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Critical Review

Iqtidar ul Hassan

Islams Lifelong Learning Mandate: A Critical Review

of the Chapter
Iqtidar ul Hassan
LEAD 7500
Dr. Mary Keller Boudreaux
University of Memphis

Critical Review

Iqtidar ul Hassan

Kamis, M. & Muhammad, M. (2005). Islams lifelong learning mandate. Non-western

perspectives on learning and knowledge (pp. 21-40). Malabar, Florida: Kreiger
Publishing Company.
Islams Lifelong Learning Mandate comprehensively covers the Islamic view of
learning and knowledge. Though the title of the chapter indicates that the thesis of the
chapter is to discuss the Islamic views on the continuous lifelong learning, but the chapter
compositely includes the significance of learning in Islam, purpose of knowledge,
students-teacher relationship, methodology of teaching and the lifelong learning in Islam.
The authors of the chapter, Mazalan Kamis & Mananah Muhammad, are professors of
educational planning and continuing education respectively in Malaysia. Kamis &
Muhammad, 2005 have explained how the religion of Islam has different cultural
manifestations in different cultures. They have admitted that their illustrations of the
approaches to education in Islam are from the Malay culture. Kamis & Muhammad have
heavily cited the Quran and the Hadith (the sayings and doings of the prophet
Muhammad). Besides, they have quoted secondary sources like Alghazalis Kitab-ul-Ilm
(the book of Knowledge). They have also heavily quoted Albertini, 2003, 2005. The
authors have also given illustrations from educational practices in Malaysia.
Some of the topics that Kamis & Muhammad, 2005 concentrated on in the chapter
are being highlighted here. Firstly, the authors have tried to prove through Quran and
Hadith that the seeking of knowledge is mandatory for every individual. Secondly, they
have explained the purpose of learning in Islam. Kamis & Muhammad, 2005 have made a
distinction between the Social and Spiritual purposes of learning. According to them,
Islam considers the spiritual learning (Quran and learning necessary to perform rituals)

Critical Review

Iqtidar ul Hassan

obligatory for every individual separately, whereas the social learning is mandatory for
society as whole; if a group of individual have gotten that knowledge the rest of the
society is absolved of this mandate. For example, the medical education, the engineering
etc. Thirdly, the seeking of knowledge never stops, that is learning is a lifelong mandate.
Fourthly, Islam entertains no discrimination between genders on the seeking of learning
as a religious obligation. In other words, Islam has democratized education.
Kamis & Muhammad, 2005 have covered almost all the aspects of Islams view
on the seeking of knowledge, whereas the title Islams Lifelong Learning Mandate is
only the one aspect, which they discussed in the last four and a half pages. The essay is,
in fact, a comprehensive essay on the seeking of knowledge in Islam rather than on the
Islams lifelong learning mandate. The authors have heavily and very accurately quoted
Quran and Hadith to support their views. On the other hand, the authors excessively
depended only on Al-Ghazalis Kitab-ul-Ilm as a secondary source. The authors have
little examples from the history as illustrations.