Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Islamic Movements

There are always two distinct kinds of movements. One is launched positively, on the basis of some discovery which is held to be of great benefit of mankind, whereas the other is a negative process, set in motion out of a sense of deprivation, or in order to recover something which has been lost. The Islamic movement, for its part, was certainly launched with a prior sense of having found something of inestimable value.

The wonderful sense of discovery with which the companions of the Prophet were imbued was that of having become aware of the oneness of God, Qur’an and great Islamic values in contradiction to polytheism. The realization had come to them that the life hereafter - man's entry into paradise - was the only goal worthy of man's endeavors. They learned too that a life devoid of principle was one of utter degradation and that the highest human objective should be to become a man of principle. They had been stirred to the very core of their beings by this thought. Their very souls had been moved by it, their minds enlightened by Quran Recitation, and new doors to reality opened before them. Their lives were so truly transformed by this idea that it was kind of re-birth for them. Although whatever they had gained in the process was apparently non-material - a thing of the mind - it was so great a thing for them that it took precedence over all else. This discovery gave them the strength to remain content, even when bereft of all their worldly possessions. No sacrifice was then too great for them to make.

Another benefit of their discovery was that it conferred upon them the position of da'is (preachers) through Islamic Schools, conveyors of the divine message to the entire world. Let me stress that it is important at this point to understand the essential difference between a da'i (preacher) and a national leader. The latter is one who, at the apex of the ruling party, expects to be able to command others and to make demands upon them, whereas the da'i (preacher) is always the giver. He never takes anything from other.

What the companions of the Prophet had was greater than anything else in this world. What they had discovered was a guarantee that they might stand before the world as givers, not takers. It was this characteristic which endowed them with such irresistible power, and it was not long before the greater part of the inhabited world came under their sway, for their moral superiority was undeniable.

But this, regrettably, cannot be said of present-day Muslims, who parrot the names of the Prophet's companions without their religion being in any sense a great discovery for them. Hence this desire of theirs is to appear before the world in the garb of national leader, and not as da'is (preachers). The Muslim image in the world today is that of the taker, not of the giver. And that being so, the man behind the image is utterly without value. It is his sense of loss which motivates him, and not his sense of gain. Propelled by such people, the Islamic movement is doomed to lose momentum, and it will not be long before it comes to a complete standstill unless we take measures to re-energize it. We must surely undertake individual and mass reforms, returning to the basic tenets of Islam, if we are not to be swamped by total moral inertia.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Seeking Knowledge

Human history pre-dates the advent of Islam by about twenty five thousand years. During this long period man made little progress in knowledge and science. Because there were no Islamic Schools True scientific progress was made only when Islam broke with the ancient system of royal absolutism, thus heralding the age of intellectual freedom.

It is a well-known fact that while intellectual progress is best made through the exchange of views, the system of determinism stalls this process altogether. This has been very well expressed by an American writer: ‘When all think alike, no one thinks very much.’

The ispiration of seeking knowledge came from Qur’an and Hadith. Quran is its incredible depth of meaning. Many many volumes have been written expounding on the meanings the Holy Quran and this practice continues till this day. The Quran is like an ever-flowing spring: it gives and gives and never runs dry. And people will take from Quran Recitation according to the extent of their sincerity and their willingness to be guided.

The fact is that the world of realities is unbounded in scope. But the mind of a single individual—particularly in isolation—has its limitations. It is only in a situation where there can be a frank exchange of views and free interaction without any official repression, that people can learn from one another and there can be a widespread increase in knowledge. Conversely, in an environment where people’s thinking is confined to a single constricted sphere, general knowledge will remain limited.

When people have full freedom to think and speak, differences of opinion will inevitably result. Each will criticize the other’s viewpoint. This process of criticism is an essential part of intellectual development. In this world the choice for us is not between uncritical acceptance. It is rather between criticism and mental stagnation. If curbs are placed on criticism, what results in reality is mental stagnation rather than a state of uncomplaining acceptance.

Freedom of Thought in Islam

Islam for the first time in human history brought about a revolution in freedom of thought. In all the ages of history prior to Islam, the system of absolutism prevailed, and man was consequently denied freedom of thought. This was a matter of the utmost gravity for it is a fact that the secret of all human progress lies hidden in such freedom.

