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Adnane Ben.
Boston USA
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Al-Ghazali?s Views on Children's Education
12:00:00 AM Thursday Apr 17, 2003

I think everyone, without exception, should be able to read and write in order to build a bright civilization fast. Morocco can do it. The key is education encouragement for the elite, the average and the poor, education material and entities provision, and education devotion. Arab Spain reached its height through its reputation for a myriad of libraries, institutions and scholars. It was said that it used to be so hard to find a Muslim who doesn't know how to read and write at the time.

I thought of starting this discussion based on a great teacher and scholar from the Muslim heritage: Al Ghazali. The following article published by the Foundation for Science Technology and Civlilsation explored briefly some of Al-Ghazali views on education of children.

Enjoy and looking forwards for a nice discussion.

Al-Ghazali?s Views on Children's Education

by: Foundation for Science Technology and Civlilsation.

Amongst the many Muslim scholars who wrote on the education of children, are Ibn Sina, Ibn Khaldun and Al-Ghazali. Here focus is placed on the latter.

Al-Ghazali, known in Europe as Algazel, is one of the most illustrious Muslim scholars, who wrote many works, and became renowned for his learning. In his thirties, he became the principal teacher at Madrasah Nizamiyyah of Baghdad, the most renowned institution of learning in eastern Islam (Cordova in the West). His ideas on education dominated Islamic educational thought for centuries after his death. Here, the focus is how he saw the education of the child and the role of the master. The sources for this brief account, other than the original source itself, are C. Bouamrane-L. Gardet; A. Tritton, and A. Tibawi.

According to Al-Ghazali, `knowledge exists potentially in the human soul like the seed in the soil; by learning the potential becomes actual.?

The child, Al-Ghazali also wrote, `is a trust (placed by God) in the hands of his parents, and his innocent heart is a precious element capable of taking impressions'.

If the parents, and later the teachers, brought him up in righteousness he would live happily in this world and the next and they would be rewarded by God for their good deed. If they neglected the child?s upbringing and education he would lead a life of unhappiness in both worlds and they would bear the burden of the sin of neglect.

One of the elements Al-Ghazali insists upon is that a child should be taught the words of the Creed in his earliest days and be taught the meaning gradually as he grew older; corresponding to the three stages of memorising, understanding and conviction.

The way the child relates to the world at large occupies a large concern in Al-Ghazali?s mind. In concert with Ibn Al-Hajj, he stresses amongst others that a child must not boast about his father?s wealth, and must be polite and attentive to all. He should be taught not to love money for love of it is a deadly poison. He must not spit nor clean his nose in public. He must learn to respect and obey his parents, teachers and elders. As he grows older, he must observe the rules of cleanliness, fast a few days in Ramadhan, avoid the wearing of silk, gold and silver, learn the prescriptions of the scared law, fear thieving, wealth from unclean sources, lying, treachery, vice and violent language. The pupil must not be excessively proud, or jealous. He should not tell off others. He must avoid the company of the great of this world, or to receive gifts from them. He must act towards God as he would wish his servant acted towards him. He should treat every human as he would like to be treated himself.

The perspective of Al-Ghazali is centered upon personal effort in the search for truth; and this presupposes, he insists, a received education and the direction of a master. Education (tarbiya), Al-Ghazali states in Ayyuha l-walad is like `the labour of the farmer, who uproots the weeds, trims wheat so as it grows better and gives a better harvest.' Every man needs a teacher to guide him in the right direction. To try and do without leads to worst illusions. In Ayyuha l-walad the pupil?s outward respect for his teacher is evidence of esteem for such in one's heart.

