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Orientation for

Muslim Educators

Course prepared &


presented by Ustaz
Zhulkeflee Hj Ismail
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Session 1

KNOWING THE
PROBLEM

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Gathering inputs from participants as to
what they perceive as being the major
problems (in education) of the ummah.

 Why is it that the Muslims


generally (as commented by many)
seem to be lagging in education?

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©2005ZhulkefleeHjIsmail
Gathering inputs from participants as to
what they perceive as being the major
problems (in education) of the ummah.
 Why is it that although we know in the
history of Islamic civilisation (in the early
stages) the Muslims were in the forefront
as torch-bearer of knowledge and learning,
but what causes us (Muslims today) to
have lost that ‘spirit’ and the lead?

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©2005ZhulkefleeHjIsmail
Gathering inputs from participants as to
what they perceive as being the major
problems (in education) of the ummah.
 Although we know that Islamic worldview
(tasawwur Islam) is all encompassing, it is
observed that many Muslims are affected by the
‘reductionist tendencies’ such that their general
understanding of Islamic principles become
narrow in scope.
 Is this observation true? Give a few examples.

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©2005ZhulkefleeHjIsmail
Gathering inputs from participants as to
what they perceive as being the major
problems (in education) of the ummah.

When we speak of ‘education’ as a


term and a concept, do we (as
educators and those involved in
education) have the same
understanding of it?

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©2005ZhulkefleeHjIsmail
Gathering inputs from participants as to
what they perceive as being the major
problems (in education) of the ummah.

We may have heard of terms like


‘Islamic education’ vis-à-vis ‘secular
education’. Do you agree with this
categorisation?
What is your understanding of these,
especially it’s distinction (if any)?

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Gathering inputs from participants as to
what they perceive as being the major
problems (in education) of the ummah.

What is ‘Secularism’ and what is


‘Islamisization’ (or sometimes
referred to as Islamization)?

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Gathering inputs from participants as to
what they perceive as being the major
problems (in education) of the ummah.

 As educators (or being involve with


education), knowledge (‘ilm) and the
culture of learning (budaya ilmu) are our
main concern.
 What is knowledge? What is the culture of
learning from the Islamic perspective?

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©2005ZhulkefleeHjIsmail
Gathering inputs from participants as to
what they perceive as being the major
problems (in education) of the ummah.

Do you accept the commonly used


“ukhrawi - dunyawi” categorisation
of ‘ilm (knowledge)?

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Def initi on of Educati on
from an Isl ami c
per specti ve
“Recognition and acknowledgement,
progressively instilled into Man, of the
proper places of things in the order of
creation, such that it leads to the
recognition and acknowledgement of the
proper place of God in the order of being
and existence.”

(Prof. Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas)


(1980 – The Concept of Education in Islam: A Framework for an Islamic Philosophy of
Education)

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BREAKDOWN IN ADAB – LEADING TO LEVELLING
Prof. Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas’ analysis:

(C)
Rise / election of
False leaders

External
Loss of Adab (B)
Internal

(A)

Confusion and Error in Knowledge

Figure 1

“This state of perpetual confusion at all levels of societal leadership is ingeniously termed
by al-Attas as the loss of adab. This can be describe as follows:
29) Confusion and error in knowledge; creating the condition for:
30) The loss of adab within the Community. The condition arising out of (A) and (B) is:
“The rise of leaders who are not qualified for valid leadership of the Muslim Community, who
do not possess the high moral, intellectual and spiritual standards required for Islamic
leadership, who perpetuate the condition in (1) [1] above and ensure the continued control of
the affairs of the Community by leaders like them who dominate in all fields.” [2]

[1] The loss of Adab in the community. Thus restoration of Adab has higher priority for Adab precedes even learning. 12
[2] Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud’s “The Educational Philosophy and Practice of Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas” (ISTAC publication 1998) p 74
“SECULARISM &
SECULARIZATION”

“Secular” – from Latin saeculum


carries a dual connotation of (1) time
and (2) space; therefore referring to the
‘now’ or ‘present’ of it, and the location
to the ‘world’ or ‘worldly’ sense of it.

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“SECULARISM &
SECULARIZATION”

“Secularization” is defined as:


• the deliverance of man “first from religious and then from
metaphysical control over his reason and his language”[1]
• it is “the loosing of the world from religious and quasi-religious
understandings of itself, the dispelling of all closed world views, the
breaking of all supernatural myths and sacred symbols…
• the ‘defatalization of history’
• the discovery by man that he has been left with the world on his
hands, and he can no longer blame fortune or the furies for what he
does with it…;
• it is man turning hid attention away from the worlds beyond and
towards this world and this time.”

[1] Cornelis van Peursen, quoted by Harvey Cox ref: “Islam & Secularism” S.M.Naquib al-Attas p 17
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“SECULARISM &
SECULARIZATION”

“Secularization”
 It encompasses:
• not only political and social aspects of life,
but also inevitably the cultural, for it denotes
“the disappearance of religious
determination of the symbols of cultural
integration.”

