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An Essay on Islamic Schools

An Essay on Islamic Schools

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Published by ibnajami

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Published by: ibnajami on May 04, 2010
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An Essay onModern Islamic Madressa SystemModern Science has outgrown beyond its self-demarcated boundaries. It is fast encroaching into the intellectual territories that previously belonged exclusivelyto metaphysics and religion where philosophers and religious scholars enjoyed their exclusive and un-questionable authority. Science is challenging the validity of their beliefs and thoughts. Practically, in every sense of the word, science has become a religion per se with millions and millions of faithful adherentsand blind flag-followers who don’t even know that since long they have convertedto this new religion and submitted their souls to a new unseen, undefined god.They believe in the validity of scientific discoveries more than they believe inthe truthfulness of religious teachings. A new Bible is being written, compiledand preached under the guise of scientific theories. Human mind has been so conditioned and streamlined that it does not take anything seriously which is not scientific.New scientific discoveries are immediately translated into new technologies thatgive birth to new gadgets and these gadgets _ basically just playthings_ becomea part of our life without which we cannot imagine to live. Can you live _ andbreathe _ for a whole day without using your cell phone? Can you imagine a summer season without electricity?Look around and try to find something which is not a product of science. How many things can you count? It is Science and Science everywhere. It has seeped deep into our bone marrows. Its existence is so real, so tangible that it has become synonymous with the Whole Truth. That’s where the danger lies: human mind hasbeen trained to believe in the proposition that “ It is true if, and only if, itis Science.” Everything else is Harry Potter or Kafka. We do proclaim our belief in religion but we tend to place the articles of Faith in those chambers of our mind where mythology sits. We say we believe in the creation of Adam but in the heart of our hearts we KNOW that the creation of man started in the mud of theoceans millions of years ago as a single-celled life form and then evolved anddiversified into various species of living things including man. We say Man is vice regent of God but we are told again and again that the abode of children ofAdam is but a tiny grain of sand in a vast desert. Earth is not the centre of the universe. Galileo, long ago relegated earth from its pivotal position as the centre of the whole universe to that of a mediocre planet revolving round a mediocre sun in the corner of Milky Way while millions of such galaxies are roaming in THIS universe and there are still other universes parallel to this one. Compared to the vastness of this system of mass and energy, Man does not exist, not tospeak of any regency.These ideas about the nature, structure and mechanism of the universe are polarapart from the fundamental teachings of religion and they are not taken as theyare_ just opinions of some brilliant scientists_ but unscrupulously taught and propagated as the Laws of Nature, as if Nature takes dictation from Newton or Darwin. These concepts are disseminated throughout the world without discriminationof race or colour, creed or caste. Schools are their propagation centres and itis very strange that the methodology and syllabus of all the schools throughoutthe world is uniform. Students in the schools of South Africa are as well familiar with Newton’s Laws of Motion as are their counterparts in China. They are followers of a common religion_ the religion of science and technology.This “Belief-Making Process” of modern science is very simple and deceptively innocent.First of all they define knowledge as “the information received through so-called five senses” which simply means human body_ something which cannot touch humanbody through any of these senses is not REAL, it does not exist, it is just fantasy or superstition. In the early formative years when human mind is raw and mo
st receptive to new ideas and concepts, it is bombarded with all kinds of sensory perceptions: colours, sounds, shapes and names cleverly selected to be relevant to daily life which the targeted children can verify by their own experience.The process is repeated again and again until everything else is filtered out: everything and anything that cannot be verified or measured or expressed empirically. That’s why religion has no respectable place in modern school system.Now is the time to wake up and reflect.In a similar situation, at the end of the 11th century, it was Imam Ghazali whofought back the onslaught of Greek Philosophy and successfully blew the cobwebs away which had been haunting Muslim academia for a long time. But he, perhaps,could not have done it single-handedly. Had there not been a very strong network of Islamic Madressas and much-needed financial support from Nizam-ul-Mulk Tusi, all his effort would have been a feeble voice in the wilderness. In Baghdad alone, there were more than 100 centres of higher education including 6 full-fledged medical universities. Moreover, there was no parallel system of education_aswe have today_ backed by state machinery and enjoying the patronage of the elite. Ghazali was fortunate enough to have an audience: a regiment of brilliant scholars well-versed in logic, mathematics, philosophy and astronomy_ the physics ofthat day. They understood Ghazali as well as Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. They absorbed his thoughts and ably transmitted them to the next generations. That’s why we still know his name: Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad at-Tusi al-Ghazali. We have no Ghazali today, and none of his stature. Nine hundred years have goneby. While the other Camp has a long list of big names: Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, Darwin, Newton, Einstein _ giant after giant, we are still looking up to theskies for a Messiah to descend and save us from the Gog and Magog of today.What shall we do?In a similar situation Ghazali wrote his famous book “The Revival of Religious Sciences” (Ihya-ul-Uloom) that was, in fact, an outline of curriculum for Islamicschools. Some people think he initiated “Dars-e-Nizami” (sunniforum.org) whichis not correct historically but he did, in fact, lay down the basic principles.It was Ibne Sina who wrote some teaching manuals for Madressa teachers. This iswhat we can do today, in our humble capacity. In my opinion, it is the need ofthe hour. We can take this small step that can prove to be a giant leap in the right direction: develop a comprehensive course of studies for a Modern Islamic Madressa System. I offer my humble services in this regard. My plan is to establish a dedicated research centre, equipped with an electronic library, for the sole purpose of preparing an outline of courses for Islamic religious schools. I need your kind assistance. One day someone might take the next step.Why should we do it?Simply because we are duty bound to do something for the promotion of an IslamicSystem of Education as we have invested a substantial portion of our lifetime,efforts and energy in promoting the devilish system of Western education. For the last many years we have been mass-manufacturing the replica of Western Man.We believe in the Day of Reckoning. On that day we will be asked what we have done of the boon of our life. Are we ready to answer so many why’s of our life?Why have we done what we have done?Why are we doing what we are doing?We are part of a parcel of well-planned global system of education which is inimical to the spirit of Islam. Do we really think that this is a service to Islam?What is the compulsion?Sir Syed Ahmad Khan might have some justification because in his days the classical system of education was intact. And there was not a single “English” schoolfor Muslims. What justification do we have today when thousands of mushroom schools are running on the same single track?Could not we channelise our resources into something more constructive and benef

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