The first benefit of intellectual freedom is to enable man to achieve that high virtue which in the Qur’an is called "fearing the unseen." That is, without any apparent compulsion or pressure from God, man, of his own free will, acknowledges God and leads his life in this world, going in fear of Him. In the absence of an atmosphere of total freedom, no one can undergo this spiritual experience—an indescribable spiritual pleasure—which is called in the Qur’an, going in fear of the Lord. Without such freedom it is not possible to give credit to anyone for this highest of human virtues.

Man is a thinking creature. Of necessity he forms opinions. If curbs are placed on the independent expression of his views, the content of his thought may remain unchanged, but his ideas will never find expression in his speech and writings. Islamic Schools promote freedom of thoughts by removing the curbs. Curbs of this nature, imposed by a community or a state, will ultimately produce a society of hypocrites. No sincere person can ever flourish in such a repressive atmosphere. It is only freedom of thought and expression which can save man from hypocrisy. Moreover, intellectual freedom is directly related to creativity. A society with freedom of thought will produce creative human beings: a society which places curbs on freedom of expression will necessarily witness intellectual stagnation; it will stop producing creative minds, and its development will come to a final standstill.

Non-Muslims claim that they respect the freedom of every human but Muslims were brutally tortured on practicing their religion i.e. for offering prayers and Quran Recitation. In matters of criticism or expression of differences, the right approach is for people to end unnecessary sensitivity to it instead of attempting to put an end to criticism and differences. This is the demand of Islam as well as of nature.

According to the Hadith it is a virtue on the part of believers: to accept the truth without any reservation when it is presented to them. That is to say, a believer is one who has the ability in the perfect sense of the word to accept the truth. Whenever truth is brought before him, whenever his faults are pointed out to him, no complex comes in the way of his accepting of the truth.

This quality is present to the maximum degree in one who is ready and waiting to accept the truth when it is brought before him. Eager for his own improvement, he accepts the truth with pleasure. This keenness for self-reform through acceptance of the truth is perfectly expressed in the words of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab: "May God bless on one who sends me gifts of my own shortcomings."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Promoting Equality Through Education

Equality is to give equal right to everybody in the society regardless of the religion, cast, color, ethnicity and status. Equality can b attained by giving proper education and through awareness and b setting up rules and regulations to make sure that rights of the people are respected.

The Islamic shariah, in accordance with original uncorrupted creation, does not propound such equality as may ignore individual differences and talents and the natural variety among humans. The very diversity is a great source of good for mankind that the Islamic School of thought has realized. This may be supported with the following verse from the Holy Qur'an:

"0 Mankind ! we created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other." (49, 13).

It is obvious at the same time that diversity among humans in traits and talents is natural to them; therefore there will be limitations in natural, social and political positions, as one inquirer did notice. Some of the limitations are temporary, some permanent; some are infrequent, some frequent. However, a limitation is specific. It may not be generalized to inequality in other rights. A person who is morally upright is not equal to a crook in terms of morality, but they may be equal otherwise. Nor is an intelligent person equal to a dull one, but they are equal in other spheres. In the same way, woman is not identical to man in her traits, gifts, and abilities ( as we shall be discussing in detail later on ).

The limitations in these examples are natural. The social limitations are those imposed by society as a result of experiences and practice. They are, in the final analysis, intellectual attitudes related to the above-mentioned traits. There is, for instance, the established difference between the ignorant and the learned. No one would assign to an ignorant person major responsibilities that are crucial to the community.

Political limitations are those accepted by politicians and administrators which sanction barring certain classes from positions of authority for political or military reasons. There are restrictions on military personnel's marriage to foreign women, and many other limitations. It is under such rules that non-Muslims are forbidden in the Muslim state from occupying certain key positions. For similar reasons, non-Muslim men are forbidden from marrying Muslim women. But of that later.

Through Quran Recitation we come to know that equality has got mere importance in Islam. Children should be such education that they respect the right of everyone equally.

If absolute equality were maintained, it would lead to unendurable complications. Men would underestimate their abilities and neglect their talents, with deleterious consequences for mankind. The system of life is absolutely linked to recognizing legitimate privileges and rights, and no progress is possible without accepting these facts. The collapse of communism is a glaring example for those who have insight.

Therefore variance in talents and their use and employment must be reflected in real terms where abilities are used for the good of society. People will be graded in a hierarchy in offices and departments.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Importance of Religious Education for Pupils

The world has changed drastically due to the advancements in the field of education. In early ages education was thought to be important only to earn a decent amount of money and to live a life in good manner but now humans are exploring more and more things to get the knowledge of this universe and to innovate latest things.

