Education for Life
EDUCATION FOR LIFE
1. DEFINITION OF EDUCATION
Education is a process to transfer knowledge to learner.
Knowledge is defined as expertise and skill acquired by a person through experience or education on a particular subject.
Human beings are born without any knowledge at birth. Allah gives him capability to acquire knowledge through study and experience.
“Allah brought you out of your mother’s womb while you knew nothing, He gave you ears and eyes and thinking mind so that you may be grateful” (AL QURAN, SURAH: 16, AYAH: 78)
Ears, eyes and brain help human being to learn by hearing, sights and thinking power of mind. Without these human being cannot acquire knowledge.
2. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF EDUCATION
Aims and objectives of education are to develop physical, intellectual and mental capabilities of man and woman so that they can live a meaningful, prosperous and happy life for themselves and also do welfare to other people.
English poet Milton said:
“Education is harmonious development of body, mind and soul”.
This means education for development of these three strengths in humankind should be balanced, continuous and simultaneous.
By pursuing education people try to gain knowledge to achieve the followings:
- Improve quality of life; they look forward for better life through education.
- Convert weakness to strength and look forward to develop further, the strength one has.
- Create economic benefit by employment and business.
- Nations aim to build prosperous nation by promoting economic growth, peace, values and ethics through education.
3. WHAT DOES MANKIND NEED FOR HAPPY LIFE?
- Good health
- Peace of mind
- Safety and security
- Means of life (Food, cloth, shelter etc.)
- Love and respect from fellow man
Generally, people are happy if they have above things.
Human being needs some ways to gain above things.
Beneficial education can provide all above for our happiness.
4. RESOURCES FOR HAPPINESS IN LIFE
“ALLAH” made all resources available in the universe for us. He created everything we need. The sun, moon, wind, water, soil, vegetation, marine resources, minerals are all at our service. These are not without purpose. These are created for our benefit.
“In the creation of the heaven and the earth and in the alteration of the night and day, there are signs for the people of good sense, who standing, sitting and lying down remember “ALLAH” and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth (then they cry out spontaneously) : Our lord ! You have not created (all) this without purpose. You are free from doing things without purpose, so save us from torment of the HELL fire” (AL QURAN, SURAH: 3, AYAH: 190 – 191)
Allah also says:
“Do not you see that ALLAH has subjected to you whatever in the earth, in the heaven and bestowed on you all his favors, visible as well as invisible”. (AL QURAN, SURAH: 31, AYAH: 20)
And he (God) gave you of all that you asked for, and if you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them” (Al QURAN, SURAH: 14, AYAH: 34)
Allah not only created resources but also gave us body, mind, and soul to make use of these resources for our own benefit. He also gave us methodology of education for development of:
- Physical Body Strength
- Strength of Mind (Intellectual Power)
- Strength of Soul (Spiritual Power)
For the development of above, education is a must.
“Read! And your LORD is the most generous who has taught (the writing) by pen. He has taught man that which he knew not” (AL QURAN, SURAH: 96, AYAH: 3-5)
5. WHY PHYSICAL,INTELLECTUAL,AND SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT IS IMPORTANT FOR LIFE?
Physical development helps to maintain good health, reduces suffering due to illness, allows people to do things needed for his life. Importance of this we understand better when we are sick and when we see sufferings of sick people.
Intellectual development is needed to do things in better ways for better life for ourselves and others. If we look at amenities of life of intellectual people and nations, we understand what intellectual development can bring in life.
Importance of spiritual development needs better understanding. Humankind has tendencies and inclination to both good and evil. Purification of soul leads humanity to good deeds for self and others.
By this mankind use his body, mind and senses, power and abilities to perform functions assigned to him in honest way. On the other hand, a wicked soul leads humanity to corruption, immorality and injustice. This leads to ultimate destruction and miseries for self and others. In this world what we see in the form of oppression by strong to weak, ruler to who are ruled is the result of corrupt soul.
Corrupt soul also causes self-destruction by drug, alcohol, addiction, violence, murder etc.
“Truly successful is he who purifies him, indeed he fails who corrupts his own self “(AL QURAN, SURAH: 29, AYAH: 20)
6. CONTEMPORARY EDUCATION SYSTEM
- Family education (Pre -school): Parents and family members like brothers, sisters, and relatives try to teach children healthcare, values, ethics, and knowledge related to circumstances the children are exposed. Family education at home, generally aims to teach matters related to body, mind and soul as per his / her age.
