“Bringing up our Young as Muslims in the present age” – its challenges and our responsibilities”

Brief presentation by: Ustaz Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail Iftar Talk at Malabar Mosque Singapore 8 Oct 2005 / 5 Ramadan 1426

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‫‪REFLECTION‬‬
‫ي َ ٰ ٓأ ُّيَہ ا ٱلَّذِين ءَامنُوا ْ ٱت َّقوا ْ ٱ لل َّه حقَّ ت ُقات ِ ِۦ وَلَ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫ُ‬ ‫َ ه‬ ‫َ َ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫َ َّ‬ ‫ت َموت ُن إ ِل وَأَنتُم ُّ‬ ‫مسل ِمون‬ ‫ۡ ُ َ‬ ‫ُ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫)201 :3 :‪(Qur’an: Surah Aali Imran‬‬

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REFLECTION
“O you who have attained to faith! Be conscious of God with all the consciousness that is due to Him, and do not allow death to overtake you ere you have surrendered yourselves unto Him (Muslimun).” (Qur’an: Surah Aali Imran: 3: 102)

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‫ي َ ٰ ٓأ ُّيَہ ا ٱلَّذِين ءَامنُوا ْ قُوٓا ْ أَنفسكُمۡ وَأَهۡلِيك ُ‬ ‫ً۬‬ ‫َ‬ ‫مۡ نَارا‬ ‫ُ َ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫وَقُودُهَا ٱ لنَّاس َٱل ۡحجارة ُ عَلَيۡہَا مل َ ٰٓٮ ِٕك َة‬ ‫ٌ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫َُو ِ َ َ‬ ‫غلظ شد ۬ ل يعصون ٱلل َّه ما ٓ أ َ‬ ‫َ َ مرهُم‬ ‫َ َ ۡ‬ ‫ِ َ ٌ۬‬ ‫ِ َ ٌاد ّ َ ۡ ُ َ‬ ‫وَيَفۡعَلُون ما يُؤۡمرون‬ ‫َ ُ َ‬ ‫َ َ‬
‫)6 :66 :‪(Qur’an: Surah at-Tahrim‬‬

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REFLECTION
“O you who have attained to faith! Ward off from yourselves and those who are close to you that fire (of the Hereafter) whose fuel is human beings and stones, [lording] over it are angelic powers awesome [and] severe, who do not disobey Allah in whatever He has commanded them, but [always] do what they are bidden to do.” (Qur’an: Surah at-Tahrim: 66: 6)
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‫َّ‬ ‫ۡ َّ َ َ‬ ‫َ ۡ‬ ‫قُل إ ِن صلتِى وَن ُسكِى وَمحيَاىَ وَمماتِى لِلهِ‬ ‫ُ‬ ‫َ َ‬ ‫ِ َ َ َ‬ ‫رب ٱلۡعَ ٰل َمين ل شرِيك ل َه ۥ‌ۖ وَب ِ َٲل ِك أ ُمرۡت‬ ‫َ ِّ‬ ‫َ ُ‬ ‫ذ َ ِ ُ‬ ‫وَأَنَا أَوَّ‬ ‫ُ‬ ‫۟ ل ٱلۡمسۡل ِمين‬ ‫ُ‬ ‫ِ َ‬ ‫)261:6:‪(Qur’an: Surah al-An’am‬‬

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REFLECTION
Say: ”Behold, my prayer, and [all] my acts of worship, my living and my dying are for God [alone], the Sustainer of all the worlds, in whose divinity none has a share: for thus have I been bidden – and I shall [always] be foremost among those who surrender themselves to Him (Muslimeen).” (Qur’an: Surah al-An’am:6:162)
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‫َ ۡ ۡ‬ ‫وَمن يَبت َغ غَيۡر ٱلإِسل َ ٰ م ِ د ِ ً۬ين فَلَن يُقب َل منۡه وَهُو‬ ‫ا‬ ‫َ‬ ‫ۡ َ ِ ُ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫ۡ ِ‬ ‫فى ٱلأ َ‬ ‫ۡ خرةِ من ٱلۡخ ٰسرِين‬ ‫َ ِ‬ ‫ِ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫ِ َ ِ َ‬ ‫)58 :3 :‪(Qur’an: Surah Aali Imran‬‬

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REFLECTION
“For, if any one goes in search of a religion other than al-Islam (selfsurrender and submission to Allah), it will never be accepted from him, and in the life to come he shall be among the lost.” (Qur’an: Surah Aali Imran: 3: 85)

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REFLECTION
“Every child is born in a state of Fitrah (pure innocence); it is the parent that will make him to be a Jew, or a Christian, or a pagan (Majusi).” (Hadith of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w.)