No doubt, science has brought revolutionary changes in our lives but religious education is still that much important as it used to be few decades ago. Therefore a good Islamic School is the one which provides modern scientific education as well as Islamic education.

Man is in constant struggle to unleash the mysteries of life and religious education is equally important in accomplishing this task with scientific education. That’s why it is stressed that religious education should also be given to the children with modern education. Being a Muslim we can benefit Quran Recitation to know what Qur’an says about the mysteries which are still unrevealed.

Seeking agreement on what might constitute a national framework for religious education has been a protracted and carefully negotiated process requiring decisions to be made regarding what should be recommended and with what degree of prescription. Determining the curriculum for any subject is bound to be fraught with difficulty, as choices have to be made concerning what to include and so inevitably what to exclude. In religious education the process has always been regarded as particularly sensitive, given the potential for controversy when there is a need to take account of more than one major religious tradition and limited curriculum time available.

At the same time as this issue has preoccupied religious educators, other advancements in the syllabus have challenged the addition of religious education as a compulsory subject. The strengthening of personal, social and health studies in the National Curriculum and the introduction of citizenship as an additional compulsory subject has led people to question the worth of religious studies to the education. Religious studies provide a heavy set of arguments that demand serious attention of religious educators, not only in the US but also across other international communities.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Islam and Ethics

Ethics generally refers to a code of conduct, that an individual, group or society hold as definitive, in differentiating right from wrong. Islam as a comprehensive way of life encompasses a complete Ethical system that is an important aspect of its world-view. We live in an age where good and evil are often looked at as relative concepts. Islam however, holds that Ethical positions are not relative, and instead, defines a universal standard by which actions may be deemed Ethical or unethical.

Islam’s Ethical system is striking in that it not only defines Ethics, but also guides the human race in how to achieve it, at both an individual as well as a collective level.

According to the Islamic School of thought Ethical system stems from its primary creed of belief in One God as the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Islam considers the human race to be a part of God’s creation, and as His subjects.

From an Islamic perspective, the purpose of human life is to worship God, by leading this worldly life in harmony with the Divine Will, and thereby achieve peace in this world, and everlasting success in the life of the hereafter. Muslims look to the Glorious Qur’an and the Traditions of the Prophet as their Ethical guides.

The Glorious Qur’an says:

“It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.” [Al-Qur’an 2:177]

The love and continuous awareness of God and the Day of Judgment enables man to be Ethical in conduct and sincere in intentions, with devotion and dedication.

The guiding principle for the behavior of a Muslim is what the Qur’an refers to as Al `Amal Assalih or virtuous deeds. This term covers all deeds, not just the outward acts of worship.

By Reading Islamic literature and through Quran Recitation we come to know that some of the most primary character traits expected of a Muslim are piety, humility and a profound sense of accountability to God. A Muslim is expected to be humble before God and with other people. Islam also enjoins upon every Muslim to exercise control of their passions and desires.

Charity is one of the most commendable acts in Islam. In fact, Zakah, the annual charity that is obligatory on every Muslim who has accrued wealth above a certain level, is one of the pillars of Islam.

Gratitude in prosperity, patience in adversity, and the courage to uphold the truth, even when inconvenient to one, are just some of the qualities that every Muslim is encouraged to cultivate.

For an individual as well as a society, Ethics is one of the fundamental sources of strength, just as immorality is one of the main causes of decline. While respecting the rights of the individual within a broad Islamic framework, Islam is also concerned with the Ethical health of the society.

The Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) summarized the conduct of a Muslim when he said: “My Sustainer has given me nine commands: to remain conscious of God, whether in private or in public; to speak justly, whether angry or pleased; to show moderation both when poor and when rich, to reunite friendship with those who have broken off with me; to give to him who refuses me; that my silence should be occupied with thought; that my looking should be an admonition; and that I should command what is right.”

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Mosque

A mosque is a place where followers of Islam. Muslims offer prayers five times a day. It is the place where collective prayers are offered lead by an Imam. The word "mosque" in English refers to all types of buildings dedicated for Islamic worship.

A mosque is also a center of social activities for Muslims where different people come for prayers and Quran Recitation and worship of Allah five times a day and meet each other, discuss some religious affairs, take guidance and help each other.

