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Monday, January 21, 2013

What is IDEALISM and its values.


Idealism is the oldest system of philosophy known to man. Its origins go back to ancient India in the East, and to Plato in the West. Its basic viewpoint stresses the human spirit as the most important element in life. The universe is viewed as essentially nonmaterial in its ultimate nature. Although Idealist philosophers vary enormously on many specifics, they agree on the following two points:
1. The human spirit is the most important element in life; and
2. The universe is essentially nonmaterial in its ultimate nature.

Idealism should not be confused with the notion of high aspirations - that is not what philosophers mean when they speak of Idealism. In the philosophic sense, Idealism is a system that emphasizes the pre-eminent importance of mind, soul, or spirit. It is possible to separate Idealism into different schools, but for our purposes we shall be content to identify only the most general assumptions of the Idealists in metaphysics, epistemology, and value theory, without regard to the idiosyncrasies of the various schools.


In Idealism, all of reality is reducible to one fundamental substance: spirit. (You may better understand the nature of spirit in this context if you think of it as the total absence of materiality.) Matter is not real; it is rather a notion, an abstraction of the mind. It is only the mind that is real. Therefore, all material things that seem to be real are reducible to mind or spirit. The chair you are sitting on is not material; it only seems material. Its essential nature is spirit. On the universal level, finite minds live in a purposeful world produced by an infinite mind. It is as though the entire universe is made up of an infinite mind or spirit; which is, in effect, everything, and we are small bits and pieces of that mind. Because man is a part of this purposeful universe, he is an intelligent and purposeful being.


Idealists believe that all knowledge is independent of sense experience. The act of knowing takes place within the mind. The mind is active and contains innate capacities for organizing and synthesizing the data derived through sensations. Man can know intuitively; that is to say, he can apprehend immediately some truth without utilizing any of his senses. Man can also know truth through the acts of reason by which an individual examines the logical consistency of his ideas. Some Idealists believe that all knowledge is a matter of recall. Plato was one who held this notion. He based this conclusion upon the assumption that the spirit of man is eternal. Whatever he knows is already contained within his spirit. Objective Idealists, such as Plato, think that ideas are essences, which have an independent existence. Subjective Idealists, such as George Berkeley, reason that man is able to know only what he perceives. His only knowledge is of his mental states. Existence depends upon mind. Every stimulus received by the mind is derived ultimately from God. God is the Infinite Spirit.


Idealists generally root all values either in a personal God or in a personal spiritual force of nature. They all agree that values are eternal. Theistic Idealists assert that eternal values exist in God. Good and evil, beauty and ugliness are known to the extent that the idea of good and the idea of beauty are consistent with the absolute good and the absolute beauty found in God. Pantheistic Idealists identify God with nature. Values are absolute and unchanging because they are a part of the determined order of nature.


Aims of Education.

The purpose of education is to contribute to the development of the mind and self of the learner. The education-imparting institute should emphasize intellectual activities, moral judgments, aesthetic judgments, self-realization, individual freedom, individual responsibility, and self-control in order to achieve this development.


The curriculum is based upon the idea or assumption of the spiritual nature of man. This idea in turn leads to an idea of the nature of the larger units of family, community, state, earth; the universe, and infinity. In preserving the subject matter content, which is essential for the development of the individual mind, the curriculum must include those subjects essential for the realization of mental and moral development. These subjects provide one with culture, and they should be mandated for all pupils. Moreover, the subject matter should be kept constant for all.

The Teaching-Learning Process.

Idealists have high expectations of the teacher. The teacher must be excellent, in order to serve as an example for the student, both intellectually and morally. No other single element in the school system is more important than the teacher. The teacher must excel in knowledge and in human insight into the needs and capacities of the learners; and must demonstrate moral excellence in personal conduct and convictions. The teacher must also exercise great creative skill in providing opportunities for the learners' minds to discover, analyze, unify, synthesize and create applications of knowledge to life and behavior.

Methods of Teaching.

The classroom structure and atmosphere should provide the learners with opportunities to think, and to apply the criteria of moral evaluation to concrete within the context of the subjects. The teaching methods must encourage the acquisition of facts, as well as skill in reflecting on these facts. It is not sufficient to teach pupils how to think. It is very important that what pupils think about be factual; otherwise, they will simply compound their ignorance.

Teaching methods should encourage learners to enlarge their horizons; stimulate reflective thinking; encourage personal moral choices; provide skills in logical thinking; provide opportunities to apply knowledge to moral and social problems; stimulate interest in the subject content; and encourage learners to accept the values of human civilization.

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Detailed values of this system

I dare to bring forth the underpinnings of the curriculum offerings. This will make "Quranic Values System" radically different from the one we have in practice.

In this Quranic Values System, self or personality is the kernel, the core, the hub, or the nucleus. This whole System metaphorically draws upon as ‘that hard kernel of gaiety that never breaks’. The Foundations of this System -on the basis of which the curriculum offerings of all the disciplines of Social or Physical Sciences, or of the professional pursuits like the Medical, Engineering, Networking, Teacher Education or of the Training Programs are to be worked out, include the following elements:

The Ideological Basis of Curriculum

The curriculum in this System reflects the underpinning of that ideology, which is based on the values enshrined in the Quran and provides the individual for self-development. The Qur’anic basic principles are (i) the individual is the focus of these values and (ii) the group exists to enable the individuals to develop and express themselves to the full extent of their capacity. It lays primary stress on personal worth of the individual and the gaining of knowledge of invariable sequence of events. This enables the individual to make better adjustment. This also makes the individual conscious of the causal nexus between events governed by the Law of Requital. And also that the action performed deliberately, or with a high degree of ego-involvement, changes the personality of the doer for better or for worse. The curriculum offerings are built on these values and are named as the "ideological basis of the curriculum".

Economic Foundations of Curriculum

Four factors contribute to the production of wealth, the goods and the possessions: (a) a person’s physical and mental capabilities; (b) the education and training he/she has received; (c) the opportunities available to him/her; and (d) his/her industry, the work he/she puts in. His/her natural endowments are a gift of Allah and are not acquired through his/her own efforts. A person is indebted to the community for the education and training he/she has received. The society too provides him/her with opportunities for producing wealth. This makes it clear that people can justly claim only that portion of the wealth, which is the outcome of the labour he/she has put in to produce it. And not the whole. For this purpose the Qur’an provides the following factors that are to be made as the economic foundations of the curriculum underpinnings:

1. Contract between an Islamic State and the believers to be established.

2. Sources of production are for the benefit of humanity as a whole.

3. All that is surplus to the needs of an individual belongs to the society.

Social Foundations of Curriculum

Individuals possess potentialities, but those can be actualized only in a favorable social milieu and through co-operation with congenial companions. The Qur’an lays down a pattern according to which a healthy social organization for entire mankind can be formed. The Qur’an has expressed this view in lucid and unambiguous language: ‘Verily, We have honored every human being’. This view gives full recognition to the dignity of humans. As humans all are equal; every one possesses the self. This is the basic principle of the Islamic Order.

The Qur'an has laid down two principles for this purpose. (a) ‘No man shall carry another’s burden’ and (b) ‘every one will be entitled to get according to his/her efforts’. It means that in Islamic Order, man is punished or rewarded for his/her own deeds and is held responsible for his/her voluntary actions. It further enjoins upon human beings to be strictly just in his/her dealings with even his/her enemies.

The recurring theme of the Qur’an, is the interdependence of man. So the Qur’anic program has a two-fold aim: the furtherance of the best interest of the individual and that of the society with preference of others to themselves. The Qur’an declares that: ‘The believers prefer others to themselves although there is indigence among them’. In this way people’s vital interests are bound up with the interests of humanity. They realize the good only by working for the general good. Dedicated to the service of mankind, the believers keep the doors of Rabubiyyh Order (system for the growth and development of humanity) open to all. In this way the social foundations include the following permanent values:

1. The criterion of a high position in society rests on men’s own personal merits and character.

2. Justice is one of the fundamental permanent values and no distinction is allowed in this respect between friend and foe. As regards the courts of justice, the believers have been very clearly guided by the Qur’an:

(a) confound not truth with falsehood (2:42)

(b) nor knowingly conceal the truth (2:42)

(c) hide not testimony (2:283)

(d) evidence must be given truthfully (4:135)

(e) and be you not an advocate for the fraudulent (4:105)

(f) and never be a supporter of the guilty (28:17)

(g) be you staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) kindred, whether (the case be of) a rich man or a poor man for Allah is nearer unto both (than you are); so follow not passions lest you lapse (from truth) and if you lapse or fall away then look! Allah is ever informed of what you do (4:135)

3. Respect for humanity: All humans are equal by birth and are worthy of respect

4. Personal responsibility: Justice demands that everybody should bear his/her own burden and should personally fulfil one's own responsibilities. Thus the consequence of one’s act cannot be transferred to another

5. Zulm: It means ‘to put a thing at a place where it should not be’. The Qur’an not only prohibits wrong acts but also that you should not be wronged. If every individual on his/her part avoids wrong acts, the wrong shall be eliminated from the society and all shall be protected against it

6. The survival of the constructive: According to the Qur’an only that which is beneficial for the entire mankind survives.

