The Directives Concerning Education in Islam
The directives concerning education in Islam are many and the ways for reformation well defined. Here we will mention some of the most important ones and concentrate on the following directives and suggestions and beseech Allah to make our endeavors successful:
* It is advisable for parents to build a harmonious and loving relationship between them because constant disagreement or abnormal behavior on their part reflects on their children's conduct. Disrespect for each other by the husband and wife, constant nagging or quarrelling, violence, discontent and an atmosphere of gloom and hatred have negative effects upon the children's psychology and personality, which ultimately leads to bad behaviour and low morals. Therefore, the parents' mutual relationship and their behaviour is of vital importance because it leaves its good or bad effects on the family as a whole, but more particularly on the children, who in turn infect the society.
* We must give our children love and kindness and teach them good manners, in order to create a harmonious family. An atmosphere of peace and security would help them to develop their personalities and guarantees their safe future. In contrast, the child who does not receive any love and sympathy from its parents will grow up to be an irresponsible misfit. Such a behavior is likely to make the child abnormal, and a psychological complex, full of hatred, aimlessness and social ills.
* Adolescent or growing up children, who are becoming conscious of themselves and the environment around them should not be maltreated or ridiculed by parents. Paying scant respect to their budding personality and making them feel imperfect may lead them to disobey and dislike their own parents. To treat them harshly and deprive them of their material needs may push the adolescents toward such immoralities as lying, theft, fraud, psychological disorders etc., thereby affecting the whole society.
* It is not proper for parents to discriminate among their own children, doting on one but neglecting the other, because the feeling of negligence will instill in the child an unconscious abhorrence for the parents, weakening family ties and ruining the child's future.
* The isolation and aloofness of a family, which severe its ties from all relatives, neighbors and society have a negative effect on the children's lives, retarding their mental and social growth. On the other hand when children observe their parents’ firm ties with friends, kinsfolk, and neighbours, interspersed with exchange of visits, gifts, warm hospitality and a sincere concern for the others' needs, it is natural for youngsters to absorb these qualities, learning good morals and etiquette.
* Parents should draw an educational and cultural program for their children, starting from early childhood even before the child enters school. They should recite Qur'anic verses and phrases like the Shahadatain' (the two testimonies) necessary for a Muslim. They should tell morals and narrate events from the life of the Prophet, his infallible Household and pious -companions. Their glorious life full of courage, magnanimity, truth, honor, love and kindness will inspire the children and help mould their character.
* The children should be introduced to Islamic events and rites and should be explained the significance and importance of these dates. Annual events like Lailatul-Qadr (The Qadr Night in Ramadhan), start of
the Prophet's mission, The Eids, the Hajj pilgrimage and its dimensions should be properly explained.
* The belief in Monotheism (Tawheed) and Allah's pristine Majesty and love towards Him, should be instilled in the children's heart. They should be taught to remember Allah, and invoke His blessings, whether, starting a meal, finishing it, undertaking something, facing difficulties, etc., and should be taught to thank Allah on achieving their aims. Parents must entertain questions arising in their children's minds concerning belief, ideology, hereafter, laws etc., providing able answers and clearing doubts.
* Teaching children Allah's last revelation to mankind, the Holy Qur'an, the way to recite it and understand its eternal wisdom. Parents should encourage children to contemplate on the glorious verses of the Qur'an and their meanings.
* Parents should dissuade children from hearing, watching or practicing forbidden things, or acts and explain their harmful effects and the reason the thing or act is prohibited in Islam. It is a duty to help children differentiate between Halal and Haram.
* Fostering the spirit of Islamic brotherhood among children and expanding their knowledge of the Muslim Ummah and its affairs, its past history and the present situation. At tile same time it is necessary to caution children against the enemies of Islam and their gullible plots to' deceive and enslave unsuspecting Muslim peoples. Practical examples can be provided from current events and the recent colonial past.
* The lofty concept of repentance and being generous to a fault should be nurtured in the children. Teaching them to forgive others and offer apologies for faults of their own removes much ill feeling and promotes goodwill among the society. Ways of seeking Allah's forgiveness and desisting from repeating a blunder should be encouraged. Of-course parents have the right to use coercion to reform children but punishment should be used as a last resort.
* Instructing children in hygiene and cleanliness, so they take proper care of their boy, clothes and appearance. A saying from the Prophet says:
"Cleanliness is part of faith”
* Children should be encouraged to take to sports and invest their free time in constructive activities. Islam lays stress on physical training.
* Both male and female should be instructed in their respective spheres. For nature and physique has created them as perfect foils to each other with different responsibilities in life.
* Guiding them to keep away from bad habits, which eventually ruin both body and spirit. A novel example is the Western society in which children grow up in violence and moral decadence, reading and watching fiction comic characters. No wonder today the godless societies of Europe and America are inflicted with dangerous diseases and social breakdown.
We earnestly hope our humble efforts to spotlight the importance of Islamic Education will inspire Muslim parents and children to rally to Allah's path.
We seek guidance from the holy Qur'an and implore Allah to guide us on the glorious path of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and his infallible Household. Ameen.