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The School of al-Fuqahaa and Muhadithin (Scholars of Islamic Jurisprudence and Hadith): This school
went through two main phases. The First involved agreement amongst Scholars of Jurisprudence and
Hadith during the 3rd century AH on the undisputable authenticity and legislative nature of the texts of
the Quran and the sound narrations of the Sunnah of the Prophet. The Second involved variation of
Schools of Thought and legal schools of jurisprudence as well as differences in the contents of learning
curriculums and researches. Among the most famous Scholars of Hadith and Jurisprudence who
authored books on education were Muhammed ibn Sahnoun (d. 256 AD), Muhammed ibn al-Hussain al-
Ajery (d. 360 AH), and Aly Muhammed al-Kabesy (d. 342 AH).

2. The Sufis School:

This school appeared toward the end of the 2nd and lived through the 3rd century AH, during which the
conflict between those who insistently abide by the literal text (the Quran and the Sunnah), and those
who penetrated deeply to develop mystical interpretation of the text reached its peak. The followers of
the Sufi school, gave careful attention to the techniques of spiritual training and developing the soul in
its perennial quest to return back to its divine origin. Amongst the most notable writers who authored
books tackling such subject matters were al-Harith al-Mohasaby (d. 243 AH), and Abu Abdul Rahman al-
Salmy (d. 248 AH).

3. School of Philosophers:
This school soon earned unique stature following its emergence, having familiarity with the
philosophical trend of thought of other cultures people were exposed to. Yet it had its own input and
applied its own amendments that would befit and better suit the Arab and Islamic spirit. It balanced
between philosophy and religion. Among the most notable scholars who wrote about this field were: al-
Faraby (260- 339 AH), Ikhwan al-Safa (4th century AH), ibn Sina (370-428 AH) and Abu 'Ali Ahmad ibn
Muhammad ibn Ya'qub Ibn Miskawayh (320-421 AH/932-1030 AD)
4. School of al-Ash’ari Theologians:

It was founded by Abu al-Hassan al-Ash’ari (d. 330 AH) who though did not have much impact on the
development of education yet he is credited for paving the way for the emergence of iconic teachers
who succeeded him. Al-Ash’ari promoted interaction with contemporary trends and schools of thought,
as long as it does not contradict the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet. Among the most notable
scholars of this school who cared much for education; Ali ibn Mohamed al-Mawardy (364- 450 AH), and
al-Khatib al-Bughdady (392- 463 AH).

The mosque remained the center of education and learning during this phase, before the spread of
individual mosques and the rise of learning institutions such as Bait al Hikma (House of Wisdom) in
Baghdad during the reign of Caliph al-Maa’moun (d. 218 AH), and a similar one in Cairo, besides the
emergence of public libraries such as that of al-Mu’taded (d. 289 AH) in Baghdad, the Treasury of ibn Abi
al-Kassim Jaafar ibn Mohamed al-Faqih al-Shafii (d. 323 AH) and the Treasury of al-Qadi ibn Hiban (d.
354 AH) in Nissapur. The emergence of schools marked key point of development characterizing this
phase, especially the school of ibn Hiban al-Tamimi Abi Hatem (d. 354 AH), school of al- Asfarayini (d.
418 AH), and that of al- Basti (d. 429 AH), among others.

Such schools were the locus for teaching and were equipped with the needed tools for research and
education. They also included especial lodgings to accommodate foreign teachers and students, and
rose as remarkable learning centers that provided open teaching and cultural points availed to all people
from all over the Muslim world.

Concepts and Principles that Arab and Islamic Education Promoted

1- Education is a duty and right for every human being:
Among the foremost impacts brought along the advent of Islam was the manifest appreciation of
knowledge and scholars. Islam promoted knowledge and education, which helped give rise to the
scientific movements and the rise of new fields of knowledge that varied to include secular studies and
fine arts.

2- Caring for childhood:

The Islamic education paid special attention to childhood and educating children. This attention stems
from the Arabs’ keenness on ties of blood and lineage and their purity. Arabs used to view the child as a
means of extending families and a source of pride. Similarly, Muslims showed much care for the issue of
education and raising children, giving them the required care and attention. Furthermore Muslim
scholars promoted the child’s need for leisure and entertainment after learning hours. Relatedly, Ibn
Khaldoun disparaged the use of force and toughness in educating and raising children.

