Imam Ghazalis Philosophy of Education

Man has been created as a vicegerent of GOD in the world. And in order to enable him to fulfill his trust-that is to reform the earth and establish a just socio-moral order in this world. GOD has endowed him with two types of Knowledge:(1)Acquisitional Knowledge,and (2)Revelational Knowledge. The potentials for acquisitional knowledge i-e eyes, ears, head and heart have been laid into human constitution. By virtue of these potentialities, man is capable of generating conceptual and creative knowledge, something which is an exclusive characteristic of human beings. This form of knowledge can help man in the conquest of nature. While revelational knowledge consists of the guidance of God. Revelational knowledge gives man the basic wisdom and values that may help him in conquest of his own animal nature. Islam insists that both these forms of knowledge are central to human existence.
From this context, it is apparent, that the role objective of own system of education ought to be to prepare our succeeding generations for the successful fulfillments of that duties of vicegerency in this world. Given this background, the importance of knowledge and education in Islam cannot be over-emphasized; hence my interest in this field.
In this dissertation, my main focus is on Imam Ghazali,s philosophy of education, In order to assess the value of Imam Ghazali,s philosophy of education, It seems imperative to examine in brief the Quranic guideline for the attainment of knowledge and education. This will serve as our criterion in the light of which we will evaluate Imam Ghazali,s philosophy of education. Of course, the ultimate objective of this whole exercise is to see as to how far we can draw any guidance from these sources in the process of the reconstruction of our own system of education .It may be recalled that there is an internal and external pressure on our state and society to secularise our system of education .One of the central themes of our thesis would be to assess as to what type of education would suit our national needs ; that is how far we can depart from our socio-cultural norms and values
Islam is an Arabic word which literally means obedience and peace. ISLAM is derived from the Arabic root “SALEMA”: peace, purity, submission and obedience. So ‘Islam’ means total submission to God. According to Oxford English Dictionary Islam is the religion of the Muslims, a monotheistic faith regarded as revealed through Muhammad as the prophet of Allah.
Knowledge (‘ilm) occupies a significant position within Islam.
The first word of the first revelation of the Quran was “Iqra” READ! Seek knowledge! Educate yourselves! Be educated. Iqra also implies teach others, educate them (and transform them).
Islam is the religion of knowledge. Islam and education are inter connected. The importance of education has been described at many places in the Holy Quran. The first aayah of the Quran is about education

“Read! In the Name of your Lord Who has created (all that exists).
He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood).
Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.
Who has taught (the writing) by the pen.
He has taught man that which he knew not”
[al-‘Alaq 96:1-5]

Man is the superior creature of God because He has given him the high capability of understanding. He provided them the tools to understand the knowledge

“And Allâh has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you
know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give
thanks (to Allâh)
[al-Nahl 16:78]

Knowledge is so much important in Islam that Allah (SWT) commanded The prophet Muhammad to seek more of it. Allah says:

“and say: ‘My Lord! Increase me in knowledge”
[Ta-Ha 20:114]

Knowledge is the great gift of Allah to the human beings
The Holy Qur’an says:

“Whoever is given wisdom and knowledge is blessed with bounties in good abundance”.
(Surah al-Baqarah, 2:272)

The Holy Qu’ran says: “Those who are belivers among you and the learned, God will increase their rank”..
(Surah al-Mujadilah, 58:11)

