Importance of Moral Education In Islam, By Imam Murtada Gusau
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Alhamdulillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil within ourselves and from our wrongdoings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.
I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah – alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His ‘abd (servant) and Messenger.
“O you who believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.”(Al-Imran, 3:102)
“O people! Revere your Lord who has created you from a single soul, created from it its mate, and dispersed from both of them many men and women. Revere Allah through whom you demand things from one another, and (cherish the ties of) the wombs, indeed, Allah is ever Watchful over you.”(An-Nisaa’, 4:1)
“O you who believe! Revere Allah and say fair words. He will then rectify your deeds and forgive your sins. He who obeys Allah and His Messenger have certainly achieved a great victory.” (Al-Ahzaab, 33: 70-71)
Indeed, the best speech is Allah’s (SWT) Book and the best guidance is Muhammad’s (SAW) guidance. The worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovation is an act of misguidance leading to the fire.
Fellow Muslims! Fellow Nigerians! Servants of Allah!
Know that, education occupies an important place among the Muslims. It has great impact on the minds of growing generations who are the pillars of every society.
Moral education in the early days of Islam served the needs of the Ummah. It produced mature generations and made the Ummah the leader not the led, the powerful not weak; for it was an Ummah that gives more than it takes.
Educationists are heavily responsible for guiding the growing generation, arming them with faith and protecting them against trials and temptations. The Muslim Ummah should deem herself above regarding education as a mere means of increasing material wealth and neglect the noble goals of education. The young boy who goes to school is like an empty vessel and within days and years; this vessel will be filled with conducts, manners and ways that are learnt from educational institutions. It is these that shape his life and moulds his way of thinking and way of life and it is by this that education embodies the identity of the society and the Ummah and shows her values.
Amid various modern educational theories, we Muslims sometimes forget some fundamental things. The primary purpose of education is to raise up the growing generations on Islamic values and concepts brought by Allah’s Messenger (SAW) Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to make the youth a true Muslim in his belief, feelings and conduct, submitting all aspects of his life to Islam, prostrating to Allah, humbling himself before Him and weeping whenever he hears the verses of Allah being recited out of hope for His Mercy and fear of His punishment.
Nations do not progress by accumulating information or wealth but by education that implants value and principles that reflect in practical life. Wise men do not regard the goal of education as mere accumulation of information and committing texts to memory without having any respect for their meanings. If we therefore aim at nurturing the generations and making them progress to perfection, no amount of material information and mechanical expertise can develop a person, make him a complete human being and encourage him to do good if that is not backed with a strong belief in excellent values and concepts. Mere memorisation of the concepts, without allowing that to have impact on the heart or conduct is of no use.
Servants of Allah! Fellow Nigerians!
The duty of education, before imparting information, should be to prepare the heart that will use this information for good, not evil, for the benefit of mankind not to harm them. This can however not be achieved except by implanting the correct faith in the depths of the youth’s heart so that it cannot be stained with ambiguity or deviated by lust or wrong ideologies. It should be a faith-based education that is far from frivolities and impudence and whose foundation is the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), understood according to the way of the righteous predecessors, and aimed at purifying the soul. It should be an education that makes the soul aim at lofty matters and deem itself above debasing things; and education that makes the soul pleased, annoyed, befriend and struggle for the sake of Allah alone. Our need for hearts that are full of true Faith is therefore, not less than our need for heads that are filled with information, so that our growing generation will not become a devil that spread its evil and destruction in society and across the world and in order that they may not be corrupted by drugs and perverted ideologies.
The messenger of Allah (SAW) did not use to leave any man for his whims whenever he embrace Islam but would each him the matters of his religion. When Umayr bin Wahb embraced Islam, the Prophet (SAW) told his companions:
“Teach your brother the matters of his religion and teach him the Qur’an.”
Also Imam Ahmad reported,
“The companions used to learn ten verses of the Qur’an of the Prophet (SAW) and they would not learn another ten verses until they had well understood the meanings of the previous ten verses and put them into practice. They would say: We learnt both knowledge and practice.”
Our righteous predecessors used to call children’s teacher educator and mentor. Ibn Al-Mubaarak said:
“We learnt morals for thirty years and we studied knowledge for twenty years.”
Ibn Seereen said:
“The righteous predecessors used to learn moral guidance as they would learn knowledge.”
Brethren in faith! Fellow Nigerians!
