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Importance of Value Education in Modern Educational System With Special Reference to Teachings of Ahlulbait (A.S)

By Dr. Mir Mohammad Ibrahim

Abstract
The article is aimed to focus on the inevitability of ethical values in the modern educational system. It evaluates and elaborates the demerits and irreparable losses to the global society caused by the separation of faith and science. The education system based on mean materialistic approach of life alienating the influence of ethics and human values in the field of education and educational set up has put the educated youth in the state of chaos and confusion. While analyzing the difference between the western trend of materialistic approach of life and the eastern inclination towards the faith, a beautiful amalgamation of the western scientific quest and eastern morality substantiated with the sublime teachings of Ahlulbait (A.S) has been presented a key to the obscure.

Eternity of Ethical values
At the very outset it is to be mentioned that there are certain things which never come under the notion of old and new. Such type of things can never lose their freshness and charm under the destructive influence of time and change. In human relations, the status of mother in relation to her son has always remained one and the same. The well-known formula 2 x 2 = 4 has been used by mankind for thousands of years, it has never became obsolete nor will lose its value and worth at any time. Truth, honesty, modesty, sincerity, love, righteousness and all other morals and good qualities shall never lose their worth and value like that of universal truths. Islam can guide the human being irrespective of being primitive or the man of modern world when education, science and technology has touched the pinnacles of the progress and development. Islam as a divine religion and being a path of nature contains all that which is required by a human being keeping in view his psychological, sociological, biological, individual, collective, political as well as spiritual needs. The Quran says:

یٖ ی ی یٰ ٰ ی ٰ ٖی ی۔۔۔

So set thy face to the religion, as a man of pure fait Gods nature upon which He originated mankind. There is no changing Gods creation. That is the right religion (30:30)
The aim of religion is to guide man towards perfection. Its goal is to actualize what is a potentiality in man. It is necessary for man to possess guidelines so that he knows what he must and must not do in order to edify his soul. It is the function of religion to provide man with a set of general rules and ethical principles. All this is, of course, closely connected with education, rules of social and individual conduct and other such matters. It is not possible, therefore, for the science of ethics to be a stranger to religion. When the aim of religion is to teach man the method of spiritual growth, development and perfection, would it be possible for it to remain indifferent to ethical question? Inevitably it must affirm certain ethical stands and oppose others. We must conclude that we cannot draw a line of separation between them and religion.

Importance of Education
The importance of education is known to everyone. One of the distinctive features of Islam is its emphasis on knowledge. The Quran and the Islamic tradition (sunnah) invite Muslims to seek and acquire knowledge and wisdom and to hold men of knowledge in high esteem. It is sufficient to mention that the very first verses that were revealed to the holy prophet of Islam (SAW) are related to education:

ی ۔ ۔ ۔ ی ۔ ی۔ یٰی۔ یٰ

Muhammad, read in the name of your Lord who created (all things). He created man from a clot of blood. Recite! Your Lord is the most Honorable One, who by the pen, taught man what he did not know. Despite this, man still tends to rebel because he thinks that he is independent. However, (all things) will return to Your Lord. (96: 1-8)
If there would have been anything more magnanimous and honourable than that of knowledge it would had been bestowed to man and mentioned in the said verses before the mention of the generosity of Almighty God ( ). It indicates the fact that the word honorable is related to the knowledge and education. Imam Ali (A.S) says that it is sufficient for the grace and honour of the knowledge that those who dont possess any knowledge do claim to be knowledgeable; and for the ignorance it is sufficient enough that even the ignorant is not ready to be called as ignorant. Knowledge is the light that enlightens ones heart as well as the society. According to holy saying knowledge is a light that God casts into the heart of anyone that He wishes. God the Exalted introduces Himself using the adjective All-knowing () 122 times in the Quran. Moreover, the Quran on multiple occasions has glorified those with knowledge, such as scholars () and teachers (). The Quran emphasizes on the status of knowledge, the importance of learning, and the value of scholars, teachers, and students.

