The system on which the general
system of education in our country is based is the legacy of the British
rule in our sub-continent. It is the brain-child of a nation which still
rules our minds more than four decades after its departure. It was
implemented to achieve the mental servitude of the Muslim subjects and to
gain their affiliations. Sure enough, the objective has been more than
achieved, as each passing day merely strengthens this relationship between
the victor and the vanquished.
The system is based upon the
negation of any metaphysical explanation of the universe and upon the
assertion that man himself is capable of deciphering the complex code of
his existence without any assistance from his Creator. This is the
underlying concept upon which philosophy, science, sociology and other
branches of knowledge have evolved and developed in the West during the
last two centuries, and it still holds sway in contemporary Western
thought. No doubt, not all of the Western thinkers have denied God’s
existence, yet it is a manifest reality that all their views and thoughts
are actually built upon His denial. Quite naturally, the syllabus of these
institutions upholds this concept. The entire celestial cosmos is
presented as a creation without a creator, a scheme without a deviser, a
book without an author -- a self-existent and self-sustaining mechanistic
reality. The fate of the universe is considered to be in the hands of its
inhabitants who carve out their own destiny and shape their own future.
All the bases and principles of law and politics, economics and sociology
are constituted by a human endeavour that looks down upon any Divine
Guidance in these disciplines. Human intellect on its own seeks to solve
the problems that face the world. The story of mankind starts and ends
with man himself and the concept of a God is granted no place anywhere in
it by this syllabus. It warrants that man is a material entity who himself
is the source of all concepts of truth and reality and that nothing lies
at the exterior of this space-time continuum. Consequently, the graduates
of these institutions become advocates of the view that life can also be
spent without having any relationship with God and all affairs of life can
be conducted without His Guidance. Overlooking changes at the basic level
and inducting Dīniyyāt as a compulsory subject in the syllabus has made
the situation even more ironical. Severe conflicts have arisen in the
minds of the students, regarding their religion and its relation with
As a result, this system of
education has injected in our society a novel breed of men regarded as its
intellectuals and trend-setters. Whatever they say or write vouches for
the fact that the concepts of absolute truth can only be obtained from the
West, but the Qur’ān can be regarded as a sacred book if it is
interpreted, modified and brought in accordance with Western thoughts.
Their characters have become an amalgam of ambiguity. They do not deny
God’s existence, yet consider regular vigilance in worship a needless
affair. They do not disclaim the Day of Judgement, yet are not ready to
sacrifice the paltry leisures of life for nobler causes. They assent to
the Prophethood of Muhammad (sws), yet consider his directives outdated
and inapplicable. The recital of the Qur’ān might herald the start of
their gatherings, but the promulgation of its decrees in the constitution
of their country weighs down heavily upon them. Only a grim lesson can be
sought from their contradictory personalities. In short, the system has
drained out the Islamic spirit from their mortal remains and they present
a sight most pathetic. Their lives are tuned with the trends of the West
and even the blood in their bodies seems to flow after seeking permission
from these sources of revelation.
The secular nature of the system
has not only produced an aversion from Islam within the minds of our
elite, but also has gone a long way in degenerating their characters,
without which no nation can thrive and prosper. It never envisages the
real purpose of educational institutions which are not just meant to
impart knowledge to the students, but a bigger objective is to breed and
rear men of high moral calibre in consonance with the ideology of a
nation. This goal can only be achieved if the mentors of these
institutions are not only competent in their own fields but are also
devout Muslims who possess an impeccable character and lead a chaste life.
Undoubtedly, the most powerful influence upon a child after the mother is
the teacher’s personality. If he honestly upholds a certain ideology and
leads his life in accordance with it, his pupils receive tremendous
inspiration from him. No other way can be more effective in building their
characters. Woefully, this system never takes this aspect into account.