The effective and truthful education is the one that goes hand in hand with nurturing, for education without nurturing is useless and valueless, and to separate between them breeds a generation that will be weak in faith, corrupt and ignominious in personality and confused in thought; a generation that will have no regard for values and will be an easy target for vicious thoughts and dangerous, un-Islamic ideologies. The youth educated in this way will use his knowledge to cause misery to himself and his society. What is the value of knowledge, if its owner is a liar, corrupt and traitor who indulges in filthy dealings and undoes the very essence of education bit by bit through his pervasive behaviours? What is the value of knowledge if that does not reflect practically in the student’s relationship with his teachers, brethren, colleagues, society and books?
Therefore, learning is more than to memorise a book or to receive information or to attend classes. It is rather making of a generation and implanting of belief, concepts and values. The perpetuity of any nation then lies in its ability to transfer its faith, morals and history to its upcoming generations with its language.
The moral problems of a nation manifest when it neglects education and separates moral education from learning. If all this scientific progress is not accompanied by high moral standards, it will eventually lead to real perdition. Was it not this civilisation that triggered – within 25 years – two worlds wars in which weapons of mass destruction that threaten the humanity with complete destruction were created and wantonly used? Modern civilisation wallows in the abyss of moral decay in spite of its scientific progress and it caused among the Muslim communities problems of belief, morals and ideologies which can only be solved if the Muslims go back to the Islamic values and Divine Guidance. That is why education specialists say that, “the first step towards reform is good education and last step is also good education”.
Fellow believers! Fellow Nigerians!
The Muslim youth will grow up to be a fruitful member of the society if he does not see cheating, corruption, or hears lie; he will learn virtues, if his environment is not polluted with immoralities; he will learn compassion if he is not treated with harshness and he will learn honesty if dishonesty is eradicated from the society.
We Muslims are obliged to benefit from all useful modern sciences, but we must be aware that these sciences must be purified from their filth, for many of these sciences have been developed by modern materialistic thoughts that emanated from perverted cultures and in a society in which there is a continuous war between sciences and religion, where knowledge and values have no regard.
Modern sciences should not be imparted wholesale before they are subjected to purification by Muslims. We do not reject universal sciences, psychology, astronomy, sociology or other sciences, but we do not accept the foundations that contradict religion on which these sciences are built. To Muslims, the Faith should be axis of foundations of sciences and Islam should be the frameworks of their methodologies. It is then that all sciences can be in line with the greatest testament, “There is no God worthy of worship but Allah”, that every seed can glorify Allah and affirm His Omnipotence Oneness. It is then that sciences can achieve their desired moral goals in which the student will acquire morals, virtues, knowledge and faith. Allah says:
“He is it who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves, reciting to them His verses, purifying them (from the filth of disbelief and polytheism) and teaching them the Book (this Qur’an) and Al-Hikmah (the Sunnah). And verily, they had been before in manifest error.” (Al-Jum’ah, 62:2)
Brethren in Islam! Servants of Allah!
Learning is an obligation of every male and female. But because of the natural differences between both, we must not neglect the methodology and curricula that will enable each one of them carry out his or her natural responsibilities in life. By teaching a girl useful sciences and knowledge, she is being prepared to carry out her primary duty as a wife, mother, house mistress, nurturer of generations and maker of men; and the boy is made to qualify as the leader of the house who directs its affairs with wisdom, compassion and knowledge.
Brethren in faith! Fellow Nigerians!
Preparing curricula about family and all that relates to it has become a goal and social necessity imposed by the conditions of today’s families, that live in undesirable interrelationships, emotional dryness and ignorance about the concept of guardianship, foundations of marital life, basics of child bearing and the art of dealing with family problems, not to talk of rampant divorce cases and the rise in the rate of spinsterhood.
O Allah! We seek refuge in you from grief and sadness, from Weakness and from laziness, from miserliness and from cowardice, from being overcome by debt and overpowered by men.
I ask Almighty God (Allah) to enable every Muslim to fully understand these words and to comprehend the Islamic position with respect to the people of misguidance. I also ask Him (SWT) ability to grant every person the ability to grasp the true message and beauty of Islam as it was revealed to the noble prophet of Islam.
I pray that Allah will guide us all in these difficult times. May Allah help us to internalise and externalise His noble qualities of Mercy, Love and Wisdom. Let us show patient, perseverance in serving others, and in building bridges between Muslims and our neighbours in the wider community. Let us pray that Allah helps us to become better Muslims who follow His command so that we can set a good example for others.
Indeed all praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all creations – and May peace and blessings be upon the prophet, his family, his companions and those who follow him precisely until the Day of Judgment. Ameen.
This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Rajab 5, 1436 A.H (April 24, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through 08038289761 and firstname.lastname@example.org