3- Raising knowledge and scholars to an elevated stature:

Islamic education regarded knowledge as the most preeminent thing in the world, basing such
viewpoint on the fact that scholars are considered the heirs of the Prophets, and they are he only ones
eligible to uphold such divine mission after purifying their souls from evils and imbibing within
themselves virtues and fine morals.

Revering Knowledge and scholars have proved instrumental for boosting idealism within every
individual, that tendency which, once imbibed in one’s self, fills it with the light of faith, piety and
devotion, and urges him to continue seeking after knowledge even if he has to travel far and wide- to
fulfill the noble Hadith of the Prophet, wherein he says: “Whoever treads a path seeking knowledge,
Allah will make easy for him the path to Jannah (Paradise).” In another Hadith, the Prophet, peace be
upon him, says: “He who goes out in search of knowledge is in God's path till he returns.”

4- Mind sets thought free:

Islamic Creed has granted human beings freedom of thought and the use of scientific research. Likewise,
Islam obliterated restrictions that block the functionality of the mind and prevent it from thinking freely.
Islam asserted human freedom of the mind from enslavement of specific notions that entails clinging to
the footsteps of previous generations, blindly following the suit of people of authority and demeaning
fear of their might and power.

The Prophet, peace be upon him, used to hold the human mind in high esteem and regarded it as the
core of religion and its foundation, for there is no religion for he who got no mind and perception. The
Prophet has also commanded people to communicate and interact using their intellect and resorting to
it as a safe haven.
5- Equality and equal right to education:
Applying the notion of democracy on education came as a remarkable point of transformation in the
history of educational development and progression of general urban systems. The Islamic scheme itself
was purely affected by such spirit. Such democratic spirit availed equal chances to education for those
who are well-off and the poor alike. Likewise, women, including maids, received considerable share of
education and culture. Jews and Christians also earned equal benefits.

6- Inclusivity, Integration and Balance:

The Arab Islamic education managed to shape the human personality in an all-inclusive physical and
spiritual frame, not just to grasp and comprehend the living realm surrounding him, but also to take part
in developing the essence of the human existence in way that best serves the well-being of humanity
and achieves its happiness.

7- Education is not restricted to time or place:

This principle is considered one of the chief fundamentals of Islamic education, for Islamic creed is based
primarily on human perception and mind, and regards thinking and human intellect as the foundation of
faith, revering knowledge and scholars and encouraging the pursuit of knowledge and science.

The Foundational Sources of the Islamic Theory of Education

1. The Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet, from which the Islamic concept of education expounds a
number of guiding principles, which are not mere assumptions verified through a process of trial and
error, and thus are not to be rejected.
2. Educational and Historical studying of viewpoints of Islamic Scholars.
3. Learning about Islamic figures that enriched the development of education such as Ibn Khaldoun,
Imam al-Ghazali, Ibn Taymiyah, Ibn al-Qayyim, among others.
4. The conclusions of sound scientific research that shed light on the nature of human individuals,
besides human experiences that do not contradict the Islamic creed.

- Each Creed Comprises of Three Main Elements:

1- Resources
2- Techniques and Methodologies
3- Objectives and Aims

Followers of every theory may differ, disagree with or attempt to reform and change some of its three
main elements, starting with the resources, the techniques, ending with the objectives and aims. As for
the Islamic perception of education, its resources are fixed same way its objectives are. The only variable
element is the technique, methodologies and approaches of education, which change and improve with
the development and improvement of human understanding of the basics. This is the chief element
differentiating the Islamic Observation of Educational Trends from one generation to the other, from
one age to the other, and from one place to the other.

General and Educational Human Psychology are parallels stemming from one main source that is the
Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet. Yet they have one striking element differentiating them that
is the element of time with regards to the Western Science of Human Psychology. This is basically due to
their reliance on the development of human thought concerning a variety of resources and
contradictory theories.

