In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Grande Strategy

Feedback on Pedagogy of Insaf (Unpublished)

Following was feedback we got on our paper Pedagogy of Insaf from Dr. Salman Janjua. We are not ready to publish this considerably long (75 page) document yet but insh'Allah will do so in the future.

Feedback on Pedagogy of Insaaf:

The British Colonial education system in Pakistan was designed to stop critical thinking and limit the application and advancement of knowledge so the colonies are unable to catch up with them. This is not the current colonial education system in their countries but through research and development they have elevated the art of instruction and higher order thinking in students to a higher platform. In good schools the learner is free to think and act as a democratic individual grounded in moral values, logic and a sense of Justice, freedom and equality.
It is not the replication of the western education that is required but the methodology of application to extract an integrated philosophy of learning that can be beneficial to a Pakistani future education’s ideological implementation and can be acted upon in the classroom.

Indeed the neuro physiological pathways may not have been   networked enough due to the practice of repetitive and non-variable inputs that aim to dis-engage the student kinaesthetically and mentally to the point of a much lesser ‘use’ of the brain in active learning and engaging teaching.

The colonialists knew about the rote learning of the Al-Qura’n in Maadrassa’s and they used that fact to introduce more repetitive learning curricula and pedagogy so that their subjects would be trapped in their mind long after their departure from the colony. This would limit not only research and development but also the Islamic spiritual development thus suppressing the nourishment of the free Muslim soul that creates the medium of the acceptance and absorption of knowledge to enlighten that intelligent Muslim brain.

We as the ‘slaves’ of colonials must be careful not to fall into the frying pan when trying to get out of the fire. Our hate of them and the regret of our past must not let us abandon the good in their education policies and systems and we must be cautious in rejection of their 100 years of research and development into education, However, saying this, the Insaaf ideology on education must be independent of any western secular principles and solely based on the Qura’n and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Salla la ho alley he wassallam).

The continuance of the most successful ideology from the time of the golden ages in your Insaaf education policy is truly a ‘Great Revival’ for not only Pakistani’s but also for a wider Ummah is truly inspirational and revolutionary. Well done Sirs.

One of the most important values in the British Education System is the Equality Act, which essentially means all; whether rich or poor, disabled or not, women and men have the right to an equal quality and fair provision of education.

The rich in our societies always have had a ‘head start’ by being able to access high quality education and instruction due to affordability but most importantly the presence of private institutions that cater for the elite. There would be insaaf for all Pakistani’s when there is standardisation of measurable quality learning and teaching in all State schools which is comparable to the private institutions. This would not only provide a ‘Great Escape’ from those metallic mind constraining devices but also invigorate something more important imagination ‘An idea of a Great Nation that can achieve Great things’ in the heart and minds of all our citizens and the wider Muslim world.

Student punishment in schools which involved caning was stopped in England in the 1970’s. Laws for Child protection were brought in and now a day’s even sarcasm towards the students can be considered as cruelty if intended to psychologically perturb the child. Child protection and bullying policies have been developed carefully to ensure that the student’s cognitive development is not being made sluggish. This is what Ibn-e- Khaldoon proposed so long ago but in the west this has been researched, developed and even branded as the product of secular societies. One can find this pattern in mathematics, sciences and work has been done to link the advancements to the Muslim research and development during the Golden Ages. So learning from the secular societies education ideas can also be viewed as learning from the original Muslim ideas and just as the west expanded on them we can also further, refine and modify them with the Islamic vision on knowledge and learning.

Our natural resources if to be utilised should be channelled into the development of a revolutionary education system that has an aim not to school the masses for human obedience but to ‘Hukm’ submissiveness of their wills to Allah and a code of conduct as the Prophet Muhammad (Sallal la ho alley he wassallam) taught and exemplified. I believe that your papers core ideology is this and I humbly commend you for it.

You have as they say ‘nailed it on the head’ the problem entrenched in the minds of the Pakistani youth due to the observable world around them created to be confined to be used as tools of manipulation by mass media to meet a perpetual ‘end’ and aren’t able to express themselves without fear of lack of knowledge and confidence in their Pakistani heritage.

I entirely agree that we must go back to the basic of ‘what’ made Islamic education and the process of learning and development in line with the truth of spiritual ‘gain’ and the alignment, expression and synthesising of knowledge with this vision. This is the ideology that will determine the objective, the values, the pedagogy, the school models, the curricula, the policies. This is the heart of hearts which will (InshAllah) cleanse the mind of minds in the revived education of Pakistan.
It is amazing the you have researched the Qura’n and highlighted the verses that show levels of cognitive development and when you consider the type of questioning in the Qura’n it also puts into action the higher order thinking, the type of questions that blooms taxonomy shows minus the most important ‘metaphysical’ or spiritual development.