He who undertakes the instructions of the young, points Al-Ghazali, `undertakes great responsibility'. He must therefore be as tender to his pupils as if they were his own children. He must correct moral lapses through hinting? above all he himself must set an example so that his action accords with his precepts. The teacher should never criticise the subject taught by another. He must adapt his teaching to the pupil's capacity and ability, and not to overburden the pupil's capacity, nor give him fright. He must respect the less gifted pupil, who might if lost, leave safe foundations for standards he would never reach. And after school, Al-Ghazali insists, the pupil must be allowed to have recreation. To prevent play and insist on continuous study leads to dullness in the heart, diminution in intelligence and unhappiness. Even more on this matter, in ?Ihya ulum al-din?, the teacher, Al-Ghazali holds, carries eight duties. First and foremost he is a father for his pupils. He must teach for the sake of God. He would advise the student with prudence, fight the excessive urge to learn too quickly, and to overtake his peers. He would reprimand with moderation, in private, discreetly, not in public. To blame too much is to make the pupil too stubborn in his way of seeing and doing things. And one other duty of the teacher is to make sure that what he teaches he pursues in his life, and that his own acts do not contradict what he is trying to inculcate.

by: FSTC Limited

The content of this page —graphics, text and other elements—is © Copyright 2007 prospective author, and Raioo, Inc., only when stated otherwise, and may not be reprinted or retransmitted in whole or in part without the expressed written consent of the publisher.

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5:52 pm    April 24, 2009

Said Houdi message
Just cheking

8:46 am    October 18, 2004
Read this please...

3:37 pm    April 21, 2003

alaeddine message
correct me if i'm wrong, but what you are saying is you are going to show your kids the rigth way and the wrong way and then you are going to let them choose? i don't think it's going to work for the simple reasons that they are still kids they can't decide which is good and which is bad for them so maybe forcing them first to do and not do some stuff is better for them until of course they reach a certain level of maturity where they can decide for themselves then you are going to let them choose.

2:48 pm    April 21, 2003
Bsimo, very good point but I have to agree with Mradil on his last reply.

Yet another way I see educating children is by using advice, and letting them experience on their own rather than setting up rules for them to follow. Think of it as saving the children's imaginative, creative, and free mind.

When we dictate rules for children to follow, we are simply domesticating them like we domesticate any animal, excuse the comparison here. Clearly most societies' way of educating the child is based on domestication by planting the seeds of fear in the child's mind. Therefore, if you were not afraid, you wouldn't have accomplished anything. For example, why do you pray, go to school, work hard for a career...etc(Do not give me the ideal answer as opposed to the true answer). You clearly want to SECURE your future that generally scares you. hehhehe funny how many poeple, us Moroccans in specific :), wait until the deadline to start working on a project, why do you think that is the case :)? Now don't worry, all humans operate the same way.

Lastly, I find it very intriguing that many great scholars had strange personalities and behaved very differently from the normal society, but again who defines what's "normal". I personally think that "normal" is when PHOENIX SUNS BEATS THE SPURS at any given time and court :)

Peace N Love


10:20 am    April 20, 2003
Hillou:) again,

P.S: if you get a divorce ... you will loose your children


10:13 am    April 20, 2003
Hillou :)
What about when you have kids under a mixed marriage? how are you going to raise and educate your children ?

6:28 pm    April 19, 2003 This is an unrelated or foul message..
>>> unrelated msg <<<

chkoune had l'3iyane li tay m7i mon compte men raioosters msn group ???!!

llah i3tih zghab f snane !!


5:27 pm    April 19, 2003 This is an unrelated or foul message..
wa ta fine douzime?

1:32 pm    April 19, 2003
agreed, some of the needs of our time are different, but the major point that Al Ghazali makes is that children must have the bases on which they can become responsible righeous, inteligent and self confident people to continue the development of the society. and that i think should remain the same throughout the ages.

1:19 pm    April 19, 2003
First of, thank you so much for posting the views of Al-Ghazali on education. I think that it is important for us (Moroccans: Amazighs/Arabs) to be aware of the teachings of Muslim intellectuals from the past. Not necessarily to boast about how great we once were, but rather to deconstruct the myth of progress. The so-called humanists, such as Erasmus, were very much concerned with education. And nowadays research shows that it is important to lower the affective filter for knowledge to take place, and as you mentioned, Al-Ghazali stressed the same point centuries ago. At the same time however, we need to read Al-Ghazali in his context. As a theologian and philosopher, he was constantly concerned with creating and maintaining order. For example, there is very little in his writings about ?let the kid think for herself? kind of thing. Nor does he encourage experimenting with ideas and perspectives. My point is that Al-Ghazali (1058-1111) lived in a society that had obviously different needs from ours. In other words, one needs to distinguish between being aware of this great intellectual?s teachings, and imposing them on a context to which they no longer apply (in their totality, that is.)

