A New Dimension Of Education: Original And Genuine (Dr. Manzoor-ul-Haque & Dr. Arzoo Manzoor)

The history of mankind, enigmas of philosophy, engravings of human character and conduct, and the realities of Quraan stand witness to the stark fact that the fate of a nation rests with its rising generation; its future is proned to the carvings procured for the training of its heart and mind. This is the only criterion on the basis of which the creativity of the nation is judged and the life span of it is tested. This measure alone determines the specific rank a nation enjoys in the comity of nations and even the extent to which it can espouse its cause with the caravan of humanity. May be the occasional tumults deprive it of its wealth and vigour it enjoys and so it may lag behind in the area of its competition with its contenders. May be its magnificence and magnanimity be stained with the accidental causatives and it be subjugated to the dominants as if under the horse’s foot a stone, the horse atop, the rider down. But if that nation looks to its educants and manages for its teaching and training on firm footing, properly and adequately, the world will see how the potentialities of the heart and mind of the youngsters of that nation, the vigour of their zest, the fountain spring of their life blood, and the vehemence of their character rise like tumultuous storm and dwindles away every thwarting force like a hay. The fate of a nation is neither decided in any political arena nor on any battlefield; it is decided in the education imparting institutions. That is why the educational institutes are the nurseries and cradles where future generations are nurtured, where future generations are provided leadership that ensures nations to occupy place of honour in the comity of nations as well as socio-economic development and prosperity of its masses. (1)

Now the question is: what is that right dimension of education, which does it so? The glaring answer to this question is: it is that dimension which the creator of the Universe has revealed through his last Messenger, Muhammad (S) in the form of the Quraan: “It is a fact that this Quraan provides the caravan of humanity to traverse, in the journey of life that path which is the most straight and the most balanced” (17:9). And what we did to this Quraan? We simply kept it wrapped and scrolled in the most costly coverings and made it worth refurbishing for our drawing rooms.

This generates the discussion as to what that knowledge is which this Education imparts to its younger generation. Let us see: what does knowledge mean according to the idiom of the Arabs and the Arabic language itself? Taj (2), Muheet (3) and Raghib(4) say the meaning of knowledge is “to grasp the reality” and “to develop the certainty”. And they call the one who acquires the grasp of the reality as Aalim. The Quraan has called the hearing, the seeing, the mind, and the heart as the means of knowledge and Education. The Quraan denotes that the knowledge acquired through the hearing and the seeing is of first-degree knowledge. This knowledge is clinched through the senses. So the Quraan brings to light the importance of making use of the hearing and the seeing repeatedly.

But there is also a higher order of knowledge, which the Quraan terms as conceptual knowledge. It is nothing but determining of concepts through the medium of perceptions. This portion of knowledge can only be attained at human level. The lower level of life is an exception to it. The animal consciousness has the potential of sensual or perceptual knowledge only. The Quraan forbade “not to run after the things you have no knowledge of (17: 36)”. It further defines knowledge when it says: it is a fact that your hearing, your seeing, and your mind, each one, have a responsibility to shoulder (17: 36)”. It means the senses provide data to the mind and the mind draws inferences from the data. One of its examples is: you heard the shooting of a fire and thought it had struck someone. Seeing outside that the victim is your friend, you develop revengeful feelings against the one who had fired. This whole occurrence encompasses the evidence of hearing, of seeing and of mind. So it is knowledge. But if, on the other hand, you did neither hear the sound  of firing, nor of any one’s shriek, nor saw your friend bathed in blood. Nor you saw anyone firing. But you simply became enemy of some one on your own. Then the action of being enemy will not be based on knowledge because you do not have the evidence of hearing, of seeing, and of mind. Education is the training for acquiring such knowledge.

The Quraan, The Universe, And The Human

Now, in order to expand the scope of this discussion, look to the outer universe in the light of the Quraan:

  1. It is created with a purpose and is marching gradually towards its achievement as its destiny. (29: 44).
  1. Similarly human life has its purpose and the outcome of its struggle is to clinch that end as its destination. (13: 2).
  1. Everything in the outer universe, without any will or choice, is marching towards that end.(2: 116).

