The Holy Qur'an

The Holy Qur’an Answers Four Questions on Education

When we talk about educating, whether our thinking is based upon a spiritual or a materialistic point of view, our focal point is always the individual who has an innate urge to know himself as well as his environment and who lives in a society and who also has a way or philosophy of life. That is why the main deter- minants of the theory and practice of education are P s y c h o l o g y, Philosophy and Sociology. The Holy Qur’an, the Book full of wisdom, which addresses the entire humanity and is a perfect guide for man in all walks of his life in all the stages of civilisation also emphasised these determinants of educational theories and practices and deals with the basic educational problems in terms of the following four questions: 1. Why should we learn? 2. When should we learn? 3. What should we learn? 4. How should we learn? In the discussion of these questions in the light of the Holy Qur’an and other teachings of Islam (Ahadith), we cannot ignore the postulations of the exponents of the educational theories and practices. These questions are directly related to the existence of man and the 24 The Review of Religions – December 2004 The Holy Qur’an Four Questions on Education By Abdul Majid, M.A., M.Ed., Ph.D. and Shahab Ahmad M.A., Ph.D. development of his personality; therefore, the starting point of this discussion is the clarification of the purpose of the creation of Man and the Universe. According to the Holy Qur’an everything has been created with a certain purpose as impressed by the order that pervades in the Universe. Men of understanding admit: Our Lord, Thou hast not created this in vain. (Ch.3:V.192) The Universe and its parts were not created in vain and Man, the acme of creation, could not be created without a purpose. Nay, the purpose of his creation is higher than that of other creatures, which is: And I have not created the Jinn and the men but that they may worship Me. (Ch.51:V.57) You worship nothing beside Allah. (Ch.12:V.41) It means that the purpose of the creation of human beings and jinn is nothing else but to devote themselves to the worship of Allah. 1. Why Should We Learn? The purpose of worshipping God can only be fulfilled when man knows Him and the mani- festations of His attributes in the Universe and may also acquire the skill of expression. For this reason the Gracious God started teaching man from the very beginning of human civilisation, i.e. since the time of Prophet Adam(as): And He taught Adam all the names. (Ch2:V.32) The teaching continued till the advent of the Holy Prophet(sa) of Islam in the form of revelation of the Holy Qur’an: Taught man what he knew not. (Ch.96:V.6) Its teachings continued and will continue forever. It is a fact that 25 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 for proper worship we must have knowledge of God and proper skills of expression. For these reasons God has not only bestowed knowledge on us but taught us the skill of expression as well: He has created man. He taught him the skill of expression. (Ch.55:Vs4-5) He created man from dry ringing clay which is like baked pottery. (Ch.55:V.15) In accordance with verse C h . 5 5 : V.15, God created man from matter in which the faculty and attribute of speech lie latent and in accordance with verses Ch.55:Vs.4-5, He Himself taught man the skill of expression, i.e. language. The Qur’anic claim that God Himself taught language to man is not hollow but supported by research. We quote only one study: ‘The onomatopoeic and inter- jectional theories, based upon the fact that language developed out of the imitation of sounds produced by inanimate (the falling of water, blowing winds, etc.) and animates are outdated. The argument that because man can imitate sounds, therefore, he must have invented language on the basis of sounds is a mere fallacy. The faculty of speech coexists with the ability to imitate sounds and one does not exclude the other. In fact, the ability to imitate sounds is only a minor part of the faculty of speech. Words full of wisdom, reason and logic, words describing the whole universe, human nature – its passions and thoughts, and all that man lives and works for cannot be reasonably supposed to be the outcome of mere accidental sounds.’1 The Gracious God did not stop here. In order to accomplish the purpose of man’s creation, He taught us to supplicate: Guide us in the right path-the 26 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings, those who have not incurred d i s p l e a s u re and those who have not gone astray. (Ch.1:Vs.6-7) Say, ‘O my Lord, increase me in knowledge’. (Ch.20:V.115) It is repeated that in these prayers we supplicate for an increase in knowledge, in addition to spiritual and moral progress. The scholars say that educated persons are much superior to the uneducated. The Holy Qur’ a n agrees with its import: Only those of His servants who possess knowledge fear Allah. (Ch.35:V.29) The verse defines knowledge itself as fear of God, i.e. to have true knowledge about Him and behave accordingly. God is the Highest; therefore, the highest, the best and the most com- prehensive knowledge, is to know Him: Say, ‘Can those who know and those who do not know be equal?’ (Ch.39:V.10) It is not a question but a form of expression to say that those who know are superior to those who do not know. Allah will raise those who believe from among you, and those to whom knowledge is given, to degrees of rank. (Ch.58:V.12) Mark the high rank promised to the educated by God. This is also supported by the following Ahadith: ‘A learned one is superior to a worshipper as the moon is superior to all the planets’ (Abu Daud and Tirmidhi) ‘The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.’ Throughout the ages, philo- sophers and thinkers recognised the supremacy of knowledge and 27 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 the scholars. Socrates (470-399 BC) believed that knowledge is virtue. Knowledge guides conduct and by obtaining knowledge man lives a virtuous life. According to Plato (428/27- 348/47 BC), education is the first and the fairest thing that the best of men can ever have. To Socrates and Plato attainment of knowledge was necessary both for the interest of the individual and the society, hence it was a virtue by itself. To Aristotle (384-322 BC), the attainment of ‘happiness or goodness’ in life is the aim of education, and, therefore, virtue lies in the attainment of goodness or happiness. Aristotle declared that educated men are as superior to the uneducated as the living are to the dead. It is because of the importance of education that the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) asks Muslims to seek knowledge even if it be in China. Think of the distance between Arabia and China and the d i fficulties involved in journey in those days. Even then the Holy Prophet( s a ) asked Muslims to tolerate these hardships for the sake of knowledge. When fifteen months after Hijrah, the Battle of Badr was won, the ransom fixed by the P r o p h e t( s a ) for a literate captive was that he should teach reading and writing to ten Muslim children of Madinah (Zurqani, Vol. 2). The appeal of the P r o p h e t( s a ) may be summed up in these words: A c q u i re knowledge. It enables the possessor to distinguish right from wrong, it lightens the way to the Heaven, it is our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion in friendliness, it guides us to happiness, it sustains us in m i s e r y, it is an ornament among friends and armour against the e n e m y. It needs to be remembered that the Holy Prophet( s a ) was an unlettered person himself and yet he placed great emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge. 28 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 2. When Should We Learn? It is an accepted fact that the impact of the environment starts from the time of conception, but informal learning starts just after birth. In other words, the environment is divided into: (a) prenatal and (b) postnatal stages of development. When the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) advised expecting mothers to consume wholesome foods, avoid the harmful, and also to avoid any and every situation that may upset them, he was pointing to the good or bad e ffects of the prenatal environment on the expected babies. This wonderful doctrine is supported by three 20th century psychologists, Alison Gopnik, Andrew N. Meltzoff and Patricia K. Kuhl, who say: ‘It looks as if they recognise their mother’s voice at birth based on the muted but still audible sounds they hear in the womb’2 At birth the baby starts a new and d i fferent life. Therefore, the Islamic Tradition is that before giving mother’s milk to the newly born child, Muslims say Adhan (call to Prayers) in its right ear and Aqamat (call to line up in prayers) in the left. This is nothing but to convey a good message to the newly born, before it is exposed to any other stimulus. Educational thinkers have different views about the age of starting informal learning. Plato 29 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 IT IS BECAUSE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION THAT T H E HO LY PR O P H E T(S A) A S K S MU S L I M S TO S E E K KNOWLEDGE EVEN IF IT BE IN CHINA. THINK OF THE D I S TA N C E B E T W E E N AR A B I A A N D CH I N A A N D T H E DIFFICULTIES INVOLVED IN JOURNEY IN THOSE DAYS. EVEN THEN THE HOLY PROPHET(SA) ASKED MUSLIMS TO TO L E R AT E T H E S E H A R D S H I P S F O R T H E S A K E O F KNOWLEDGE. is of the view that education and admonition commence in the first year of the child and last to the very end of life. J.J. Rousseau believes that it cannot begin too early and says that the first and the most important part of education, precisely that which all the world neglects, is that of preparing a child to receive education. But Islam recognised the importance of this period. The Holy Qur’an and Ahadith strongly advise Muslim parents to take proper care of their children immediately after birth and to continue it till they reach the age of maturity. Here, we would like to refer to two studies, not because these have added something entirely new, but because these are based upon direct observations and experiments. The first scholar to be quoted is the great biologist, naturalist and psychologist, Jean Piaget (1896-1980), who thought: ‘Learning was just as rooted in biology as any innate idea