Emphasis of Ahulbait (A.S) about the Knowledge and Education
There are hundreds of traditions and ahadith of Ahlulbait (A.S) that mentions the importance of the knowledge and education. Here we would like to mention a few. For seeking of knowledge there is no limit of time, place, gender and source. According to holy traditions یٰ Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave. Also, ی Seek knowledge even if it is far as China. ی یٰ Seeking of knowledge is a duty of every Muslim. ͘ۃ ۃ ٔ Wisdom is the lost property of the believer, he should take it even if it lies with a polytheist. The Prophet (SAW) considered the knowledge as the root of all good and ignorance as the root of all bad.
Imam Ali (A.S) considered knowledge as a source of life for ones heart and the light for ones eyes against the blindness and weakness of the body. Imam Sajjad (A.S) says If people know how beneficial it is to seek knowledge, they will obtain it even if it is with bloodshed or going in a whirlpool.
Here we may not try to enter into the discussion as what kind of knowledge () is recommended by Islam or religious and non-religious sciences. It may suffice to say that no field of knowledge or science is undesirable or detestable in itself; for knowledge is like light and so it is always desirable. The best science is that which leads to your improving yourself (). Islam wants to see a Muslim society economically sound and prosperous instead of being depended. Therefore, it is in the interest of Islam and Muslims to explore the ways of sound economics and this subject is obviously a subject of Islamic interest. Similarly, Islam emphasises over health and cleanliness, therefore the education related to medical and physical fitness is also a subject of interest for Islam and Muslims. In the same way the education related to economics, agriculture, mathematics, physics, industry, history, social sciences, science and technology all come under the purview and framework of Islam. Similarly pharmacy, biology, aerospace, microbiology, nuclear engineering, and tens of other fields are all sciences and are directly or indirectly linked with Islam.
However, the reason that some of the sciences have been regarded as undesirable is because of their occasional misuse. Martyr Mutahhari has said, Islams all-inclusiveness and finality as a religion demands that every field of knowledge that is beneficial for an Islamic society be regarded as a part and parcel of the religious sciences. All the branches of sciences help us in deciphering the book of creation, as the great mystic Shaykh Mahmud Shabistari has said:
ٓ ی یٰ
ی ی یی ٓ ی

To him whose spirit is enlightened, The entire universe is a sacred book of the Most High; Every sphere of universe is a different chapter, One is the Opening Surah, (Fateha), and another the Surah of Ikhlas.
Different branches of knowledge are interrelated with each other and present a pleasant look when seen in the perspective of a single organism. On occasions, the Holy Quran makes reference to the astounding beauty of the creatures such as the honeybee, ant, camel, fly, and cow, and marvels at the process in which milk, honey, pomegranate, and dates are formed. Through this method, traces of various kinds of human sciences can be found in the Holy Quran. All these examples are presented to human beings for making a deep and thorough research so that one can come to the conclusion that all this traces its roots from a source and there is a coherence in it. We see that mathematics is interrelated with physics, physics with chemistry, chemistry with botany, geology with zoology, geology with astronomy and so on. This natural system and cosmos indicates about the coherent and well ordained system of the universe based on logic and scientific basis. Similarly the relation of man with the universe, his various tendencies, inclinations, instincts having coherence with philosophy, Gnostics, literature, history, sociology, psychology, art and culture and other human sciences are interrelated with each other. This interrelation of human aspects and sciences too indicate about a divinely ordained and natural system. The human conscience and thought and his intellect comes to this conclusion that the origin and the source of all these manifestations of the absolute truth which is eternal and everlasting that has no partner at all. Our educational system must necessarily be designed in such a way that the students may reach to this ultimate conclusion that all their academic and educational pursuits should culminate the ultimate truth. The holy Quran indicates about this very fact in the following manner:


"In the creation of the heavens and the earth the alternation of the night and the day, in the ships that sail in the sea with their load. in the rain which Allah sends down from the sky and thus revives the earth after its death; and then He spread in all kinds of animals; in the changing of the winds: in the clouds which have been left suspending between the heaven and the earth -in all these are clear signs for the people who understand (2:164)
In the pages of this divine book, some chapters may have precedence and priority over others, but nevertheless, all of them are essential for the appreciation of Gods signs in afaq (horizons) and anfus (souls), that is in the universe without and within.
ی ٓیٰ ی ی یٰ یی