The Islamic General and Educational Psychology stems from one all-inclusive science encompassing all
aspects of human psychology ever since the beginning of creation and till the end of time. In other
words, and as explained by Mohamed Rashad Khalil, Educational Psychology is the application of
theories founded by psychological analysts, behaviorists and Gestaltists, among others who believe in
the natural theory regardless of their variations. These schools however do not comprehend the human
individual as a Created Being, but rather as a natural being of no soul.

Education Philosophy and the Theory of Education:

Most if not all education systems, except for the Islamic ones, depend primarily on educational theories
that categorically depend on general philosophies.
But what is philosophy? What is a theory? Also what’s the relation between the two?
Does the Islamic education system require a philosophy or a theory? These questions are what we shall
attempt to answer in the following lines.

- The Notion of Philosophy:

Philosophy is originally a Greek term comprising of two divisions, “Philo” which means love and “Sophia”
which means wisdom, thus the full term means love of wisdom. Nevertheless its seemingly attractive
and interesting connotation, scholars and thinkers have differed greatly regarding what love of wisdom
come to mean? Such controversy persists till date, with some suggesting that Philosophy entails
studying essence of matters and working to achieve what is best, whereas others think it is an all-
inclusive science encompassing the universe in its entirety including objects, animals and plants. And
there is a third party of thinkers who believe that love of wisdom entails the study of the unseen and
what is beyond the physical realm. Yet the commonly agreed upon interpretation is that philosophy
entails perceiving the universe, man, life and nature, and comprehending the relation between all

Henceforth, the notion of Philosophy maintained its uniqueness, and its schools remained mere
viewpoints representing their followers till date. Yet, each Philosophy carries its own perception of the
Universe, man and life.

As for the philosophy of Western Education, it entails the practical aspect of general philosophy in the
field of education. Such viewpoint makes the philosopher’s task; applying the principles of ideal,
realistic, or pragmatic philosophy onto education.

Whoever looks into the names of those schools of Educational Philosophy would recognize that they
represent the very same schools of thought, which philosophers mentioned. There is the General
Idealist Philosophy, the Educational Idealist Philosophy, the General Pragmatic Philosophy, and the
Educational Pragmatic Philosophy… etc.
-The notion of educational theory:
The Theory in its general essence that prevails in the West entails interpreting some matters in the past,
present, or the future according to fixed or variable belief. As for the Scientific Theory, according to its
accurate definition, it means attempting to interpret a number of assumptions or physical laws by
placing them within a general intellectual framework.

The Educational Theory is a number of correlated principles that guide the process of education and
control the teaching practices. If the Scientific Theory is descriptive and explanatory in its essence, then
the mission of the Educational Theory, according to Paul Herst, is personification and heeling. And if the
Scientific Theory blocks the description and explanation of what is existing, then the Educational Theory
describes and determines how to deal with students, thereby guiding and directing the educational

-Education according to Muslims

Education is more of a mirror reflecting nations’ systems regardless of their political, economic, or
creedal differences. The Arab Islamic education, on its part, reflects the fine teachings of Islam and its
noble doctrines. For Islam, besides propagating its basic creedal issues relating to faith and belief, also
promotes good moral values and virtues, which it considers fundamental for a sound and pious religious

There are a number of basic principles credited for impacting the development of the Educational
Theory, such as the Principle of Equality- Equality between fresh Muslim converts without regard to
their race or colors. Such covenant of equality was endorsed by Almighty Allah in the noble verse
“Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.”- (Quran 49:13) In
another instance in the same verse, Allah, says: “The believers are but brothers.”- (Quran 49:10)
Accordingly, the general advancement of Islamic Education manifests in its idealistic tendency; giving
primacy to knowledge, encouraging its pursuit, and caring for the moral virtues. All that besides its
flexible learning techniques and the democratic spirit that eliminated differences between human
nations, races and standards whether in the field of learning or religion, thereby granting individuals
equal chances to learning.
Objectives of Islamic Education:

- Religious Objectives:
Since the descent of revelation it became the prime reference for Muslims in all matters pertaining to
worship, legislation, and social life with all its varying features. It was the revelation of the Quran that
helped spread literacy among people, and the establishment of schools as well as the emergence of
different disciplines that sought to explain and clarify meanings of the Quran. However, the overall
tendency amongst Muslims was neither purely religious nor purely worldly, but rather a balanced
combination of the two. Education back then sought to coach the rising generations on ways to best live
their worldly life and prepare for the hereafter, thereby fulfilling the purpose of the noble verse,
wherein Allah says:“But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and
[yet], do not forget your share of the world.”- (Quran 28:77)

- Social Objectives:
Besides the religious objectives and morals, education has sought after other social values that reflected
in traditional and wise sayings: Addressing his son, Mus’ab ibn al-Zubayr was once quoted as saying
“Acquire knowledge, for even if you are not in possession of wealth, it would be beauty to you, and if
you are not in possession of beauty it would be wealth to you.” We realize that with the growing
number of scholars, all specialized in a specific expertise according to the development of the scientific
movement and its prosperity, there emerged a new social standard that represented the scholars, and
earned superior stature especially in the sight of rulers and princes, which encouraged people to pursue
education and learning so as to earn similar prestige and social standing. This, furthermore, led to the
rise of creative competitiveness among citizens, let alone the spread and prosperity of culture.

- The Objectives of Interest:

The rise of religiousness caused embarrassment to scholars and those working in the field of Islamic
education to receive payment for their teaching, such as teaching Quran and the like. Prophet
Muhammad, peace be upon him, used to free captives in return of having them teach Muslim children
basics of reading and writing, which shows that the concept itself is valid. Hence, Judiciary posts and
those relating to education, were pursued by people who were keen on preparing themselves for such
career. People’s eagerness to memorize the Holy Quran and acquiring in-depth understanding of Islam
had a great influence on creating the need for schools, as mosques formed the primary school to which
people sent their children to get educated in the learning circles held there and which dealt primarily
with Quran and Hadith.

Mosques in most Islamic states represented the learning centers where education was not restricted to
only religious sciences, but also included disciplines such language and poetry. Also cultural sessions
were held in the houses of cultured and educated elites and were known as “Literature Assemblies”.
Besides the Kuttab, there were old houses and stores that were turned into schools to teach young
boys, upholding the same task assigned to kuttab schools and mosques. High schools, such as the House
of Wisdom in Baghdad, provided a kind of education that is similar to that provided in our modern age
universities. The House of Wisdom (Bait al-Hikmah) was considered the most notable learning institution
in the history of Islam, as it housed translation centers, scientific complex as well as a public library and
astrology lab; serving students learning Astrology.

The first real Scientific Complex in the Islamic history was Al-Nizamiyyah school, which was established
by Nizam al-Mulk and cared greatly for the physical wellness of students. It set a good example that was
later followed by advanced learning institutions. As for schools, they first appeared during the Abbasid
Dynasty and spread throughout the Muslim world, varying from one place to the other. Besides
students, Islamic education gave equal care for the teacher who will be assigned the critical task of
transmitting knowledge to others, and was firm with regards to what a teacher needs in order to fulfill
such mission. Paying strict attention to the ethics and high moral values was the main characteristic of
teachers. According to Ibn Sina, “the coacher educating young pupils has to be himself wise, of sound
religion, knowledgeable about aspects of ethics, keen on educating youngsters, respectable, somber,
nice, intelligent, merciful, clean and trustworthy.”

Outlining the fundamental aspects characterizing the teachers, many scholars have defined the
psychological dimensions of the personality tasked the mission of teaching, and provided thorough
analysis of such characteristics and the duties required from teachers and educators in order to best
achieve their goals. A teacher had to primarily read and research a lot.

The second and perhaps the most important element in the learning process is the Student.

Scholars and education experts have given special care for the student and what helps him through the
learning process. Imam al-Ghazali for instance saw that among the important features of a student that
would help him acquire knowledge is breaking free from the distraction of worldly matters, for relations
are distractive and can be largely overwhelming. Proving such viewpoint of Imam al-Ghazali, I recall a
wise saying that reads, “Knowledge does not give you some of it, unless you give your whole to it.”
Furthermore, clerics have given much care to argument and debates that help the student sharpen his
ability to express his own self, better organize his thoughts and re-energize in a spontaneous manner.