in the genetic code. He often used the metaphor of digestion: babies’ minds assimilated information the way babies’ bodies assimilated milk. For Piaget, learning was as natural as eating.’3 The second study is again from Alison Gopnik, Andrew N. Meltzoff and Patricia N. Kuhl who thoroughly researched infants, some as young as 42 30 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 STARTING FROM ARISTOTLE TILL THE END OF THE 20TH C E N T U RY, A P E R I O D O F A B O U T 2,500 Y E A R S, T H E IMPORTANT CONCLUSION OF ALL RESEARCH HAS BEEN: LEARNING STARTS WITH THE START OF LIFE, I.E. RIGHT F R O M T H E T I M E O F C O N C E P T I O N, C O N T I N U E S THROUGHOUT THE HUMAN LIFE, AND ENDS ONLY WITH DEATH, AND IT IS IMPORTANT, NATURAL, AND PART AND PARCEL OF HUMAN LIFE. minutes, and babies, for thirty years. Some important conclu- sions of this study are: A. What we apparently see in the crib is an innocent and helpless creature. But, in fact, what we see is the greatest mind that has ever existed, the most powerful learning machine in the universe. B . We human beings, no more than a few pounds of protein and water, have come to understand the origins of the universe, the nature of life, and even a few things about ourselves. C . Trying to understand human nature is part of human nature. D. For human beings, nurture is our nature. The capacity for culture is part of our biology, and the drive to learn is our most important and central instinct.4 Starting from Aristotle till the end of the 20th century, a period of about 2,500 years, the important conclusion of all research has been: learning starts with the start of life, i.e. right from the time of conception, continues throughout the human life, and ends only with death, and it is important, natural, and part and parcel of human life. The Holy Qur’an, revealed in the seventh century, says the same: Your wives are a tilth for you; so approach your tilth when and how you like and send ahead some good for yourselves. (Ch.2:V.224) He it is Who fashions you in the wombs as He wills. (Ch.3:V.7) The likening of women to tilth (Ch.2:V.224) is very explicit that life, and therefore, learning starts at the time of conception. For this very reason the Holy Prophet of Islam(sa) has advised Muslims to select their wives, who are physically healthy, well-behaved and possess good moral and 31 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 spiritual qualities, and they should treat them well. Only then will the husbands and wives be able to train their children in a proper way. As the development of the child takes place in the womb of mother (Ch.3:V.7), the offspring is naturally affected by her physical and moral conditions. For this very reason Islam advises expectant mothers to use wholesome foods and avoid the harmful. In addition, they should avoid any and every situation, that may upset them, physically, morally or in any other way. Educational thinkers and scholars agree on this point that learning is a continuous and n e v e r-ending process. The Qur’anic verses related to this subject are: Guide us in the right path – the path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings. (Ch.1:Vs.6-7). Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised M e s s i a h( a s ), has written in B a r a h e e n – e – A h m a d i y y a ( Vo l . IV) that in this supplication, in addition to other blessings, the supplicant, begs God for an increase in his knowledge.5 The other supplication is: Say, ‘O my Lord, increase me in knowledge. (Ch.20: V.115). In this verse, God Himself asks the Holy Prophet of Islam(sa) and all Muslims to pray for an increase in their knowledge. All good Muslims supplicate the above mentioned prayers throughout their lives. Even the Holy Prophet( s a ), the greatest scholar the world has ever produced or will produce, did the same till overtaken by death, which points to the fact that he believed that learning was a never-ending process. We should seek knowledge from cradle to grave. The following Hadith further supports this view: 32 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 ‘A believer never has his fill of knowledge till he ends up in Paradise’ (Tirmidhi) 3. What Should We Learn? In our discussion about the questions, ‘Why should we learn and when should we learn,’ we have reached the conclusion that the purpose of the creation of man is to devote himself to worshipping God. But for worshipping God he should learn how to comprehend the attributes of God and how to express himself. This learning process continues from the cradle to the grave. In search of the answer to the question, ‘What should we learn?’ educational thinkers and scholars have been outlining d i fferent plans of teaching learning process or curriculum which include all the learning experiences whether in the boundaries of school or outside of school that may be conducive to the mental, emotional, social and economic adjustment of the learner. But the Qur’anic concept of curriculum, in spite of its precision, is all-inclusive. According to Islam, life is a unit which cannot be divided into cells; therefore, Islam wants to see a curriculum rich in know- ledge of the wisdom of the East and the West. It takes the worldly and religious knowledge side by side. Basically, the major portion of the Islamic curriculum is the Holy Qur’an, Sunnah and Ahadith, but all subjects that are useful for human life can be included in the Islamic curriculum. God Himself started the Qur’anic curriculum in the form of His attributes or names: And He taught Adam all the names. (Ch.2:V.32) 33 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 BA S I C A L LY, T H E M A J O R PORTION OF THE ISLAMIC CURRICULUM IS THE HOLY QU R’A N, SU N N A H A N D AH A D I T H, B U T A L L S U B J E C T S T H AT A R E USEFUL FOR HUMAN LIFE CAN BE INCLUDED IN THE ISLAMIC CURRICULUM. Hadhrat Adam(as) was the first vicegerent and the first Prophet of God on earth. Through him started the great economic, religious and social revolution – therefore, God Himself taught him His names. The Arabic word used in this verse is ‘Asma’a’, which has the following meanings. A. God’s names or attributes B. Qualities of different things in nature or the laws of nature C. Language A. God’s names or attributes As mentioned earlier the chief purpose of man’s creation is to worship God, which is not confined only to rituals but includes introjecting Godly qualities within ourselves. For example, God is Merciful; we should also show mercy to others; as He is Forgiving, so we must also be ready to forgive our fellow beings, etc. This interpretation of the word, ‘Asma’a’ is supported by the following Hadith: ‘The best morals in man are those which are in conformity with the great attributes of God.’ Man also must be familiar with these attributes, so that he may pray to Him, invoking attributes most suited to the prayer. For example, if one prays for f o rgiveness and mercy, one should invoke the attributes of forgiveness and mercy; and if the prayer be for the attainment of righteousness, God should be invoked by names which pertain to that quality, etc. B. The Law of Nature As man was to make use of the forces of nature, God gave Adam(as) the capacity of knowing their qualities and properties upon which is based the whole working of the Universe, in which everything is governed by certain fixed and immutable laws. For example, fire burns and water assuages thirst. The earth is circling around its axis and revolving around the sun at the same speeds for the last billions of years. Upon this constancy 34 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 depends the alternation of days and nights and the solar years are completed. The same constancy principle is working for other planets in the Solar System, and even outside the System. The growth and decay of plants and animals, including man, are governed by some laws. Societies and nations being composed of individuals are also governed by some principles. It is, therefore, on the unchange- ability of the laws of nature that all educational progress depends. Even if there is some change, the change itself is governed by some l a w. Had it not been so, astronomers, cosmologists, botanists, chemists, physicians, physicists, physiologists, psychol- ogists, zoologists, etc. could not discover what they have discovered. For this scientific reason, God bestowed on Adam( a s ) some knowledge about Nature. C. Language Communication in any society without language is impossible. Without it there could be no communication between parents and their children, and between teachers and students. Human society would be a society of the deaf and dumb. Transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next is possible only through language. Psychologists and other educators agree that man is the only animal bestowed with language. For this very reason, man is called a ‘social animal.’ It is because of the blessings of language that man has continuously advanced in accumulation of knowledge spread over thousands of years of human civilisation, and animals are there where they always were. Not only this, according to some psychologists even to think is not possible without a language. For example, the American psychologist, J.B. Watson, emphatically says: thinking is a sub-vocal talk (C o n t e m p o r a ry Schools of Psychology). And the Russian psychologist, Lev Vygotsky says: ‘Language is not only the medium by which we transfer our cultural inventions but it 35 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 is a natural, biological and unique feature of human beings’.6 In short, one simple word, ‘Asma’a’ includes almost all branches of education: religion and morality, science and secular learning, and language. The Holy Prophet(sa) has divided all types of learning only in two branches (a) Ilmul-Adyan and (b) Ilmul-Abdan, that is religious and secular knowledge. When we have a look at the educational institutions any- where in the world, they are mainly divided into religious institutions (e.g. Madrasas) and secular institutions (schools and colleges). But the Holy Qur’ a n , by using one simple word, ‘Asma’a’, has included all branches of learning, no matter what type of institution they are. It is the only pivotal point to decide or formulate the curriculum or what we should learn. A natural question that arises here is: Does the word ‘Asma’a’ include undesirable learning e.g. phobic learning, to learn the art of cheating and stealing etc? The answer is, ‘no’. Implicit is this novel idea in all the Qur’anic verses related to learning. A sane person cannot supplicate God to teach him undesirable learning, and if he does so, God will never accept such supplication. Tw o Ahadith further clarify this point: ‘Allah, His angels, and all those in the heavens and the earth even the ants in their heaps and the fish in the water call down blessings on those who instruct people in beneficent knowledge’. (Tirmidhi) ‘The knowledge from which no benefit is derived is like a treasure from which no charity is bestowed in the way of Lord.’ Secular educators also speak and advocate conducive and useful learning. 4. How Should We Learn? In the light of the Holy Qur’an 36 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 and Ahadith we have answered the questions of ‘Why should we learn?’, ‘When should we learn?’, and ‘What should we learn’. Now we need the answer to the question of ‘How should we learn?’ This question may be discussed in terms of the methods of teaching. As far as the methods of education are concerned , not only the Holy Qur’an and Ahadith but also the modern education discards all those methods of teaching in which the learner becomes the passive recipient of knowledge. It strongly recommends the active participation of the learner in the process of education at all stages of learning. According to Plato, the know- ledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the minds of the learners. He is of the opinion that there should be no compulsion in teaching; rather it should be a sort of amusement: You will then be better able to find out the natural bent. In the ‘Laws’, the significance of play in education has been positively emphasised. In the modern age, we talk about frame-by-frame or programmed learning. But, it is not new; one can observe that the verses of the Holy Qur’an are arranged in a logical order. Any question that arises in the mind of the reader by reading one verse is answered in the next, and any question that arises in the next is answered in the succeeding verse. By maintaining this logical order throughout the Book, it keeps the reader fully alert and his brain works at the highest possible level. This wonderful Book has covered the two main methods of learning, (a) learning by reward and punishment (Ch.1:V.7), and (b) learning by following a model (Ch.1:V.7, Ch.33:V. 2 2 , C h . 6 2 : V.3 and Ch.68:V.5). It teaches us to learn by the straight and the shortest method (Ch.1:V.6). It asks its readers to think and reason – the Holy Qur’an is full of verses in which the words ‘think’, ‘why you do not think’, etc. are emphasised. Blind following is condemned and it is mentioned as the way of disbelievers (Ch.2:V.171). It establishes freedom of con- 37 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 science and asks humans to decide on the basis of unbiased, free and individual thinking ( C h . 3 4 : V.47). It gives great importance to ‘wisdom’ which is described as ‘abundant good’ (Ch.2:V.270). In spite of giving importance to the individuals, it has not ignored the role of society (Ch.9:V.119) and the role played by great personages in shaping the behaviour of common people and furthering their learning (Ch.1:V. 7 ; C h . 3 : V.50; Ch.28:Vs.32-33; C h . 3 3 : V.22; Ch.60:V.5; Ch.62:V. 3 and Ch.68:V. 5 ) . The German educator Friedrich Forbel introduced ‘the K i n d e rgarten’ educational sys- tem in 1826, and, based upon this ‘System’, started the first school in Blankenberg, Germany. God taught this ‘System’ to Hadhrat Hadhrat Adam ( a s ), the first Prophet, six thousand years ago (Al-Baqarah, 2:32), i.e. even long before Plato. Though not an educator or a psychologist in strict terms, on the basis of his personal experience, Albert Einstein (1879-1955), perhaps the great scientist of this age, realised that education should not be based upon fear or force (1936). ‘ To me the worst thing seems to be for a school principally to work with methods of fear, force, and artificial authority. Such treatment destroys the sound sentiments, the sin- cerity and the self – confidence of the pupil. It produces the submissive s u b j e c t ’ .7 It is obvious that if students attend school because of fear of authorities, not because of their inner genuine interest, they will accomplish very little. When educators, philosophers, psychologists, etc. say that there should be no compulsion in learning, it should be a sort of ‘amusement’, they emphasise the role of ‘motivation’ in learning. In the last two centuries the Russian physiologist, Ian Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936) and the American educational 38 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 psychologist, Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949), have emphasised the role of moti- vation in learning very strongly. They taught a variety of tasks to animals and humans. No matter what task they taught to their subjects, they motivated them first, and then they continued these tasks throughout the learning period. (Contemporary Schools of Psychology). Albert Einstein also realised this fact: ‘But behind every achieve- ment exists the motivation which is at the foundation of it and which