"We shall show them Our signs in the horizons and in themselves." (41:53)
It is therefore obvious that different sciences are seen in a single perspective and considered interrelated as branches of the tree of knowledge. From a Quranic viewpoint, knowledge without an honorable motive - or with mere material motives - is not considered knowledge; rather, it is an aberration and deviation. With enough research, we see that todays problems - wars, bloodshed, oppression, transgressions, corruption, and demoralization - all root from this hopeless and deviated knowledge. It stems from the ideology of people whose knowledge is geared only towards materialism, and their vision does not surpass that of an animalistic view. Indeed, knowledge is ignorance when it is not used as a means for honorable goals and is corrupt unless it becomes a tool and a source of light for reaching faith.

Knowledge - A Means and not the Goal
Islam highly recommends the knowledge but considers it a source and means and not the goal. The famous western thinker Will Durant says: we have become self-sufficient in accordance to machine but in the terms of purpose and motive we have become poor. For example a motor car cannot tell us where to go; neither may it instruct a man to save a drowning person or to provide a helping hand to the victim of natural catastrophe nor it may instigate one to go for any illegal mission. It is the man who has to decide about all these things and streamline the things.

Knowledge without Faith and Training a Catastrophe
It is the religion that instructs the man to adopt piety. The knowledge without training and piety is a fast vehicle without breaks and goal. On the one hand it simply wastes time, money and energy and on the other there is every apprehension of any accident. While mentioning the verses that were revealed to the Prophet of Islam (SAW) as the first revelation:
ی ۔ ۔ ۔ ی ۔ ی

Muhammad, read in the name of your Lord who created (all things). He created man from a clot of blood. Recite! Your Lord is the most Honorable One, who by the pen, taught man what he did not know.
There is a warning for him from the Almighty God that if the education, knowledge and science is set as a goal, he may think himself self-sufficient and independent. This knowledge and science would become the cause for his rebellion. The verse یٰی۔ یٰ follows with the verse despite this, man still tends to rebel because he thinks that he is independent. However, (all things) will return to Your Lord. (96: 8). According to Martyr Mutahhari knowledge without faith is a sharp sword in the hand of a drunken brute. It is a lamp in the hand of a thief to help him pick up the best articles at midnight. Moulana Rumi has exemplified this idea in his famous couplet:

ٓ ٓ
ی ی ǘ

That which moves without a head is a tail. Its movement would be like the movement of a scorpion. The knowledge, wealth, status and designation and (even) Quran would prove a misappropriation if it happen to fall in the hands of the incompetent and unworthy people. The knowledge and science in the command and control of a wicked person is just like handing over a sword in the hands of a drunken brute.
At other place he says:
ی
ی ی

If one may apply the knowledge only upon the corporal aspect (materialism) it shall become serpent but if one may make it applicable to his spiritual aspect it may prove helpful.
Knowledge is useful and beneficial for mankind only if it is seen as an instrument for obtaining knowledge of God. His good pleasure and nearness; otherwise knowledge itself is an iron curtain, a great inscrutable veil (hijab-ul-akbar), whether it is linked with the natural sciences or the sciences of the Shariah. The great Prophet of Islam (SAW) has said:
ی ی ی

Anyone who seeks knowledge not for the sake of God and uses it not in the way of God, should be certain of his place in hell.
Evidently, there are various dimensions to endeavor for obtaining closeness to God and His good pleasure. These include the obligatory worship, acquaintance with divine teachings, refinement of ones inner self, recognition and understanding of the signs of God and service of His creatures as the holy saying goes: ی ی ڪ ی all human beings are the family of God, and the most beloved of men near God is one who is most beneficial to His family. Martyr Dr. Beheshti has pointed out: Any area of knowledge as long as it does not become an instrument in the hands of taghut is a means of enlightenment; otherwise knowledge may also become a means of misguidance.