Courage and perseverance, valour and discretion, discipline and
steadfastness which were once the hallmarks of Muslims, are now extinct
commodities. The virtues of honesty and integrity, benevolence and
sincerity have become relics of the past. We seldom see any modesty in
their eyes, loftiness in their thoughts, and dignity in their behaviour.
What we often see is an immaculate mixture of dishonesty and pettiness, a
charming blend of arrogance and haughtiness, an exquisite combination of
perversity and corruption. We are breeding a nation that has been detached
from its glorious past, has become indifferent to its present and
unconcerned about a future which after all may not even exist. Thanks to
this system moral values are breathing their last and materialistic goals
are being regarded as the ultimate objective of life. To say the least, a
scheme more sinister could not have been contrived against us, as a
Rectifying this system is no easy
job. It requires drastic measures that would extract it from its roots and
implant a new one in its place. We suggest the following steps in this
1. A uniform system of education
should be enforced in our country. Any diversity in nature, religious or
non-religious, and medium, Urdu or English should be eliminated.
2. Only teachers who are
competent in their fields and besides being staunch Muslims possess a deep
concern for Islam and this Ummah should be selected. Grooming the younger
generation should be their mission and producing exemplary people in the
society their primary responsibility.
3. The total period of education
should be divided into three levels: primary, secondary and a higher
level. The first of these should span over eight years, the second over
four years while the last level should extend over five years.
4. At the primary level,
language teaching should be the basic objective so that students attain
high proficiency in the languages in which they are to be instructed in
various disciplines and branches of learning. For this purpose, the
Arabic, Urdu and English languages should be taught in a manner that the
students are able to freely read, write and converse in these languages.
5. Since the subject of
arithmetic is essential for the teaching of science and other similar
disciplines, therefore it should be included in the teaching syllabus at
the primary level as is done so in the prevailing system.
6. To make the students aware of
the rich cultural and intellectual heritage of the Muslims and their
customs and traditions, a new subject by the name of ‘Islamic Tradition’
should be introduced. The subject should be taught throughout the school
period. Within its syllabus should be included a depiction of the
evolutionary development of Islamic civilisation and culture in various
ages, a delineation of the important events of Islamic history, a
portrayal of eminent Muslim personalities and an anthology of the
masterpieces of the Arabic and Persian languages.
7. To provide useful
entertainment to the students and to develop creativity in them, the
subject of ‘Fine Arts’ should also be included at the primary level. The
students should be informally taught how to write through this subject and
when the students are able to write the alphabet, calligraphy and
orthography should be inducted in the syllabus of this subject.
8. Sciences and other subjects
related to it should be taught in English, while social studies and
Islamic studies should be taught in Urdu and Arabic respectively. Until
the students are able to understand and communicate in these languages,
the above mentioned subjects should be taught very informally. At the
beginning of the ninth class, subjects like science, literature, Dīniyyāt
etc. which the students choose according to their inclination in order to
specialise in various fields should be introduced and these subjects
should continue to be taught till the twelfth class.
9. The Arabic language should
basically be taught to understand the Qur’ān. In the last two years of the
secondary level, the students should study the Qur’ān piecemeal from the
beginning to the end. During this period, they must develop the general
understanding of the meaning and import of the Qur’ān which a common
Muslim must have.
10. To fulfil various needs of the
students, home economics, computer use, martial arts, repair of various
instruments should also be taught.
11. Every educational institution
should have a good library. Students should be urged to benefit from it.
All modern day educational aids should be extensively employed in these
pursuits. Students should be taught with the latest methodology tested and
tried at the global level and the present way of loading the students with
scores of text books and a lot of homework should be discontinued.
12. The higher level should only
be reserved for specialisation. This specialisation can be in Dīniyyāt,
medicine, engineering, sociology, physics, biology or any other subject
the students choose and the period of this specialisation should be five
years like that of medicine in the prevailing system. The existing mode of
specialisation in these subjects should be completely terminated.
