Exploring the relationship between Islamic religious learning and community

Bensaid Benaouda (Center of Fundamental Knowledge and Interdisciplinary Studies, Kulliyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Ben Tahar Machouche Saleh (Center of Fundamental Knowledge and Interdisciplinary Studies, Kulliyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Multicultural Education & Technology Journal

ISSN: 1750-497X

Publication date: 11 November 2013

Abstract

Purpose

Muslims' commitment to religious learning and its institutions speaks of a genuine interest in a lifestyle characterized by education and wisdom, spiritual and religious well-being, in addition to sustainable intellectual and socio-cultural conditions of their communities. At the core of these critical contributions however, lays the question of the interplay between religious learning and community building, and the means according to which religious learning is continually the driving force for development and prosperity. This study aims to examine a number of questions pertaining to the character of Islamic religious learning while exploring the problems impeding religious learning from the effective development of the community. Specifically, this research draws on the perspectives of two prominent Muslim scholars, ‘Abdul Rahman Ibn Khaldun and Mohammad Tahir Ben Achour in an attempt to further understand the dilemmas impairing the position of Islamic religious learning in relation to the general context of Muslim communities. This inquiry opens new fields of critical inquiry on the role of religious learning today and brings to light some of the issues causing declining influence on the effective development of Muslim communities.

Design/methodology/approach

Examination of Islamic sources to develop conceptual framework on the issue of religious learning and community.

Findings

Ingraining the mind with varying degrees of information on a particular Islamic subject or mastery of a particular textbook without challenging students' minds with on-going problems and challenges, emerging ideas or trends, or growing emotions and behaviors; only causes memorized lessons to creep into stagnancy and inertia, thus shifting attention to the form and shape of learning as opposed to its essence and implications for community change and development. This calls for a systematic review of Islamic religious learning in such a way that it draws essentially from the primary sources of Islamic thinking while drawing learners closer to the folds of piety and moral discipline, embracing social change as a validating parameter for effective learning, while continually building active bridges with the surrounding community.

Originality/value

Research relied on original Islamic sources including works of Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Achour.

Keywords

Citation

Bensaid, B. and Ben Tahar Machouche, S. (2013), "Exploring the relationship between Islamic religious learning and community", Multicultural Education & Technology Journal, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 317-332. https://doi.org/10.1108/METJ-03-2013-0013

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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