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Knowing Allah
  
  

   

the role of mosques and schools in education

the mosque and school both have very effective educational roles if they cooperate and do not contradict in their methods with children.

some of the means that help the mosque to accomplish its mission:

  1. the child should feel and see the parent/educator’s love and glorifications for mosques ([1]). if the members of the household hear the athan (call to prayer) they should listen, repeat with the mu'adhin (caller to prayer) and order the child to repeat what the mu'adhin says. this repeated call to prayer will definitely attract the attention of the child and it will be attached with prayers, as he will see the members of the household initiate prayers directly after hearing the athan. thus, the athan will be a psychological alarm in the consciousness of the child that will motivate him to pray. it would be highly favorable if the mother directs the attention of the child to the shape of the mosque by showing him pictures of mosques and painting pictures of mosques with him. she should tell him that when he grows up, he will go to the mosque to pray. the father should mention to the child the status and virtues of mosques and the reward of the musalleen (muslims performing prayers in the mosque). the father should praise the people who perform their prayers in congregation whether people from the family, neighbors or relatives ([2]).
  2. the child can go with his father, if he wishes but he should be then at the age of knowing the bathroom etiquette ([3]). if he causes any disturbance at the mosque by shouting or running around, we should not ban him from going to the mosque, but rather to direct and discipline him.
  3. the child has to be ordered to pray, if he becomes aware and rational. the parent/educator should encourage him to perform prayers in congregation. he should teach him about the requirements and conditions of prayers such as tahara (cleanliness and purification), covering awrah ([4]), tranquility and steadiness in addition to other prerequisites of a valid prayer ([5]).
  4. the child should be treated gently and positively by his family, imam of the mosque, mu'adhin and musalleen. if they see him doing any dispraised moves, they should lower their gazes and discipline him in a tolerant lenient way. they should be nice, smile to him ([6]), praise him, ask about him when he does not come, greet him and give him gifts. if he shows up early, he should not be sent to the back rows even if he was sitting in the first row. there are some values in keeping children with older people in the frontal rows: if the children are all sent back, they will gather to play which would disturb the rest by the shouting and running, but if they stay with the older they will be calmer and act mature ([7]). besides, the child will learn the proper way of performing prayers and nawafil (optional prayers) through observing adults around him. he will also feel honored, proud and respected because he is with grownups.
  5. the child should be enrolled in teaching rings to learn and memorize qur’an in the mosque so that he grows up feeling attached to the mosque and to the people of the neighborhood. he will also gain good positive friends who share his aim of learning qur’an. it will also keep him busy learning something essential for his life, namely memorizing the qur’an, especially during the afternoon which is a time usually wasted in playing with children in the streets and watching tv.
  6. the father should take the child to attend classes and lectures held at the mosque.
  7. the role of school in education:

school has an essential role which is greater nowadays than the role of the mosque. it is considered the second educational institution in establishing the character of the child, because it embraces the child for a longer time and gives him a chance to have friends of the same age.

  • the importance of the school lies in three aspects:
  • social structure: all the children at schools are equals and should be treated equally. no one of them to be distinguished or favored over his peers except for reasons of educational and moral excellence or both ([8]). this way, the child who feels like an outcast at home will be welcomed at school if he tries his best at studies and school’s activities. he would have the opportunity to excel at school so he would be a likable character unlike how he might feel at home. when he gets along with his peers who have different characters, he will learn principles of respect, how to treat others and functioning as teamwork. in addition to gaining discipline through playing and doing school activities as a group. through these activities, some children will show leadership skills and an ability to bear responsibility at an early age. they are the seeds for future leaders and decision makers. many nations progressed thanks to giving their young generations the opportunity to express themselves and develop their innate promising skills. this is how leaders rise from the masses and lead them.
  • moral structure: the school plays a vital role in setting and establishing the morals of the child, especially if the parent/educator chooses a good school with good pious teachers and trustworthy supervisors who follow the teachings of islam ([9]), and in which the child can befriend good peers.

the moral guidance of the school and home should unite and interweave for the best benefit of the child. if the parent learns that school is teaching the child good habits, he should support the efforts of school in that regard. but if they were bad habits, he should call school to discuss the matter with the supervisor. he should also talk with his child, teach him that we all make mistakes and convince him of the negativity and badness of doing such habit. the parent should also follow up on the manners and behaviors of his child at school and stay in contact with his teachers to know how far his child progressed.

  • occupational preparation: the meaning of it is not preparing the child to practice a certain occupation or job that would benefit him and his ummah (islamic nation). the meaning extends to include preparations of a woman to be a righteous wife and mother before preparing her for any other role and preparation of the male to be a righteous member in the society, a responsible father and a working citizen who has a good useful job. what we really need is preparation and education of young girls for marriage and motherhood duties. most countries combine syllabuses for males and females except for a few ones which dedicate a class two times a week to teach housekeeping and art education classes. some educators suggest expanding this educational subject that benefits women and minimizing some subjects that women will not need later in life ([10]). it is also suggested to add syllabuses and classes that teach girls the husbands’ rights, manners, etiquettes, beauty tips, running and furnishing the house in addition to all the skills that women need to fulfill their roles as righteous pious wives and good caring mothers.

to help school do its mission of educating children, the parent should get his child accustomed to respect school, his teachers and supervisors. if the parent did not do that or direct his child to disrespect his teachers and mistreat them, it would be an abnormal behavior coming from a parent who is probably an infidel or immoral ([11]).

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([1]) at tarbiyah al islamiyah by sulaiman al haqeel: page 149.

([2]) al masjid wa dawroha at tarbawee by saleh al sadlan: page 76.

([3]) al masjid wa dawroha at tarbawee by saleh al sadlan.

([4]) awrah: parts of the body that are not supposed to be exposed to others, but this is not to be confused with the english meaning 'private parts', because a woman's legs, for example, is an awrah.

([5]) manhaj al salaf fi tarbiyat al awlad tape by sheikh mohammed bin uthaymeen.

([6]) manhaj al-tarbiyah al-nabawyah by muhammad nour swayed: page 134.

([7]) manhaj al salaf fi tarbiyat al awlad tape by sheikh mohammed bin uthaymeen.

([8]) kaif nurabi tiflan by mohammed ziad hamdan: page 56.

([9]) nasehat al melouk by al maroudi: page 175, quoting from manhaj al-tarbiyah al-nabawyah by muhammad nour swayed: page 255.

([10]) tarbiayt al-banat by khalid al-shatnout: page 54, and kaifa nurabi atfalana by mahmoud al-istanbouly: page 135-138.

([11]) dawr al bayet fi tarbiyat al tifel al muslim by khalid al-shatnout: page 102-103.




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