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Education and Training: Islamic Perspective

By Afzal Hussain

Every married couple wants to be blessed with a child as soon as possible after the marriage. When there is delay in the fulfillment of this innate desire, it resorts to prayers, makes vows besides making every effort for realization of this natural desire. And when the prayers are rewarded, desires are fulfilled and the child is born, the couple and the whole family join and rejoice the moment in every possible way.

There is no denying that a child brings lots of joy and happiness with its arrival. Mere a sight of the child brings immense joy and satisfaction on to the faces of everyone. Parents rejoice as they see their child grow and develop. There is no greater delight than seeing the child grow peacefully. Therefore parents, besides family members, want to savor every moment of it. Mother gives up her peace of mind and devotes wholeheartedly to the child and still feels happy while father forgets his struggles and sweats by a mere sight of the kid. The joy is not limited to parents. Everyone feels attracted by the innocent face, smiles and ingenuous chatter of the young child. Even very serious people too are forced to have a smile on their faces by a mere sight of children and their innocent gestures. These flowers of paradise bring immense joy all around. The happiness is all pervasive, like an enchanting scent that spreads everywhere.

The happiness and joy expressed on the birth of the child is not without any reason.

1- Child is the epitome of the Original Creator’s creation and a priceless gift from Him.2- It brings blessings and good fortune to the house.3- It is the biggest source of strengthening the bond between the parents.4- Allah has put in tremendous amount of attraction in it5- It alleviates pain, sorrow and anguish and gives delight, joy and pleasure.6- It ensures the continuation of the family.7- It becomes the center of hopes and dreams. Many future expectations and anticipation are tied with it.

The joys and bliss that follows in the wake of childbirth is natural and only an unfortunate soul will be devoid of this pleasure. Nonetheless, along with happiness, the child brings loads of responsibilities as well. It includes:
1- Raising the child delightfully.2- Giving him love and affection.3- Teaching him with immense care.4- Trying to inculcate good habits in him gradually.5- Teaching etiquette of different occasions.6- Coaching good manners and customs.7- Educating him the basics of Faith and working on his character and nature8- Working on his good health, development and great future.

These are important responsibilities imposed upon parents from the time of the childbirth. There may not be a single father who is not conscious of his responsibilities and doesn’t have the resolve to fulfill all of them in the best possible manner. It is but natural to be fond of the child and do the utmost to make his dreams come true. Father is the person who likes his child to leave him far behind in success, achievements and accomplishments. Nonetheless, there are few who live to see their dreams come true and fulfill their responsibilities in the best possible manner. No one can accomplish everything on his own. Educating, teaching and mentoring needs to be done in the right manner and it involves lots of struggle. If there is not the right balance and mixture of the two, the success will remain a mere pipedream.

Causes of failure
How the parents fail in teaching and mentoring children? It may be due to the following reasons:

(1) It is a very tough job and requires loads of patience. Very few people are ready to devote the amount of time, devotion and commitment needed to fulfill the task at hand.

(2) Usually, parents tend to have far higher expectations and hopes compared to the age, potential and capability of the kids. When they make repeated mistakes and show slower growth, parents tend to lose heart and not just give up their efforts but many a times also create suspicion in their own hearts about their own capabilities. In this process children also lose self confidence.

(3) Overall the society is characterless. Children naturally tend to be impacted by wrong precedents of their elders and the bad company of other kids. Many a times, kids from good families and excellent parentage too tend to be influenced by bad company and bad habits take root in them too.

(4) If you analyze a child, you will finally conclude, while there are just a handful of people who work to develop the child, there are far more people who work overtime to destroy him.

(5) The list of ‘basic’ needs has expanded substantially. The whole economic system is becoming complicated and people have to work harder, longer to fulfill their basic needs. Now they have no quality time to spend with their kinds. Loss of time in economic activities, lack of quality time means people don’t have enough time to spend with their kids and pay attention to their education and discipline.

(6) The required talents that can ensure good upbringing and the right etiquette are not found in many parents and others. So most often these efforts not only go in vain, but are often counterproductive.

(7) Parental discords, afflicting most homes today, also impacts good upbringing of children. Other issues that also impact it include separation from parents, living alone away from home and other similar issues.

(8) The un-Islamic system has completely changed the basics of life in our society. Monetary benefits have become a driving force to such an extent that people don’t think twice before destroying faith and characters of their sons and daughters for their ‘great’ future. They have no qualms in doing so.

(9) There are a large number of people who are unable to provide education to their kids due to either their illness or lack of financial resources. These people have no support base from their larger families as industrial revolution has destroyed the fundamentals of the family system. Social fabric has become loose. In the given circumstances, if parents are either financially week or don’t care about their kids’ education and learning, other relatives are neither inclined to do anything nor is there a system that forces them to take the responsibility of such children. Society has no system at all to take any responsibility.

(10) We don’t have a system to keep the kids busy in their spare time. In most places, there is no facility providing avenues of sports or other constructive activities for them. In the given circumstances, their innate abilities and talents take wrong turn. In many cases, they take to illegal activities or even crimes.

