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Introduction to Education: The pursuit of knowledge has lead Mankind to make many great breakthroughs in their understanding of the world around it and in the process by which things happen. It has led to complex and mind-boggling scientific advancements, which have completely changed how we lead our lives, radically different from anything in the past. However, does religious education and knowledge have any role to play in this 'new' society or is there a greater need today then there has ever been before?

Dedicated to Learn: A vast amount of time and wealth is invested in studying and education. The aim of this education is to give someone a good start in life which will benefit them in later years. For example, we send our children to school and insist that they work hard at school. If they achieve some good qualifications in their school years, more employment opportunities will open up in the future. Good jobs is often associated with a better standard of life and more security. Wealth can be easily lost unlike your knowledge and qualifications which accompany you throughout your life.

Deficiencies: Education certainly has an importance in this life. The education may be broad and cover a wide range of disciplines but usually neglects the spiritual nature of our lives. How many classes genuinely help to explain our purpose in life? Explain to us about our creator? Tells us about the signs around us which lead to the truth or the teachings of the prophets? How much of this education helps to improve the moral fibre of our society and how much of this education promotes values such as respect, modesty, humility and piety?

Spiritual: The need for this spiritual and moral education is amply demonstrated by the ills within our society. As we move more into a materialistic frame of mind we totally neglect our spiritual side leading to more disruptions within our personal and social lives. Society breaks down; the family unit breaks down as people become more distant. We rely on fantasy and entertainment, alcohol and drugs to drown out every remembrance and need of the soul inside us.

Religious education: The fact remains that one day we will die and a new phase in our lives will begin. Scientific research or any other form of analysis can't explain this next phase. Instead we have to turn to other sources for this information and guidance. This is where religious guidance plays a vital role. It teaches us about the wrongs and rights; it encourages us to be of good character and actions; it teaches us about our purpose of life and what happens when we die; it teaches us about our creator and the relationship we should have with Him; it teaches that which is beyond human perception and can only be taught through divinely appointed teaches - the Prophets.

"The best of you is he who has learnt the Qu'ran and then taught it."

Hadith: Bukhari

Islamic Education: There are many ideologies in the many societies on Earth. Their present forms are often based on ideas which have evolved with the changing times. Islam is different because of the concrete unchangeable foundation upon which our deen is based known as the Holy Quran. We also have the Sunnah as a practice guide to the application of this divine blueprint. Both the Quran and the Sunnah are also the foundations upon which Islamic education is based.

Children growing up: As children grow they tend to be influenced by the environment they are brought up in. It is fair to say that the majority of the waking time Muslim children are surrounded by influences that are often detrimental to their spiritual well-being. Many of these influences go against values which Muslims hold. These influences may be in the form of their school education, the friends they keep, television and radio programs, magazines and books they read.

Islamic Education: For Muslim children to live in this environment, they have to have a good understanding of their deen. This understanding is the minimum necessary tools for them to function and prosper in this society. A good Islamic education is more essential to our children than to those children who live in an environment where islam is followed and practiced.

Parent's Duty: It is our duty as parents to teach our children about Islam and helping them to achieve a good understanding. In everyday life, when children are confronted by choices, they can clearly tell the difference between right and wrong. They should have a deep love and respect for our deen so that it is the central part of their adult life.

And know that you possessions and your offspring are only a trial; and that it is Allah with whom there is a tremendous reward
Holy Qu'ran 8:28

Future Adults: Only by instilling a deep understanding of Islam can we hope to have well balanced adults in the future. These children will grow up and be the torch-bearers of Islam and their spirituality will be a testimony to their Islamic education. We need to take advantage of these classes now and inshallah promote these activities within our community.

Dua: The classes are part of this education. May Allah help us assist in this important role and grant us success in this life and in the Hereafter.

Ultimate responsibility: It should always be remembered that although the Masjids and Islamic centres have a role to play in their Islamic education, the parents have a bigger role and responsibility for their children's education. Ultimately the responsibility of their children's education will fall on the parents and they will need to account for this on the Day of Judgment.

"No father can give his child anything better than good manners."
Hadith: Tirmidhi

Excuses: There is a popular excuse 'I am too old to study'. However, in Islam, we have no basis for such statements. In fact, the opposite is true, Islam encourages all Muslims, male and female, to study from their childhood until old age.

Dedication: Islam, as we are are taught, is the central most important part of our lives. In other words, we hold all the teachings of Islam in the highest esteem and dedicate our lives in implementing these beliefs. One of the requirements is that we spend our whole lives studying Islam, Quran, Hadith, Science, History ...

Studying: It is only through study that we become closer to Allah. Through study, we see the magnificence of his handiwork in all aspects of creation. Numerous times Allah has asked us to ponder over the Quran and its meaning. Allah has asked us to look into the heavens and within our selves so that we can truly witness Allah's magnificence. Allah has told us to look back into History at the people that came before us and their demise. Through this we can learn about their downfall and rectify our own actions.

"Allah has favoured the believers by sending them a messenger from amongst themselves, to recite His verses to them, to purify them, and teach them the book and wisdom whereas previously they were in clear error."
Holy Qu'ran 3:164

Guidance: The Quran is the word of Allah and His guidance is for all of us. How are we expected to follow the teachings until we know what the teachings are. Therefore we must dedicate some time for studying in our busy daily schedules. Only through study can we learn of our creators will and plan. We have experienced scholars, from whom we can learn our deen, practice it and pass it onto others.

Historic Basis: Throughout history, we see that Muslims dedicated their lives to studying and practicing their deen. In fact, at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) there were the Ashaab-i-Suffah, who spend their lives studying. They learned directly from the Prophet (PBUH) in his mosque in Madina (Masjid-al-Nabwi). They were adults who had a passion for their deen and indeed through these people and their efforts, Islam was preserved, practiced and preached throughout the ages.

Dua: May Allah give us all the zeal to study and practice our deen and let the reality of Islam enter our hearts.

Historic: Historically Muslims have been the main thrust in the study of sciences and other branches of faith. In the past, Muslims had given direction and indeed birth to the study of many sciences such as Algebra, medicine, science, geography, geology.. This zeal for learning was not confined to Taleem (religious lessons and the study of the Quran) but indeed looked at the wider universe and creation around them, as the quran commanded the Muslims.

Other Classes: These days we have our universities and colleges but the Masjids and Musallas still have a role to play. Apart from the religious taleem, the study of the Quran and the basic beliefs of Islam, there are a number of other classes that take place in the community.

Types of Classes: Many of these classes have been setup to meet certain requirements of the local community like language classes such as Urdu. There are other classes which have been setup in the past by request of certain Muslims brothers. For example, we had classic Arabic classes run for a number of keen Muslims. There are a third type of class which have been setup by individuals for their own family, friends or colleges. They may not be affiliated with any of the centres but may (or may not) use some of the facilities the centres have to offer.

Benefit: You may not find a class that is appealing to you. If you have any ideas or want to see something changed or added then why don't you get involved. Maybe through your efforts improvements may be made for the betterment of the whole community. May Allah accept all our efforts and through them provide unity and peace within the community.