The Protagonists of Evolution Theory

In this connection there comes to play three groups of the protagonists of the theory of revolution:

(a)     The Materialists to whom the life and consciousness emerged out of the evolution of the matter and can be grasped with cause and effect relationship;

(b)    The Vitalists to whom life was not created out of the matter, it keeps its existence separately and enjoys its own principles/axioms;

(c)     The Finalists to whom the entire universe regulates in accordance with the set program of God, with a predetermined goal. In other words the target and the life develop with a specific purpose. And conform to its environment whether it is with the genesis of new manners or new peculiarities or with a career.

In the external universe, the animals do not know that they have to die. Even they have no capacity of overseeing the future through their present make up. It means they are unmindful of their future. They are not empowered with any suicidal tendencies. They may fail but can not be ashamed of, because they are not familiar with shame and foolishness.(5) It is because the animals have no choice and will.

Think the other way. If anyone stones you, you do not sue against that stone. If anyone is killed with sword, it is the murderer who is hanged,   and not the sword with which he was killed. In this way, the human enjoys “choices and will” in the sphere of his/her own kingdom. That is why the human has to face trials and travails to march towards his/her destiny.

Now look to the outer universe where the Mala’eka, the executives of the Laws of God, or the Divine Forces, have been destined specifically to get the accomplishment of the matters of God done adequately and properly. In other words, these are the Forces of Nature in the Physical world. They accomplish what they are commanded to. They have no choice of their own. In the terminology of Science, these are called the Laws of Nature, which the human conquers with the potential s/he acquires.

Theories For The Laws Of Nature

At present, for the Laws of Nature, there are four theories in use:

  1. Law of Immanence

The exposition of this law is that nothing exists on its own peculiar traits. And on the contrary, every thing depends upon other things for its existence; hence there exists inter-relationship among the things. To understand the nature of these things, it is imperative for us to develop insight of this basic inter-dependence on the basis of which these things are inter-related. This very inter-relationship is the Laws of Nature.

  1. Imposed  Laws

Unlike the Law of Immanence, every thing of the universe has its own unique peculiarities; its existence depends upon these peculiarities – none depends upon any other for maintaining its existence. But a law has been imposed on these things from without, so that these things may maintain their inter-relationship. This externally imposed law is the Law of Nature.

  1. Observed Order of  Succession

The gist of the theory behind this law is ‘to observe what is happening in this Universe’, ‘to observe the way a happening takes place’. This observation is made very minutely and accurately and then is noted  down along with the way it has occurred. Then whatever results/inferences are drawn from these observations would be termed as Laws of Nature.

  1. Conventional  Interpretation

This is not a separately distinct theory in the real sense; it is a dogmatically conventional approach, that was developed in compliance with what the scholars of Greece and Egypt had devised. Therefore, the discourse is simply limited to the former three theories behind the laws, which are termed as Laws of Nature.(5)

Various Aspects of Pursuits of Knowledge

There are various pursuits of knowledge. Take the scientific pursuit of knowledge first.

(a)     Scientific Pursuits in the Universe

It is a stark fact that Science entirely depends upon laws. One of these laws pertains to the Laws of Cause and Effect and the other to the Laws of Uniformity of Nature. In the human sphere of activities, the Laws of Cause and Effect are nothing but the Laws of Requital.

(b)    Human Potential

Now come to the other area: the area pertaining to the human, where we find that the human has ‘psychological forces’ and ‘unconscious forces’. ‘Will Power’ is one of the examples of these human forces. When these forces develop in the human being, they uproot the ‘fear complex’. Then the human cannot be terrorized. These forces establish solidarity in the very footing of the human efforts. The human personality gets balanced on firm base fully satisfied from the recesses of heart and mind.(6 & 7) The Quraan says: these forces cannot be seen – lam ta rau ha. It is their implications that can alone  be perceived.