All adult Muslims, with exceptions for the infirm, are required to offer prayers five times daily. Most mosques will organize a formal time of prayer for each of the daily time slots. In addition to holding the daily prayers, mosques hold weekly Jumaah services which replace the midday prayer on Fridays. While daily prayers can be performed anywhere, it is obligated to attend Friday prayers at the mosque.

Mosques are also used as Islamic Schools where children come to learn and Memorize Qur’an, some of the children who are needy and orphans may reside there in attached hostels. All the expenses are paid by the people living in vicinity.

There are few rules that should be followed in the respect, when entering in the mosques e.g. one should be neat and clean, mentally normal and in senses. In mosques talking loud or irrelevant discussions are not allowed. One should not bring his shoes into the Mosque.

The third of the Five Pillars of Islam states that Muslims are required to give approximately one-fortieth of their wealth to charity as zakat . Since mosques form the center of Muslim communities, they are where Muslims go to both give zakat and, if necessary, collect it. Prior to the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, mosques also collect a special zakat that is supposed to assist in helping poor Muslims attend the prayers and celebrations associated with the holiday.

The architecture of mosques is a continuation of pre-Islamic architecture of palaces built during the Parthian and Sassanian dynasties of Persia. The Sarvestan palace from the Sassanian era is a great example of this. For example, the idea of having an arched entrance and a central dome is clearly one borrowed from pre-Islamic, Persian architecture. After the Arab invasion of Persia, this architecture, as well as elements of Sassanian culture, was used for the new Islamic world. Many forms of mosques have evolved in different regions of the Islamic world. Notable mosque types include the early Abbasid mosques, T-type mosques, and the central-dome mosques of Anatolia. The oil-wealth of the twentieth century drove a great deal of mosque construction using designs from leading non-Muslim modern architects and promoting the careers of important contemporary Muslim architects.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Human Rights in Islam

Since Allah is the sole master of men and the universe, He is the supreme Lord, the upholder and the Merciful, Whose mercy shrines all beings; and since He has given each man human self-respect and honor, he has given equal rights to all their humans, which is clearly stated in Qur’an Hadith and other in authentic Islamic literatures.

Every human being is thereby related to all others and all become one community of brotherhood in their honorable and pleasant servitude to the most compassionate Lord of the Universe. In such a heavenly atmosphere the Islamic confession of the oneness of God stands dominant and central, and necessarily entails the concept of the oneness of humanity and the brotherhood of mankind.

Although an Islamic state may be set up in any part of the earth, Islam does not seek to restrict human rights or privileges to the geographical limits of its own state. Just like Muslims perform their religious duties like prayers, Quran Recitation, fasting etc, the people of other religions can also practice their religion in Muslim states with complete freedom. Islam has laid down some universal fundamental rights for humanity as a whole, which are to be observed and respected under all circumstances whether such a person is resident within the territory of the Islamic state or outside it, whether he is at peace or at war. The Quran very clearly states:

"O believers, be you securers of justice, witness for God. Let not detestation for a people move you not to be equitable; be equitable - that is nearer to God-fearing." (5:8)

Human blood is sacred in any case and cannot be spilled without justification. And if anyone violates this sanctity of human blood by killing a soul without justification, the Quran equates it to the killing of entire mankind.

"...Whoso slays a soul not to retaliate for a soul slain, nor for corruption done in the land, should be as if he had slain mankind altogether." (5:32)

According to the Islamic School of thought it is not permissible to oppress women, children, old people, the sick or the wounded. Women's honor and chastity are to be respected under all circumstances. The hungry person must be fed, the naked clothed and the wounded or diseased treated medically irrespective of whether they belong to the Islamic community or are from among its enemies.

When we speak of human rights in Islam we really mean that these rights have been granted by God; they have not been granted by any king or by any legislative assembly. The rights granted by the kings or the legislative assemblies, can also be withdrawn in the same manner in which they are conferred. The same is the case with the rights accepted and recognized by the dictators.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Islam and Education

Islam is the religion of peace, and it is one of the most sacred and trustworthy religions and in Islam to seek knowledge is a sacred duty, it is obligatory on every Muslim, male and female. The first word revealed of the Qur’an was "Iqra" READ! Seek knowledge! Educate yourselves! Be educated.

This importance of education is basically for two reasons. Education makes man a right thinker. Without education, no one can think properly in an appropriate context you. It tells man how to think and how to make decision. The second reason for the importance of education is that only through the attainment of education, man is enabled to receive information from the external world. It is well said that

"Without education, man is as though in a closed room and with education he finds himself in a room with all its windows open towards outside world."

