A Historical Study of the Determinants and Evolution of the Islamic System of Education relates to the analysis of factors that have led and still contain the ingredients for building a strong system of education in Pakistan. This is the characteristic of the study in as much as it conforms to broadening the base of education in future. Islam, as a religion, contrasts with the European concept of a religion. It encompasses the totality of muslim life that draws its inspiration from the Quran and Sunnah. This is a wide conceptual difference between the two approaches – the one apparently individualistic and the other socialistic. In order to bring it home to the modern mind, Islam, as such, with all its radiations, through its fundamental sources, on the Islamic philosophy of life that vindicates the socio-economic, political, philosophical and ethical foundations, has been discussed in detail. Since, these aspects of life are fully expressed in the ideology of Pakistan which still continues to remain a living force in our country, today, this discussion would firm up the base on which the edifice of Islamic Education on stands.
The relationship between the ideology of Pakistan and Islam as a polity, has been precisely expounded so that the modern mind may well understand the influence of Islamic philosophy of life that provides firm roots for developing a viable system of education in Pakistan. It is a chain development descending down as blending of revelational and rational knowledge that tightens together these determinants to promote and organize the education norm that bears its own credibility. It endears a growing entirety of its own, distlinguishable from other concepts.
Islamic concept of knowledge, objectives of education, curriculum, teaching methodology, evaluation, teacher-student relationship, education travels, women education and the role of Masjid (mosque) are a queer pronged manifestation of these determinants, spotted and seen in every muslim society. The rationale behind the organizing and analyzing of these determinants is to evoke and foster scores of multifarious researches in multiple ways. This may eventually provide a norm-base to testify the think-tank of the educators and the active role of the educational institutions.
As a sequence to what has been described in the study, the selection of educators and institutions rests on two principles. The first relies upon the reflexes of the determinants of the Islamic education system in the ideals and style of the scholo-thinkers in the institutions, they have been attached. The second accounts for the knowledge that streams off and determines the high level of excellence in the contemporary world and the influence of these scholars have continued to assert in the following years, particularly in the development and reconstruction of the system of education in Pakistan. Keeping these two principles in view, the educational concepts of Imam Ghazali, Ibn-i-Khaldun, Shah Waliullah, Sir Syed AhmadKhan, Syed Jamaluddin Afghani and Allama Iqbal have been chronologically incorporated for a thread-bare study. The objective has been to show the evolution of the Islamic System of Education and the logical similarly of thought and action. This clarifies that these scholars have drawn their intellectual enlightenment from the same source i.e. the Quran and Sunna, to pick up the break shocks that make salutary trimmers to imprint on the high parchments of intellectual development.
In this study, only a selected set of Islamic educational institutions of the sub-continent which have kept on influencing the modern thinking and education, has been included. Efforts have been made to show their achievement in the similar chronological sequences invariably determining their services to the cause of education. This could better be appreciated on the contemporary educational plane which is usually hostile to Islamic concept of education. In sequence thereof, this is track-worthy that leads to the ultimate destination of Islamic thought and action. In so far as it has been possible, these institutions have been objectively ascribed within their cultural and historical phenomena. This testifies that the endeavors made, have been reliable.
Since the inception of Pakistan in 1947, five Educational Policy Reports have been produced. These are (1) Educational Conference, 1947. (2) Commission on National Education, 1959. (3) New Educational Policy, 1969. (4) National Education Policy, 1972 and (5) Educational Policy, 1978. These reports are the bye-products of the political exigencies of time. The authors of these reports have claimed them revolutionary that would change the nation within a short spell of time. Despite the variation in objectives and recommendations, the urge for assimilating Islam and the ideology of Pakistan in the new system of education, has stayed as a common factor. The reports carry a wide range of recommendations but for the purpose of this study, only those recommendations that refer to the Islamisation of the education system, have been included to infer what has been achieved in practical terms or left to educational rhetoricism.
Yet another district feature of this study is the reference of the four World Conferences on Muslim Education held in Makkah, Islamabad, Jakarta and Decca. Of these, the first conference is the most significant. Not only has it opened new vistas of though and action, it has also brought fort comprehensive recommendations to revitalize the minds of the Muslim thinkers of today. In view of the fact that Paksitan is an ideological state, due preference has been given to such recommendations that may help invigorate and eventualize the Islamic values of education. In addition to the recommendations contained in these reports, the suggestions that flash the view-points of individuals and agencies of Pakistan, have been fully utilized and duly incorporated in the study. This will provide a short moment of pause and thinking both for the state officials and free scholars.