12:48 pm    April 19, 2003
first i'd like to thank and encourage the people responsible for this website to keep up the good work because they affect a lot of people in many ways.

Al Ghazali's suggestions would apply mostly to children who have not forged a personality yet and who still need to learn the basic rules of life and define their believes, values and standards by which they would live their lifes. being thought al 9r2an and islamic ways in young age will help them in adopting the values that will promote good standing in a legitimate and authentic islamic society. this used to happen in the old days when islam prospered but now the children mindes are clouded by their parents feeling of superiority of other cultures mainly western ones. it will not change over night even if all the children are brought up in a muslim invironment. as of sciences and arts, the devolopment of such knowledge takes place in the late childhood and through out a lifetime, i do not suggest that it is less important, i grew up in a scientific environment, but i think that the enphasis on the sciences should take place after the children have devoloped a set of life standards that will not be corrupted or forgotten. so to sum it up, i think there should be more emphasis on religious ways in the early childhood, and more on emphasis on functional education throughout their learning experience, male may they be or female.

alah y 3aouen


4:44 pm    April 18, 2003
al-ameera is a good example for moroccon women. I am proud of you.

3:49 pm    April 18, 2003
freedom ana mazal ma mzawaj .

2:09 pm    April 18, 2003
El-ameera mejeweja!!! domaaaage, kent baghi nkhteb:)

10:01 am    April 18, 2003

It's a good idea to share backgrounds and experiences with different teachings ... for instance, I was raised differently from Adnane, my parents are not what you would call religious, they say la ilaha illa ALLAH and they kill a sheap on eid el adha and refrein from eating and drinking during the month of Ramadhan and all, I never seen any of them pray, or was I brought up knowing that Islam really was. A little before I was 3, I was enrolled in a French school in Casablanca where most of my vlassmates were not even muslims and I was never curious to know what religin meant until I joined the University in Morocco where I was the youngest amongst my classmates, shy and withdrawn as I am I started feeling a torturing emptiness that doesn't go away ... It was during a cultural islamic week that I heard a quran tape, the voice of the muqri2 came through the speakers calm and wise, it caught me by surprise, I bought it and listened to it for a week, then started borrowing books from the library, doing some research and a lot of reading ... I learned how to perform ebolution and how to pray correctly (HamduliLLAH), I started attending the Friday prayers and ask a lot of questions that fulfilled my curiosity about this great religion, and I grew up to become somebody who cares about having ALLAH's blessing in every aspect of my life ...

To be continued


10:00 am    April 18, 2003
Continued ...
During one of my conversations with my husband, we covered raising children and how big of a responsibility it would be for us to raise religious, balanced, healthy, polite, intelligent individuals the way ALLAH said and the way they would make us proud, we both agreed that not only should we expose them to all the technology and the knowledge that is available out there, but we should also make sure to encourage every tallent, every skill, to help them develop their self-esteem without Ghurur, to be all down to earth fully understanding their rights and duties both towards GOd, themselves, us as their parents and the rest of the world ... it would require a lot of efforts and involve a lot of sacrifices, but it all sounds worth everything you invest in it.

9:37 am    April 18, 2003

Adnane Ben. message
I personnaly find Al-Ghazali's famous distinction of the stages a man go through eye-openning since I did experience it and I am experiencing it still. I grew up in Morocco. And from age 3-5 I was in Kouttab: Koranic school, a little room in the mosque nearest to our house. There I learned how arabic alphabet looks like, learned how to say Shahada and learned some basic short verses of the Coran. I would lie to you if I said I understood what they meant. I remember I was just having fun being outside of the house, with strange kids and sitting in woody chairs in front of a man with beard, Razza, several long sticks of different length (to reach different kids in the room), and a djellaba. I had fun.

