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Diasporian News of Friday, 17 September 2010

Source: By Alhassan Y. Ahmed.

Revise Islamic Studies Curriculum To Inspire The Youth

- Muslim Cleric Urges Educators.

A US-based Ghanaian Muslim Cleric, Sheikh Firdaws Othman Ladan, has deplored the current method of teaching and learning being employed by many Muslim educators in Islamic schools across the United States and called for the need to turn to page by restructuring the Islamic studies curriculum to equip Muslim children with relevant spiritual survival skills to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

“For many Muslim children today, Islamic education doesn't inspire and seems meaningless and irrelevant to their personal lives and experiences," he observed.

Sheikh Firdaws, who is also an Islamic teacher with over a decade of experience, was speaking on the topic: "The Role of Muslims in Promoting Islamic Education", at a fundraiser recently organized by AMAANA, a multi-national Islamic group based in Maryland.

The Cleric's call came against the backdrop of the sophisticated world of technology in which Muslim kids are being increasingly enrobed today.

"If we hope to succeed in our goals to raise our children Islamically as well as promote the Islamic education, Muslim educators and parents must develop a better understanding of how children grow and learn," he charged.

"We must understand the processes of moral development and the methods of effective teaching and learning. Our children will not become moral individuals simply because we want or tell them to do so. They will become moral individuals by cultivating their minds and hearts, and by having opportunities to actually see and apply Islamic values in practice," he added.

Sheikh Firdaws further stated that the future will depend on how well parents and teachers educate their children or pupils today and how successful the educators are in transferring the sacred vision of Islamic life to those kids.

He added that without proper understanding of the Islamic value system, the moral and spiritual survival of Muslim children is at stake, with the hope of achieving the Maqaasid (true goals) of Islamic education remaining elusive.

To achieve the above therefore, our Islamic schools have a crucial role to play in providing programs that will both foster this understanding among students and emphasize the roles and responsibilities of the family in Tarbiyyah Islamiyyah (Islamic education), he asserted.

Sheikh Firdaws, who is the author of Quran Science And The Secretes Of The Unseen World (a highly acclaimed book), further implored educators to envision Muslim children with a level of understanding, commitment, and social responsibility that will both motivate and enable them to serve Islam and humanity effectively.

Delving into Islamic history, he reminded the occasion that in the life time of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), Islamic education was both practical and relevant, adding that, " although the Islamic education will undoubtedly draw much of its content from the foundational disciplines of Islamic studies such as; tafseer, tawheed, and hadeeth, it must be done and promoted in a way that links these contents' natural concerns as well as the larger issues facing the world in which we live".

END. By Alhassan Y. Ahmed.

Sheikh Firdaws Ladan addressing participants at AMAANA 1st annual fundraiser.