These values are imbedded in the curriculum fabric, so that the learners may bring these values forth through their overt and covert behaviour.

Now the question is "what is the operational mechanism for this Quranic System?"

Operational Mechanism for Strategic Educationists

The operational mechanism of this System is four-pronged: (a) incorporation of the Law of Requital; (b) resurrection of this system on the recognition of Allah; (c) organization for the self-development; and (d) strategic pedagogy for subject matter areas on the empirical theory of knowledge. Strategic measures for these four prongs can be worked out to keep balance between the changing socio-economic conditions of the time and the permanence of human personality.

For the convenience of those who intend to work on it, these four operational mechanisms are elaborated very briefly as concepts to grow pari passu with knowledge to be imbibed in the educational fabric:

1. The Law of Requital: It works unerringly and brings connection between acts and their effects. It has been explained under the heading of Ideological Basis of Curriculum above.

2. Allah as the Sustainer/Nourisher of the Universe: This means that Allah carries forward the universe and every thing in it, from one stage to a higher one. He keeps everything moving for work actualizing its latent capacities. This law is the sheet anchor of the universe. It is the guarantee that everything in it will develop to the full extent of its capacity. But the only possible exception is human beings that through their own volition may set themselves against it and miss-apply his/her freedom by choosing to descend instead of ascending. For all the disciplines of knowledge - physical or social –or of Training Programs this law demands to be dubbed in the emerging bases and the end products.

3. Course of self-development: The evolutionary process, in evidence in the outer world, takes within humans the form of self-development. This demands three things. (a) Social environment through interaction with other free selves with internal harmony and concord. (b) Sense of participation in social activities and/or educational pursuits directed to a noble end. And (c) society based on justice, dedicated to the acquisition of higher values and committed to respect for human personality. This course of development of the self is not by receiving but by giving. The more the self gives of its riches, the richer it grows. ‘Riches’ include wealth, knowledge, potential, capabilities, etc.

4. Knowledge: Qur’anic view is close to the empirical theory of knowledge and exhorts humans to use first step to get to know the nature and its way (17:36). Those who do not make proper use of their senses and mental power sink to the animal level. The result is that they cease to be rational beings (7:179).

It is, therefore, desired to base this operational strategy (a) on the pristine ideological pursuits rooted in the permanent values, and (b) execute these pursuits with the constructive potential in accordance with the Divine Law given in the Qur’an (35:10).

If we do all these parameters, we can eradicate the misconception and its devastation, which is being wrought with the concept of Islam as religion.

Quran System having hurdles in the field of education

"How far are we away from "establishing" institutions - centers imparting the Quranic Picture of Islam through Education and how long will this Picture take to materialize on a large scale from what you see in Pakistan?"

It is a very perplexing question and leads me inexorably to a total impasse. The concept of modernizing the existing system of Islamic Education is still in preponderance in Pakistan. Those at the helm of affairs do not try to understand the Quranic Model of Education. They simply consider the Quranic underpinnings of the curriculum offerings as an archetype of a social system to be established in a Qur’anic Society. They still desire to keep the dualism in the form of Scientific and Religious Education intact as it exists in the form of Deen-o-Dunia, or Public and Private or State and Prayers or Public and Personal Laws; and want to make improvement upon the “Dars-e-Nizami” courses from various aspects to make them approachable for an English-medium youth. This has become the gospel truth, which is known to all and sundry; and nobody thinks of the clandestine drawbacks inherent in the very nature of its structure. In the long run this subterfuge will never be helpful.

I think the following fable will help to get the cognizance of the real state of affairs prevalent in the System of Education:

Once upon a time there was a school for animals where the learners were instructed in a curriculum, which consisted of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals had to do all the subjects. Well, as one might expect, the duck was excellent at swimming; in fact she was better than the instructor, but she only just managed to pass in flying. She couldn’t run and since she was so slow at running they made her stay after school and also she had to drop swimming and practice her running. This was kept up but eventually her webbed feet were so badly worn that she could only get average in swimming. This did not matter so much at that school, as average was quite acceptable.

Then there was a rabbit, and a rabbit, as one might expect, also stayed at the top of the class in running, but she became very nervous because she had so much extra work to do in swimming.

Now the squirrel was excellent in climbing. She developed frustration in the flying class, where the teacher made her start from the ground up instead of from the tree down; so she only got a C in climbing and a D in running.

The eagle, of course, was the problem child, so the teacher disciplined her quite severely. In the climbing class she beat all the others to the top of the tree, but she insisted on using her own way to get there which of course did not suit the teacher at all. At the end of the year an abnormal eel came the top of the class, because the eel could swim exceedingly well, it could also run and climb and fly a little and it finished with the highest average.

I think you would have followed me! But there is nothing to worry, nothing to despair, and nothing to frustrate. We have the Quran; we can work out the underpinnings (of the curriculum offerings) responding to the exigencies of the Permanent Values enshrined in the Quran with greater circumspection and care to reach a plateau where Ummah can stand firmly. What is required is the understanding and will-to-work with constant devotion and steadfastness -even without longing for any reward and/or gratitude. Let's come out of this quagmire and gird up our lions.

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A Social System Based on Quranic Values

Tolu-e-Islam is purely an intellectual movement that has no political pandemonium, is not involved in creating any sect, or dividing Muslims into groups, or generally causing any kind of disorder and confusion in the Ummah. It is actively engaged in disseminating the Quranic ideology since 1938. To drive away every kind of non-Quranic concept, viewpoint and belief from the mind and heart of Muslims, and replace these with purely Quranic ideas projected through arguments and proofs is the sole aim and objective of Tolu-e-Islam. It thus keeps in mind, first and the foremost, the educated youth so that, having saved themselves from the torrent of western secularism, glamorously wrapped indecency inciting to adultery through all-encompassing media, insinuation of terrorism, they may develop competence and excellence for establishing a Social System Based on Quranic Values.

Tolu-e-Islam (Idara and Trust Both), through its writings in monthly magazine Tolu-e-Islam, pamphlets, brochures, leaflets, books, speeches, lectures, discourses on tapes (audio and audio-visual both), makes its strenuous efforts on regular scientific lines to expose the masses, the readers, understand that:

(a) Reason alone is not enough to solve the problems of life; it needs revelation just as eyes need the light of the sun. Rational thinking, reason and intellect have been applauded to the highest tone, but just ponder over the verdict of Einstein who says: “By painful experience we have learnt that rational thinking does not suffice to solve the problems of our Social life. Penetrating research and keen scientific work have often had tragic implications for mankind, producing, on the one hand, inventions which liberated man from exhausting physical labor, making his life easier and richer, but on the other hand introducing a grave restlessness into his life, making it slave to his technological environment, and – most catastrophic of all – creating the means for his own mass destruction. This, indeed, is a tragedy of overwhelming poignancy. ( Out of My Later Years, P.152);

(b) This revelation is preserved in the Qur‘an in its final and complete form, and mankind cannot reach its desired destination without the Quran;

(c) The Quran is the only criterion for judging truth and falsehood; every thing that conforms to the Quran is correct, that which is at variance is false;

(d) The Holy Prophet (PBUH) attained the pinnacle of character and conduct in ratio and proportion; foreign conspiracies vitiated our history by alloying it with matters that are blot on the Prophet’s (PBUH) escutcheon i.e. an stain on his honour; these sections of our history, in whatever books they may appear, are altogether wrong and fabricated; the Holy Quran is the only criterion for judging the character of the Prophet (PBUH);

(e) From the viewpoints of the Quran, all human beings inhabiting the earth are individuals belonging to one Universal Brotherhood; the practical aspect of establishing this brotherhood would be to prevail upon the mankind lead their lives according to One dispensation i.e. one universal organization of life;

(f) This universal organization of life may be formulated in such a manner that people of every era according to the exigencies of their time, may compile by mutual consultation the details of laws in the light of the Quran; these details would keep changing according to circumstances but, the principles of the Quran also called Permanent Values shall remain immutable forever;

(g) From the point of view of such an organization, the Quran envisages a society in which the potentialities, the latent abilities of all individuals are developed, and no one in such a society is deprived of the necessities of his / her life; this is interpreted as the preservation of the masses or the fostering of the mankind;

(h) The establishment of such a society ensures that the distribution of the means of living is managed in accordance with the needs of every one, thus no human being is left at the mercy of another human being; this is called the Quranic Organization of Preservation of Mankind

For the present system of life that man has developed from the dawn of the human consciousness to the present day achievements, Mason laments: “We began our era of scientific efficiency confidant that materialistic triumphs would solve life’s problems. We are finding we were wrong. Life is not as simple as that (Creative Freedom, PP. 184-3). In this regard Robert Briffault is still heard moaning: “No system of human organization that is false in its very principle, in its very foundation, can save itself by any amount of cleverness and efficiency in the means by which that falsehood is carried out and maintained, by any amount of superficial adjustment and tinkering (The Making of Humanity, P. 159). That is why Iqbal had to declare in unequivocal words: “Thus, wholly overshadowed by the results of his intellectual activity, the modern man has ceased to live soulfully, that is from within. In the domain of thought he is living in open conflict with himself; and in the domain of economic and political life he is living in open conflict with others. He finds himself unable to control his ruthless egoism and his infinite gold hunger which is gradually killing all higher strivings in him and bringing him but life weariness. Absorbed in the ‘fact’ that is to say, the optically present source of sensation, he is entirely cut off from the unplumbed depths of his own being (Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam, P. 177). It is because, in the words of Joad: “A man’s thought follows his desire much as the feet of a hungry dog follow his nose. (Decadence, P.36).” On the other hand, man depends upon reason which in the words of Joad: “tends to be exhibited as a mere tool or handmaid of desire. Its function is to secure the ends which we unconsciously set ourselves, by inventing excuses for what we instinctively want to do, and arguments which we instinctively want to believe… Reason is the power of deceiving ourselves into believing that what we want to think true, is in fact true (Guide to the Philosophy of Morals and Politics, P. 239).”