The reflective book of Holy Quran is so rich in content and meaning that if the history of human thought continues forever, this book is not likely to be read to its end. Every day it conveys a new message to the humanity. Every morning, Quran Recitation gives us new thoughtful ideas and bound us in the boundaries of ethics.

Islamic Education is one of the best systems of education, which makes an ethical groomed person with all the qualities, which he/she should have as a human being. The Western world has created the wrong image of Islam in the world. They don't know that our teachings are directly given to us from Allah, who is the creator of this world, through our Prophets. The students of an islamic school are well groomed, ethical, educated and best citizens than that of other schools.

The Muslims all over the world are thirsty of acquiring quality education. They know their boundaries and never try to cross it. It is the West, which has created a hype that the Muslim are not in a path of getting proper education. They think that our education teaches us fighting, about weapons, etc., which is so false. This is true that there are certain elements, which force an individual to be on the wrong path, because as we will mould a child, they will be like that, but it doesn't mean that our religion teaches improperly to us.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Making Islamic Education Relevant

One of the problems faced by many Muslim communities in the area of education are the students and their lack of interest in the material or curriculum. The reality is that many of our children are bored at weekend and full-time Islamic schools and this prevents them from properly absorbing and understanding the knowledge being conveyed.

This is a major issue that must be dealt with in the most sensitive way. Abdullah Hakim Quick, with years of experience in the area of Islamic education and social services, provides possible ways to make the school curriculum practical, relevant and interesting to the younger generation.

This lecture is essential for all school principals, teachers, imams, youth group leaders and parents. Other topics discussed: why some Muslims have negative feelings about Islamic education, how to get parents involved in the Islamic school, the balance between love and discipline, teaching our children the Qur'an, weekend Islamic schools are not enough, using the internet for information, getting government funding for Islamic schools, and what about home-schooling?

These practises should be followed in Quran Recitation schools and other islamic schools. The purpose is to develop the interest of children in learning and islamic education. This lecture will surley help you maintaining good atmosphere in schools and giving quality education to the children which is more relevant in today’s life.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

History of Islamic Education

Islam has, from its inception, placed a high premium on education and has enjoyed a long and rich intellectual tradition. Knowledge ('ilm) occupies a significant position within Islam, as evidenced by the more than 800 references to it in Islam's most revered book, the Qur’an. The importance of education is repeatedly emphasized in the Quran with frequent injunctions, such as "God will exalt those of you who believe and those who have knowledge to high degrees" (58:11), "O my Lord! Increase me in knowledge" (20:114), and "As God has taught him, so let him write" (2:282). Such verses provide a forceful stimulus for the Islamic community to strive for education and learning.

The advent of the Quran in the seventh century was quite revolutionary for the predominantly illiterate Arabian society. The starting of Islamic education was Quran Recitation, and the first word was “Iqra” that means “read”. Arab society had enjoyed a rich oral tradition, but the Quran was considered the word of God and needed to be organically interacted with by means of reading and reciting its words. Hence, reading and writing for the purpose of accessing the full blessings of the Quran was an aspiration for most Muslims. Thus, education in Islam unequivocally derived its origins from a symbiotic relationship with religious instruction.

Thus, in this way, Islamic education began. Pious and learned Muslims (mu' allim or mudarris), dedicated to making the teachings of the Quran more accessible to the Islamic community through islamic school, taught the faithful in what came to be known as the kuttāb (plural, katātīb). The kuttāb could be located in a variety of venues: mosques, private homes, shops, tents, or even out in the open. Historians are uncertain as to when the katātīb were first established, but with the widespread desire of the faithful to study the Quran, katātīb could be found in virtually every part of the Islamic empire by the middle of the eighth century. The kuttāb served a vital social function as the only vehicle for formal public instruction for primary-age children and continued so until Western models of education were introduced in the modern period. Even at present, it has exhibited remarkable durability and continues to be an important means of religious instruction in many Islamic countries.

During the golden age of the Islamic empire (usually defined as a period between the tenth and thirteenth centuries), when western Europe was intellectually backward and stagnant, Islamic scholarship flourished with an impressive openness to the rational sciences, art, and even literature. It was during this period that the Islamic world made most of its contributions to the scientific and artistic world. Ironically, Islamic scholars preserved much of the knowledge of the Greeks that had been prohibited by the Christian world. Other outstanding contributions were made in areas of chemistry, botany, physics, mineralogy, mathematics, and astronomy, as many Muslim thinkers regarded scientific truths as tools for accessing religious truth.

