Why is religious education important?
Religious education (RE) makes a distinctive contribution to a balanced and broadly-based school curriculum which: IMPORTANCE OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION Promotes the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and of society; and prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
Religion and beliefs inform our values and are reflected in what we say and how we behave. Importance of religious education provokes challenging questions about the ultimate meaning and purpose of life, beliefs about God, the self and the nature of reality, issues of right and wrong and what it means to be human.
It also develops pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the nature of religion and belief including ISLAM, other principal religion, other religious traditions, world views that offer answers to these challenging questions.
Religions education offers opportunities for personal reflection and spiritual development. So it enhances awareness and understanding of religions and beliefs of an individual.
Teachings, practices and forms of expression, and of the influence of religion on individuals, families, communities and cultures as well.
It encourages pupils to learn from different religions beliefs, values and traditions, while exploring their own beliefs and questions of meaning. It challenges pupils to reflect on, consider, analyse, interpret and evaluate issues of truth belief and faith and ethics and to communicate their responses.
It encourages them to develop their sense of identity and belonging. It enables them to flourish individually within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society and global community.
RE has an important role in preparing pupils for adult life, employment and lifelong learning.
RE contributes to pupils’ personal development and well-being and to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society.
It enables pupils to develop respect for and sensitivity to others, in particular those whose faiths and beliefs are different from their own. It promotes discernment and enables pupils to combat prejudice.
RE can also make important contributions to other parts of the school curriculum such as citizenship, personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, the humanities and the arts, education for sustainable development
ISLAM AS A RELIGION
Islam is the third in succession of the three great monotheistic faiths born in the Middle East (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). Islam is the second largest religion in world (1.2 billion adherents) There is an estimated 650 000 Muslims living in Canada. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.
Islam: an Arabic word that means “submitting to God” and “peace”
Muslim: a person who follows the teachings of Islam and “submits to God and finds peace in Him”. All creation is Muslim.
Shahadah: “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God”.
Allah: Arabic name for God. It is preferred over other names because it has no gender affiliation and does not have plurality
Belief in only One God. He is defined as Eternal, Absolute, Infinite, Compassionate and Merciful, the sole Creator and Provider.
Engage only in Righteous Actions in all areas: spiritual, intellectual and physical activity.
All God’s creation is “Muslim”. Only humans are given CHOICE to submit (be Muslim) or reject submission to God’s will.
All children are born without sin and are Muslim. As they grow older, they make their religious CHOICE.
God created human beings with a body and soul. The body is a temporal host for this life, whereas the soul is eternal. It is the soul that will survive beyond death.
Universality of the call. All Muslims are brothers and equals without any distinction of class, race or tongue. Superiority is only based on the greater fear of God and greater piety.
CURRENT EDUCATION SYSTEM IN PAKISTAN
We have two streams of education
•Deeni / Madrassa Education
•Secular / School Education
DEENI / MADRASSA EDUCATION.
Mostly out-of-date with current situation
Originally designed for producing civil servants (in Muslim rule); that is why living in India, you don’t find any syllabus for Dawah; or how to live and interact with others in a multi-cultural society;
Generates 1000’s of Huffaz but not even 1% know what they have memorized!
Yes, their contribution is immense. Especially in the absence of any alternative
SECULAR / SCHOOL EDUCATION
Has no link with Islamic education.
A subject (on Islamic Studies) is there but it is confined mostly to beliefs, worship, and morals.
Nothing to do with the concept of knowledge. Nothing to relate oneself with other subjects.
IMPORTANCE OF KNOWLEDGE IN ISLAM
يَرْفَعْ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ
Allah has taught the Prophet PBUH, the supplication:
وَقُلْ رَبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْماً
O my Lord! Increase me in knowledge.
GOAL OF EDUCATION IN ISLAM
IMPORTANCE OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION is not just to learn for the sake of learning. The goal should not to be left on children. They are too young to come up with one. You have to help them. If you don’t specify the goal, they will make some mean or cheap goals.
The Prophet pbuh said: إنما بعثت معلمًا (I am sent as a teacher.)
هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولاً مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمْ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ مِنْ قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلالٍ مُبِينٍوَإِنْ كَانُوا
IMPORTANCE OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATIONIn Islam, the concept of knowledge is inextricably bound up with its belief system, particularly, al-tawhid (unity of God). Islamic education integrates all knowledge and disciplines with “Islamic ideology”.
In short, Islamic education recognizes the “jurisdiction” of God Almighty in all disciplines. In fact, God occupies a centre court in Islamic education.
We cannot ignore the fact that there is a “thin line” in the relationship between education and religion.
It is also clear that the PAKISTAN’s Constitution does mandate that the public school system remain neutral regarding religion, yet at the same time, so constitutions provide strong support for individual freedom of religious belief and exercise.
Without the IMPORTANCE OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION Endorsing or accommodating religion make it difficult for all levels where decision making is involved.
Compiled by: Muhammad Naveed