"The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: All of you are shepherds, and each one is responsible for his flock. A leader of people is a shepherd and responsible for them. A man is like a shepherd over his family, and he is responsible for his flock. A woman is like a shepherd over her husband’s house and children, and she is responsible for them. And a slave is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it. So all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges." (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Education is the birth right of every Muslim and Muslimah. Islam puts considerable emphasis on its followers to acquire knowledge. Investment in education is the best investment one can make, because it eventually leads to intellectual property. Intellectual property is an intangible property, which no one can steal or destroy. This is the property on which no Government can levy a tax. It was as a result of application of knowledge that Muslims were the superpower of the world for twelve centuries
Education should aim at the balanced growth of the total personality of man through training of the human spirit, intellect, rational self, feelings and senses. The training imparted to a Muslim must be such that faith is infused into the whole of his/her personality and creates in him/her an emotional attachment to Islam and enables him to follow the Qur'an and Sunnah and be governed by the Islamic system of values willingly and joyfully so that he/she may proceed to the realisation of his/her status as Khalifatullah to whom God has promised the authority of the universe.
Every Muslim parent is advised to raise his or her children well and properly. A happy home, comfort, care and love, providing the necessities of life and a good education are some of the responsibilities that parents are required to fulfil. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said, “Whoever is not kind to young people is not one of us and the best teaching that a parent can give a child is the teaching of good manners and character”. The Muslim child absorbs the Islamic values from his/her parents, teachers, peers, friends and the environment, including the caregivers. "Nip it in the bud" is the best advice. Otherwise once the Muslim child develops undesirable habits and unethical values, it becomes extremely difficult to mould the child into a good Muslim/Muslimah. (Dr. Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph.D)
The best and safest place for a Muslim child to be educated is with his/her parents at home, where they can give them the skills and the tools to help them in this life. In Shaa Allah
The Education Acts in each state of Australia provide parents with an alternative to school education by making provisions for parents to educate their children at home. This is called "home schooling or "home education".
In practice, home schooling is very flexible and can offer parents a different method of education than is available within the current public and private school system.
Sadly, many Muslim parents don't know about the education alternative that exists and others have many questions regarding home schooling. We hope this pamphlet will provide parents with some answers to those questions in order for them to make informed choices for their children's education.
Parents choose to home school their children for many different reasons; some of those include the following:
One of the reasons many of our children, are finding it difficult to cope with Australian society is their lack of confidence in their identity as Muslims. Home schooling allows parents to reinforce their children’s identity as Muslims, through teaching them positive skills in order to help them cope in the community and society as a whole.
Parents who home school can find a great amount of curriculum resources available for their use. A parent can also choose to use curriculum from another country and supplement it with Australian standards for mathematics and other subjects.
Muslim parents who wish to home school are often concerned about the issue of the “language barrier”. When English is not spoken in the home, or spoken very little, parents appropriately question whether their children will receive enough "language exposure". They wonder if their children will be able to function well in Australian society if education is primarily in another language.
Learning English is necessary for Muslim children to function in Australia, and several alternatives are available. "English as a Second Language" programs have been developed and are available from your local library and it is also possible to hire an English tutor. As home schooling numbers increase within the Muslim community, support networks are growing and as such language groups are being set up to facilitate our children in the area of bilingual language studies. Other possibilities include English classes at the masjid for many home schooling families.
Another issue the home schoolers struggle with is that of "socialisation". Society tends to believe as a whole that the only socialisation a child receives is at school. One must ask, "To what are children being socialised to in the public school system? Drug use, gang mentality, inappropriate language and unIslamic behaviour, disrespect, crime?"
In Islam, because of the rights and responsibility of a Muslim in our community, the Muslim child needs to be able to interact with a wide range of people of many age groups. Schools are often very “sterile” environments where generally unrealistic examples of “socialisation” take place. Children are encouraged to mix with children of like age, discouraged from mixing with siblings, and are rarely exposed to different age groups. They are taught that in order to be accepted by their peers they must be like the majority; in behaviour and attitude, and most instances this goes directly against the teachings of Islam. In other words, they are taught that when you are with pious Muslims, you act like them, and when you are with people who are not Muslim you act like them. This behaviour, if it becomes habitual may lead to hypocrisy, which is an attribute which none of us, as loving parents would like our Muslim children to possess. In Shaa Allah. A Muslim should always be true to himself and his Lord and should never compromise his/her belief in order to be accepted by the masses.
Home schooling gives parents an opportunity to re-enforce family values based on Islamic principals, and also allows for selective and positive influences for our children’s development as Muslims in Australia, where unfortunately the very essence of the family is falling apart.
Parents considering home schooling also wonder about their children being accepted to university/college. More and more universities and colleges are accepting and even searching out home schoolers. Home schooler's are typically very self-motivated, have extremely good study habits, and are disciplined in what ever they choose to undertake.
Parents are not required to have any teaching qualifications to home educate their children. In fact home educating parents come from varied socio-economic and educational backgrounds and share equal success in educating their own children.
"O you who have believed, save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, stern [and] severe, who do not disobey Allah in what He orders them and [who] do [precisely] what they are commanded."(Qur'an 77:6)
By ensuring the quality of our children’s education we may be able to help save our children and ourselves from the hellfire In Shaa Allah.
We as parents cannot take lightly the Amanah (trust) that Allah has given to us. Nor, can we delegate this responsibility to others, especially if what is on offer does not meet up to Islamic Standards.
For surely we will all stand before Allah one day and answer to him as to the children He placed in our care, and how we motivated them in their pursuing the Akhirah (hereafter) our real home, and not this world a place of examination.
It is not our intention to compete with the school system or to condemn it in its entirety, the facts are there for everyone to evaluate and make their own decision on. We, as Muslim parents simply want to provide information on a legal and viable option available to all parents, so In Shaa Allah they are able to make informed choices as to what is best for their precious children.
May Allah guide us all to make the decision that will earn the Pleasure of Allah, and may it be of benefit to us all in this life and the next. Ameen.
The Muslim Home Education Network would be happy to answer any questions on home education and discuss any other concerns that you may have. In Shaa Allah. We can also provide you with information and support on how to get started with home schooling.
For further information please write to us
Muslim Home Education Network Australia ( MHENA ) is a united group of Muslim Homeschooling mothers, with experience in all of the learning stages up to stage 5, from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. Read More