The Truth through Philosophy of Islamic Education

Philosophy of education in Islam as a whole focuses on all aspects of human life such as intellectual, spiritual, emotional, physical and moral. This is consistent with the view of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi which points out that the social illness of Muslim youth today is a disease of low level of Iman. Besides, in Lama’at he said:

“Indeed, the ultimate solution to preserve the upright habits of mankind nature from corruption is to educate them with a comprehensive Islamic religious education.”

A complete human potential bestowed by Allah the Almighty to be the ruler (caliph) should be nurtured through the national education system that are both formal and informal, to overcome this problem.

Islamic Education not only serves as a subject, but it involves understanding and appreciation of religion as well as control over the thoughts among educators of teachers and pupils. This is in line with the Philosophy of Malaysian Islamic Education which states, Islamic Education not just imparting knowledge and skills, but instilling the concept of Islam that is the understanding, attitudes and practices of educators.

The objective of Islamic Education is to achieve self-realization (self-perfection) that puts the perfection of the soul rather than the body (Ibn Khaldun1993; al-Ghazali n.d.). This coincided with the word of Allah (s.w.t.) in the verse of al-Fajr, 89:27-30, which reads:

يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ ﴿27 ارْجِعِي إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَرْضِيَّةً ﴿28 فَادْخُلِي فِي عِبَادِي ﴿29 وَادْخُلِي جَنَّتِي ﴿30

Meaning: O you who have a soul that always remains calm in the trust and good intuition (27) Come back to your Lord, well-pleased (with all the blessings given) more pleasing (in His sight) (28) Enter thou among My congregation of happy servants (29) And enter My Paradise (30).

Although self-perfection is seen through the perfection of the soul, Islamic Education does not ignore human needs in the world such as food, clothes and shelter. All these must be fulfilled to obtain the soul of mutmainnah (Muhammad Qutub 1982). This coincided with the word of Allah the Almighty in the verse of al-Qasas, 28: 77, which reads:

وَابْتَغِ فِيمَا آتَاكَ اللَّهُ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ وَلَا تَنسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا

Meaning: And seek the wealth which Allah has bestowed to attain the happiness of the Hereafter and forget not your portion (supply and demand) of the world.

Related to the aim of Islamic Education, Islamic scholars in education such as al-Nahlawi (1979), al-‘Abrashi (1969) and al-Buti (1961) have discussed the matter at length. In general, 11 objectives of Islamic Education can be concluded as follows:

 1) to seek Allah the Almighty’s gratification (riḍā). This is not the only purpose of Islamic Education which even views life as a Muslim in general;

2) to highlight the excellence of Islam as a holy and blessed religion;

3) to strengthen the grip of faith;

4) to guide the human mind so that it always relate to Allah (s.w.t.) in each behavior;

5) to shape human behavior aptly to its role as caliph of Allah the Almighty on earth;

6) to equip oneself for the life in the hereafter;

7) to instill the love of knowledge and strive to be the knowledgeable;

8) to equip oneself with professional and technical skills for career needs to make a living;

9) to polish the potential and talent bestowed by Allah the Almighty;

10) to develop young people who are competent and able to lead the world; and

11) to instill the love of the homeland and to foster unity among the various races.

Thus the purpose of Islamic Education that can be identified from the writings of Islamic scholars in the field of education. If we were to scrutinize all eleven Islamic Education purposes, this will lead to the goal of Islamic Education itself which is to attain self-perfection (of soul) and meet the world’s needs for the next supply.

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