The Arabic language has three terms for education, representing the various dimensions of the educational process as perceived by Islam. The most widely used word for education in a formal sense is ta'līm, from the root 'alima (to know, to be aware, to perceive, to learn), which is used to denote knowledge being sought or imparted through instruction and teaching. Tarbiyah, from the root raba (to increase, to grow, to rear), implies a state of spiritual and ethical nurturing in accordance with the will of God. Ta'dīb, from the root aduba (to be cultured, refined, well-mannered), suggests a person's development of sound social behavior. What is meant by sound requires a deeper understanding of the Islamic conception of the human being.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Impact of Education on Society

A society is a body of individuals of a species, generally seen as a community or a group. Human societies are characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals that share a distinctive culture or institutions. The behavior of the people is a major constituent in building up a society, more is the education of the people, better will be the society.

At the advent of Islam education was one of the major points of emphasis. Holy Prophet (PBUH) punctuated the importance of education, for the betterment of the society and to improve the living standard of the people. At that time the concept of an Islamic School was incurred.

Other than modern and scientific values, Ethical education plays vital role in building up a good society where people can help each other. Before the advent of scientific education Muslim students were taught Quran Recitation, Calligraphy, arts, dawah and other such subjects. The base of Islamic studies is Qur’an, hadith and Sunnat.

Civilization perceives education as an essential tool to maintain a normal civilization. Learning is a passive process, something that someone else does to you, instead of something you do for yourself. A child attends school with the intention of learning something new, to broaden his intellectual ability. He gets awareness about the societies as a school is itself a society where children from different background, nature, tradition and religion come and work as a group.

Education brings patience and ethics, the most important factors in building a peaceful and healthy society.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Islamic Schools in South Asia

There are more than 50,000 Islamic Schools currently operating in Pakistan. It is estimated that one to two million children are enrolled in Islamic Schools. There has been considerable intellectual disagreement about the linkages of Islamic Schools to conflict in Pakistan.

These Islamic Schools provide the education of Islam, learning, memorizing and the teaching of Quran Recitation with very economical boarding facilities. That’s why most of the lower class of the country prefer to admit their children in these schools.

In India, there are around 30,000 operating Islamic Schools. The majority of these schools follow the Hanfi school of thought. The religious establishment forms part of the mainly two large divisions within the country, namely the Deobandis, who dominate in numbers (of whom the Darul Uloom Deoband constitutes one of the biggest Islamic Schools in the world) and the barelvis, who also make up a sizeable portion (sufi orientated).

Some notable establishments include: Jamia Ashrafia, Mubarakpur which is one the largest learning centres for the Barelvis. Darul Uloom Deoband which is the largest, and is considered by many to be the most renowned Islamic School in Asia, is located at Saharanpur district, Uttar Pradesh. The HR ministry of Government of India, has recently declared that a Central Madrasa Board would be setup.

This will enhance the education system of Madrasas in India. Though the madrasas impart Qur’anic education mainly, efforts are on to include Mathematics, Computers and Science in the curriculum.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Uprooting Extremism through Education

Extremism or terrorism should not be labeled to any specific religion or state, because all the terrorists and extremists possess a specific class of psyche that cannot be justified by any religion or law.

The root causes of extremism are illiteracy, ignorance and unavailability of basic rights which lead to terrorism, convulsion and turmoil in the society. Pakistan is facing same circumstances due to the unawareness towards education.

The role of Islamic school and madrassa in Pakistan and its contribution to Islamic militancy has been the subject of intense debate for last few years. This sector of education and public education system has suffered from neglect and politicization over the last 30 years. The overall adult literacy rate for the population above the age of 15 is about 43.5 percent, while the rates for Sri Lanka and India are 92 percent and 61 percent, respectively.

The schools meant for Islamic education, teaching of Quran Recitation and Islamic values unluckily started to give the lessons of extremism and militancy. Still there are many such institutions where correct religious education is being provided complying to Qur’an, Hadith and Islamic literature.