- School education: Generally school study is designed for the development of mental faculty of students suitable to his / her age. In some cases physical education for healthcare and religious education for teaching values and ethics are also included.
- College, university education: These institutions aim at professional study in different subject for intellectual development of the students so that after completing study they can take up responsibility in the field of his/her study. These institutions largely ignore education for spiritual development.
- Religious school: These institutions teach values, ethics, and rituals based on religious books. Mainly aims at spiritual development through learning and practicing rituals. These schools do not focus as general schools in promoting education related to worldly affairs.
7. RESULT OF CONTEMPORARY EDUCATION
Institutions stated above, educate students in a particular segment of knowledge. Achievement in the various field of study, particularly science and technology and healthcare brought lot of opportunities for mankind. Only negative side is that majority of schools, colleges, and universities neglect spiritual development. Most of these institutions do not have integrated program for simultaneous and harmonious developments of body, mind and soul of the students. As a result values, ethics and morals are on decline. Oppression, violence, adultery, drug addiction, rape, killing etc are on rise even in educated people. Unfortunately, situation is so bad that these types of crime sometimes observed in educational institutes also. Education could not guarantee peace and safety. People still lives in fear for his life, property and dignity. People living without food, medication and shelter, though technology brought huge opportunities in these sectors.
8. WHAT IS SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM?
We have discussed achievements and limitations of our education. We must admire and take ahead, good things of contemporary education and its contribution in exploring the resources “ALLAH” created in the universe.
Shortfall of this education is failure to improve our spirituality in phase with education of mind. Due to this failure our education could not add sufficient moral values needed for peace in mind, in society, in nation and in whole world we live. So the simple solution to the problem is to add moral values to education we give in educational institutes.
9. WHAT EDUCATION SYSTEM WILL SOLVE THE PROBLEM?
In simple words a system of education which helps harmonious development of body, mind and soul of the students that should be our education. Our syllabus, schools, colleges, universities shall be re-shaped to offer program for developments of body, mind and soul of the students. Physical education must ensure healthy life, body fitness and yield physical strength. Higher studies should open our mind and help us to go in the deep and deep, enable us to know the unknown and see the unseen. It must lead us to level of knowledge that will help us to make use of vast resources of the universe for our own benefit.
Education should also be available to all students for purification of soul and spiritual developments. It must promote our soul to a stage that our soul can act as a guiding force to direct our physical and intellectual power to right direction. A pure soul leads physical and intellectual power to prosperity. A corrupt soul directs physical and intellectual power to destruction.
10. IS ISLAMIC EDUCATION A SOLUTION?
So far we have discussed that modern schools, colleges; universities made significant contribution in worldly knowledge but failed in spiritual development. We have also discussed that religious schools made contribution in moral and spiritual development mankind very much need, but religious schools could not contribute as much as modern schools did in worldly knowledge of life.
When we investigate “QURAN” and teachings of prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and look at our schools, colleges and universities, we find these institutions are giving one part of Islamic education (HIKMAH) without linking this with GOD. On the other hand our MADARESHA’S are giving another part of the Islamic education, spirituality by promoting rituality.
If we link modern education of schools, colleges, universities with GOD (as per Quran and teachings of Prophet Mohammed PBUH) and also add spiritual education of MADARESHA’S, these institutions become center for Islamic education covering all aspects of HRD (Human Resource Development) relating to development of body, mind and soul.
The above is true for MADARESHA’S also; these can become perfect Islamic Institute by integrating education of worldly affairs (Business, Economy, Science and so on) and link this with GOD.
Islam wants to place “spirituality” in the core of education system. It wants to join education of heart (soul) with the education of mind (intellectual growth) and physical education. Core of Islamic education is to establish faith in GOD and develop spirituality in a person, so that he is able to acquire quality needed to enjoy happiness in life. Quality of spirituality is nothing but an attachment of soul to Islamic teachings in all aspects of life.
Islamic education links the consciousness with GOD and awakens us to awareness of our responsibilities towards ourselves, our bodies, our relatives, our communities and the human family at large.