Other helping factors that facilitate the learning process are choosing the right environment and place
for learning and appropriate hours of reading. As for the appropriate place for learning and
memorization, rooms are the most suitable places, as well as any settings away from any possible
sources of distraction. Also a student should not limit his learning objectives, he must always be ready to
learn more, and never suffice with any level of knowledge he reaches, neither become too proud of
what he has learned nor feel superior to his mentor or teacher, for without modesty and attentiveness,
he will be able to learn nothing. Moreover, Muslim clerics have long advised students to never feel
embarrassed or shy to ask about whatever that confuses them, for this would cause them to miss out on
what may maximize and enrich their benefit. They have as well encouraged students to understand well
what they listen to and the knowledge they receive, for nobody should write a thing he does not fully
understand, as this drives away intelligence and wastes one’s time. And if a student got used to failing to
understand whatever knowledge he receives and if he was lazy trying to do so, he will grow accustomed
to that and eventually will cease to understand even the easy and typical conversations.

As for teaching techniques or arranging the learning time for students, norms followed during the 4th
century AH stipulated that a student would go to the Kuttab School early in the morning to start
memorizing the Holy Quran. By noon, he returns home to have lunch and then goes back to the Kuttab
in the afternoon and remains there till the evening. The weekly holiday for students started from
Thursday noon till Friday evening. Then they would resume studying at the Kuttab Saturday morning. A
student’s experience with public libraries would start at a very young age, as young as 7 years. He would
give three or perhaps four years of his life to complete the memorization of the Holy Quran and learn
basics of Islamic Jurisprudence, as well as language and poetry. Afterwards, he would start joining
schools to acquire more knowledge.
The following level of education would include studying Quran, Exegesis, Fiqh, Arabic Grammar,
Literature, Poetry, Mathematics, Geometry and Hadith.

As for the Third level of education, it included a variety of disciplines, such as Medicine, Chemistry,
Mathematics, Astrology, Physics, Monotheism, Logic, Music, Zoology, and Botany. Teaching at this phase
depended on a number of primary techniques: Lecturing, Dictation and Discussion, besides learning and
debates. Clerics could realize that proper pronunciation and clear speech were essential for
understanding, given the child’s limited experience and restricted perception. Thus the teacher has to
help him connect things together in order to be able to understand what he does not know through
what he already knows. A teacher would never get his students develop strong interest in a particular
subject unless he himself was interested in it and excited about it. Only the knowledgeable is capable of
providing others with knowledge. According to Kahled Rousha, the education process shall remain
restricted, incapable of producing any fruits as long as the Islamic movement persistently fails to ready
and prepare skilled educators and tutors capable of practical application of theoretical and systematic
aspects of Islamic endeavor.

The process of educating a skilled tutor is quite complicated, with social, psychological and humanitarian
issues interrelated. This makes the process more than a mere scientific and analogical process in the
sense stipulated by the scientific experimental system.

Human elements are quite many, such as the extent of influence of creed, values and legal principles,
and the extent of psychological stability of the tutor and how close he is to the ideal and sound human
persona- Also how much influenced and attentive the tutor is to the personality and model of Prophet
Muhammad, and how far is he ready to give of himself to serve those doctrines and beliefs.

Such matters cannot be subject to experiment in order to evaluate or verify them. One cannot fix some
elements of influence in an experiment whereas other elements remain variable and changeable. For
example; accepting the application of equations such as those chemical equations of fixed conclusions
and physical expositions of fixed experimentations onto human education process.

If we considered that a successful education process as “founded on a number of consecutive,

interrelated and harmonious processes involving its practitioner (that is the tutor) and the recipient
(that is the student), to be done within an accepted theoretical scheme that is based on a variety of
techniques that befit the circumstances of application,” then we do recognize the importance of the axis
leading this process, i.e. the tutor or the teacher.