A strong and effective education system in Pakistan will help to ensure that the country steers toward a path of stability, moderation, and prosperity in the years to come, and should therefore be a top priority for the government. Lack of adequate education opportunities in Pakistan has contributed to the development of extremist ideologies that have fueled terrorism and sectarian tensions as well as stifled economic growth. Fostering development and reform of the public education system will not only bring the calm in the society but also help in wiping out the major problems like hunger, unemployment, extremism and economic downfall.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Online Learning for Muslims

The type of education, in which students work on their own at home or at the office and communicate with faculty and other students via e-mail, electronic forums, videoconferencing, chat rooms, bulletin boards, instant messaging and other forms of computer-based communication is called online learning distance learning.

Islamic School of Quran Recitation is a school providing online learning and live tutoring to the people in different parts of the world, especially to the residents of USA, UK and Canada who face many difficulties in getting Islamic education due to the insufficient resources.

The major benefit of distance learning is that children are not required to go to school and hence precious time is saved which can be spent in other learning activities. Online learning provides many comforts to the students as they can find vast variety of educational material on internet and they can get it instantly.

Online learning is preferred because it is reusable and easily redistributable to others. In 21st century the technology is made very common and now every student can easily access online school from any part of the world sitting at home.

Qur’an Reading School is one of them, providing excellent chance to the Muslims of all over the world to Learn Quran Recitation Online. This Islamic school offers Qur’an reading and recitation teaching for children and the people of every age supervised by the best Quran tutors, managing one to one live Qur’an recitation classes.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Home Schooling

A growing number of people including Muslims, are choosing to educate their children at home. The benefits of home schooling in any Islamic school can be divided into three interrelated areas:

• The advantages in encouraging, and maintaining an Islamic way of life,
• The academic benefits and
• The social benefits for both the individual and the family.

Reasons Parents Choose to Teach Children at home:

1. Public and/or private education is not as thorough as a parent wishes. No Quran Recitation learning school close to home.

2. They wish to remove children from an environment of drugs, alcohol, sexual experimentation, gangs and peer pressure, and to put them back in a healthy, safe and secure environment. Thus adding the benefit of directing them to healthy associations.

3. Removing children from an environment unfriendly to religion, especially to Islam, and unfriendly to difference. In these environments teachers and administrators actually work against the parents' authority, shifting it instead to themselves. Other children can and do pick on the hostilities and mirror the hostilities they see back to Muslim children.

4. A desire to set a school schedule more friendly to the demands of an Islamic life. When home schooling, a parent need not worry about conflict arising from a desire to have children attend Juma prayer, recite Qur’an or going to Hajj, or even traveling during the cool school months to other parts of the world. A home schooling family sets its own schedule. Classes can be held on Saturday and Sunday, over Christian holidays, while being light during Ramadan and stop for a day or two (or more) during Eid.

Results of a Home Schooling Study:

A study completed in 1992 by Steven Gray, Ph.D., found that regardless of why families began home schooling, the top reasons for continuing were quite consistent: family unity and socialization; emotional healing, restoration of motivation and positive behavior; academic success; and flexibility in choosing curriculum and teaching methods.

Resources and State Laws:

There is an abundance of information available on every aspect of home schooling from bookstores, libraries and home school support groups. These resources can provide information on the various aspects, from making the decision, all the way to where and how to help the home schooled child apply for college admission! Home schoolers also have several national publications to choose from.

Home schooling is legal in all 50 states, but regulations and law vary widely from state to state. Obtain a copy of the state law from the department of education. (please do not tell them you are planning to home school until you've made the commitment). It's a wise idea to contact a local or state support group. They can't provide valuable information regarding how the law is being interpreted as well as a wide variety of other topics.

If you feel uncertain about meeting state requirements, research other options. In most states, you can enroll your children in a correspondence school, others will allow you to use the series of certified teacher consultant.

Muslim Home School Network and Resources takes out a Magazine called "Al-Madrasah Al-Ula" Articles

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Problems and Challenges in Education

Education is the most important factor in development of a country, if a country is facing problems in setting up a high quality education system; the growth of country just stops.

Pakistan is also facing many problems in the system of education. The biggest issue is the inequality in the education and poor educational structure. There are three streams of educational systems: firstly, the public sector education (read Urdu-medium schools); secondly, the private sector (English-medium schools) and finally, the Islamic School also known as madressah education. All these systems cater to a different stratum of the populace: for instance, the government schools cater to the middle and lower-middle classes, while the private schools take students from the privileged class who can afford their through-the-ceiling fees and other charges. Finally, the madressahs impart education of Quran Recitation free of charge and often also provide boarding and lodging facilities to the poorest of the poor. All these streams have their own sets of pros and cons which affect the students' whole lives, their professional competence and their earning capabilities. Consequently, the vertical divide of society is absolutely complete.