Second objective of Islamic education is the development of human intellectual through education of mind. Here Islamic education wants to improve our understanding of life and usage of resources in the universe for our own benefit. This means in-depth skillful study in all branches of education of worldly affairs. Quran referred this education at least 20 times by the term “AL-HIKMAH”
Physical education is another important part of Islamic education. Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) instructed to take care of health and taught many ways to live healthy. He also told “strong believer is better and loved by Allah than weak believer”.
11. QURAN IS UNIVERSAL GUIDE FOR WELFARE EDUCATION
Education and knowledge is so important that the word “ILM’ (Knowledge) is mentioned 750 times in the holy Quran. These references glorify learning and learned person directly or indirectly. Revelation of Quran also started with appeal to read and know the unknown.
“Read in the name of your lord, who created man from clot of congealed blood. Read and your lord is most generous, who taught knowledge by pen, taught man what he did not know” (SURAH: 96, AYAH: 1-5)
Allah also teach us to pray for more knowledge:
“O my lord: give me more knowledge” (AL QURAN, SURAH: 20, AYA- 114)”
Quran is the only guide book that gives the basic knowledge of everything that leads to the solution on the subject of our interest. It discuss about Philosophy, Biology, Science, Geography, History, Culture, Oceanology, Engineering, Astrology, Law, International relations, Business, Commerce, Agriculture, Spirituality, mystery of life – every branch of education, we would like to mention is there in Quran.
“We have left out nothing in the book” (AL QURAN, SURAH: 6, AYAH: 38).
Quran shows right way of life.
We have made this Quran a light by which we show the way to any of our servants we will you (Mohammed) are indeed guiding to the right way, the way of that God, to whom belongs everything in the heavens and in the earth. Beware! All affairs tend to Allah alone! (AL QURAN, SURAH: 42, AYAH: 52, 53)”
Quran is the guide for doing work according to its teaching. It is not just for reading and saying;
“O you believer, why do you say that which you do not do” (AL QURAN, SURAH: 61, AYAH: 24)
Quran also invites us to see and think on the “signs” Allah created in the universe for learning. The universe is an open book “AL KHITAB AL MANSHUR” for learning. Open eye and open mind has many things to learn from the universe.
“Soon shall we show them our signs in the world around them, as well as themselves” (AL QURAN, SURAH: 32, AYAH: 53)
Allah also tells us to travel to see his signs: “travel in the earth and see how Allah originated the creation” (AL QURAN, SURAH: 29, AYAH: 20)
12. MOHAMMED (PBUH) THE BEST EDUCATOR FOR HARMONIOUS DEVELOPMENT OF BODY, MIND & SOUL:
Mohammed (PBUH) made education compulsory for all men and women in his religion. Education was in the core of his agenda for “Human Resource Development”. He told his followers: “seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave”. He took note of God’s word: “we sent the messenger (Mohammed PBUH) to you from among you, who recites to you our revelations, who purifies your life, who instructs you in the book and in the wisdom and teaches you those things that you did not know (AL QURAN, SURAH: 2, AYAH: 151).
He was deeply engaged in timeless spiritual teachings. He improved and decorated human life with high spiritual, moral and mental values in his time and left a scientific education system in his religion of Islam for developments of above values for people of all times and all places. His life is authentically preserved for people coming generation after generation who can read his biography and know what education system he introduced that transformed worst people of Arabia to the best in human history. In fact his life is an open invitation to spirituality for mankind of all times. He is a luminous lamp (SIRAJUM MUNIR: AL QURAN, SURAH: 33, AYAH:46), spreading light through his teachings to mankind of all ages and brings out people from darkness into light, shows the path of life, the path of Allah the great.
13. ACTION AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
We have discussed and understand what our students are achieving and what they are missing in the existing education system. We also understand; what is the effect of what they are missing in their life during and after study. What is the effect of missing things in social and national life is also clear. We need to find out solution.
The following actions may be taken in to consideration:
- National leaders, educationists and social reformers must clear magnitude of the problem to the people. They should alert people about danger of unbalanced education which does not connect soul to head and hands. They should draw up plan to make syllabus, curriculum and re-structure educational institutions so that developments of soul become integral part of our study in all level of our education.
- In the absence of Islamic education in schools and in higher studies, parents need to double their efforts to teach what they are missing in the educational institutes.
- Islamic organizations should come forward vigorously and reach every student to give them real Islamic knowledge for simultaneous development of body, mind and soul.