(11) The ever increasing immorality, moral corruption, depravity and debauchery in the society and easy availability of pornographic materials including pornographic literature, nude pictures, sexually explicit movies and novels destroy efforts to educate and discipline children. (Now internet has made this whole stuff available rather more freely as kids can access all of these through their smartphones or tablets)

(12) Kids are hugely influenced by their homes, schools, environment, society and the country by different levels. For their good upbringing, their needs to be some sort of synergy between them. But this is completely absent in our society. Instead of synergy, all of the above institutions seem to have altogether different priorities. Their efforts are counterproductive many a times. If family members are conscious, they don’t find good schools and if schools are conscious of their obligations, they don’t find parents who are aware of their responsibilities. Most kids are torn apart in such condition and conflict of priorities.

Consequences of ignorance
The consequence of ignorance from education and instruction can be fatal not just for a family but for the entire community and the nation. It is due to the following reasons:• Kids become incompetent and useless as their innate and natural qualities are not allowed to flourish. On many occasions, these qualities and traits take wrong turn too.• Kids destroy their future by being led to immorality, depravity and corruption. Their future in this world and Hereafter is thus destroyed.• Instead of becoming the apple of parents’ eyes and their support in their old age, they become an eyesore and remain a lifelong burden on their parents.• They destroy their parents’ hard earned money without giving a second thought.• Instead of becoming a source of fame for their families, they bring bad name and infamy.• They earn disrespect and infamy for their community and religion due to their bad conduct.• If they take to crimes, become a headache for the entire society and impact the nation in several negative ways.• The community is deprived of pious people, society from selfless workers and nation from good citizens.• Governments have to spend massive amount of money on jails, courts, police posts and hospitals to take care of such elements. • Consequently, for the economy of the nation, they become like mite. The kids that were thought to be the flowers of paradise and apple of their parents eyes, become a pile of garbage as a consequence of ignorance and lack of interest of their parents and the society. Thus nature takes revenge from everyone for the lack of interest and proper care in this regard.

On the contrary, if proper attention is paid to good education and upbringing for children, then:• Their innate abilities improve, their personalities get better and they succeed in this life and the life Hereafter.• It helps them fulfill the endeavor for which they have been sent on earth by the Almighty Allah.• They are able to fulfill their individual, familial and social responsibilities.• They become pious slaves of Allah, selfless servants of society and proud citizens of the nation.• Their very existence becomes a source of inspiration and motivation for them, their community and the nation.• Civilizations prosper thanks to their superlative abilities.• Economies expand, national GDP goes up and government expenditure comes down.

Therefore, efforts, hard work and resources, including monetary resources, spent on education and good upbringing benefit almost everyone. But, alas, due to our ignorance and shortsightedness of our planners and politicians, an educational system has been imposed upon the entire world that has nothing to do to embellish the personality and inculcate high moral character among our children. While this syllabus, despite being almost all-encompassing, along with impressive academic and supportive materials, extracurricular activities, emphasis on cultural programs not just doesn’t teach sense of responsibility, piety and morality, but instead teaches detachment and aloofness from God, fearlessness from the life Hereafter and defiance from high moral characters. This syllabus, superimposed on the world today, teaches wickedness, nationalism, ostentation, pretension and brazenness. It makes us believe that the sole objective of our whole system of education is economic development and financial success and nothing more.

It is apparent, that till fundamental changes are not introduced in this educational system, we cannot expect much good from the generation that will be raised under it. On the contrary, deep inside our hearts, we will always fear the worse from it. As far as the centers of religious educations are concerned, that have been source of light and inspiration amidst the darkness of ignorance and illiteracy, they are also dying a slow death due to separation of religious and worldly education, old and outdated curriculum. These were the lighthouses amid mounting ignorance and guided the community and the nation when it came to providing guidance, direction and leadership. Their usefulness and worth is diminishing by every passing day.

The dire situation, without doubt, demands that all the concerned people and organizations take disciplined action to improve the situation and do whatever precious little they can do individually or collectively in this regard. It must be added here that if worked tirelessly and with determination, things can be improved and the course can be changed.

Right now the situation seems to be hopeless and very discouraging. From outset, the nation doesn’t seem prepared to accept a constructive revolution. Majority of people either seem to be bitten by the Westernization bug or completely smitten by capitalism. There is one section of the society that is blindly running behind the West or another section that dreams to follow the dated Indian civilization. They are prepared to be swamped under this flood and want to take us along with them. As far as the Muslim community is concerned, there is no sense of unity and purposefulness in its leadership. The community is torn apart on minor differences. Besides, it is beset with issues of limited resources, lack of courage and low morale. In the given circumstances, the courage to call for an all-encompassing revolution of this kind will be met with laughter. Nevertheless, we are finished if we swim with the tide and the morality of the whole nation will completely be destroyed. There is no option left for us but to stand our ground with impeccable bravery and try to change the course of this illegal flood. Our win is assured only in it.

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