There can't be two opinions about the fact that we are living in an unjust and exploitative system that is heavily biased towards the rich.

Our ruling class which is a mullah/military/bureaucracy/feudal nexus has a vested interest in keeping the majority of the population ignorant, unskilled, irrational, underfed and unproductive. In order to achieve this objective, they have taken a leaf out of their colonial predecessors' book and adopted their philosophy of dividing the subjects into two classes.

Furthermore, besides the system problems as observed, it is obvious that the teachers' problems of insecurity, accommodation, remuneration, political exploitation life threats and deprivation prevent a teacher to play the role of an implementer, prompter, director, guide, counselor, manager, organizer and instructor inside the school and also halt him/her to work outside in the society as a good social.

it can be concluded safely that the class-driven educational system is injurious for economic development and national cohesion. Nearly half of our national issues could be solved easily if we devise an educational system that provides one and the same opportunities to all its citizens.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Education in Rural Areas of Pakistan

Pakistan is a versatile country with rich and fertile land, blessed with many natural resources, rivers flowing from every province, perfect weather conditions for cultivation and many other things, but 62 years from now Pakistan is struggling with lots of crises and still considered to be a third world country.

The problem is the in system of education prevailing in the country which is somewhat good in few elite class areas but worst in the rural areas of Pakistan. As majority of the Pakistanis live in rural areas so they are kept away from the quality education. There are very few Quality education institutions and Islamic Schools.

Many children don’t even go to the schools due to financial and other problems as good institutions are either expensive or unreachable for the poor people.

The people of rural areas are more religious and to some extent backward, They don’t have the exposure of modern education so they send their children only to the Madrassas for Quran Recitation learning.

The government of Pakistan is confused in the education system and every year new traditions, laws, experiments, techniques are introduced. Education has been divided into two parts, English medium and Urdu medium. Children who are sharp and intelligent are pushed to the English medium schools whereas weak students are kept in Urdu medium schools. Most of the government educational institutions are Urdu Medium and their condition is pitiful. Private institutions are English medium but expensive for the majority of population.

We need to get ourselves out of this bewildered thinking and set up a good standard of education. Modern and scientific education should be provided to every child along with Islamic and the education of Qur’an so that we are able to stand with the developed nations in the world.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Holy Quran

The Qur’an was revealed step-by-step during a period of about 23 years. The Prophet received the first disclosure in 610CE, in the Cave of Hira, two and a half miles away from the House of Allah in the city of Makkah.

In the revelation of Qur’an, first five verses of Surah (chapter) Al-Alaq were: "Iqra bismi rabbikalla dhi khalaq. Khalaqal insana min alaq. Iqra wa rabbukal akram. Alladhi 'allama bil qalam. 'Allamal insana malam ya’lam, " which means "Read in the name of your Lord who created, created man from a clot. Read, for your Lord is most Generous, Who teaches by means of the pen, teaches man what he does not know." (96: 1-5)

The last revelation was the third verse of Surah Al-Maidah, which was sent down to the Prophet in 632 C.E. : "Al yawma akmaltu lakum dinakam wa atmamtu alaikam ni'mati wa raditu' lakumul islama dinan''," which means "Today I perfected your religion for you and completed my favor to you and have chosen for you Al-Islam as your religion." (5:3)

Surah Al-Fatiha (The Opening Chapter) was the first complete chapter to be revealed and Surah An-Nasr was the last.

Al-Quran is divided into thirty equal divisions, which are called juz in Arabic. There are 114 chapters, of varying length.

The Quran is the eternal miracle. It is the complete and best templet for living one's life and seeking Allah's pleasure The teachings of the Quran are universal, addressed to all people throughout the world regardless of their creed and color.
We all know from the Quran and the Ahadeeth about the countless rewards and benefits of Quran Recitation.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong) [Quran al-Baqarah 2:185]
The Prophet (PBUH) said:

The Qur’an is an intercessor, something given permission to intercede, and it is rightfully believed in. Whoever puts it in front of him, it will lead him to Paradise; whoever puts it behind him, it will steer him to the Hellfire.” [An authentic hadith found in At-Tabaraanee, on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood]

So develop a habit of reading Quran daily and learn its meaning. Join Muslim societies and Islamic Schools to get the knowledge of Islam.