13. All topics in various books
should begin with an elucidation of the Qur’ānic point of view about these
topics. Other details should be enlisted in coherence with this point of
view so that the relationship between the knowledge obtained from the
Qur’ān and the knowledge acquired by means of rational inquiry and
scientific observation is clear in the minds of the students.
14. Teaching should be made the
most highly paid profession and teachers should be given more facilities
than any other professional. Teachers should not be allowed to impart
tuition to the students of their own schools.
15. Besides persuading the pundits
of the existing network of religious institutions to reform their set-up,
the government should establish under its own supervision higher level
religious educational institutions.
Scholars entrusted with the task
of teaching in these institutions should be specifically those who
consider only the Qur’ān and Sunnah as the source and basis of Islam and,
as far as possible, practice what they preach.
These scholars should be freely
allowed to form and express their opinions about the various matters and
issues of our religion, wherever and whenever they want to do so within
the limits set by the Qur’ān and Sunnah so that all distinguished scholars
are provided with an opportunity to lecture at these venues.
Only students who have passed
their intermediate should be admitted to these institutions, just as in
the existing system students enter medical and engineering institutions
after passing their intermediate examination.
The total period of education
should be five years. The Qur’ān should occupy the pivotal position in the
syllabus. Students should be reared with the notion that in the Qur’ān
rests the final authority, and it is the Qur’ān which rules over every
matter in our religion. With this beacon in hand, they should be made to
explore the various domains of knowledge and at every step seek its
guidance. Every other subject taught, should merely help the students in
having a better understanding of the Qur’ān. Everything accepted in our
religion should be rigorously scrutinised under the light of this Divine
Guidance. All basis of belief and faith should be directly derived from
this Word of God, which should be considered the ultimate standard and
authority for philosophy and ‘ilm-i-kalām, fiqh and hadīth, literature and
syntax. Students should be made aware that even the works of great jurists
like Abu Hanīfah and Shāfi‘ī, scholars of Hadīth like Bukhārī and Muslim,
scholastics like Ash‘arī and Māturīdī, sufis like Junayd and Shiblī must
be weighed in the scales of this Mīzān, and nothing can be accepted from
them which is not in consonance with it.
Besides this, the basic emphasis
should be upon the disciplines of Arabic grammar and rhetoric, pre-Islamic
Arabic literature, usūl-al-fiqh, hadīth and lslamic law. The students
should just be made familiar with the medieval trends and terminologies of
philosophy and logic enabling them to read the works written in the older
diction. The essentials of modern philosophy, psychology, economics,
physics and political science should be expounded to the students so that
they are able to follow their methodology of reasoning and have the
capability to explicate, in contrast, the views of the Qur’ān and Sunnah.
The syllabus should also constitute an anthology of world literature which
will assist the students in developing a literary taste and in having some
idea about the delicacies of the sublime language of the Qur’ān. A
comprehensive book upon the principles and bases of modern law should also
be part of the syllabus. All schools of fiqh should be taught and students
should be made to consider themselves the beneficiaries of this vast
heritage and also made to realise that any biased affiliation in this
regard is intolerable in the world of knowledge and learning. It should be
made clear to them that from this profound legacy of our scholars, only
material found in accordance with the Qur’ān and Sunnah is acceptable and
everything else stands rejected without any hesitation whatsoever.
Besides these mental pursuits, the
character of the students should be moulded so that they profess a high
calibre of moral conduct. They should be made to spend sometime everyday
in the company of pious scholars, and urged to pay special attention to
the injunctions of the Qur’ān and Hadīth which pertain to
self-purification and character-building. They should be induced to offer
their utmost support (Nusrah) and co-operation in furthering the cause of
Islam, and also made conscious of the fact that after being enlightened
with the true understanding of Islam it is their responsibility to urge
and exhort the ruling class of our country to follow the teachings of
Islam, and as such in all their undertakings and endeavours they must
always keep in consideration this responsibility.