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“SECULARISM &
SECULARIZATION”

“Secularization”
 It implies:
• “a historical process, almost certainly
irreversible, in which society and culture are
delivered from tutelage to religious control
and closed metaphysical world views.”

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“SECULARISM &
SECULARIZATION”

The integral components in the dimensions of


Secularization are:
[a] The “disenchantment” of nature,
- the freeing of nature from its religious overtones” (Max Weber)
[b] The “desacralization” of politics,
- the abolition of sacral legitimation of political power and authority, which is
the prerequisite of political change and hence also social change allowing for
the emergence of the historical process.”
[c] The “deconsecration” of values.
- the rendering transient and relative all cultural creations and every value
system which for them includes religion and worldviews having ultimate and
final significance, so that in this way history, the future, is open to change, and
man is free to create the change and immerse himself in the ‘evolutionary’
process”

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“SECULARISM &
SECULARIZATION”

Note to distinguish:
• “Secularism” is the
‘ideology’
• whereas ‘Secularization’, the
‘process’.”
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“ISLAMIZATION
: brief notes to understand

“Islamization” (in a general sense)– is “the liberation of man


first from magical, mythology, animistic, national-cultural
tradition opposed to Islam, and then from secular control over
his reason and his language… It is also a liberation from
subservience to his physical demands which inclines toward
the secular and injustice to his true self or soul, for man as
physical being inclines towards forgetfulness of his true
nature, becoming ignorant of his true purpose and unjust to it.
Islamization is a process not so much of evolution as that of
devolution to original nature…” [1]


[1] Wan Mohd Nor Wan Daud’s “The Educational Philosophy and Practice of Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas” (ISTAC
publication 1998) p 312

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“ISLAMIZATION
: brief notes to understand

“Islamization” (in the individual, personal sense) – refers to


the recognition and acknowledgement of the Holy Prophet as
the exemplary leader and personality for both man and woman.

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©2005ZhulkefleeHjIsmail
“ISLAMIZATION
: brief notes to understand

“Islamization” (in the individual, personal sense) – refers to


the recognition and acknowledgement of the Holy Prophet as
the exemplary leader and personality for both man and woman.

“Islamization” (in the collective, social historical sense) – it


refers to the Community (ummah)’s striving towards realization
of the moral and ethical perfection achieved during the age of
the Holy Prophet.

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“ISLAMIZATION
: brief notes to understand

• “Islamization” (epistemologically) – refers to the liberation


of human intellect from doubt (shakk), conjecture (zann) and
vain argumentation (mira’) to the attainment of certainty (yaqin)
of the truth (haqq) concerning spiritual, intelligible and material
realities. The process for liberation depends:
• - initially on scientific knowledge (ilmu pengetahuan) but it is
always ultimately founded in and guided by a special form of
knowledge, ma’rifah (ilmu pengenalan). This special form of
knowledge includes fard ‘ayn while the scientific ones includes
fard kifaayah.

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“ISLAMIZATION
: brief notes to understand

PROCESS: Islamization of contemporary knowledge


involves:
 “isolation of key elements and concepts that make
up Western culture and civilisation … especially in
the areas of interpretation of facts and formulation
of theories”
 “the infusion of Islamic elements and key
concepts in every branch of the relevant present-
day knowledge.”
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“ISLAMIZATION”
: some cautionary notes

PROCESS: Islamization of contemporary knowledge:

• “When we speak of intelligible forms being ‘in’ the mind, or


images being ‘in’ the cognitive imagination, we do not mean
these forms or images are ‘contained’ in them; it is rather
that they are constructions of the intellect or mind during the
course of its intellection of them such that they are ‘present’
to the intellect, and hence referred to as being ‘in’ the mind;
and productions of the cognitive imagination as it involves
itself in projecting the sensible world.”

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“ISLAMIZATION”
: some cautionary notes

PROCESS: Islamization of contemporary knowledge:

• “Some of the less careful readers might think of Islamization


as a process of doing something to external objects and
hence they speak of Islamic bicycles, Islamic trains, and
even Islamic bombs!

• On a slightly more sophisticated level, some of these people,


who are obviously unable to free themselves from the
dualistic perspective, assign low priority to the development
of proper Islamic scholars and thinkers in different fields;
they rather give overwhelming stress to the development of
institutions, as if these institutions can be properly
established and sustained without the participation of able
and creative scholars and thinkers! 25
©2005ZhulkefleeHjIsmail
“ISLAMIZATION”
: some cautionary notes

PROCESS: Islamization of contemporary knowledge :

• “… It should be stressed that dewesternization and


Islamization of knowledge are cognitive and spiritual acts
and happen simultaneously without temporal gap.
Furthermore, before one can ‘isolate’ and ‘take out’ the
unIslamic, Western or foreign ideas and concepts, one must
first be able to identify them as well as have a profound
grasp of the Islamic worldview with all its key elements and
concepts. ……….

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