Home

ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0408-TOWARDS A HOLISTIC VISION FOR ISLAMIC SCHOOLS

Presentation at the 20th anniversary of the Islamic School in Capetown, South Africa on 14th August 2004 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr.

THE PROBLEM

The school (kindergarten to 12th year of education) is passing through a moral as well as an academic crisis both locally and internationally. The moral and social behavior of children is worsening. Academic achievement is falling.

 

OBJECTIVES OF AN ISLAMIC SCHOOL

What is needed is to redefine an Islamic school that should set itself the objective of imparting Islamic education and producing a complete individual, insan kamil, as described by the Qur’an. Islamic education sets itself the goal of guiding a child to an Islamic personality, character, and behavior. The ultimate objective is taqwa. Children are born pure in fitra. The way they are educated and brought up determines whether they will be good or bad. The scope of an Islamic school is wide and includes faith, intellectual, moral, social, and practical skills or attributes. Learning in such a school should be Qur’an-based learning. This means not only teaching the Qur’an but teaching everything else from a Qur’anic perspective including inculcating iman, understanding, and practice of religion. The teaching of the Qur’an should emphasize critical thinking, tafakkur; reasoning; substantiation; observation of the world, tadabbur, and critical analysis. It should discourage blind following, taqliid, and rote learning.

 

SOCIALIZATION

The school is a socializing agent. It is a laboratory for islamization of the total society. It should exemplify the adab of the teacher which consists of: kindness, sincere advice to the student, humility, being a good example and role model, knowing the characteristics of each student and dealing with him or her as an individual. It should also inculcate the adab of the student: commitment, ikhlas; humility, tawadhu’u; respect for teacher, and applying what is learned.

 

SCHOOL CURRICULUM

Emphasis of the curriculum: The school curriculum must be designed with care. It should emphasize iman, ibadat, ‘amal salih, relations, complementality, social change, continuity, appropriateness, equilibrium and harmony. The components of the curriculum are ‘aqidat, language, ‘ibadat, mu’amalat (social interactions), maharaat (skills), and hadharat (civilization). The 6 pillars of iman should be the start of the curriculum followed by teaching acts of ‘ibadat and other virtuous acts, ‘amal salih. The students are then taught the various relations that bind the society together: relation with Allah, relation with other humans, and relations with the environment. The curriculum should emphasize complementality of body and soul, spirit and matter, individual and society, practical and applied. The student should be taught to understand that successful social change is knowledge-based. Continuity of education and learning outside the class-room should be emphasized. The curriculum should be appropriateness to the growth and development needs of the child. It should reflect the Islamic concepts of balance, tawazun, moderation, wasatiyyat, and equilibrium, i’itidaal.

 

Sources of the curriculum are the principal sources of Islamic law (Qur’an, sunnat, Ijma, qiyas,  istihsan, istislah, istisbab, urf), history, siirat & tarikh, and human empirical experience.

 

Methodology of the curriculum: The methodology of instruction must have the following characteristics: gradualism, tadarruj; reality/realism, waqi’iyyat; positive attitude to human nature, fitra; and balance, tawazun.

 

Content of the curriculum: All subjects must drive home the basic thrust of Islam. The aim should be to avoid too many periods devoted to teaching Islam. It is best that Islam is taught in an integrated way with the rest of the curricular subjects. Curricular subjects to be included in the school curriculum are: The Qur’an, dirasat al Qur’an; The Qur’anic language, lughat al qur’an; other languages; Islamic studies (tauhid/aqida, fiqh, tahadhib & tarbiyyah, moral and social etiquette, adab, & seerah); science; mathematics; history; geography; arts and crafts, and liberal arts (music, drama, painting). The liberal arts should be islamized. Islamic art forms should also be considered as alternatives for example calligraphy, non-representative painting, and tajwiid.

 

Extra-curricular activities should be encouraged such as: essay competitions, art competitions, drama, trips, excursions, camps, songs, sports, practical dawa experiences, amr bi al maruf & nahy ‘an al munkar,

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. August 2004