- Educationalists’ Theories: A Comparative Study

Educationalists’ theories varied and differed over primary and secondary elements that are essential for
a successful process of preparing a sound and skilled tutor. Such differences gave rise to varying views of
educationalists, with some propagating the need to turn the entire Muslim society into educationalists,
and that any Muslim individual regardless of his personal makeup, can be prepared to be a tutor guiding
the Muslim Ummah.
There is no doubt that such approach, which is the most common amongst fields of Islamic activism in
our modern time, does not differentiate between essentially varying roles represented by individuals,
each on his own, or, on a deeper level, the characteristics required for every role, while it is essential to
differentiate between the role played by a Muslim preacher, that upheld by other Muslim individuals
such as administrators, leaders, socialist, and that of a tutor. A preacher is a bit too general description
that combines all other roles. As for that of social and administrative leadership, it requires specific
characteristics such as being experienced, firm, risk taker, daring, courageous, proactive, wise, and
intelligent, among other qualities that characterized notable leaders and fighters from amongst the
companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, those who were known for their courage and might in
battles and conquests they fought.

- Different approaches of selection:

So the character of a leader is the one capable of achieving and fulfilling the goals set for it, and that by
delegating other individuals related to it. Thus, it is the kind of personality whose role ends with the
fulfillment of the task assigned to it or realizing the specific goal appointed to it. As for the character of a
tutor or a coacher it is the kind of personality that is capable of guiding and shaping other personalities,
thereby preparing it on the educational, religious, and behavioral levels.

Generally, there are two primary approaches in selecting the personality of a tutor;
The first entails strictness and exaggerated accuracy in determining the characteristics of the coacher.
This approach is generally idealistic in its expectations of the personality of the tutor, in the sense that,
when trying to map such expectations to reality, they render a purely theoretical concept that cannot be
implemented in anyway. As for the second approach it entails some flexibility in selecting the qualities
of a coacher to include a larger number of characteristics. This approach is driven by primacy the need
of Islamic Discourse and its exposure or possible increase in the number of recipients of the message.

But experience proved the two approaches a complete failure. For the First approach hinders the
educational work, as it ties it to a super model that is hard if not impossible to achieve, thereby
impeding efforts seeking to develop and reform it. Thus it invites all those who are unable to meet such
idealistic image to retreat and abandon educational work altogether.

As for the Second approach it avails the chance to all, even those who are not the least skilled or eligible
to carry out the mission, and this is destructive to them, let alone a waste of time and effort. This
highlights the need for outlining a model for those supervising the educational process to guide them,
help avoid the negative consequences of the two approaches, and over and above, to be easy to apply in
reality. Regarding the fundamental elements needed for preparing skilled coachers, grasping the
practical and scientific inputs have yielded the conclusion that there are a number of factors which, if
combined, can lead to a successful process of preparing coachers. Such factors include: (depth of faith,
sound and healthy personality, practical knowledge, suitable environment for education, special skills,
and reform). We shall attempt to shed light on the most important characteristics of each of these

- First:The Depth of Faith:

It is the first element required in the personality suggested to uphold the mission of a tutor, without
which the tutor would fail to achieve the objectives of the educational process. It would not be
exaggeration to say that the entire process of education can shatter without this specific element. But
some practices in reality may seem quite shocking, with some figures assigned the mission of education
simply because they are social activists, without paying any regard to the element of depth of faith that
happens to be the first and primary condition for a sound educational personality, and the basis on
which many factors largely depend, such as:

1. Sincerity: If the speech of a coacher or a tutor falls short of being sincere and truthful, it becomes
more of smoke in the air, in other words it benefits nobody. Sincerity gives speech a good scent that
draws listeners close, and captures the attention of those afar to listen, attentively. It is reported that al-
Hassan, may Allah be pleased with him, once heard a preacher addressing people, so he approached
him, saying: “It is either your heart harbors evil or mine does. For your speech does not touch my heart
the slightest bit! Allah aids a sincere tutor in his choice of words, picking the right words for the right
situation, and the most impacting of phrases. A sincere speech is the most convincing of speeches of
long-lasting effect on the heart of the listener.” One of the students of Shaikh al-Ka’naby, the mentor of
Shaikh Bukhari, narrates: “Our Shaikh used to address us while his beard was soaked with tears.”