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STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
 INFANT  PRE-SCHOOL  Parents may already provide nurturing in accordance with Islamic traditions. Yet although much time spent confined at home, we must also become aware of strong influences through exposures of the mass media and our family lifestyle and parental behavior.
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STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
 SCHOOLING PERIOD  EXPOSURE TO TODAY’S “TEENS SUBCULTURE”  Although some basic knowledge of Islam may have been provided, yet when they sent the children to formal school, stress towards “academic excellence” only and tend to neglect the “Aqidahmic” element in their education which must continuously be complimented in tandem with their development while in and throughout their schooling age.
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STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
 EXPOSURE TO TODAY’S “TEENS SUBCULTURE”  With lesser contact-time at home, and inadequate mentoring & monitoring Islamically by parents, their education becomes “secularized”; children may be left to peers and media influences. Islamic values may began to be subsumed by negative trends and sub-cultures opposed to Islam. Some may begin to have doubts about Islam or even loose their Muslim identity.
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STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
 COLLEGE & VARSITY –  NATIONAL SERVICE / TASTE OF WORKING LIFE  At this level, our young may become more independent (less attached to family influence); their idealism may lead them to ‘try out’, to adapt and adopt values alien to Islam itself.  Serious crisis of identity usually occur at this stage – usually when they become ‘worldly-wise’ but unfortunately their knowledge of Islam stagnates at “kindergarten or primary” level. 14

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Is part-time Islamic classes adequate?
 No, if approach to learning Islam merely as subjects to be learnt rather than a lifestyle and character building.  No, when learning does not conform to its systematic ways according to tradition – fardh ‘ayn before kifaayah; and began with eclectic before specialization.
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 No, if parents merely delegate tasks to teachers without they themselves participating in child’s holistic development, and providing good role models.  No, when their identity as Muslims allowed to be eroded by other values and “idols” as role models.”
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Is Islamic education achieved by integrating knowledge?
 Mere integration (formal school with Islamic class) does not make it an Islamic education.  It is only when the dominant worldview, approach and philosophy is that of Islam; and the conscious objective is of molding a Islamic identity becomes the primary concern.  That it must proactively equip them to discern between ‘haqq’ and ‘baatil’ when learning from other systems.  That the three primary ‘Tawhidic’ development of iiman, ‘amal and ihsan continues to be nurtured.

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Dilemma of the Present-day Muslim…….
“…One can find in the Islamic world today a full spectrum of people ranging from purely traditional elements, through those who are caught between traditional values and modernism, to the blatant modernists who nevertheless still move within the Islamic orbit, and finally to the few who no longer consider themselves to belong to the Islamic universe at all.”
(Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr in book “Islam and the Plight of Modern Man” published by Longman)
* I have underlined passage to highlight four types or categories of Muslims he has identified
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WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE AIM & OBJECTIVE OF A MUSLIM’S EDUCATION THAT WE HOPE FOR OUR YOUNG? WHAT KIND OF CURRICULUM AND PROGRAM CAN WE INSTILL TO COMPLEMENT THE CURRENT SYSTEM WHICH WE NOW HAVE TO FACE AND ADAPT – AND YET TO REMAIN TRULY MUSLIM?

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PERHAPS WE AS MUSLIM PARENTS AND EDUCATORS SHOULD SERIOUSLY UNDERTAKE A RE-APPRAISAL OR EVEN RE-LEARNING OURSELVES ON WHAT ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVE ON EDUCATION SHOULD BE.

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We need to re-orientate our understanding on Education (seeking the Islamic perspective)….

 Knowing the problem.

“Acknowledging the problem is half the solution!” We have lamented how Muslims today are backward in many areas and that only through education we can hope to extricate ourselves from this predicament. Many suggestions are offered, but unless we can identify correctly the problem, whatever solutions offered may be misplaced, irrelevant and sometimes may even add to further confusion.
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We need to re-orientate our understanding on Education (seeking the Islamic perspective)….

 Understanding terms commonly used in Muslims Education.

There are already many terms in Islamic perspective (mostly Arabic) which Muslims are familiar with, yet what it really means is not adequately understood. We should revisit and perhaps begin to learn the profoundness of our Islamic heritage in the learning culture. And from these we could perhaps discern the inadequacy of what our children currently are being exposed to and begin to do something about it.
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We need to re-orientate our understanding on Education (seeking the Islamic perspective)….