The Educated Youth and the Dreadful Shadow of Materialism
The society today by and large is educated. There has been a tremendous change in every field of life. The graph of life standard has considerably gone up. However, despite this progress and development the youth today instead of having a peace of mind has fallen a prey of mental stress and distress. Every day we hear the news of wars, bloodshed, killings, robbery, corruption, deception, instability and involvement of the youth in psychological diseases. The reason behind all of this is that the youths are envisaging education and knowledge from the viewpoint of materialism only. The responsible elements for this besides others are those experts of education and educational institutions who have alienated the influence of ethics and human values from the education and educational institutions. It has resulted in the fact that every individual is thinking in terms of his own interests and has nothing to do with the nation, country and ummah. Even though one least bothers about his parents, relatives and colleagues. The western materialistic mentality has even engulfed almost all the eastern countries. Our culture and civilization, art and literature, our films reflect about the mean materialistic mentality of the west. There is every apprehension of developing of negative thinking among the youth due to their mean material tendency and may utilize knowledge, science and technology as a weapon for defeating others. In such an atmosphere one may see his affluent life in the poverty of others, his success in the defeat of others, his peace of mind in the disturbing others, his stability in the instability of others, his happiness in the grief of others, which is nothing but a satanic illusion. This kind of materialistic tendency degrades the human being to the level of an animal. In such an atmosphere one forgets about human characteristics and human attributes like responsible being, forward-looking being, a beauty-loving being, a justice-loving being, possessing conscience and creativity and a gateway of morality etc. Instead his position has barely reduced to the extent of a tool-maker, consumer, eating machine. His feelings, tendencies and passion revolves within his own self. In this way the education has become a tool in the hands of politicians and capitalists. In the words of a Muslim Scholar science and capitalism have entered into a matrimonial relationship, and capitalism acted as the male and science as the female and the spouse gave birth to the illegal child of modern technology.

Rescue from the Whirlpool of Materialism
There is only way of solvation from this whirlpool of materialism i.e., to pave way for faith and ethical values in the contemporary education. There is no contradiction between science and faith. Unfortunately the west and westoxicated people have tried to present the science and faith facing each other in opposite directions. They have always tried to make the educated youth to believe that the faith and science, faith and freedom, faith and progress and prosperity, religion and science cannot go side by side. A man has to choose one among the two and inevitably has to drop the other. However, it is absolutely a misconception, which has been devised by the western materialists for the eastern masses. Islam absolutely rejects and refutes this kind of conception. In Islamic perspective both the above things are complementary to one another. There can be no separation or alienation between religion and sciences.
The great scholar of Islam, Prof. Martyr Mutahhari has beautifully elaborated the subject in this way: Knowledge gives us light and power; faith gives us love, hope and warmth. Knowledge helps make implements and appliances and accelerates progress; faith determines the purpose of human efforts and gives direction to them. Knowledge brings about outer revolution; faith causes inner revolution. Knowledge makes the world mans world; faith makes life the life of humanity. Knowledge expands the existence of man horizontally; faith lifts it up vertically. Knowledge trains mans temperament; faith reforms man. Both knowledge and faith give power to man; but the power given by faith is continuous, whereas the power given by knowledge is disjointed. Knowledge is beauty; faith is beauty too. But knowledge beatifies reason and thought, faith beautifies spirit and feeling. Both knowledge and faith gives man security. But knowledge proves outer security, whereas faith proves inner security. Knowledge gives protection against diseases, floods, earthquakes and storms. Faith proves security against restlessness, loneliness, sense of insecurity and low thinking. Knowledge harmonizes the world with man, faith harmonizes man with himself. It is economic materialism that has lowered the status of man in the modern ages, have forced its philosophy of materialism upon his world view.