But do not stop here. There is another aspect in the human behaviour. It is that of the hidden human deficiencies, the covert human infirmities of which the human dies from within. These are the clandestine faulty uneven psychological forces, which inculcate rebelliousness and despondency, bring fiddly restiveness that stir the very foundations of satisfaction. (8)It is a recognized fact that the human has ferociousness, belligerence and blood-socked bickering instinctively in-built in the very nature of his/her genetic make up. Likewise s/he has the divine forces, which transform her/him to become the most balanced in the very make up. And unlike the divine forces, s/he holds the frustrating forces, which transform her/him into the mean of the meanest in the human Kingdom. But the most imperative phenomenon to be kept in view is that these are all the realizable possibilities gifted from the very moment the conception takes place. In this regard the Quraan says: Fal ha ma haa fojoo ra haa wa taq wahaa. And then this potentiality has been in-built in the human personality itself whether the personality (traversing on the false notions of life) inculcate disintegration in it or go on integrating itself by warding off the process of disintegration. In this way the integration or disintegration of personality are the two processes occurring in the very fabric of the human personality. The Quraan concludes this process with these words: Qad af la haa man zakkaa haa. Consequently the one who integrated one’s personality remained successful and achievement-oriented. His/her crop of endeavor/ strife brought the desired product: clinched what was purported to be clinched in life. And what happened to the one who did no integrate one’s personality? In this regard,   the Quraan says: wa qad khaa ba man daccaa haa (91: 8 – 10). It means who so ever got the personality buried in the grave of ones vested interests and did never allow it to develop and integrate, got ones boat of life deserted, made ones flame of life doused, got ones human potentialities buried in the very dormant stagnation pond. In other words it can safely be said: having all the potential of realizable possibilities, the human remained refracted catering, an entity of no use,  a being of no value in the scale of humanity.

Now ponder over another aspect of the human: what constitutes the real and the genuine nature of the human potential? The Quraan says metaphorically: Adam was gifted with such a potential with which he becomes able to acquire the knowledge of things, with which he becomes proficient for suggesting names of the things on the basis of the shapes, on the basis of the characteristics of the shapes and on the basis of the peculiar properties of the things he so acquires (2: 31). In this way, the potential for acquiring the data pertaining to the things of the universe, and the potential for knowing the nature, scope, characters and peculiar traits of the things was endowed in him/her. Its result is that the forces operating in the universe are at his/her command.. Whenever the human develops this potential i.e., acquires the laws under which these forces operate, s/he gets empowerment of making them work under his/her command. Hence the more a nation by knowing the nature of the things, will harness these things, the higher it will mount upon the ladder of the nations of this world. In this regard, a western scholar, Tyler (5) writes that the human has been entrusted the responsibility of suggesting names to the things. It was a heavy and cumbersome duty. It is because the things, which remain un-named, their characteristics also remain unspecified always buried in the ocean of uncertainty. He further says: not only this, but the things assigned with erroneous names cause a great loss. This was the verdict of Tyler. In this connection the Quraan emphatically declares: These are simply the names which you and your ancestors have ascribed to the things; otherwise Allah has not given any authority as such (7: 71). It is to be remembered that the right place of the things in the Universe, is the place, which the Law of Allah assigns to the things. This is the Law of Nature that operates in the cosmos, and this is the code of revelation operative in the human world, the rest is ignoble, erroneous and un-Godly.

The Original and the Genuine Education

Now there comes a burning question: What will the Education do? Its answer in nutshell is that the more the Education provides the knowledge of the things of the Universe, the characteristics of the things under which these things operate, the knowledge of the forces which operate behind these forces, the more these forces will bow to the human. The more the human acquires the knowledge of the nature of the physical things at par with his/her level of Education, the higher the human will acquire his/her status in the world. This is the status of the Adam. That is why the product of the fine results par excellence with the Laws of Nature is termed as potential. For example, the nations, which acquired the potential of nuclear power and that of the Information Technology was all due to the conquering of the Laws of Nature; there are so many more other frontiers  that have still to come to the vision of the human. These nations will acquire power and prestige likewise.

