Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Does studying in Islamic schools in the west have a negative effect on students?


Is it true that the person who is used to studying in Islamic schools, and has no previous experience of studying in non-Islamic schools, will never be able to connect with the environment that surrounds him, where most of the people are non-Muslims and that he will grow up shy and will never find any way to succeed either in his academic life or in the workplace? What is your opinion about that?.

Praise be to Allaah.

No rational person doubts that in Western countries there
are dangers to the religious commitment and morals of those who live in
these countries, and the schools that the children attend pose a serious
danger to the students, both male and female, who have no defence against
those dangers in those schools; the rates of crime, disputes, sexual
activity and assaults on females in the schools is something that we hear
a great deal about. This has made people look for a way out of these
dangers, and some of them look for schools that are free of those sins and
problems, and they found what they were looking for in “Islamic schools”.
The more these schools apply Islamic rulings, the more free they are of
those problems and sins. We only say that because we have come across
schools that are Islamic in name only, but not in reality. 


What is well known is that the student who studies in a
centre for memorisation of the Qur'aan or in an Islamic school where the
administration is successful in running that school or centre will be of
good character and will have a good education, and sound and broad
knowledge. All of that is what Islam calls to and encourages, and what
proves that is the fact that there are geniuses among Muslims in all fields
of knowledge and science who are righteous and religiously committed. In
Islam there has never been any separation between religion and science or
religion and education. The first verses that Allah revealed to His Prophet
Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) started with the word
Iqra’ (Read) and also mention the pen. Allah says (interpretation of the

“Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that

2. He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick
coagulated blood).

3. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.

4. Who has taught (the writing) by the pen.

5. He has taught man that which he knew not”

[al-‘Alaq 96:1-5]. 

Dr. ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Jumhoor -- may Allah guide him -- the
head of the English language department of the Imam Muhammad ibn Sa‘ood
Islamic University and a consultant of the American Curriculum Institute

Islamic schools in the West are based on sublime foundations
and goals, as follows: 

teaching Muslim children about
their religion

instilling noble Islamic values
and attitudes

protecting Muslim children from
being assimilated into Western cultures

providing Muslim students with
academic teaching of a high standard

representing the Muslims in
Western societies 

Majallat al-Bayaan, issue no.

Our advice to every Muslim is that he should strive to escape
from kaafir lands whenever he can manage to do that. For the one who has no
choice but to remain in a kaafir society, he should fear Allah with regard
to himself and his children and keep them away from bad places such as
schools and centres; he should warn them against keeping company with evil
and corrupt people and he should strive by all means possible to give them
what is good by making good choices with regard to accommodation, friends,
neighbours and schools. We reaffirm that it is very important to choose an
Islamic school that teaches beneficial knowledge and gives a good education,
and no attention should be paid to the words of those with ulterior motives
who speak badly of these schools, for they have fallen into evil themselves
and they want others to do as they are doing. If we assume that there is
some weakness in the Islamic schools from the academic point of view, it is
not true to say that they are weak in all aspects. It is sufficient for the
people in charge to be paying attention to their children’s religious
commitment and the language of the Qur’aan. This is a great gain for the one
who venerates the religion of Allah and the one who is concerned about
protecting his children. 

It should be noted that the Islamic school on its own is not
sufficient to educate and raise Muslim children; rather the mosque also has
an important role to play and the home has the chief role. With this
integrated approach we can, with the help of Allah, raise a Muslim
generation that is educated in its religion and adheres to Islamic attitudes
– and modesty is one of the most sublime of Islamic attitudes – and this
generation will grow up loving its religion and respecting the laws of its
Lord, may He be exalted. 

It is not possible for any of the students of the Islamic
school to be isolated if the school is based on communal actions with regard
to study and prayer and its program includes communal sports and communal
laboratory work. Some of them also teach students public speaking so that
they may become teachers or khateebs or daa‘iyahs. Where is the isolation in
an environment where hundreds of students gather? Where is the isolation in
a class which there are dozens of students? 

When the Muslim mixes with the non-Muslim environment that
surrounds him, that is not something good, such that you would be keen for
your children to be in such an environment; rather it is pure evil or mostly
evil. We do not mean that Muslims should withdraw completely and isolate
themselves. Rather we are calling for protecting Muslims at the age of
adolescence from improper mixing. And we are calling for taking care of
those who are younger than them so that they will not grow up with bad
habits. And we are calling for those who have passed the age of adolescence
to avoid places of temptation in the workplace and in the home. What matters
is that in all of these ways he will be a Muslim who adheres to obedience to
his Lord, who mixes a great deal with righteous company and wisely avoids
bad company. Where he has no choice but to mix with others, it should be
only to the extent that is necessary. 

Please see the answer the question no.
38284, where you will find a
discussion of the danger of studying in non-Muslim schools. 

In the answer to question no.
4237 you will find a discussion
of how to protect children and their thinking in the West. 

We ask Allah to help you to achieve that which is best for
your religious and worldly interests, and to help you to do that which will
please your Lord, and to help you to raise your children and take care of

And Allah knows best.

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