Beautiful Amalgamation of Western Faith and Eastern Morality
The thinkers of Islam and those who sympathize with humanity have identified the remedial measures for this catastrophe that disassociates the ethics and ethical values from the education or in other words the separation of the world and religion. For the educated youth it will prove antidote to the fetal if this formula which has been prescribed by the scholars of Islam in the light of ethics and ethical values. While analyzing the difference between the western trend of materialistic approach of life and the eastern inclination towards the faith, Dr. Iqbal points out that the East saw the truth but did not see the world and the west saw the world but failed to see the truth. They both got afflicted with single minded perception and therefore neither achieved the desired prosperity. He advocated to adopt both western science and technology and eastern morality. He suggested faith as a preliminary requirement for a society before equipping it with the scientific developments. He further elaborates: The humanity of which one half has grown in the West and the other is lying in the East and both are incomplete versions of humanity like a bird whose wings have fallen on different places and lie separately, they will not be able to lift this bird above the ground.
The westerners strived their utmost to unravel and unveil the secrets and hidden laws of nature and to discover ways of exploiting its treasures and resources, while as the easterners, particularly the Muslims set aside these activities, and left to others what they deserved most to perform. They remained confined to mysticism, poetry, performing religious customs, paying less heed to their scientific quest and contented to be called as good operators but bad manufacturers. While as the westerners ignored the inner natural urge and the tendency to worship. They devoted themselves absolutely to the corporal aspect of man and the universe. This extreme trend of the east and the west resulted in the imbalance of the logical approach of knowledge and science.

Destructions of Separation of Science and Religion
In the modern world today science has revolutionized the human life by its marvelous and adventurous discoveries, explorations and innovations. The Information Technology, modern communication system and fast transportation, digital world has turned the whole world into a global village. However, unfortunately all this has replaced the education with information. The availability of plenteous information has put the contemporary youth in the state of bafflement and bewilderment. He has forgot about his customs and tradition, culture and civilization. He sees himself wandering in the labyrinth of Hollywood, Bollywood, and finds himself straining while drowning in the whirlpool of materialism. It is a culture absolutely materialistic that has turned the nations in to consumer market. The western nations are trying their best to impose their material culture in disguise of modernity and civilization. The west seems to be successful in making the nations to believe that it is compulsory to take their culture and civilization along with their science and technology and modern education as a full-fledged package or a scheme. According to them both the things are part and parcel of this so-called scheme. Our young generation seems to be influenced by this western magical scheme, with the result the new generation began to show hatred and abhorrence towards their own culture and civilization, customs and traditions, art and culture, even showing their disinclination towards their native tongue. They seem to be running after alien culture, thought and beurocratic system. They seem to be dub themselves into colour of aliens instead of having and liking their own traditional music, drama, novels and films. The range of inclination of eastern brain drain towards the west seems to go further widening day by day. Thus our fertile minds in different fields instead of serving their own communities and nations render their services to the westerners. All their contribution paves way for strengthening the western materialistic ideology.

The Key to the Obscure
Our youths have to pay their attention towards their glorious past. The Muslim Ummah is the inheritor of divine, unique and unparalleled ideology, which has brought forth spectacular art, culture and civilization. The Ummah as a whole has created great Islamic scholars, intellectuals, scientists. As far as science and technology and other beneficial knowledge is concerned we need to acquire it in any case, however, with the condition that we need to save our nations, country, people and ummah as a whole from the alien clumsy culture.
Secondly, the centres of learning and education particularly those who are responsible for designing the syllabus for education as well as the policy makers need to introduce value education alongside all other educational fields that our doctors, engineers, industrialists, our personnel related to administration, our film makers, our researchers, our lawyers, our farmers, our labourers and other individuals related to each and every fields of society shall pay due attention towards morality, modesty, ethical and human values alongside material aspects of life and contribute their services for the benefit and benevolence of general masses as a divine obligation. This will be a great step towards progress and development towards humanity and thus the services of our young generation shall prove to be a big contribution towards the desired divine goal. One more important point to be mentioned here is that the existing structure of religious institutions need to be encouraged and every possible help from public as well as official level is to be provided to these institutions so that these institutions are in a position to play their role in inculcating morality and modesty and generating a cult of fresh human crop for a new Islamic World Order. Our efforts need to focus on bridging the gap between the 'ulama and the scientists on the intellectual and mental levels. The gap between Hawzah and Universities is to be filled by mutual research on different subjects by the ulama and university professors and researchers.

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