- Students should learn Quran, Hadith and biography of prophet Mohammed (PBUH) with understanding and apply the teachings in all activities of life. Deep study and thinking to apply these teachings in our all activities is necessary.
- Students should attach themselves with Islamic Institutions and Organizations for learning values and Islamic way of life.
- We stated the universe is itself a school of learning. Students should look everything deeply and take lesson.
- Islamic organizations should establish strong R&D (Research and development center) and make research on Quran, Hadith, prophet’s biography, life of early Muslim rulers and scholars’ find out what should be syllabus, curriculum, institutions, and teachers in today’s education system on that basis. It is also important to know: what was the driving force in success of Islamic Education in spirituality, science, philosophy and every subjects of study in early Muslim Period.
- Pursue government for better budget allocation for education and R&D.
- Do not be proud of your knowledge and start thinking that you know everything. Also do not be shy to ask what you do not know. A person shy to ask question and a proudy person cannot learn. Imam Ibn Qayyam said, asking question and listening attentively are good way of learning.
- Schools, Colleges and Universities in private sector with good facilities of qualified teachers, library, research center, laboratory, sport center, moral education, curriculum etc., shall be encouraged. This will not only bring academic excellence and opportunities for students and nations, but also will be profit oriented for investors. Huge number of students from developing countries going to Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and spending lot of money for education every year. If good Schools, Colleges, Universities are established. This money will be with the investors in education sector. It will be profitable for investors.
- Promoting education is “SADAKA ZARIAH” nothing better could be done for humanity than educating people. So this should be in priority list of everybody. Beneficial knowledge is “SADAKA ZARIAH”. This means the person who is giving beneficial knowledge continue to get reward from ALLAH as long as people are benefitting from his education.
There is no doubt that major responsibility for educating people lies with government, organizations and parents. It’s also true that an individual, we also can do something.
We can find out sometime to teach people nearby us something we know, we can sacrifice a meal, a snack, and buy a pen, paper, or a book for the one who cannot afford. We can also avoid to buy extra cloths offer a school dress to a needy student. We can also organize fund raising bazaar, voluntary work etc, to support a school. All depends on our will, if we are serious then there is a way.
13.1 PILOT PLAN:
Government, Education Ministry, university grant commission of developing countries should plan to upgrade some of the universities as a model and bring these to world ranking. These universities will produce people who will take the nation to the level of developed countries in Science, Engineering, Industry, Agriculture so on.
Our existing Universities, Colleges and Schools should compare performance with world ranking Universities, Schools, Colleges; we must examine weakness of our institutions and enter into competition for improving quality of our education. We should keep up upgrading continuously.
Quality of teachers: Our students will be similar to what are our teachers. There must be institutions for training teachers for the development of body, mind and soul of the teachers in first place for creating quality in the students. Sufficient quality “Teachers Training Institute” for teaching teachers of all level (primary school, secondary school, college, university, madrasah) shall be made available with good facilities.
It is very important to teach students to do their work by their own hands and they should not depend on others for their simple works like washing clothes, cleaning house, preparing breakfast, washing dishes. Moreover, they should help parents in their work.
Education should be practical oriented in all level of studies: Preschool, School, College, and University. According to age and courses of study, whatever knowledge students acquire, they should be helped to transmit these knowledge into real work by themselves.
Islamic Education is Universal education. Muslims – Non Muslims all can benefit from this education in this world, because it aims to develop human potential by developing body, mind and soul of not only Muslims, but for entire mankind. Knowledge must be result oriented. If education does not give desired benefit to have better life in this world and after that education has little value.
Knowledge only is not enough, using it is more important. Prophet (PBUH) said, on the day of final judgment without telling how much work was done according to knowledge acquired, no one can proceed forward.
Finally, when we look around us in our country and around the world and see increase in oppression, injustice, miseries it gives us warning signal that our soul is disconnected from our hands, and our soul is disconnected from our head. So wrong doing is on rise. This is the time to correct ourselves by pursuing right education, Education of connecting our BODY and MIND to our SOUL.
– SYED JALAL UDDIN
1. Messenger – The meaning of the life of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) by Tariq Ramadan.
2. English translations of Ayah of Holy Quran.
3. English translation of Hadith from Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
4. PBUH – Peace be upon him.