The education policy must strike the right balance and calculated temperance between the flourishing of democracy to be in Pakistan when Insaaf begins and religious integration into the nation’s hearts and minds through the education ideology of Insaaf. Religious organisations in Pakistan have also been the victims of the underlining problem in our current education philosophy and systems so they are not viewed upon historically as the ones that can bring social and technological change that the people want and consider as positive movement in the direction of a stronger economy, technological advancement and freedom of expression, therefore, the presentation of the essence of Pedagogy of Insaaf to the lay man must be short, direct, simple but hope giving, energetic, inspirational, promising, fair to all and uniting in purpose and passion for the ultimate goals.

The concepts of Tawheed and Tassuwuff  or shall I say the core spiritual thinking and moral platforms that are the grounding of all reason and the media of all application of knowledge of Muslim scholars come across as the purifiers of all knowledge that is to be investigated through inquiry and logic. It is very likely that these ‘correctors’ or ‘authenticators’ of learning may automatically guide an intelligent Muslim brain through the scrolls of western knowledge and simplify it or expand it according to the Will of Allah and the Love of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallal la ho alley he wasallam).
For example understanding the theory of relativity from the Qura’n and Sunnah opens up more in depth lines of enquiry and contains the possible Islamisation of Knowledge that it is possible to travel faster then the speed of light and hence comprehend space-time to the next level.
The Big Bang theory can be understood again through the Islamisation of western knowledge by synthesising knowledge from the Qura’n and Sunnah that the universe was filled with water and that there are smaller particles than the ‘Zarrah’ which are opposites to each other.

But to achieve this state of mind and purity of heart must be harnessed through the process of mental Islamisation to calibrate the intellectual faculties to enlighten and operate in spiritual ‘mode’.

The Great Allama Iqbal mentioned something to the effect that the birds nest that is made on weak and wobbly foundation will not be lasting. This brings home the importance of Islamisation of knowledge and indicates the methodology of getting there.

The greatest Islamisation of Knowledge in the sub-continent was achieved by Allama Iqbal. His philosophy came out of the vast philosophical learning he undertook in Germany i.e. studying Goethe. He was also well versed in the forms of western philosophy but he Islamasised the knowledge and synthesised it to be pure of unIslamic ideology. His works therefore must form a core in any educational programme in Pakistan and indeed the ideology.

The strategy that follows the chosen paradigm or a ‘new’ paradigm should be careful of a worldview of Islamic education as a starting point and then moving into the localised context of Pakistan. The aim surely is to improve the condition of Pakistani’s and therefore, a situation based solution that is efficient in its implementation should also be focussed on. Like it is said ‘charity begins at home’. The potential inherent in the paradigm must be designed to achieve the educational vision systematically and with relative political and strategic ease.

There are two aspects here on one the end of the golden ages where the Muslim view and flow of knowledge advancement was stopped and the knowledge was taken by the Christians and Jews in Cordoba. They weren’t able to develop the learning Islamically and hence the secularisation of Muslim idea began. It is highly unlikely for Muslims today to just start where we once were; we are therefore forced to learn from the west. The body of the car i.e. the knowledge was inferred from the Qura’n and the Hadiths. These ran in parallel with scientific knowledge, philosophy, and logic, poetry, Social sciences and the arts. The importance was placed on the construction of the human ‘body’, the heart providing the fountain of spiritual showers needed to think creatively, imaginatively but with reason immersed in Islamic commands of the Qura’n and the Sunnah. One can say the art of reason governed the soul of peace to obey the will of ‘Hukm’. There was no room for existentialism and doubt.

The car is fixed and has bounds but the paramount knowledge of the Qura’n evolves with the depth of devotion and the belief in sincerity.
For example the theory of evolution has created doubts in the minds of many students and they may have been accepting it as a fact. The secularists have forbidden the religious fact of the creation of Hadrat Adam (Aley he salaam) to be taught in schools.

One main difference between the western and Muslim civilisations is that the Muslims have the option of submission of their instincts to God. But once the value and confidence in this service is lost then the society is taken over by the western cultural and materialistic notions. But the question is why? And how do we raise the self-esteem of Muslims to be proud of their revealed knowledge and accept their cultural heritage with open arms. The acceptance of western ideas and especially objects is considered to be the best thing to do in almost all middle eastern countries even if they are resourcefully self-sufficient. Their societies have disengaged themselves from the organism of civilisation.

The holistic view of civilisation and societies within it is the view of God and the last messenger Prophet Muhammad (Sallal la ho alley he wassallam) as he was sent to the whole of human kind. The humanistic view of the secular world based on the human rights charter in comparison overtime has shown to be more compassionate when put against some of the middle eastern rulers and the condition and freedom of the people they rule, hence the Arab spring.
It is the right approach to look at the Muslim and even wider civilisations when reviving the educational ideology for a new nation.

The policy paper is thorough and evidence based in explaining the ideology of educating a civilisation while developing its culture and perturbing a positive change intrinsically linked to individuals ‘moving’ the nation towards their goal.

I am humbled by the broad and balanced research and your conclusions and directives are well informed logically from the choice of the conceptual paradigm.  I hope any of my inspired ideas after reading your paper can be any use.

Sulman Janjua-London.

Vision Without Glasses


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