It is also a stark fact that wise men, including scientists, are aware that reason can never fathom reality. Dr Aitken, Director of Lick Observatory, California, while discussing the formation of the universe frankly admitted; “Of the origin of the universe and its ultimate fate, we know practically nothing (The Great Design, P. 35).” Besides, there is no finality about scientific theories. With the discovery of a new fact, even a well-established theory may have to be modified or even set aside. Absolute reliance, therefore, can not be placed on them nor can a philosophy of conduct valid for all human beings, be built upon the shifting sands of scientific theory. Hence Dr. Crowther aptly remarks: “The last word of science on any topic may perhaps be left for the last man to utter (The Great Design, P. 52).” It will be sheer folly then if we are to depend on reason alone for acquiring a set of right principles of conduct. Reason has repeatedly failed to give right guidance in regulating social relation. Experimenting with social affairs has often led to disaster. For example, kingship was tried at first, then imperialism and finally democracy, and that too is on trial today. Man has paid a heavy price for experimenting with various forms of government – centuries of bloodshed, internecine wars, revolutions, class struggle, and economic and political unrest have been the consequences. For two centuries men have pinned their faith on democracy but there are now unmistakable signs of disillusionment. “On the other hand,” says Einstein, “representatives of science have often made an attempt to arrive at fundamental judgments with respect to values and ends on the basis of scientific methods and in this way have set themselves in opposition of religion. These conflicts have all sprung from fetal errors… Science cannot create ends and, even less, install them in human beings; science can, at the most, supply the means by which to attain certain ends. But the ends themselves are conceived by personalities with lofty ethical ideals. (Out of my Later Years, P.25). This involves the idea of religion for which Ouspensky openly says: “A religion which contradicts science and a science which contradicts religion are both equally false (Tertium Organum, P. 208)”.

But man needs the help of both science and din, if he wishes to bring himself into a meaningful relationship with God and the world. The Qur’an puts man in a meaningful relationship with nature and presents it as friendly to man, responsive to his intellect and sympathetic to his moral endeavor. Both nature and man have been created by a wise and benevolent God and fundamentally there is no conflict between them. Man can develop only with the help of nature. This help he can obtain provided he requires knowledge of nature and utilizes it for the achievement of his moral ends in the light of Divine Guidance. The knowledge referred to is scientific knowledge. The only method by which he can study nature profitably is the scientific method. Equipped with scientific knowledge he can bend nature to his service. Natural forces can be made to serve man. This truth the Qur’an has expressed in the metaphorical language that the “Malaikah (cosmic forces) prostrated themselves before Adam (man)” (2: 34). Man, as the verses quoted below show, occupies a privileged position in the physical word and it is his destiny to become master of it: God has pressed into the service of man the sun and the moon, to perform their courses, and He has pressed the night and the day into his service (14:33).Again the Quran says: And He hath of service unto you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth; it is all from Him. Lo! Herein verily are portents for people who reflect (45:13).

The knowledge of divine law relating to the external universe is derived from a close observation of nature, scientific experiments and discoveries, but not in the case of laws relating to human life and the regulation of its conduct which are communicated only through Revelation to the Rusul and conveyed by them as Messenger of God to mankind. It is this wherein Islam as a din also distinguishes itself from the Material concept of life which takes no cognizance of the Divine Guidance by means of revelation.

God did not merely create the universe, but has also laid down definite laws comprising it. The “Law of Cause and Effect,” and the “Law of Uniformity in Nature,” among others, being of basic importance, deal with the external nature of the universe. He has, besides, prescribed definite laws regulating human life and its activities. That is why the Qur’an speaks of those who study nature and try to discover the laws that govern it as “men of knowledge and insight”; because, says the Qur’an: “Lo! In the heavens and the earth are portents for believers” (45: 3). In seeking knowledge, the believers are spurred on by their Iman. “And in your creation and of all the beasts that He scattereth in the earth are portents for a folk whose Imam is sure” (45: 4). They know that: The alternation of night and day and the provision that Allah sendeth down from the sky and thereby quickeneth the earth after her death, and the ordering of the winds, are portents for a people who have sense (45: 5). In this way Iman in God does not follow from purely logical arguments; it springs from the direct experience of order, harmony, and beauty in nature. Along with that the Rasul is told: These are the portents of Allah which We recite unto thee with Haqq (45: 6).

In this respect the Qur’an distinguishes between two kinds of knowledge - perceptual and conceptual. Through perceptual knowledge we become aware of and deal with that portion of the physical environment, which happens at the moment to be the centre of our interest. Through conceptual knowledge we rise above the particularity of concrete facts and cognize the unities which underlie the multiplicity of the world. The conceptual framework we build up is far removed from the rich vivid concrete reality of the actual world, yet it gives us an insight into the working of the nature and greater power of control over it. The point to note is that both kinds of knowledge have their sources in senses. In the platonic theory of knowledge, reason can achieve knowledge of the Real independently of the senses. The Qur’an accords full recognition to the role of the senses in the “Knowing Activity”. According to the Qur’an, the mind (fuad) gropes from knowledge the data provided by the senses. In this way we see that the Qur’anic view is close to, if not identical with, the empirical theory of knowledge. The Qur’an exhorts man to use his senses and absorb nature sagaciously. This is the first step in getting to know nature and its way: And follow not that whereof thou hast no knowledge. Lo! The hearing and the sight and the fuad (heart) - of each of these it will be asked (17: 36). Those who do not make proper use of their senses and mental power sink to the animal level. “Many of the people, both civilized and nomads, live a life which dooms them to hell” (7: 179). The reason for this is that “they have hearts wherewith they understand not, and have ears wherewith they hear not” (7: 179). The result is that they cease to be rational beings. “These are like cattle: nay, but they are worse. These are the neglectful” (7: 179). In sharp contrast to such people are those who ponder over God’s creation, for they know that “In the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and day, are surely signs to men of understanding”(3: 189). They are the men “who keep in their mind (the law of) Allah sitting and standing and reclining, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth” (3: 190). When they reflect on the grandeur of nature, they are deeply moved and exclaim: “Our Rabb! Thou hast not created this in vain (7: 190).” When they approach nature with the attitude of the believers (Mu’mins) they feel it in their bones that it has a meaning and a purpose. With their intellectual honesty, they cannot but admit that certain things in it are incomprehensible to them at the present level of their knowledge. With humility they confess that they do not know, but they have a conviction that if they persist in seeking more knowledge, one day they will perceive the meaning of these as well. Men who lack this conviction live “in a sort of hell” (7: 191)”, and the pity is that “no one can help them” (7: 191).

For the purpose of Iman springing from the direct experience of order, harmony, and beauty in nature, the Quran gives a sketch of the process of knowing, which is both scientific and ethical. This process is begun by the activity of the senses, which furnish the raw material of knowledge. The next stage is of the attending when the mind addresses itself to the material reaching it. This is the stage of perceptual knowledge. The sense of data are referred to external objects and events and their objective meaning is grasped. In the third stage, through the process of analysis, synthesis, abstraction and generalization, the material is converted into knowledge of varying degrees of generality. The final stage is that of comprehension in which the new knowledge is placed and viewed in the context of the whole of human knowledge and experience, and its meaning of human life is assessed. At this stage the Qur’an exhorts men to aim at the deeper understanding of the meaning of the Nabi’s words, whenever he speaks to them through the embodiment of the Quran. It denounces those who fail to make this attempt and stop at the first or second stage, being content with imperfect knowledge: And you may see them looking towards you, but they see not (7: 198). In this way the process of development includes the following basic principles:

1. Every thing, animate or inanimate, is endowed with the capacity for development. Its development is guided, at every step, by the Supreme Being.

