Islamic Education Within Madrasa

السلام عليكم و رحمه الله و بركاته
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين .ام بعد

Why education needed?

وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا

And Say: O’ My Lord! Advance me in knowledge.
~Al-Qur’an Surah Thaha /20 verse 114

قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ۗ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

Say (Muhammad), “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?, It is those who are endowed with understanding that receive admonition.
~Al-Qur’an Surah Az-Zumar /39 verse 9

What is Madrasa?

1. A madrasa or an Islamic school is more than an educational institution; it is the blue print of the future generation and a future society. Islamic schools help establish Islamic communities “whose manners, ideas and concepts, rules and regulations, values and criteria, are all derived from the Islamic source – so that the Muslims’ way of life is an example to all mankind”. (Qutb, 1990)
2. Islamic school is a school with a vision of Islamic education and teaching about “being Muslim.” The school have a crucial role to play in providing concrete solutions and programs that will foster this understanding among students and in promoting the role and responsibility of the family in the process of Islamic tarbiyah. Their teaching and learning is meaningful, integrative, value-based, challenging and active. (Tauhidi, 1995)

How Can Madrasa Be Perfect for Education?

According to Tashka Prasadi, 16th century Ottoman scholar:

1. The student has understands his responsibilities: Selfdiscipline, Sincerity of intention, reduce worldly distractions, resisting laziness, always be a student, choose a teacher who has knowledge and is pure hearted, know the basics of each Islamic discipline: well-rounded, visit other students to discuss texts and debate ideas, never procrastinate, know the nobility and dignity of knowledge;
2. The teacher’s duties and manners: pure intention, regard students like one’s own children, emulate the prophet, pastoral guide of his students, condemn vices and unseemly behavior in his students, begin teaching with what is most relevant to the individual, must encourage even the youngest children to learn, beginning with memorization, lecturers words should never be in contradiction with his actions, conceal irritation and not mock students, not too much joking, not resentful of students, to test by asking questions, avoid egotistic disputation, elementary students should not be overburdened, but progress should be systematic, advanced students should not be stuck with easy stuff, prepare in advance, attend to whole needs of students, assist all students not just the outstanding ones;
3. Scope and Sequence: education of children less than 10 consisted mainly of memorization. Understanding and higher-order thinking was gradually introduced as the student advanced. Because of the level of mastery required, teachers adjusted the level of instruction to meet the individual abilities of the students. Students varied in ages and rates of instruction. Students “graduated” when they were able to demonstrate complete mastery over the subject matter to the satisfaction of the teacher. Because learning was lifelong endeavor, the student would continue in this regard until being formally certified by the teacher with an “ijaza” or diploma indicating permission to teach the approved subject matter. Obviously this made education a highly personalized experience wherein every teacher and student were acquainted with one another at an intimate level. There could be no room for doubt as to whether the student really knew the material or not;
4. Curriculum: The curriculum itself was basically divided into two categories – “Fard ‘Ayn” and “Fard Kifaya”. Fard ‘Ayn indicates what knowledge is required for every individual in order to carry out his religious duties. Fard Kifaya refers to knowledge which is more specialized, and the obligation to seek is not incumbent on all, (Al-Attas, 1991), (Al-Zarnuji, 2001), (IBERR, 2000), (Murad, 2001). Some examples of classical Islamic subject matter are: Qur’an memorization / recitation, explanation, hadeeth science (of Prophetic narrations), fiqh (understanding and applying), speech, grammar, language: prose /rhetoric, literature, and spirituality; also philosophy, geometry, astronomy, medicine : biology & botany; chemistry, math, physics;
5. Time and Place: even these held spiritual implications. With regard to time, the morning hours between dawn and noon were standard times for formal instruction. Teachers were noted for rotating subject matter throughout the week. The famous companion of the Prophet, Ibn Abbas is even documented as holding a block schedule, teaching one subject per day on a four-day rotation. The place of instruction seemingly occurred nearly everywhere. There were formal places for learning called “madrassahs” built adjacent to mosques, tombs, as well as independently. Classes took place within the mosques themselves, but they also were routinely held in hospitals, frontier fortresses, spiritual retreat lodges, and even in the residence halls where the students traveling from around the world lived. So teaching and learning appears to have gone on nearly everywhere in the classical Muslim world. It was also all provided free of charge to students. Individual endowments took up any expenses, (Murad, 2001), (Makdisi, 1981).

والله أعلم
الحمد لله رب العالمين