Islamic System of Education
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

I am writing a paper on Islamic education and need to address two issues:

a. What exactly is the Islamic system of education?

b. Is it the religious obligation of Muslims to obtain general (secular) education?

I would like to know your opinion about these two issues.


The answer to your first query is that Islam has no particular system of education. It has left such things to common sense and experience. One should benefit from the experience and practices of those who are involved in this field. Islam’s first concern, whatever system be followed, is that universal human values must be inculcated in children. They should have all the good attributes of human beings. Its second concern is that every child should have a basic knowledge of his religion.

These two may be called the principle guidelines of an Islamic system of education.

The answer to your second question is in the negative. All the Prophets of Allah urged mankind to have knowledge of the basic guidance revealed to them. This is what is evident in most Ahādith of the Prophet (sws). In them, the word ‘Al-Ilm’ means religious knowledge and does not mean knowledge other than this. This of course does not mean that they discourage a person from obtaining general education. The fact is that the urge for general education is naturally found in a person and Prophets of Allah leave such affairs to this internal urge.



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