The other aspect of this Education is that it will develop ability to utilize this potential, known as the product, at par with what the Divine Laws demand. These Divine Laws, guiding the human to utilize the power on right lines, have been enshrined in the Quraan as Permanent Values. The more the nations utilize the power – these have acquired by harnessing theLaws of Nature – in accordance with these Permanent Values, the higher these will mount on the scale of prestige and honour. This is the status of Mu’min. That is why the end product of good deeds as per the Laws of Requital is called Saale-hiyyat. For example, the result of devouring the goods of theft is the decline of the honour of humanity. This is the disintegration of personality. This is the result of deviating from the Laws of God i.e., the Laws of Action. Today the honour of humanity lies in acting upon both these laws: the Laws of Nature and the Laws of Requital simultaneously. According to these laws, there are natural consequences of these actions. And the values thereof are permanent in nature. Today the West has the potential i.e., the Salaa-hiyyat. But there is no Saale-hiyyat in it. And we, as Muslim do achieve neither the status of Adam, nor that of Mu’min. The one who does not attain the status of Adam, can never clinch the prestigious honour of Mu’min. How correct was Iqbal when he said: “The worn-out ideas have never risen to power among a people who have worn them out”.(9) Now the West has the ‘potential’, the Salaa-hiyyat but lacks the potential of creating balanced personality,   i.e., the potential for making up the deficiency of others personality to become balanced, i.e., Saale-hiyyat. What is its result? The words of Mumford (5), he has written in his book Faith for Living, help us understand its consequence. He says: we have created a new generation in America: finely energetic, physically beautiful but devoid of feelings – it is a race with no purpose of life; it is “civilized beasts” living at the animal level, sometimes taking sun-bath either on the sea shore or very near to the lamp of their own room; sometimes dancing out of the mere impetus of sexual devastating urge; they are very careful of their dress and are drenched in fashion and fad; they eat, drink and merry; procreate children and then die; the life they live – if it is successful, it is only of the animal lust and unsuccessful, it is only of envy, of fear, and of worrisome in its nature; besides life at animal level for lusty satisfaction. They hate every mode of life – semi-dead when they finish their work; the manifesting places of their fashion and their nightclubs are fraught with such people who have neither any human standard nor any human destiny. It was Mumford whose cry it was. This is the unfortunate youth for whom Dean Inge in his book “The Fall of Idols” quotes Joad’s words that this youth is going on the path of life, soul-less and purposeless, not mindful of the fact as to where it is going and why it is on this path of life; neither it has any belief, nor any code of life, nor any Honorable standard, nor any value: It is this generation. Huxley in his book Ends and Means writes that the only difference between the period of Jaahe-liyya, the ignorance, and that of today is that we are marching from the open terrorism to the subterfuge. Its open result is the luxury, lack of confidence, fatigue and superstition. You know the only welfare state in world today is that of Sweden where the basic necessities of life are in abundance. And on the contrary do you know it is the same state of Sweden where the suicides are also the highest in the world i.e., abundance of basic necessities of life and the highest suicides in the world. (10) Why?  It is because of the same reason that has been  mentioned above: harnessing the forces of nature, and not utilizing the product of these forces of nature in accordance with the permanent values.

Examples From the History 

Let us see when the Muslims based their system of Education on the Permanent Values enshrined in the Quraan in their period of the first best phase in their life, what type of people did emerge? This aspect is explained with the help of some examples taken from the history.