During my teens and early twenties I came to start asking many questions about Islam. I also got to feel very confused and guilty at times because I would do things that are disobeying some orders of God, but they weren't that big of a deal when I think of it now. But still, I would always have this fear that I screwed up, and now God is angry at me. After the age of 22, started reasoning better about religion, and most of it thanks to attending the friday speech in Wayland, Massachusetts. A great mosque, very good speakers, notably this brilliant guy from Algeria! Another good guy was from Syria, another one was from Pakistan. Besides the teacheings I get from the mosque, I also learned a lot by discussing with people of all religions and walks of life, with my brother, by reading your Raioo discussions. I have to admit I have learned the true maning of Id Ad7a from an American girl! I asked her once that soemtimes I don't feel I am celebrating Id Ad7a because of Ghourba and all that. We discussed the hsitory behind it more, and then she told me well maybe you can look at it in a way that you are rewarding yourself because you've spent a whole year sacrificing, working hard, being patient, trying to follow what is good and avoid what is bad, look at it as a celebration day where you look back and say I am actually celebrating my hard-work!!!

I feel now that I have straightened out many aspects of religion for myself, and convinced myself of the goodness of the stuff I once memorized, or tried to understand. There are more things for me to understand, it is an ongoing process for me.

9:07 am    April 18, 2003
I couldn't agree more with el imam Ghazali in the way he suggests is the best way to treat a pupil, teach him what he wants and develop his knowledge and make room for his own creation.

I do have a question however to the person who is wrongfully attacking the koran ... I wonder if this person took the time to even read the article before he posted his thread because is doesn't seem to me like he did. Imam Ghazali didn't mention that the only science allowed to be thought would have to do with the religion, knowledge in islam includes medecine, math, biology, physics, information system, astronomy ...etc it doesn't exclude anything and wouldn't promote anything over another, and if the Imam you listened to encouraged everybody to learn more about their religion, I believe you just misunderstood him when he urged the audience to learn more about the religion, it doesn't mean we should boycott other sciences and focus on studying the coran.
Imam Ghazali also mentionned a very important issue, knowledge alone is not enough, the teacher plays a very important role shaping up the pupil's personality by setting the right example and guiding them towards a rightious islamic education and adopting good manners, which to me is as important as teaching math and physicis and biology ...
Like Imam ghazali said, being in charge of a child's upgringing is a great responsibility, making a difference out there starts with your own family, and people you interact with.



8:37 am    April 18, 2003
4 this case, don't blame the message but the messenger who got it wrong. In Islam, education is mentioned everywhere as a very important force to humanity.
Did you ever hear of that tale that basically has the moral of "don't give me a fish everyday to eat, but teach me how to fish, so that if you are not there, at least I will still be able to eat"

5:48 am    April 18, 2003
I might be mistaken, but I don't think that Koran teaches us how to heal sick people, how to build bridges, roads, how to construct a factory, etc.
One day I have been to a friday preach in The biggest Montreal mosque, and the Imam was asking the assistance to encourage their children to study Charia, and not medicine, ingeneering, etc. He could also have asked us to go back to the jellabas and the camels as a means of transportation.

I find this incredibly out-dated as an attitude. Just amazing how people can be naive at times...


3:21 am    April 18, 2003
I do appreciate this sense of awareness Sam. u have my support.

1:37 am    April 18, 2003
A blank sheet is what a new borne is.You can engrave whatever you want.A taboularasa as the latin word suggests.I strongly support education the way Alghazali says. In Morocco however, it seems we lost this sense of education. We nolonger see children raised the religious way, the best way.If you master religion you'll succeede for sure.Nowadays, those private schools are teching our kids french,english but not KORAN. It's a shame.Our identity is being opressed, replaced somehow.

