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Are Muslim Schools failing their students?

If Muslims schools are unable to prepare their students in the mould that is shaped by Allah, then they have 'failed' their students, even though they may produce a hundred percent pass rate! The first purpose of Muslim Schools must be to produce good Muslims and dynamic leaders for the Islamic society.

For this purpose, Tarbiyyah, sound Islamic moral training, must be an integral part of the school. This must be the very heart and soul of our education, and not a ceremonial husk. All plans for improving our education will be totally useless unless they are based on a full understanding of this key fact.

Today we find many internal problems in the Muslim society everywhere. If we think about it, we may realize that most of these problems are of our own making. Which is another way of saying that they are largely traceable, directly or indirectly, to the education system and institutions that produced the people who cause these problems.

Why are Muslim communities in the grip of so much materialism today? What should we expect when our entire education system is preaching the gospel of materialism? Why have we effectively relegated Islam to a small inconsequential quarter in our public life? Because that is precisely where our education system has put it. Why in our behavior toward each other we see so little display of Islamic manners and morals? Because our imported education system is devoid of all moral training. Why are our societies sick? Because our education system is sick.

This is the real crisis of education today. Previously, education was never like this. Education in the past was always the means of nurturing the human being. Moral training, tarbiyyah, was always an inalienable part of it. The ustaz,(teacher), was not just a lecturer or mere professional, but a mentor and moral guide. Good moral training as exhorted in the Hadith, was considered the best gift a teacher could present to his student. Sadly, this is no more.

Mufti Zubair Bayat

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