in turn is strengthened and nourished by the accomplishment of the undertaking…. The most important motive for work in the school and in life is the pleasure in work, pleasure in its result.’8 Animals and young children can be motivated by awarding them food or simple praise, but it does not work in case of grown up children and adults. To keep these learners fully alert and strongly motivated, they must be convinced that they have joined an institute of a very high standard; the teachers are true scholars of their subjects and use the most advanced teaching methods. They should also be convinced that the purpose for which they have joined the institute will be accomplished. If they are not satisfied on these aspects, their interest in learning automatically drops. Now let us examine whether or not the Qur’an has thrown any light upon the role of motivation in learning. The answer is, it has definitely done so. It is because of the role of motivation in learning that God, through M o s e s( a s ), has taught us to supplicate. ‘My Lord, open up for me my heart’ (Ch.20:V.26). Opening of the heart stands for an increase in motivation. It is for this very reason that God, the First and the Real Teacher, has been described as the All- Knowing (Ch.2:V.2), the Holy P r o p h e t( s a ) as a teacher who teaches with wisdom (‘He it is 39 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 Who has raised among the Unlettered people a Messenger f rom among themselves who recites unto them His Signs, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and wisdom, although they had been, before, in manifest error’) (Ch.62:V.3), and the Holy Qur’an as a Perfect Book, free from any doubt or defect, and a Book which guides the learner to his ultimate goal (Ch.2:V.3). These verses suggest that planners of education should plan and run educational institutes on these lines, i.e. the institutes should be free from defects and the teacher should be true scholars and efficient in learning. Islam recognises the role of mothers in upbringing and educating their children, because they are the closest and the most a ffectionate persons to them. All good teachers keep their students close and teach them a ff e c t i o n a t e l y. The Holy Qur’ a n has not left this aspect. As directed by God, the Patriarch Prophet Abraham( a s ) ( C h . 2 : V. 2 6 1 ) , Prophet Moses( a s ) ( C h . 2 0 : V s . 1 8 – 25; Ch.27:Vs.8-13; Ch.28:Vs.32- 33), Prophet Jesus( a s ) ( C h . 3 : V. 5 0 ) and Holy Prophet Muhammad( s a ) ( C h . 9 : V.128 and Ch.15:V. 8 9 ) taught and trained their followers a ffectionately and by keeping them close. In addition to the methods of learning mentioned above, the Holy Qur’an has mentioned some more novel techniques for e fficient learning e.g. students should obey the teachers, show patience and not question during the lecture (Ch.18: Vs.66-71). Doing so is against discipline, interrupts the teacher, and the students themselves are deprived of using their intelligence, thinking, reasoning, etc, necessary for efficient and effective learning. Being complete in every respect, the Holy Qur’an has not only motivated learners or students, but parents and teachers as well. Man has been described as made of dust (Ch.3:V.60 and C h . 1 8 : V.38), of clay (Ch.7:V. 1 3 ) and of dry ringing clay ( C h . 1 5 : V.29 and Ch.55:V. 1 5 ) . 40 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 The reason for comparing man with dust and clay is that these can be easily molded into d i fferent shapes; similarly human beings can be educated and trained for different professions. The sooner the training starts, the greater will be success, because babies start learning soon after conception. The claim of the American psychologist, J.B. Watson that if he is given a normal infant with full control in training him, he can make him a d o c t o r, a lawyer, and even a thief, supports the Qur’anic verses quoted above. In short, whatever learning theory or method of teaching man can formulate or even imagine, you can find the roots of all wisdom in this Book of Wisdom, the Holy Qur’an. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Mazhar, Muhammad Ahmad: Arabic the Source of all the Language, The Review of Religion Publication, Rabwah, Pakistan, 1963, Vol. 1, pp. 2-3 2. Gopnik, Alison, Meltzoff, Andrew N. and Kuhl, Patricia K: The Scientist in the Crib, William Marrow & Co. Inc., New York, N.Y., U.S.A. pp. 27-28 3. Ibid, p. 17 4. Ibid, pp. 1-8 5. Mirza, Ghulam Ahmad, R o o h a n i Khazain, The London Mosque, London, United Kingdom, 1984, Vol. 1, pp. 502- 505 6. Vygotsky, Lev: The Scientist in the Crib, William Marrow & Co. Inc. New York, N. W., U.S.A. p. 19 7. Einstein, Albert: Out of my Later Years, Wings Books, New York, N.Y. U.S.A., 1956, p. 31 8. Ibid, pp. 31-33. 41 The Holy Qur’anAnswers Four Questions onEducation The Review of Religions – December 2004 ABOUT THE AUTHORS Dr Abdul Majid started his educational career in 1963 as the Headmaster of Talimul Islam High School Qadian, when he was just 23 years old and served in India, Kashmir, and various places in the Middle East as a lecturer, h e a d m a s t e r, principal etc. Dr Shahab Ahmad who did his Phd from Aligarh and Dr Abdul Majid now reside in Canada.