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INTRODUCTION AND DISTINCTIVE FEARUTIRES OF ISLAMIC EDUACATON

SYSTEM

The concept of Education in Islam:


Islam is a divine religion which has emphasized on the need of education in every sphere of life.
One of the leading proof of this is the first revelation sent down to Prophet Mohammad (SAW) in
the cave of Hira. Allah, in his first few ayats of Quran sent down to Prophet Mohammad (SAW)
said:
“Read in the name of your Lord who created, created man out of mere clot of congealed
blood. Read and your Lord is most bountiful. He who taught by pen. Taught men which he
knew not.”
Surah-Alaq
The ayats show the importance of attaining knowledge in Islam. The concept of education in Islam
is not only based upon the need for acquiring modern education, however; it also emphasizes on
the importance of education based on the moral and ethical values. Education in Islamic
perspective is not to benefit a single individual of society, however; it focuses on the welfare of
the ummah. Due to this school of thought, Islamic education system differs from the western
education system, since; the people of west are still indecisive of their need for education.
According to Islam, education is not the name of learning in order to gain the worldly benefits, in
contrast it lays great importance to the kind of knowledge which will assist an individual in this
world and the world hereafter. Islam considers that even the lifestyle of an individual is also part
of education. Starting from the dress code to the behavior a Muslim needs to have, all these things
are included in education.
All these teachings were preached to people by the messengers which were sent down by Allah
Almighty. They were responsible to guide mankind towards the right path by educating them so
every human being proves himself as an obedient and responsible individual. Moreover, this
education helped in building a healthy society. The Quran supports the above statement by the
following words;
“Ye were taught that which ye knew not yourselves nor did your fathers (knew) it.”
(6:92)

In addition, Islam also puts great emphasis on the need of modern education. Many of the great
scientific inventions were made by Muslim scientists which were later carried forward by the
western world. Thus, the Muslims have ruled over the scientific world for a significant period of
time. In a nutshell, the Islamic education system is not limited to an individual, however; it deals
with the success of the whole society.
Education System during the life of Prophet Mohammad (SAW):
Islamic education paved its way from Arabia after the announcement of prophet hood by Hazrat
Mohammad (SAW). Before this, the Arabs were swept into delusion. This period was known as a
period of jahalah (ignorance). There was no understanding of good and evil, false and truth. Baby
girls were buried after their birth. The poor were treated as slaves. There was brutality in Arabia.
Women were not given their rights properly.
In order to mark the ending of this cruelty, Allah sent down his messenger Mohammad Mustafa
(SAW). He came up with an education system introduced by Allah to guide the mankind towards
the right path. He educated the pagans of Arab through the divine book Quran and his Sunnah.
The major purpose of the messenger was to teach the people the fundamental rules of life. Holy
Prophet (SAW) was reported to have said:
“I have been raised as a teacher.”
(Ibn Abdul Barr, page 25)

This is testified in the Holy Quran by the following words:


“Our Lord! And raise up in their midst a messenger from among them who shall recite unto
them Thy revelations and instruct them in their scripture and in wisdom.”
(2:129)
The mosque was a major place where Muslims would acquire knowledge. All the worldly,
financial, economical, and personal affairs were brought towards the Prophet (SAW) and the
solution to these problems were given. In addition to this, Muslim children memorized Quran and
Salah at the mosque.
The importance of acquiring worldly education in Islam can be witnessed by the incident when
after the victory at Badr, the prisoners were brought to Holy Prophet (SAW). He asked the educated
men among them to teach writing to ten children of Madinah. Ubadah Ibn al- Samit said that
Prophet (SAW) appointed him as a teacher in the school of Suffah for classes in writing and Islamic
Studies. This was a local residential school where reading, writing, Muslim Law, memorization of
the chapter of Quran, tajwid and other Islamic sciences were taught under the direct supervision
of Prophet (SAW). Thus, the school was a institution for the boarders, day scholars and regular
visitors.
To add more, there came a time when the Holy Prophet (SAW) would ask his companions to
accompany the tribal delegations on their return journey in order to organize education in their
country and then come to Madinah. In conclusion, Madinah became the center of Islamic education
for the Muslims. The Muslims visited this religious center in order to attain education so they could
lead their lives according to the message of Islam.