2. It must not be supposed that the guiding power acts upon things from outside. It is inherent in their nature and acts from within them. It would be more correct to say that it is the nature of a thing to seek the development of its latent capacity and thus to reach its destiny.

3. Man, by virtue of possessing an autonomous self, occupies a privileged position in the universe. Divine Guidance is offered to him in the form which is suited to a free rational being. It does in no way curtail man’s freedom of choice and action. Man has the right to rejected it, if he so desires and is willing to pay the price of rejection.

4. For man, Wahi or revelation, is the vehicle of Divine Guidance. God selects a man who is fit to be the custodian of truth. This man is the Nabi who receives the revelation from God, keeps it inviolate and faithfully communicates it to his fellow-beings. Those who accept, of their own accord, find themselves following the path which leads to the enhancement of their powers and towards the goal of perfection. Those who reject, have perforce to follow the downward path of deterioration and degradation. Self-fulfillment is the reward of the farmer, while an enfeebled and perverted self falls to the lot of the latter. Such is the Law of Requital.

5. The Wahi, the Divinely revealed guidance, is really God’s Word. It is not contaminated by the personal likes and dislikes, feelings and desires of the recipients. The medium specially selected by God is so refined that the Wahi, in passing through it, suffers no diminution in its purity or lustre. The Wahi transcends intellect but does not conflict with reason. It rather supplements it.

Scientifically the knowledge of the Divine Laws relating to the external universe is derived from a close observation of nature, scientific experiments and discoveries, but not so in the case of laws relating to human life and the regulation of its conduct which are communicated only through Revelation to the Rusul and conveyed by them as Messengers of God to mankind as mentioned above. It is this wherein Islam as a din also distinguishes itself from the Material concept of life which takes no cognizance of the Divine Guidance by means of revelation.

Islam asserts that such Divine Laws have been, from time to time, communicated to all the peoples of the world. The Rusul, the Messengers of God, received them through revelation and delivered them to their people. What happened after the demise of a Rasul was that his followers, chiefly their leaders having vested interests, tampered with the Laws with excision and deletion of what was found detrimental to their interests, and by interpolations, with the result that, from among the religions of the world, not one can produce the original text of Divine Revelation free from the taint of corruption. But these Divine Laws in their original form, words as well as letters, are fully extant and meticulously preserved in the Qur'an, which is the last and the final of the series of the revealed Books of God, as was revealed to the last of the Rusul. So long as these Laws remain in their original form and pristine glory, they constitute what is termed as din, but when they are tampered with and corrupted, they fall from the high pedestal and become what is known as religion; and that is why among all the religions of the world only Islam deserves to be styled as a din. As a matter of fact, no other religion makes a claim, nor could it prove, even if it were to advance such a claim, that it possesses a revealed book word for word and letter for letter as delivered to them by their Rasul. Islam, on the other hand, does make such a claim which is verified and fully supported by an impartial testimony of even non-Muslim historians.

Islam, thus, is a code of laws revealed by God, through his Rasul, Muhammad (P), for the guidance of the whole of mankind, and which are fully preserved in the Book of God, known as the Qur'an; and they constitute what we may call the Permanent Values. Further, Islam emphatically and confidently advances the claim that if life is led in full compliance with and in complete subordination to the Permanent Values, it will be rid of all the travails and troubles in which the entire world of the present day finds itself beset condemning humanity to a hellish life despite the wonderful and awe-inspiring material and scientific advancement. The order of life according to these Permanent Values is termed as the Quranic Social Order, or, in other words, the Islamic State. It requires, however, to be made clear that even the order of life established by the so-called Muslims, would not necessarily be the Islamic State as such, for, the Islamic State connotes only that State which is based on, and is in the fullest consonance with the Permanent Values; and any other, lacking in this foundation, will be only un-Islamic, established though it may have been by the Muslims themselves. An Islamic State is thus an agency for the enforcement of Quranic injunctions, and laws made in the light of the principles enunciated therein.

It should not, however, be misunderstood that the laws thus framed are rigid and hidebound with hardly any scope for progress or wanting in meting out the exigencies of the ever-changing conditions of life in the progressive world. In fact, the Islamic State is fully authorized, after mutual consultations, to legislate, within the framework of the Permanent Values, to provide for the needs of the time, and the body of laws thus promulgated could be altered and amended when necessary to suit the circumstances prevailing at a given time, with this essential proviso that in no circumstance shall the framework of the Permanent Values be disturbed or interfered with. From this point of view, the Islamic State may be considered as a “controlled democracy, ” which is quite distinct in character from the concept of democracy commonly prevalent in the West, for, in that system the nation or its representatives enjoy an unlimited power of legislation. This would provide a check on the apprehension of Ouspensky who once cited Gurdjieff in support of his views when he declared that: “If a man is changing every minute, if there is nothing in him that can withstand external influences, it means that there is nothing in him that can withstand death. But if he becomes independent of external influences, if there appears in him something that can live by itself; this something may not die. In ordinary circumstances we die every moment. External influences change and we change with them, i.e., many of our “Is” die. If a man develops in himself a permanent “I” that can survive a change in external conditions, it can survive the death of the physical body. (In Search of the Miraculous, P. 101)”. Our aim is to establish such a Quranic Organization, Quranic Social Order (QSO) initially in Pakistan and there-after in the whole world, so that in the light of Divine Attributes, the potentialities, the latent abilities of every human being, be developed fully and the world, thus, become resplendent with the Light of the Eternal Nourisher, the Supreme Being. This warrants that the literature for the establishment of such a Quranic Social Order (QSO) be developed, proliferated – through cyberspace too – and provided to the very stream blood of life, i.e. the educational institutes, the academics, the educated youth, the intelligentsia at their door steps. For this purpose the literature in the form of pamphlets, brochures, leaflets, essays, English rendering of the numerous G. A. Parwez books facilitating the teachings of the Holy Quran prove to be the most effective and the most munificent mechanisms for spreading, propagating, and proselytizing the Quranic wisdom, the Quranic epistemology,and the Quranic knowledge to the potential users. For example one such pamphlet of an average size, costs Rs15,000; with this amount, 5000 homes can be provided an opportunity to be illuminated with the Quranic teachings and this goes on multiplying with the inter and intra social interactions of its readers. At present, Tolu-e Islam(Idara and Trust), Bazams and websites are the only clarion call to the action of establishing such a Quranic Social Order (QSO) in the whole of this world which is now fraught with corruption, nepotism, terrorism, economic morass, narcotics, lotteries and so many other un-Quranic practices in vogue. Here is a point worth pondering for those who yell for what is happening on this globe, called our earth today.

Education Program and Operational Mechanism


Man is a moral being, free to choose either good or evil, right or wrong. The basic questions are: “what is good? what is evil? why good is good? why evil is evil?”. These questions are the topic of ETHICS where “Laws according to which OUGHT to happen” are discussed. In this way ETHICS relates more to feelings than to the concrete world and incorporates instinctive behaviour; within the purview of Mechanistic Theory of Life it becomes hedonismic in nature, seeks pleasure and happiness and lurks onto selfishness paving way towards egoism, stoicism and mysticism and then from another aspect involves utility value in the theoretical garb of greatest good of the greatest number; when it corroborates to survival of the fittest under the Theory of Evolution, it emphasizes to adaptability to environment and includes evolutionary ethics; then moves onto naturalism or with slight change to humanism under the canopy of anthropology and sociology, projects mores and cores of society reflecting patterns of culture where success becomes the other name of ethics and then invariably involves the concept of expediency and then under the covering of intuitionism giving intrinsic potence it turns to conscience where one’s actions are accepted/approved on the basis of “a priori” having either subjective or objective school of thought in its focus, gives a new concept framework of moral sense and leads towards conscience where conflicts pop up between reason v/s passions, emotions, instincts, drives, urges, feelings etc. and reason tends to be exhibited as a mere tool of desire engineered on emotion and then comes into play the terms like intellectual evil and moral good/evil and then finally through the concept of practical reason pops up the concept of values.

Values are those qualities that are regarded by a person or a group as important and desirable. The scale of values helps to determine which of the two goods is the higher and which the lower. Reason tells only about relative values. Ethics cannot even give a definite answer to the question as to whether there are absolute values and if so, how they can be known. It tends to define values in subjective terms, only in relation to the particular experiencing individual. It amounts to a tacit denial of an objective system of values, valid for all men at all times. Islam involves belief in objective, absolute values as moral standard. These values are given in the Holy Qur’an – the only source of our knowledge of the highest values on which the character development is based.

Armed with adequate knowledge of values, we can, if we want, give and act in full accord with the immutable moral order of the universe. The knowledge does not only consist in merely the recognition of a value as a value but involves a just estimate of the degree of worth possessed by it also, so that it may be compared with other values. Confronted with a situation where we are called upon to choose between two values, we can then promptly choose the higher and sacrifice the lower value for the sake of the higher. Character is strengthened by our voluntary sacrifice of a lower value to secure a higher one. When a man has to choose, for example, between life and money, he does not hesitate to throw away money and save his life. Here instinct backs his choice; but the same man may be forced to choose between life and honour. It is a cruel choice and the man may not reconcile himself to the loss of either of the two extremely precious things. Choosing the higher and sacrificing the lower value is the character development (Iqbal.1989).

