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Volume :17 Issue : 65 1999      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Ibn Al-Haj's Opinions on the Teaching of Children (in Arabic)

Auther : Mohammed Faris Al-Jameel

The concern of Muslim scholars with childrens education in what was known as, Elementaries Katateeb, appeared in the third and fourth centuries of Hijra, noticeably in Morocco, and especially in Ifrigiya, i.e.modern Tunisia. Foremost among the concerned scholars were Sahnoon, his son Mohammed, and Al-Qabsi. These scholars made strenuous efforts to compose and establish Islamic rules and regulations regarding childrens education: how it should be done; as well as pointing out the informer or teachers responsibilities in this respect, with emphasis on his scientific and ethical qualifications. It has been clearly noticed during the last three centuries of the first thousand years of the Hijra, that there was an increase in writings about elementary level teaching, with emphasis on its Islamic and scientific regulations.

Many scholars were known to be concerned with the subject during that time. The most important of them were Magharwi in Algeria, and AI-Haytmi in Egypt. But it was clearly noticed, that the opinions of these scholars did not deviate from or exceed that implemented by the pioneer Ifriqian scholars.

At the end of the seventh century, and the beginning of the eighth century of Hijra, the Moroccan scholar Ibn AI-Haj, (died 1336 G./ 737H.) who lived the last years of his life in Egypt appeared, and wrote his famous text, briefly known as The Introduction or Al-Madkhal, which deals with most of the social, ethical, scientific and educational issues. He also discussed the overall subject of elementaries, and the role of the informer, who was considered to be a pivot of the childrens learning process. His views and considerations in this regard, were characterised by their depth. Thus he was distinct from the preceding and the latter scholars of medieval times.

The aim of this study is to compare Ibn AI-Hajs opinions on childrens education, with the opinions of the pioneers, i.e. Sahnoon, his son Mohammed and Al-Qabsi, in order to know the extent of change that took place in the problems regarding teaching and education, between the time the issue was raised in the first four centuries of Hijra, and in the Mamluke era, i.e. in the seventh and eighth centuries of Hijra.

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