Moslem Education In Mohammad’s Time

Muslim Education In Muhammad’s Time
Muhammad’s role in the development of muslim education cannot be gauged by the frequency of his personal involvement in educational activities; rather, it should be measured against his overall mission and ‘ his teaching ‘ of the qur’an and the sunna, both of which vaunt the learned men and later become the main courses of study for muslim. N.A. baloch states : The Qur’an in itself became an inexhaustible source of knowledge; the revelation also established betond dispute the superiority of knowledge and strongly motivated the believer to seek more and more knowledge.
For three years after the first revelation in 610 A.D, Muhammad remained a private person. He related his experience to his family and friends alone. A small group of devotees gradually formed around him to hear and recite the qur’an. These were the first converts, and they included his wife khadija, abu bakr and ‘ali. After three years Muhammad resolved to preach the revelation publicly. The first trickle of convert came from a variety of backgrounds, including noblemen, merchants and slaves.
In the first twelve years of his prophetic mission, Muhammad was busy stemming the opposition of Quraysh. In 622, together with his companions and followers he migrated to medina. Like mecca. Medina was undergoing social changes which were rendering the age-old form of kinship-based Bedouin society obsolete. ‘Agricultural rather than pastoral needs governed the economy of medina.
Muhammad’s migration from mecca to medina, brought greater success to his mission. He was welcomed to this new city by residents who had already converted to islam. Once there, Muhammad succeded in making the jews and other non-muslim communities sign a contitution which united them into a single community. Muhammad in addition to being a spiritual figure was also the temporal statesman, to whom all disputes were referred. After prolonged battle with the meccans, Muhammad succeeded in recapturing mecca in 630; Muhammad became the leader of a state whose territory included mecca and medina. By the end of his life in 632 A.D. Muhammad had transformed Arabia from a pagan society into which affirmed the oneness of god. This does not mean that older beliefs and practices were wiped out completely, although, the rise of islam undoubtedly overshadowed them.
We know that Muhammad attached considerable importance to the acquisition of knowledge in its most indispensable form. In the wake of the muslim victory at badr, Muhammad amployed several arab captives to teach the boys of medina to write in exchange for their freedom, or giving the required instruction. Once the pupils had attained the stipulated degree of knowledge, their captive teachers were released.
The first and most important center of learning in the prophet’s time was the mosque. Muhammad cultivated the mosque’s place in muslim society as a center of prayer, and significantly, education. The mosque was the first building erected by Muhammad upon his arrival in medina. The design of quba mosque is a clear illustration of muhammad’s vision. Reportedly Muhammad held a halqa ( study-circle ) in this mosque with twelve of his companions. Other mosques built at a later date were design with similar purposes in mind. In each careful attention was paid to the mosque’s layout as acted as the teacher, gathering people around him in a halqa. Students apparently memorized qur’anic verses and discussed their import with the prophet. Students also memorized prophetic’s saying, a source of information which would eventually become an astablished branch of Islamic knowledge, the hadisth.
In addition to the mosque, the kuttab also became a center of education. Ignaz goldziher notes that umm salim, mother of anas b. malik, asked a mu’allim al-kuttab to send her a few school boys to assist in the wool-carding. He also notes that abu hurayra, ibn ‘umar, and abu usayd ( who fought at badr ) passed by a kuttab on one occasion distracting school boys from their studies. There is also evidende to show that the lawh ( tablet for practice in reading and writing ) was in use from a very early date. The female ‘companion’ umm al-darda is reported to have written a few word of wisdom on such a tablet for use as lesson for attendant schoolboys.
(Heru)

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