National reconstruction and character development are intrinsically linked with Values Education whether these be through democratic values, through our system of education and curriculum at all levels: primary, secondary and tertiary.

According to the Holy Qur’an, the five principles, are the five fundamental facts which one has to accept in order to become a Momin:

1. Eiman in Allah

2. Eiman in the law of Mukafat (law of Requital) and the life hereafter

3. Eiman in Malaika, the heavenly forces

4. Eiman in the revealed Books

5. Eiman in the Ambia


– To have Eiman in Allah means to have conviction in His existence, to trust His every word, to depend/trust the laws given by Him and declare that one would obey those laws.

– To have Eiman in the law of Mukafat means to have firm conviction in that law: the natural consequences of actions, and to have faith in the continuity of life after death.

– To have Eiman in the existence of Mala'ika means to believe that all the heavenly forces are in operation in the universe to bring into reality the tasks/programs given to them by Allah and to have faith that all the heavenly forces have bowed before man or have been ordered to come within his reach, or man has been made capable of conquering them after doing research.

– To have Eiman in Ambia means that man’s intellect alone cannot safely reach the destination – this guidance has been provided in "Wahi”, revelation, through the chosen people called Ambia and whatever the Creator and Sustainer of this universe wished to be given for the enrichment and growth of human personality were communicated in their most perfect form through Rasool-Allah Muhammad (peace be upon him).

At present man-made values are indirectly taught across the curriculum and directly as a subject of Islamiyat in the Muslim World. The uses of value-oriented contexts commonly occur in the teaching and learning of Languages. Social Studies and Science have components that either deal directly with such values or have components, which imbibe these values to be introduced spontaneously. Extra-curricular activities like clubs, societies, sports, games etc. too play roles in the inculcation of desirable behaviours in terms of interaction with one another. The school culture, referring to the total environment, physical and non-physical both, has an influence for embedding values in the moral fibre of the student cartel. But the studies during 90s bring this point to the view that the reason of moral degeneration in national life is: actions are motivated by material gains, while other values of life have been thrown overboard (Khattak, 1991). In one Study (1991) the parents and the teachers projected the view: the character development issue is choked with the fray fabric of the system of education in vogue . . . , (and) the type of religious education the pupils get, do not enable to harness the heavenly forces for the development of their personality (Bureau of Curriculum & Extension Wing Sindh, Pakistan, 1991). The result is that the educated youth does neither conform through their character to the expected norms nor to the humanitarian aspects of the prevalent educational enterprise. The major process of educational renovation for ideological orientations has remained secular in character all over the world and the concept of permanent values as embedded by our Holy Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) in the teaching learning process has not been imbibed in the curriculum process in Pakistan (Manzoor, 1993). This is only possible through a system of education based on the permanent values. Such a system has been symbolized as Values Education and demands a program to be chalked out and launched for the new generation.

This paper deals with the description of such a Values Education program in the Muslim World and puts forth the guidelines for the development of operational mechanism for strategic educationists of the year 2000 and beyond as a brave enterprise.


Values act as a powerful leaven in the life of people – the life which today is fraught with conflict-and-dissension-ridden situation in which the hearts are stricken by the canker of greed, corruption and incompetence; and its remedy, under the existing conditions, is in noose; the more it tugs, the more it chokes. It is because no system of human organization that is false in its very principle, in its very foundations, can save itself by any amount of cleverness and efficiency in the means by which that falsehood is carried out and maintained by any amount of superficial adjustment and tinkering. Only and only the education based on permanent values can withstand the test of time. The broad objectives of this Values Education for the primary and secondary schools, to begin with, is the development of an individual who recognizes, accepts and internalizes his/her role as a responsible decision maker in accordance with these permanent values in a democratic society to the extent that his/her actions are governed within the boundary walls of these values.


The Curriculum for Values Education would consist of values drawn from the Holy Quran like the ones reflected through the Holy Prophet’s Quranic teaching process. The values would be essential to ensure the healthy interaction between the individual and his/her family, peers and society.

The reflection of these values through the student’s behaviour would be the end product of teaching-learning process and would be seen in the widening relationship being projected between his/her family, peers and school/university and this would ultimately be expanded to national and inter-national levels in the days of their lives to come.

For reinforcement, consolidation and inculcation, these values would be repeatedly taught at every level of teaching. Though the values taught would be the same, the scope and emphasis would differ according to the depth and complexity of the issues treated. The scope of discussion for every value would also widen to keep at par with the maturity level of the students.

These values would not be listed in any particular hierarchy of importance, but would be instilled in the personality of students suited to their genius during any lesson of the subject being studied. This would be necessary because the focus of Values Education would be based on the vicissitudes of their life during the teaching and learning process.


The following values would form the underpinning of the curricula of Values Education at various levels:

1. Human Personality, the Divine Energy

- Its development is the ultimate goal of life on this earth

2. Respect for the Human Beings

- All human beings are equal by birth and are worthy of respect

3. Status according to the Actions

- Criterion of respect is according to the man’s personal qualities

4. Justice

- Equality to each human beings by virtue of his/her birth

- Uniform opportunities for development of his/her potential

- Status with respect to her/his actions

- Reward corresponding to his/her efforts

- Not suppressing what is due to him/her

- Deciding all matters on all human beings, even to the enemy

5. Punishment

- To the nature of crime committed

6. Personal Responsibility

- Shoulder it first to claim for right (shouldering of responsibility accrues right alone)

7. Zulm

- Wrong not and not be wronged

8. Ehsan

- Maintain proportion among the disproportioned as a matter of right

9. Freedom

- Maintain freedom for every individual and pay respect to freedom

10. Subservience

- To Allah’s revealed laws alone

11. Law of Requital (Law of Mukafat)

- Establishment of Natural Consequences of Actions, overt or covert

12. Social Justice

- Not confounding truth with falsehood

- Nor knowingly conceal the truth what-so-ever be the reason: favouritism, greed, envy, enmity, victimization, self-interest.

- Not hiding testimony

- Not pleading the cause of the perfidious, the dishonest, the distrust or the treacherous.

13. Obey and Ordain to Obey the Recognized Laws for the Establishment of Society

- Enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency for the establishment of a society

14. Avoid Anarchy, Rebelliousness and Lawlessness as Defined in the Holy Qur’an

15. Permanent Values as a Boundary line for Human Actions

- Be within the boundaries of the permanent values and consult others for deciding partial matters

16. Render back the Trusts

- Trust to those alone who deserve and never to the undeserved

17. Subsistence

- Keep the sources of production open to the benefit of the humanity as a whole

18. Intellectual and Physiological Nourishment of Others Strengths One’s Own Personality

- Reflect this value in behavioural activities: overt and covert

19. Chastity

- Put safe-guards for the preservation of chastity

20. Universal Brotherhood

- Develop brotherhood-panism

21. The Survival of the Constructive

- Be beneficial to the humanity in terms of those affairs which are constructive and are based on permanent values and not in those affairs which are destructive and unlawful

22. Co-operation, Corroboration

- Co-operate one another unto righteousness alone

23. Reflect the Attributes of Allah in Behaviour

- Project facets of Allah in behavioural activities, overt and covert both, so far tenable within the human parameters

24. Security

- Provide security so that every one is dealt within the permanent values

25. Slavery

- No human being shall be a slave or a subject to his/her fellow beings

26. Limitations to Human Actions

- Follow that which is sent down to you from your Nourisher and follow not any other protector beside Him


If there is no clash or tie between the values given below and some of the permanent values listed above, these values will be incorporated in behaviour. In case of tie, only the permanent values will be strengthened even at the cost of one’s own life:

1. Life-partner’s and Offspring’s Love

2. Lust for Wealth

3. Security of Life

4. Safety of the Haven, the Hearth and the Crops

5. Contract


Personality is the kernel, the core, the hub or the nucleus of the proposed Values Education which either integrates or disintegrates it. The whole model of this Values Education metaphorically draws upon it “that hard kernel of gaiety that never breaks” (Manzoor.1993). The ideological and socio-economical foundations of this model on the basis of which the curricula of all the disciplines, social or physical sciences or the professional pursuits like the Medical, Engineering, Computer or Teacher Education, would be worked out at the State level.

The ideological basis would provide the foundations for the cognitive inputs as well as all kinds of outputs of the entire social and physical sciences. The economic foundations would promote economic development as well as stability in the personality and the social foundations would provide underpinnings to be embedded in the curriculum fabric so that the students may bring these values forth through their overt and / or covert behaviour. However, the textbooks upto intermediate level classes, to begin with, would be prepared and published by the State as it may determine.