 Philosophy of Education.
“Knowledge (and education) is never neutral” It always has an underlying basis or a philosophy stemming from a certain worldview. Is our understanding of it relevant to Islam? Thus as Muslims, we need to check our understanding of this from our own perspective as Muslims.  Are we familiar with the Islamic terms “tarbiyyah, ta’lim, ta’dib, irshad, tadris” ?

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We need to re-orientate our understanding on Education (seeking the Islamic perspective)….

 Secularism and Islamization - What is it all about?

“Secularism” and “Islamization” have been mentioned by many people. Yet what do they actually mean? What is their significance for Muslim in this contemporary age where some people regard as the imminently coming close to a “clash of civilizations”? Yet, Muslims have encountered other civilizations successfully in the past. What principles did our forebears apply so successfully?
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We need to re-orientated our understanding on Education (seeking the Islamic perspective)….

 Adab (etiquette) in Education.

In Islam, “Adab” is synonymous to the concept of justice and has become the basis for a Muslim’s development and education. Yet today, Muslims may have lost sight of this important element when approaching education. What is Adab? And why is it so important? And what is the Adab for Muslims as students and as educators?
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REMEMBER ALWAYS
ۗ‌‫ٱلإِسل َ ٰم‬ ُ ۡ ۡ َّ ِ َ ِ‫ٱلدِّين عند َ ٱلله‬ َّ ‫إ ِن‬

(Qur’an: aali ‘Imran: 3 : 19) 19

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REMEMBER ALWAYS
“The religion (the way of life acceptable) in the sight of Allah is only al-Islam” (Qur’an: aali ‘Imran: 3 : 19) 19

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‫‪Our do’a‬‬
‫َّ‬ ‫ربَّنَا هَب لَنَا من أَز َو جنَا وَذ ُرِي َّ ٰتِنَا قُرة َ أَعي ُن۬‬ ‫ۡ‬ ‫ِ ۡ ۡ ٲ ِ‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫ۡ ٍ‬ ‫َٱج ۡعَلۡنَا لِلۡمت َّقين إ ِماما‬ ‫و‬ ‫ُ ِ َ َ ً‬

‫) 47 :52 :‪(Qur ’an : al- Furqan‬‬

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Our do’a
“Our Lor d ! Grant that our spouses and our of fspri ng be a joy to our eyes, and cause us to be foremost amongst those who ar e consci ous of Thee! (as ‘ mut- taqqi n’) .” (Qur ’an : al- Furqan: 25: 74 )
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‫‪Our do’a‬‬
‫َ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫ربَّنَا ل تُؤَاخذۡنَا ٓ إِن ن َّسينَا ٓ أَوۡ أَخطَأنَا‌ۚ ربَّنَا وَل‬ ‫ِ‬ ‫ِ‬ ‫ۡ ۡ َ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫َّ‬ ‫ً۬‬ ‫تَحملۡ عَلَيۡنَا ٓ إِصۡرا ك َما حملت َه ۥ عَلَى ٱلذِين‬ ‫ۡ ِ‬ ‫َ َ َۡ ُ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫َ َ‬ ‫من قَبۡلِنَا‌ۚ ربَّنَا وَل ت ُحملۡ نَا ما ل طَاقَة لَنَا ب ِ ِۦ‌ۖ‬ ‫ه‬ ‫َ‬ ‫َ َ ِّ‬ ‫ِ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫َ َ ۡ ٰ‬ ‫و ِ ۡ‬ ‫و‬ ‫َٱع ۡ ف عَنَّا َٱغ ۡفر لَنَا َٱر ۡحمۡنَا‌ ٓ‌ۚ أَنت مولَٮنَا‬ ‫و‬ ‫ُ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫َفن صرۡنَا عَلَى ٱلۡقوم ِ ٱلۡڪَ ٰفرِين‬ ‫َ ۡ‬ ‫ِ‬ ‫ٱ ُ‬ ‫َ‬
‫)68 2 : ‪(Qu r’ an : a l-B aqara h‬‬
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Our do’a
“Ou r L ord ! Condemn u s not if we fo rget o r fa ll i nto error; Our Lord ! Lay n ot on us a b urden li ke that wh ich You d id l ay o n th ose befo re us : Ou r L ord ! L ay n ot o n u s a burd en greate r than we have stre ngth to bear. B lot o ut our sin s, A nd g rant us fo rgiveness, Ha ve Merc y o n u s. You are o ur protector : Help us a gain st the unbeli evers.” ©ZhulkefleeHjIsmail2005 r’a n : a l-B aqarah : 286) (Qu

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WaAllaahu a’lam Was-salaa-mu ‘alaykum waraHmatullaah
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