2. Patience: Patience is motivated and inspired by deep faith which we have just tackled. And when faith
weakens, so does patience as it is a primary factor in the tutor personality to have patience in dealing
with students and individuals being coached as well as communities a tutor may be addressing. Thus,
patience requires the tutor to hold fast to this intrinsic value besides other principles and fundamentals
he believes in. It is narrated that Abdullah, son of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, once asked his father:
“When does one taste comfort?” the father answered; “With the first foot set in Jannah (Paradise)”.

3. Asceticism: Asceticism is one essential factor in the personal makeup of a tutor and it entails
refraining from adornments of worldly life and hoping for the reward in the Hereafter and Paradise.
Nothing is worse than a tutor who is attached to worldly pleasures and inclinations. Similarly nothing
can be more of worse impact on students than that of a tutor who seeks relentlessly after money, one
who is overwhelmingly attached to beautifying himself, obsessed with worldly possessions of houses
and the like. No matter how much people differ over the proper definition of Asceticism, there will
always remain the model of the Prophet, peace be upon him, his Companions, their successors and the
renowned scholars as the best example and the ones most deserving to be followed. We have known
them all as detached from worldly pleasures and beauties, hoping only for the comfort of the Hereafter.

But unfortunately, looking around, one finds those assigned the crucial mission of education to be
immersed in worldly indulgence, luxury and extravagancy. How are those possibly expected to produce
a sound educated generation? Al-Dhahabi narrated that Imam Ahmed, when he travelled to Abdul
Razzaq, he ran out of money, so he had to work as a helper, earning half a Dirham each day, which was
sufficient to only buy him his daily share of food. Abdul Razzaq saw him carrying luggage on his back,
and thus awaited him secretly behind the door of his house before he comes for the class and told him:
“O Ahmed, usually I do not have much money, but I have collected this sum for you, so take it and spend
it as you wish.” Ahmed replied: “If I was ever in need of money I would have taken aid from nobody but
you, but I have enough money to sustain myself and even more till I return back home.”

The stance of the Islamic theory of education Vs the Western theory

Educational Theory- Exposition and Presentation: Western theories of education share a number of
common factors, such as: 1- Absolute reliance on mind logic with all that entails of activities attempting
to visualize the universe, man, and life. Also worth considering is the fact that every educational theory
is in origin a reflection of a specific philosophical school. This is a general rule applicable to any
educational pattern. Similarly, all differences between theories are simply expressive of changes that
crept into Western communities throughout history, with all political, social, and economic and scientific
dimensions involved.
2- Western educational theories are of single viewpoint, whereas the ideal educational theory reflects
the Polemic Philosophy. According to Ptolemy, there are two worlds; a Sensed World, which comprises
of physical bodies and objects, and a Perceived World which comprises of abstract beings. This theory
stems primarily from (the absolute prominence of the soul over physical objects), and it tends to
encourage a contemplative approach that largely ignores existing reality and the human’s earthly
nature, caring principally for the perfection of the soul and its salvation. This demonstrates the
theoretical propensity of teaching within the idealist educational theory, with the goal of education
seeking primarily (the human mind’s acceptance of intellectual and logical heritage scored by previous
generation)- As a matter of fact such heritage acquired a divine position and became literary applied.
Furthermore, subject matters of studies were tied to the heritage essentials rather than present time
essentials, and thus its link to the past became an obstacle obstructing its link to the present and the

Contrary to the Idealistic School, the Naturalistic School, focuses on the physical body and all emotions,
desires and inclinations it involves, giving it absolute importance on the expense of the mind. However it
is a well-known fact that this school has surpassed the psychological trend of education that relies in its
principles on the founder of the school itself, that is Jean Jacques Rousseau, who saw that “resorting to
human psychology is the only way to provide a real criterion for evaluating Pedagogy.”

Another drawback of such theory is limiting the scope of education to be restrictive to the child. Modern
education has realized such limitation and shortcoming, and thus went on to expand the scope to
include teenagers, adolescents, adults, and old men. This is what the Modern International Union for
Education emphasized.

As for the Pragmatic school, it turns the focus of attention away from the primary subjects as well as
principles, laws, and acc.