Example-1 

First take one permanent value. The Quraan calls the spouse and the children as the most decorative in the World (18: 46). It takes them as the coolness of the eyes (25: 74). But on the other hand, it calls the wealth and the progeny as the disorder in the world (8: 28). They become the cause of the biggest test in the life of the human and lead them away from the real goal of life; hence they emerge to be the greatest enemy. Now let see the result of this value, when it was put into its application form. History stands witness to this fact that a wife of Hazrat Omar (R) had a great say in his temperament. When he was made the caliph he saw her interference in running the affairs of his caliphate and found that sometimes she gave wrong recommendations. On Omar’s (R) strong warning to her not to interfere, she did not change her way of ‘interruption; Hazrat Omar (R) divorced her. (10)

Example-2

Now take another example of Hazat Omar. On the days of draught he saw a she-baby in the street, stuck deep with hunger;  he stopped and asked: Does anyone know as to who she is? His own son said: “Grand daughter of Omar”. His eyes were bedewed with tears and said: “As is the condition of other children of the nation, so will be the condition of the grand daughter of Omar; if there is poverty, it will be for all and if there is plenty, it will be for all – without any exception”. (10)

Example-3 

And take the other law: The law of Requital as the permanent value. The Quraan says: Everyone gets the reward at par excellence with one’s own actions (6: 165); and no one can bear the weight of any one else (6: 165). How did these people apply this permanent value in their life? Take another example of Hazrat Omar(R). In the days of his caliphate, a son of the Governor of Egypt beat an Egyptian with a hunter, only on this plea that he behaved presumptuously with the sons of the elite, like his father, the Governor of Egypt. Hazrat Omar took a very serious view of this event; called the Governor, his son and the Egyptian in Madina; gave the hunter in the hand of the Egyptian and said: “Beat him – the son of Governor – like the way he has beaten you and go on saying, ‘Have you seen the consequence of the sons of the elite?’” And then he warned the Governor: “Had you educated your son, there would have been no indolence in his mind that he is empowered to take the law in his own hand as of right only because he is the son of the elite”. (10)

This all was the result of imparting that Education, which enabled the people, the nation, to harness the Laws of Nature, and then enabled executives utilize the energy so acquired by harnessing these laws in accordance with the permanent values enshrined in the Quraan. This is the only genuine dimension of Education, totally forgotten today on this threatened planet of our abode at this stage of life.

Conclusion 

The above discussion makes it very clear that the Laws of Nature pertain to physical life; the Education enables the nation conquer these laws, harnesses the forces of nature, making them bow to the nation, to make them(the forces) ready to be used in a way the nation likes. Its results have their emergence physically. This process is equally uniform for theMu’mins and the Kafirs. In other words this makes no difference between the Mu’mins and the Kafirs. The difference comes when the use of that force is to be acted upon. TheMu’min makes use of the end product of conquering the forces of nature at par with the Permanent Values given in the Quraan. It is only the use of the product (the force, the energy one gets) of the harnessing of the forces of nature that makes any difference among the Mu’min and the Kafir. And it is only the Education that can do so.

References 

1.      Nazir, A. Mughal (Dr.) and Manzoor-ul-Haque(Dr.): Issues in Higher Education: Problems and Prospects of Pakistani Universities, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Sindh, Pakistan, 1999.2.      Mohebuddin Ibn Al Faiz Al Syed Muhammad Murtaza Al Hussaini Al Wasti Al Zubaidi Al Hanafi: Tajul Uroos (first edition), Matba’ul Kharia, Egypt, 1306H.3.      Patrus Bustani: Moheet-ul Moheet, Beruit, 1870 AD4.      Imam Raghib Asfahani: Al Mufredaat fi Ghreeb-ul Quraan, Matb’a Mamania, Egypt, 1324H.5.      Parwez, G. A. : Insaan ne Kiya Soucha, Idara Tolu-e-Islam, Karachi, 1955.6.      Fromm, Erich: To Have Or To Be, The Continuum Publishing Company, New York. 1976.7.      Rutter, M., Maughan, B., Mortimore, P., and Ouston, J. : Fifteen Thousand Hours, Open Books, England, 1980.8.      Momen, Moojan: The Phenomenon of Religion, One World, Oxford, !999.9.      Iqbal,  Allama Muhammad: The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, Institute of Islamic Culture, Iqbal Academy, Lahore, Pakistan, 1986.10.  Manzoor-ul-Haque (Dr.) Ta’leem ki Saheeh Jahat, Tolu-e-Islam, Vol. 53, No. 02, February, 2000.

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