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Draw Live!..
Zoo Animals Need e'space..
Les ABRANIS: Prodigy of Rockabyl..
Sofiane Saidi: Cet Algerien Trip-rai Hopper..
Lemchaheb Legacy ..
Zahra Hindi, Beautiful You!..
Jajouka's Winds of Moroccana..
Google Language Translation: English to/from Arabic..
Aziz Mekouar, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the US..
Google Shoots Microsoft.. One.. More.... Time!..
Monsieux Mehdi Ben Barka: Un Marocain Assassiné Qui Visait P..
Yale, Taliban and Weld L'Hashemi....
Near-eastern Muslim Scholars..
Three Algerians on Highway =]..
Moroccan Riverdance!..
Moroccan Candle-toe Dance..
Moroccan Qassida: Vraie Poesie!..
LA3MARNA Legacy..
Chilling Like a Mqedem in Morocco..
Alone in the Wilderness..
Are Iranians and Americans Blowing it Up?..
Are we a virus..?..
How come Morocco is silent to Dalfour, Sudan?..
Barreling Towards an Iraqi Civil War..
Pomme and Kelly ..
Intelligent Design and Evolution in not so American lands..
The Prophets animated by Steve Whitehouse..
More with Claudio Bravo..
Muslim Texans..
Hajj Stampede Gone Ugly!..
Self-portraits 001-002..
Why Faith?..
Online 7awli Souk!..
2006 !..
Derbouka Bled Attack..
Adopted HIV kids from Romania..
Operation Mapping Raioo Love!..
They burnt themselves.. Come'on!..
My Winamp Skin: The New Beetle..
The Forbidden Zone film that electrified me!..
Cousins skyblogging..
Chilean artist in Morocco..
Moroccan Blue tops colors!..
Osama in FAMILY GUY..
Baraka Art..
Itsy Bitsy knowledge..
The most misunderstood [and growing..] world religion, Islam..
Moroccan Christians..
Polygamy in USA..
Architecturing to joy!..
This Moorish cult in America..
The Magnificient King Vulture..
Al-Rashid and the Fart..
On the subject of Evil Eye..
Anecdote on Life and 3ibada..
Anecdote on Giving in Time of Need..
T-shirt design: L'Amoureux!..
Craig Thompson art..
The Real Origin of Smileys :)..
T-shirt design: Happy Sailor!..
T-shirt design: threadless in Kufi..
T-shirt design: Magic e-lamp..
My August '05 T-shirt Designs ..
Your Living Space..
The Raioo Story: 2. in the garden..
The Raioo Story: 1. intro..
Arabic Beat and Instrument Music Wanted!..
RA?NA RAI Legacy..
Algerian Chaabi..
Nour L'Koufi (Gharnati)..
Hidalgo in Morocco..
Le Secret d'Elissa Rhais..
Imam Shafii. Soni N'nafssa..
Feqqas (Moroccan Biscuiti)..
Casablanca Connect..
ZEBDA! Un Groupe Genial!..
Al Moutanabbi. Idha Ghamarta..
Imam Shafii. sa'fir tajid 3iwada..
Long Distance Honey ..
The Working Wife and Husband..
The Hammam Public Bath: Do you still go there?..
Hip Hop Classic Favorites!..
Down With Love..
Lord Of The Rings..
How To create a Moroccan remix of a video clip ? ..
Why we don't eat Porc?..
Do You Play Music?..
Hidoura: Your Moroccan Natural Carpet..
Khaddouj Slam-dunking From Marrakesh To New York..

Hmida Rass Lmida à L'Avare de Molière!
Moroccan City Names
Shining ability is a gift...
Halloween SPECIAL 2007: La Mort D'une Souri!
Cheikha Rimitti: 83 Years of Life...
Why do we pray ?
short ones
ABSOLUTE RAIOO Summer 2007 Rai vol.2
Cheba Zohra & Mahadattes de Rilizane
Close Encounters of the Moroccan Kind!
Another attempt at writing. Will this language ever feel natural?
North Africa Journal
Moroccan Tattoos
From Los Angeles to Casablanca!
Amina Alaoui Lyrics
Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi
Vulgarity as revolution: Lemsakh we tsalguit
Les Oiseaux De Figuig!
ghir bessyas a moulay!
Moroccan Playing Cards Game ronda v1.0
A Call From Algeria to Help Suffering Little Boy Mounib!

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