The prophet (pbuh) has stressed upon the significance of knowledge and its importance in the life of the human beings
“Learned are the heirs of the prophets”
He said:
“Whatever is in the heaven and the earth, seeks forgiveness for the learned”
“If a man seeks the path of acquiring knowledge, God guides him to a path leading to paradise”
Imam Ghazali’s Philosophy of Education
Al-Ghazali is one of the greatest Islamic Jurists, theologians and a mystic .Imam Al Ghazali has a unique position in the history of muslim religious and philosophical thought. His contribution in the field of knowledge is very substantial .He is one of the most influential scholar in the history of Islam.
He has been acclaimed as the Proof of Islam (hujjat al-Islam), the Ornament of Faith (zain al-din) and the Renewer of Religion (mujaddid).
The main theme of the educational philosophy of the Imam Ghazali is the concept of God and God with the world and the mankind. The true knowledge according to imam Ghazali is the Knowledge of God. The true learned man is one who comes close to one’s creator and who is busy in seeking the happiness of God. According to Imam Ghazali knowledge is to gain happiness in the hereafter and nearness to God.
“Knowledge is the root of good fortune in this world and in the next. The result of knowledge is to enjoy nearness of God, to keep company with the angels and the pious divines which are objects of the next world and its result in this world is honour, influence over ruler and the people.”
Ghazali called it the happiness of the next world:
“Knowledge is precious for its own sake, because with its help the happiness of the next word and Divine vision can be gained”.
Kinds of Knowledge
Imam Ghazali identifies the difference between the revealed and the acquisitional knowledge:
“Knowledge is of two kinds – knowledge of practical religion and knowledge of spiritual matters”
Imam Ghazali categorises the learning about the duties:
Those which are connected to the religion .The religious learning are those which come from the Holy prophet and an absolute compliance from man is expected .
Those which are not so connected to the religion, these are mathematics, medicine etc.
The first one is called Farz-e-Ain and the other is called Farz-e-kafaya or binding.
Imam Ghazali classifies the sciences into three categories:
Praise worthy Sciences:
“The sciences which are beneficial up to the end is the science of knowing God, His attributes and His works, His laws effecting this world and the hereafter. This is the science which is sought for its own attributes and by which the blessing of the hereafter is gained”.
Blame worthy Sciences:
“The learning which are blame worthy are sorcery, talismanic sciences, juggling, gambling and the like”
Permissible Knowledge:
“The learning which are permissible are poetry, History, geography, biology etc”.
The underling purpose of this study is to analyze the role of Imam Ghazli and his philosophy of education for the awakening of the Muslims to realize the importance of the true knowledge and its significance in the life of human beings. The study will also show as to how far Imam Ghazali develops his philosophy of education in consonance with the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah of the prophet. Attempt will also be made to assess as to how far this philosophy can help to improve our present day system of education.
To make the students realize the true meaning of knowledge.
To make the students aware about the main purpose behind acquiring Knowledge in the light of Quranic guidance.
To assess the aims and objectives of Imam Ghazali’s Philosophy of education.
To know and understand his philosophy in the Islamic perspective.
To make the students and teachers realize that Islamic education along with the modern education can lead us to improve child’s social moral and ethical development.
To change our present day education system which may accommodate modern developments in knowledge along with the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet. Our main thrust ought to be: Be a scientist; but in the midst of all your sciences be still a man.
In fact, in Islam there is no tension between science and religion. Science, for instance, tries to understand nature that surrounds us, and it is expected that man will “Find” God in and through his study of nature – a great manifestation of God.
Religion, on the other hand, is a moral and spiritual guidance of God to man with the help of which he can engage himself in the conquest of his own nature. In the ultimate run, all knowledge is supposed to marry us to God and through God we are supposed to know and understand other things that are HIS creations. So there is no tension between science and religion. Science helps us in the conquest of human nature while religion helps us in the conquest of human nature.

Find Out How Can Help You!
Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.
View our services

Since the research study is exploratory so the data will be collected from secondary sources. For this purpose the main focus will be to study the original text. EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY OF THE HOLY QURAN by Dr.Mahar Abdul Haq will guide us about The Quran and the Islamic tradition’s (sunnah) emphasis on knowledge. Imam Ghazali’s IHYA ULUM-ID-DIN will help us to know about Imam Ghazali’s educational contribution.
Different books will be selected about Imam Ghazali and his Educational philosophy and data will be collected mostly from these. The purpose of this would be to extract his philosophy of education from these books/works
Attempt will be made to see as to whether or not we can draw any guideline for the improvement of our current system of education.
The research thesis will be organized into five chapters which are briefly given below.

Chapter 1: Chapter one will deal with the introduction of the research thesis, and will highlight its background and significance.
Chapter 2: This chapter will offer a review of related Literature. Literature about the Quranic guidance towards education will be emphisized,In the light of which we will evaluate Imam Ghazali’s contributions
Chapter 3: Chapter Three would highlight the methodology of this study.
Chapter 4: Here an attempt will be made to highlight the significance of knowledge in the light of Quran.
Chapter 5: This chapter will cover Imam Ghazali’s work as an educationist.
Chapter 6: An attempt will be made to assess the Quranic guidance for knowledge and Imam Ghazali’s philosophy of education. Finally we would also examine its relevance to our own time and its application to the contemporary issues.

Saiydain, K.G.(1942) Iqbal’s Educational Philosophy,Lahore.
Abdullah Yusaf Ali(1934)The Holy Quran Text, Translation & Commentry,Kitab Bhavan New Delhi.
Karim Fazul (1993) Ihya Ulum-ID-Din,Darul-Ishat,Urdu Bazar Karachi Pakistan.
Abdul hakim Malik(2007)Trilingual Index of the Holy Quran One volume Encyclopedia,5th edition,Ministry of Religious Affairs pakistan.