The Bureaux of Curriculum and Extension Wing and Curriculum Research and Development Centres, (CRDCs), under the guiding principles of the Federal Ministry of Education would prepare textbooks and teachers’ guide books according to each grade. Each guide book would contain: (i) objectives of Values Education; (ii) detailed analysis of the inbuilt values; (iii) learning objectives; (iv) teaching and learning strategies; and (v) suggested activities.

The teaching kits, in addition to charts, flash cards, scientific and mathematical equipments, would also provide serial pictures and booklets on short stories at the primary level. For the secondary school teachers, the curriculum development agencies would provide (i) objectives; (ii) each value to be imbedded in personality fibre; (iii) teaching and learning objectives; and (iv) suggested issues and situations that could be used to relate/reflect the values.

The training kit would also be developed for the purpose of conducting in-house training programs for the teachers. This training kit material would be related to (i) roles of school administrators, and the conducive school culture, (ii) values across the curriculum, and (iii) video & audio-video cassettes and CDs on the teaching and learning of each subject taught in the school curriculum. These kits may also pertain to Virtual Real Technology in Cyberspace.


The present teaching model does not include the development of the personality area of the students. Pedagogy would be designed to incorporate: (i) objectives of Values Education; (ii) detailed analysis of the values to be imbibed in the students behaviours; (iii) learning objectives; (iv) teaching and learning strategies; (v) suggested activities; and (vi) personality development. This would provide means of helping students to develop positive attitudes that are important in the enrichment of a society. Therefore, the approaches devised and strategies employed would provide students with the opportunities to see and relate issues and problems from a moral perspective.


Pre-service and in-service courses would be conducted for trainees and trained teachers. The several approaches, they would be exposed to, would include: (a) values analysis; (b) values clarification; (c) values inculcation; (d) social action; and (e) cognitive development. The rationale, application, and output(s) of each are outlined below:

The values analysis approach would facilitate students to:

- use logical thinking and cause-effect relationship for solving character conflicts related to personal, social and political issues

- use analytical processes in inter-relating and conceptualizing the values

The values clarification approach would help the students to:

- become aware of and identify their own values and those of others

- communicate openly and honestly

- use both national needs and emotional awareness to evaluate personal feelings, values and behaviour patterns

The values inculcation approach would enable the students to:

- imbibe values in the behavior in a balanced way

- justify why these values have to be internalized and practiced

The social action approach focuses on training students to:

- act as living models of these values

- make judgements in accordance with the values when faced with conflicting situations or moral dilemma related to self or other’s vested interests

The cognitive development approach would facilitate students to:

- develop more complex reasoning patterns based on combined set of values

- act according to the permanent and the relative values

- make wise choices of values for reflection in their behaviour, overt or/and covert


Teachers would be encouraged to use a combinatorial sets of strategies to make every lesson more meaningful, effective and motivating to students. For this purpose the suggested strategies would include: (i) problem solving; (ii) discussion; (iii) project work; (iv) story telling; (v) acting; (vi) singing; (vii) tele-conferencing; (viii) VRT approach, and (ix) simulation games. At primary level, for imparting knowledge, imbibing values for shaping their behaviours, the most effective teaching strategies would be (i) story telling, (ii) acting, (iii) singing and (iv) CDs; whereas at the secondary and tertiary level, for strengthening the practice and internalization of values, for teaching and training the students to think creatively and rationally in making decisions, the most appropriate teaching strategies would be (i) group discussion, (ii) problem solving, (iii) project work; (iv) tele-conferencing; and (v) Virtual Real Technology (VRT) approach in cyberspace.


The Values Education emphasizes on the cognitive and affective domains. In order to have an objective evaluation, fair and just of each student two things would be required: (a) school-based assessment and (b) public examinations. School-based assessment would be for primary level and would be done through observation, written work and oral tests. Observation would focus continuously on the learning and behaviour aspects of a student for a long period of time. Assessment on written work would include, marking and evaluating work done and would include daily exercises such as essays and reports and written tests. The written tests may be set in the objective and/or subjective forms. Oral tests would be carried out through interaction between the teacher and the taught and among the taught. This would be only to validate students’ behaviours evaluated through observation and feedback from the society. The same too for the higher education.

Public examinations would be for secondary and tertiary level students and would be done through tests on their knowledge of values and their projection through reasoning skills in answering questions. These questions would be set to (a) evaluate knowledge of the values; (b) evaluate understanding of the considerations leading to the values; where the students would be required to respond to the stimuli given by written answer in the spaces provided; these stimuli would be set in the form of moral situations of dilemma; short questions would be designed and answers would have to be given in the form of views and opinions and marks would be awarded on knowledge and maturity of thought; the questions would be structurally set and (c) evaluate the students’ ability to apply the gained knowledge; where students would be required to use their ability to analyze moral problems and issues posed in the questions and make appropriate decisions; where the students would not only have to give their views and opinions but also would need to reason out their responses.


Community programs related to education, culture and recreation would be useful because these programs would enable the youth and adults to interact with each other while experiencing and practicing these values. These programs would be organized by government agencies such as the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Information and Broad Casting, Voluntary Organizations etc. The mass-media would also participate in the promotion of Value Education activities. The electronic media such as television, radio and Internet would telecast educational programs which would embed values as desired through the curriculum. The print media such as newspapers and magazines would also publicize articles based on the Values Education.


The major problems would fall in the areas of (a) teaching learning phase because the teachers would have to teach the same values from year to year where means and ways would have to be found to create an interesting environment and effective teaching strategy; (b) evaluation of students’ moral behaviour because it would be difficulty to know precisely what are the true thoughts and values which the students uphold internally; the consistency of the values observed over time and across situations would still not be certain; in the contradictory-and-dissension-ridden society the values taught in institutes would be contradictory to what is happening at home; and (c) controlling the types of materials produced by mass-media. The implementation of this program would depend on all groups of the population from the institutes and the community.


The operational mechanism for revamping the system of Values Education would be four-pronged: (a) incorporation of the Law of Requital; (b) resurrection of the present system of education conforming to the recognition of Allah as the Rabb, the Nourisher; (c) organization for the course of self development; and (d) strategic pedagogy for content base on the empirical theory of knowledge. Strategic measures for each of the four prongs would have to be worked out to keep balance between the changing socio-economic conditions of the time and permanence of human personality.

The main points of the strategic measures for judging the end-product of this Values Education would be:

1. Students engaged in understanding and controlling the forces of nature and shaping their lives according to these permanent values. They would be judged whether they are becoming the real MOMINS and MUTTAQIS in the days to come and are becoming worthy of enjoying happiness in this world and the same in the next stage of life;

2. Those students who really achieve the conquest of nature but use their power so acquired for purposes opposed to the permanent values. They would be judged whether they are being worthy to be rewarded with success in this world for the time being but would have nothing to hope for in the future;

3. Those students who turn away from nature and make no attempt to understand and conquer it. They would be judged whether they would (a) attain human strature, (b) live a life of hardship and misery in this world and (c) inherently find the way to progress blocked in the life hereafter.

It is, therefore, desired to base this operational strategy: (a) on the pristine ideological pursuits rooted in the permanent values; (b) execute these pursuits with the constructive potential in accordance with the Divine Law given in the Holy Qur’an:

“Only the Tyyab Ideology sublimes to Him and the Saleh acts take to Its culmination (prescribed by) Him alone”(The Holy Qur’an 35:10).

To judge the success of the Values Education, the end product would be to help the student (a) understand and control the forces of nature, (b) shape their lives according to the permanent values, and (c) enjoy happiness in this world and the world hereafter as MOMINS and MUTTAQEES. The following example would make this process clear:


Some of the values and objectives for inculcation in behaviour are given as under:

Human Personality - Is aware of own potentialities

- Makes efforts for developing own personality with a balance among its potentials, talents and traits having a choice of adequate selection

- Accepts it as a ledger of total records making it integrative or disintegrative

- Is self-supporting

- Is aware to make decisions and solve problems

Justice - Accords equality to all the human beings

by virtue of its birth

- Provides uniform opportunities for the development of human being’s potential

- Determines the status corresponding to his/her actions

- Works with dedication

Justice In Court of Law - Not pleading the cause of perfidious

- Conceals not the truth what-so-ever be the reason

- Confounds not the truth with falsehood

- Makes efficient time management

The Survival of the Constructive - Is beneficial to the humanity in those affairs

which are constructive and based on

permanent values

- Assists others who are in need

- Takes initiatives for willingness to forgive

Limitations to Human Actions - Follows that which is sent down from the

Rabb, the Nourisher

- Manifests feeling of tolerance towards others

- Executes co-operation

- Develops operational skills

Render Back the Trusts - Returns the deposits and the reigns of power

to those who deserve

- Is disciplined, honest and industrious

- Accomplishes fulfillment of work goals

- Accelerates organizational effectiveness

Respect for Humanity - Knows that all human beings are equal by

birth and are worthy of respect without

discrimination of colour, creed, cast and sex

- Develops work habits that are healthy

- Initiates respect for all

Deserve for What you Strive for - Gets the fruit of own struggle alone

- Works hard to deserve

- Puts interest towards work

- Applies honesty and positive attitudes towards work and responsibilities

These permanent values inbuilt compassion (i.e. the feeling of tolerance towards others), self-reliance, self-supporting, diligence (i.e. self-development), co-operation (i. e. team work) etc.

