islamic principles & values.
- He concern with the influences of university education on the Muslim student whose
commitment to Islam but can't withstand the challenges of scientific truth.
- Have mastery on the Islamic & modern disciplines to create synthesis between
the Islamic & modern knowledge.:
- Seems to have excluded modern sciences from his Islamization program because
does not find it problematic to Islam.
- Islamization of knowledge is lacking in a detailed analysis of secularization.
- Lacking of Islamic epistemology that recognizes all levels of perception, sensory,
intellectual & spiritual that eternal values in Quran.
- His approach : seek to find the relevance of Islam in the modern disciplines rather
than look what is relevant in the modern disciplines for Islamic disciplines.
- Main problem – no textbooks
- no teachers
- Islamization process does not assume a change of curriculum but also the teachers.
- Muslim parents are encouraging their children pursue a western education up to
tertiary level for the purpose of employment.
- Traditional discipline just taught at madrasa as compared to acquired knowledge
that more sophisticated taught in high schools & institutions.
- This is imbalance situation.
- Islamization of knowledge mitigate the negative secular influences.
- Faruqi : the need of creative synthesis to overcome the duality problem of education.
- 'Abdu : reform the dual system of education.
- I disagree with the Faruqi approach of Islamization. It is not Islamic
legacy that needs to be made relevant to modern disciplines but modern disciplines
that needs to be made relevant to Islam.
- Alternative approach : contemporization of knowledge means we seek to make the
knowledge which is derived from the Islamic legacy relevant to one contemporary
needs & realities.