Education is the most important and powerful tool which you can use to change the world. An educated nation begets educated children which equals a harmonious environment on earth provided it is used constructively.
With the new school year only a few days away, have today’s parents and students become non-chalant, lackadaisical and discarded Islamic or maktab education? Have they forfeited the inheritance left by our beloved Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him)? The inheritance of his knowledge, his principles and his complete way of life?
The value of Islamic education is priceless. Islam stands as the most rational and precise religion that Allah has given the whole mankind. It gives important education which is the process of teaching and acquiring or learning knowledge which includes beliefs, values, attitudes, manners and skills. In fact Allah sent Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) not only as His final messenger and the seal of the prophets (Quraan 33:40) but also as them great teacher to mankind.
A maktab or madrasah is vital to build an upright Islamic community. However; though many parents feel that Islamic education is important; one can distinctly see that secular education is given preference over Islamic education on many levels.
Moulana Habib Bobat highlighted the importance of maktab education and South Africa being at the forefront of Islamic education in the world over. “The education system as organized as it is in South Africa, is never ever found in any part of the world Allahu Akbar”, said Moulana Bobat.
He added, “And infact the system, the educational system, the Islamic educational system is being implemented in so many parts of the world. I mean the Jamiat syllabus is being implemented, in New Zealand, its implemented in Australia, its implemented in Malaysia, in Thailand, even in Pakistan, a place where brimming with so many madaaris and so many Darool Ulooms.Yet they opted for this systems that is being implemented in South Africa.”
As Muslims, the world is a temporary abode for us. We have to learn secular education but give preference to the knowledge that is everlasting. There is a need for doctors, lawyers and business people however parents should not be content with their children only getting “the basics” of Islamic education, but rather a full Islamic education. It is the responsibility and obligation of each Muslim parent to equip their children; to impart and disseminate sound Islamic knowledge to them.
“Many parents feel as their children attend high school, there isn’t a dire need for them to attend madrasah. Parents should understand that a student in the first five years of his maktab studies is only learning the basics of Islam. The child in the latter part of his madrasah studies is introduced to much more detailed subjects. For instance, a child is taught a complete chapter on nikaah which would be the objectives of nikaah and the rights of spouses, etc.” added Moulana Bobat.
It is these makaatib along with life at home that makes us the type of Muslims we are. Moulana Bobat reiterated, “As parents I urge you from the bottom of my heart…With this New Year , do not pull your children out of the madrasah and make sure they complete the entire madrasah system, 12 years of studying Islamic Education Inshallah.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) encouraged all Muslims to acquire knowledge and share it. He said: “He who threads the path of knowledge, Allah will pave his way easily to jannah and the Angels of Allah spread their wings out of happiness for the student of deen. And every creation in the skies and on the earth seek forgiveness for him to the extent even the fish in the ocean. (Abu Dawood)