Researches prove that affective skills are needed to ensure success and development of positive attitudes. Therefore, the teachers would have to be (i) equipped with necessary skills and knowledge to perform their roles effectively in inculcating values in their students; (ii) skillful in the various teaching approaches and strategies to be able to apply properly and effectively; (iii) able to resolve the students problems through their participation; (iv) competent in the knowledge of humanistic and cultural dimensions; and (v) role models to their students all the time.


The Values Education regulates as a motive-valence for living peacefully on this biosphere on the doctrine of mutual respect; for the development of human self; for disciplining life within the boundary walls of the permanent values embodied in the Holy Qur’an, the only code of life on this earth. This would make as if the Nourisher, on the return of the human beings to Him, welcomes:

But ah; thou soul at peace!

Return unto thy Nourisher,

Content in His good pleasure.

Enter thou among My bondmen;

Enter thou My Heaven; (The Holy Qur’an 89: 27-30)

Iqbal, Quran and Muslim Unity

Muslims are supposed to work together towards a common goal set by the Quran and shown by the Prophet (PBUH) through his Sunnah. They are brothers and sisters because they are bonded by the common ideology of the unity of God and the unity of humankind.

These are the foundational principles of Islam. The Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) require Muslims to work for the unity of the Ummah. Muslims are required to be merciful towards each other (The Quran (48:29)) and be like the body where if any part hurts the whole body should feel the pain (Hadith). But, are Muslims practicing this injunction of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH)? Muslims and various Islamic organizations are working hard but it is frustratingly obvious that the above goals are ever so illusive. Instead of Muslims being united in mercy towards each other, they are, on the whole, far from it. Instead of feeling the pain and misery of other Muslims (Chechens, Palestinians, Kashmiris, for example), most of us are happily enjoying our material comforts of life. Is Muslim unity only a dream that cannot be fulfilled? Many argue that all this talk of Muslim unity is out of date. Islam may have once united Muslims but present reality makes it impossible. They say it is nice talk, which makes Muslims feel good but an unrealistic goal that cannot be achieved. Muslims spend (and have spent) a lot of their time and emotional energy debating this issue.

We will come back to this fundamental question- is Muslim unity possible, and if it is, then how to achieve it? But first, let us find out the present state of Muslims and compare it with the Iqbal’s visionary diagnosis of their problems.

Muslim misery and suffering is as common today as it was in the days of Iqbal. Every day that passes brings more death and destruction to Muslims, only at a much wider scale. It is sad to see Muslim governments collaborating with non-Muslims to inflict damage and suffering against fellow Muslims. Many Muslim groups are also engaged in fighting against each other in many parts of the Muslim world. And in some countries where Muslims are in minority, their condition is even worse. As a minority they are systematically being subjected to discrimination, humiliation, persecution, torture, and rape. One wonders: is it ever going to end?

When Greeks attacked Turkey in 1923 (at the behest of the British) Iqbal’s heart started crying. He knew that it was not just an attack on Turkey, but it was an attack on Islam itself. He tried to free the Muslim mind from the prevailing colonial mentality and from Muslims’ own narrow self-interests. He wrote the poem "Tolu-e-Islam" which later became one of his classic works. [Copies of this poem were sold and all proceeds were sent to Turkey.] He said: "Hawas ne tukre tukre kar diya hay na’u insan ko ukhuwwat ka bayan ho ja mohabbat ki zaban ho ja ye Hindi, wo Khurasani, ye Afghani, wo Turani tu ay sharmindayeh sahil uchhal kar bekaraan ho ja"

"Greed has torn apart humankind. You (Muslims), become role models of love and brotherhood. Get beyond the narrow boundaries of nationalities (like Indian, Khurasani, Afghani, and Turkish) and jump into the limitless ocean (of Islam)."

Observing the present situation in which Muslims find themselves today, Iqbal’s soul must be feeling extremely restless. Alas! There is no Iqbal today among Muslims who can guide the Muslim Ummah against the forces that are bent on its destruction. But the Muslim Ummah can also be torn apart due to internal conflicts.

In fact, this is what is happening to Muslim Ummah today. Probably, there are no people in the world today who have been as divided as Muslims. They are divided along religious, political, ethnic, cultural, racial, linguistic, and sectarian lines. These divisions extend further into subdivisions. Status, wealth, fame, and fortune have also created social differences among Muslims.

Muslims are divided at the root into Sunnis and Shias. Sunnis are further divided into Hanafi, Maliki, Shaafai, and Hanbali. Shias too are divided into Kesania, Zaidia, Imamia or Ithna ‘Ashari, Ismalia, etc. Sunnis are also divided into Ahle-hadith and Ahle-fiqha. In the Indian subcontinent (at least) Ahle-fiqha are further divided into Deobandis and Barelwis. Similar differences exist in other places as well. Are all these divisions and differences schools of thought as many Muslims claim? Whether or not we admit it, these differences and divisions do create physical, emotional, and psychological barriers amongst us. Iqbal says that these differences create prejudice in human beings: "Shajar hay firqa arayee, ta’assub hay samar iska ye wo phal hay jo jannat se nikalwata hay adam ko"

"These divisions are the branches of a tree; its fruit is prejudice. This is the fruit which gets Adam (man) expelled from Jannah (peaceful life)."

Although in North America we do try to work together (despite our religious differences) in a civilized manner, but our brothers and sisters back home are not that fortunate. There, these differences sometimes lead to violence and killings. Why is that despite clear warnings of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) against it? Is it due to the prejudices that are the inevitable results of our divisions, as Iqbal mentions in the above poem?

With all these divisions and differences, can we progress in the world? Iqbal does not think so: "Firqa bandi hay kaheen aur kaheen zatein hain kya zamane mein panapne ki yahee batein hain"

"Somewhere are religious divisions and somewhere are differences based on caste. Is this the way to prosper in the world?"

He further says: "Tum syed bhi ho Mirza bhi ho Afghan bhi ho tum sabhi kuchh ho batao ki musalman bhi ho"

"You are Syed; you are Mirza; you are Afghan. You are everything. Tell me, are you Muslim too?"

Here Iqbal uses the word "Syed" to represent the caste system that has penetrated Muslims (especially in the Indian subcontinent because of Hindu influence). He uses the word "Mirza" to represent the ruling elite and the word "Afghan" to represent the differences in Muslims based on region, language, and race.

All these differences are anti-Qur’anic. When Iqbal poses the question, "Tell me, are you Muslim too?" he implies that those who feel proud and superior compared to other fellow Muslims because of these labels attached to their names (and not because of Taqwa), they are not entitled to be called true Muslims.

Qur’an says that those who create differences in the Deen (Islam) are among the Mushrikun:

"Be not among the Mushrikun i.e., those who create differences in Deen (Isalm) and become sects. Each (sectarian) party quite content with itself (that it is following the correct path)." (30:32)

"And those who create division in Deen (Islam) and become divided into sects, O Prophet (PBUH)! You have no part in them in the least." (6:159)

The Prophet (PBUH) is reported to have said:

"Anyone who gets even one feet away from the Ummah has taken out the Islamic yoke from his neck, even if he prays and fasts."

That is why Qur’an calls upon all Muslims to be united and hold on steadfastly to the rope of Allah (i.e. Qur’an) and gives a stern warning to them not to create any divisions (3:103) amongst themselves.

If we look at the global picture as a whole, we find that the number of Muslims has grown steadily to more than a billion today. Muslims possess the richest resources of the world and the most fertile lands of the earth. In spite of this, how ironic that the most vulnerable and the most dependent people on earth are also Muslims.

Coming to the religious level, we find that the number of mosques is growing everywhere. The number of Muslims going to mosques is also increasing. The number of Muslims performing the annual pilgrimage increases every year, and in fact, has to be controlled to restrict the number. The number of Muslim organizations has been growing steadily. Whenever some differences arise among Muslims in one organization, they create another one and build another mosque. Noticing such an abundance of religious fervor among Muslims, Iqbal was led to say: "Masjid to banadi shab bhar mein imaan ke hararat walon ne man apna purana papi hay barson mein namazi ban na saka"

"Those with fervor in their faith built the mosque in a night, but the heart is sinful and did not prostrate in years."

Now, let us come to the real question. In spite of all the speeches and the sermons exhorting Muslims to unite, we see that the result is disappointing, to say the least. Why is that? The only way to diagnose this problem is to find the root cause according to Iqbal.

We will have to go deeper into our hearts to find out the root cause of our problems. If we look only at the outside, then just like a tree, we will see its trunk, the branches, and the leaves. And if the roots have become infected with a disease, no matter how strong the rest of the tree is, sooner or later it is going to die. Actually, its demise may be hastened even by a moderate wind. No amount of nourishment given to the branches and leaves will help prevent its final demise.

