PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION
ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION
TAHIRA ARIF PABANEY
In the partial fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Philosophy (M. Phil.) Education/Social Sciences Under the supervision of
Hamdard Institute of Education and Social Sciences
Submitted on: 26th February, 2013
ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION
Q. According to Imam Ghazali’s philosophy of education, what are the categories of knowledge? A. According to Ghazali’s philosophy, there are four categories of knowledge, namely: * Prophetic, where prophets convey the message of God without discriminating between the masses and aid in the purification of the soul.
* Rulers, who use their authority, legislation and rules to train and guide the society.
* Philosophers/scholars whose knowledge, though benefitting only a few select individuals, is concerned with benefitting the whole society.
* Preachers who are meant to fulfill the religious requirements of the society and to train the inner and outer self. Their job is to promote knowledge, improve the lives of people and aid them in acquiring desirable ethics through education.
Q. In what ways has Imam Ghazali categorized knowledge?
A. Ghazali divided knowledge into two parts:
* Religious knowledge which is acquired from the Quran and Sunnah and is without a doubt the most dignified and truest of knowledge.
* Secular (or instrumental) knowledge which is the type of knowledge needed for understanding the former since they are revelations. Ghazali further subdivided secular knowledge into three parts:
* Beneficial knowledge which encapsulates those sciences which will benefit society and helps it to progress for instance like science and mathematics. Accordingly, the acquisition of these sciences and discipline is a Fard-ul-Kifayaah that is, if nobody acquires it, then the entire Muslim community of a particular locality will be deemed sinful.
* Neutral knowledge which is made up of those disciplines which will not really enhance or hinder one’s beneficial knowledge but there is no restriction upon studying them. An example of neutral knowledge is the history of England.
* Harmful knowledge which as the name states, consists of those subjects which are harmful to either the individual acquiring such knowledge or other members of the society or both. This category of knowledge includes subjects such as black magic and gambling. As such it is haram to acquire such knowledge.
Q. According to the Quranic philosophy of education followed by Muslims, what are the seven types of rational knowledge? A. The seven types of rational knowledge are:
1. Logic (Al-Mantiq) which is the foundation of all other types of knowledge 2. Arithmetic (Al-Arithmatiqi) which also includes accounting (hisab) 3. Astronomy (Al-Hay’a)
4. Music (Al-Musiki) which dealt with the theory of tones and their definition by numbers. 5. The natural sciences (Al-Tabi’iyyat) which was concerned with the theory pf bodies at rest and in motion – human, animal, plant, mineral and heavenly, important subdivisions of which are medicine and agriculture 6. Geometry (Al-Handasa)
7. Metaphysics (Ilm-ul-illahiyat)
Q. According to Dr. Muhammad Iqbal what are the three qualities that should be cultivated by education?
A. Iqbal believes that there are three qualities that should be cultivated by education: *
Courage which is essential for the proper development of character *
Tolerance according to Iqbal is the basis for true civilization *
Faqr – this word, according to Iqbal holds a more positive meaning than the conventional ideology. A faqir according Iqbal is not only indifferent to vicissitudes of material life; he is a man of strong will, who has a moral stake in the social and political life of the people around him, motivated by the love for the ideal of moral and spiritual...
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