Obviously, the source to which we must turn to find out the root cause of the problem must provide the necessary guidance to diagnose it. According to Iqbal, the necessary guidance to diagnose all our (not just Muslims’ but entire humanity’s) ills is contained in the Qur’an: "Wahi derina bimari wahi namuhkami dil ki ‘ilaj iska wahi aabe nishat angez hay saaqi"

"It is the same old disease, the same psychological problem of the heart. The cure is also the same, ‘Aab-e-Nishat’ i.e., the Qur’an."

Qur’an says:

"O mankind! There has come to you a guidance from your Lord and a cure for the disease in your hearts." (10:57)

Thus according to Qur’an and Iqbal, the disease of all our problems lies in our hearts and therefore, the cure should also begin there. Iqbal says: "Zaban se kah bhi diya la ilaha illah to kya hasil Dil-o-nigah Musalman naheen to kuchh bhi naheen"

"What can you accomplish by saying la ilaha with your tongue? If your heart is not a Muslim, then it is nothing."

That is, the Iman should enter the depths of the heart. Simply saying that I believe is not enough, according to the Quran (49:14).

The Qur’an says:

"Among human beings are those who say ‘We believe in Allah and the Last day;’ but they are not among the Momins." (2:8)

Those born in Muslim families cannot claim to be Momins (just like the bedouoins of Arabia) unless Iman has entered their hearts.

"The bedouins say, ‘We believe,’ (O Rasool) Say to them that you don’t believe, but you have accepted to surrender (to Islam) and Iman has not yet entered the depths of your hearts." (49:14)

Also, Iman is not blind faith. The Qur’an clearly says that Iman becomes strong only with knowledge,

"And that those on whom knowledge has been bestowed may know that (Qur’an) is the Truth from your Lord, so that they may believe in it and their hearts may be made humbly (open) to it." (22:54)

Therefore, the heart must be kept humble and open, so that Iman acquired by the mind (knowledge) may enter the heart. Iman cannot enter those whose hearts have disease and those who have sealed and hardened their hearts (22:53).

Qur’an says the Momins have dignity and power over others:

"If you are Momins, then you will have dominance and power." (3:139)

And unbelievers will never be able to subdue and dominate Momins:

"And never will We grant to the unbelievers victory and domination over Momins." (4:141)

Obviously, if we as Muslims compare ourselves with these very clear verses of Qur’an, then we have to come to only one conclusion that we are not among the Momins which the Qur’an talks about. Majority of our hearts are not open and humble. In fact, Qur’an tells us that instead of making the heart open and humble, there are some who let their emotions and ego control them. It says:

"Have you seen the one who has taken his own emotions as his god." (25:43)

Iqbal says regarding this type of person: "Zabaan se gar kiya tauheed ka da’wa to kya hasil banaya hay bute pindaar ko apna khuda tu ne"

"What is the benefit if you claim with your tongue in oneness of God? You have made your emotion an idol and taken it as your god."

How many of us (besides practicing the five pillars) are willing to go deep down in our hearts and honestly admit that we follow our emotions more often than we follow Allah (i.e. Book of Allah)? Allah demands total and complete surrender of our wills:

"O you who believe! Enter in Islam completely." (2:208)

Therefore, the problems which we Muslims are facing today are the outward symptoms of the root cause, i.e., the internal friction in our hearts between obedience to Allah and obedience to our own emotions and egos. And it is this internal conflict that is referred to as the disease of the heart by the Qur’an. Iqbal too espouses this same theme of the Qur’an when he says: "Batil du-ee pasand hay haq la sharik hay shirkat miyan-e haq-o-batil na kar qubool"

"Batil (as opposed to Haq; the Truth) likes to compromise but Haq is uncompromising. Do not accept the middle ground between Haq and Batil."

Therefore, as long as we Muslims keep compromising the TRUTH contained in the Quran, there is no hope for a cure of our collective mental, psychological, and emotional ills. We do not know how many psychological, emotional, and mental forms of idols we carry all the time in our hearts and minds. Qur’an demands us to cleanse and purify our hearts from all kinds of Ilah. These subtle forms of shirk are addictive and like a slow poison have a deadening effect on our hearts and minds. Iqbal in his unique God given style says: "Dile murda dil naheen hay ise zida kar dobara ki yahee hay ummaton ke marge kuhan ka chara"

"The deadened heart is not a heart. Make it alive again. This is the only way to cure the age old diseases of nations."

How to revive and resuscitate the dead heart; Iqbal says it is only possible through Qur’an: "Gar tu mi khahi Musalman zeestan – neest mumkin juz ba Quran zeestan" "If you wish to live the life a Muslim, then it is not possible except by the Quran."

‘Aisha (R) said: "The Prophet (PBUH) was a walking Quran." Thus the Sunnah is to live by the Quran and not just read it for earning reward for the hereafter.

Iqbal says about our Sahaba (R): "Wo mu’azziz they zamane mein Musalman hokar aur tum khwar huey tarike Quran hokar"

"They had dignity and power in the world because of Islam. And you are suffering humiliation and defeat because you have left the Qur’an."

Quran says that our Prophet (PBUH) will complain to Allah:

"And the Prophet (PBUH) will say: "O my Lord! Truly my people took the Quran for just foolish nonsense (i.e., they left the message of the Quran)." (25:30)

But Iqbal also emphasizes that there are plenty of roadblocks in the path of the Quran. No less is the roadblock presented by some religious scholars in the name of Islam. Iqbal says: "Khud badalte naheen Quran ko badal dete hain huwey kis darja faqeehane haram be taufiq"

"These people don’t change themselves but they change the Qur’an (by their interpretations). How unfortunate are these custodians of haram (Islam)."

He further says: "Ahkam tere haq hain magar apne mufassir taaweel se Quran ko bana sakte hain Pazhand"

"O Allah! Your guidance is no doubt The Truth. But our interpreters can turn Qur’an into Pazhand by their interpretations."

[Pazhand is the book compiled by the followers of Zoroaster which according to them is the interpretation of Avesta, the book of Zoroaster in which his followers inserted their own thoughts.]

And finally, Muslims should always keep in front of them the following verse, which describes the law for change:

"It is a fact that Allah does not change the condition of a people unless they bring about change in their own selves." (13:11)

Iqbal echoes exactly the same message of the Quran in his own God given style when he says: "Khuda ne aaj tak us qaum ki haalat naheen badlee na ho jisko khyal aap apni haalat ke badalne ka"

Let us conclude with the folowing message of Iqbal: "Manf-e-at ek hai is qaum ki nuqsaan bhi ek ek hi sab ka nabi deen bhi iman bhi ek harame paak bhi Allah bhi Quran bhi ek kuchh bari baat thi hote jo Musalman bhi ek"

"There is one common gain and one common loss for all Muslims. (Remember the Prophet’s hadith that all Muslims are like a body.) One Prophet (PBUH) for all and one Iman for all. One Ka’aba, one Allah and one Qur’an for all. How great it would be if Muslims also were one!"

Let us pray to Allah to unite our hearts in the path of Islam. It is Allah’s promise that if we do that, then we will regain our dignity, power, and glory (24:55). And Allah does not break His promise (2:80).

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Understanding The Quran: Pre-requisites would be needed

The Quran seeks to awaken in human the consciousness of his/her intimate relation to the universe. Its main emphasis is on reason and knowledge. Its purpose is to help to build up a free, self-reliant and rational personality, vivified with the sense of Allah's working in the universe according to His immutable, unalterable laws. Now the question is: "How to understand the Quran?"

For this purpose, some pre-requisites are suggested. Study them very carefully, minutely, and meticulously before manifesting any emotional reactions.

Pre-requisite No. I
For understanding the Quran, it is not enough to have mastered its language, the Arabic language. A man may be proficient in the Arabic language and yet the meaning of the Quran may elude him.

Pre-requisite No. 2
He/She should approach this Divine Book with a receptive mind, free from preconceived ideas and notions, prejudice and bias.

Pre-requisite No. 3
He/She should be serious about human life and universe in which we live, and should have an intense consciousness of participation in a purposeful cosmic process.

Pre-requisite No. 4
He/She should be anxious to guard against pitfalls in the way of life and to steer clear of the obsacles which hinders his/her progress

These are, according to the Quran, the essentials pre-requisites for understanding the Quran. Those who do not approach the Quran in this way, it remains a sealed book to them. In the stories of the Anbiya -the Messengers recounted in the Quran -we are told how those who were not perceptive and alive were only bewildered when they listened to their i.e., the anbiya's passionate exhortations. Some of them frankly confessed that they found their words unintelligible:
O Shu'aib ! We understand not much what you say (11: 91)

Our first task, in the light of the above mentioned pre-requisites, is to understand the real meaning of the Quran with the help of all the intellectual faculties we possess. It can only be then that we can proceed to assess the values of its teaching.