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A CHANGE OF PARADIGM IN THE CURRICULUM

10 years ago, this paper gives the reflection of PPAA's effort at reviewing and refining Islamic Studies curriculum. It's time for another review and hence design a new curriculum.

Abstract

This paper presents the experience of a private Islamic educational institution in an effort to introduce a relevant and dynamic approach in the curriculum and instruction of ‘Ulum Naqliah (revealed sciences). The five most salient features adopted in the curriculum are the absence of a traditional division of subjects into ‘aqidah (Islamic creed), fiqh (jurisprudence), sirah (life of the Prophet SAW), and akhlaq (Islamic character); the emphasis in presenting principles, concepts, and hikmah (underlying reason) in teaching and learning; the effort to inculcate love, internalization of Islamic principles, concepts, and ‘izzah (self esteem) with respect to being a true and practising Muslim; the emphasis on the end products as to be shabab du’at (youths as callers to faith) equipped with the necessary skills to tackle the challenges of a contemporary society; and lastly, evaluation of students is based on written, oral, practical assessments and reports by teachers and parents. This innovative and significant effort is embodied in the school curriculum project paper, which is Projek MERKURI (2001).

Introduction

Education being the main vehicle of civilization, undoubtedly occupies the attention of serious Muslim minds. The state of backwardness and weakness of the present Muslim Ummah (community of Muslims) is thought to be partly attributed to the system of education in the Muslim World. Muslim intellectuals and scholars are most concerned with the pivotal role to be assumed by the Islamic system of education as means to revitalize the Ummah. They discussed issues on Islamic education ranging from simply establishing an Islamic school to the complexities of designing the right curriculum. Efforts at repositioning and empowering Islamic education system culminated in the staging of the Makkah World Conference of Islamic Education in 1977. Thereafter, rigorous actions in the form of series of conferences, seminars and workshops discussed and proposed ideas and workplans in an effort to raise the Ummah to a level of dynamism that once characterized Muslim intellectual, cultural, and scientific traditions. In the fast changing world and its challenges, the solution does not stop short at having more Islamic schools, its’ effective management and administration (Nor Zalmiah, 1999), implementing islamization of contempory knowledge but it extends to designing and developing the right curriculum for Islamic studies and its instruction.

Muslim scholars and intellectuals observe that element of high intellectualism portraying analytical, critical, and innovative thoughts are missing in today’s Islamic studies curriculum and its instruction. Sardar (1985) states that, ‘both the classical and the modern approaches to Islamic studies concentrate on Islam as a religion and culture. Be it memorizing the Qur’an or Hadith, mastering the opinions of the classical jurists or learning Islamic history, the emphasis is on rote learning and collecting facts’, thus amounting to students being vast storehouses of facts and opinions. Contemporary literature on Islamic education also highlights the traditional approach to curriculum and instruction of Islamic studies. Among the practices are the emphasis on memorization (hifz) than understanding (fiqh), memorization of facts than internalization, fiqh originally intended to mean religious insight and discernment becomes restricted to mean jurisprudence, and becoming huffaz (those who know the Qur’an by heart) assumes as the primary objective as compared to the early generation of huffaz’s engagement towards understanding al Din. Al Qardhawi (1996) boldly states that the existing Islamic education system gives preferance to hifz and thus be a silent witness than deep comprehension. This methodology of learning corresponds to the lowest level of obtaining knowledge, thus the Muslim mind does not have enough courage to analyze its intellectual legacy or what it holds as sacred resulting in not understanding what is really important, distinguishing between what is fundamental and absolute, and what is temporary and limited as emphasized by AbuSulayman (1993). On the other aspect, Al Attas (1999) attributes the present state of treating knowledge to adopting a wrong epistemology and methodology as effected by loss of adab and rise of false leaders. To add to the injury, the use of force, emotional and psychological means on the Ummah in order to keep them in check by certain quarters of Muslim leaderships also has an effect of inhibition of their minds (AbuSulayman, 1993).

It is timely to note the point made by Rahman (1982) that Islamic intellectualism should be the essence of especially higher Islamic education for the growth of genuine, original and adequate Islamic thought is the real criterion for judging the success or failure of an Islamic education system. Thus, Sardar (1985) proposes that Islamic education system should aim at producing insan whose ‘strength lies in the ability to perceive Islam not as a mere religion but as a dynamic world-view, to synthesize the historical and the modern, and to appreciate the concerns of the traditional sectors of the Muslim population while possessing the intellectual apparatus to communicate with the modernists.’ This kind of insan is further refined by al Attas (1999) as man of adab (insan adabi), that is a man with a disciplined body, mind, and spirit with respect to his obligations towards his Creator, Allah SWT. Of late, the issue of designing and developing the right curriculum and its instruction for Islamic education system has claimed the attention of Muslim intellectuals and scholars. A number of models were proposed of which are ‘Islam for Life’, ‘Constructing Moral Personality’, and ‘Integrated Islamic Studies Curriculum’ (ISNA Education Forum, 2005 and 2006). These initiatives are towards generating a new breed of Muslim intellectuals, scientists, technologists, scholars, specialists and others with the ability to deal with challenges of the contemporary world by providing Islamic solution to the problems of their time in an effort to play their roles as ‘abd (Allah’s SWT obedient servant) and khalifah (Allah’s SWT vicegerant on earth) in their respective fields of specialization. The intent of this paper is to have an overview of the effort of Pusat Pendidikan Al Amin (Al Amin Education Center) in implementing changes in the existing Islamic studies (‘Ulum Naqliah as referred to in PPAA) curriculum and its instruction.


Background Setting : Pusat Pendidikan Al Amin (PPAA)

PPAA constitutes three privately run Islamic schools namely Sekolah Menengah Islam Al Amin Gombak, SMIAAG (Al Amin Islamic Secondary School), Sekolah Rendah Islam Al Amin Kuala Lumpur, SRIAA KL (Al Amin Islamic Primary School Kuala Lumpur), and Sekolah Rendah Islam Al Amin Gombak, SRIAAG (Al Amin Islamic Primary School Gombak). The establishment of SRIAA KL in 1986 was itself a significant milestone in the history of an integrated Islamic education system in Malaysia. With a view of producing students exemplifying an integrated personality, the previous PPAA Board of Governors made a conscious decision in offering national school curriculum and ‘Ulum Naqliah curriculum in one school session. The overwhelming response from parents became the catalyst for developing the integrated system further. Hence, the birth of SMIAAG in 1991 and SRIAAG in 1993 helps to fulfill their aspiration. Thereafter, PPAA Board of Governors is committed to bring this Integrated Islamic Education Institutions to a level of high competency and professionalism.

In line with PPAA’s mission to produce salih wa muslih (good and enjoining good) students, the Board envisages that they will in future develop into a new breed of specialists in their respective fields, who are also fuqaha (sufficiently versed in matters of Din al Islam) and muttaqin (God consciousness). As practioners of Islamic education system, one of the commitments of PPAA Board of Governors is to continuously be sentitive to the needs of time with respect to the products of the school system. In view of the complex society and the world that we live in, traditional approach in the curriculum and intruction of ‘Ulum Naqliah needs a revisionist’s viewpoint. This bold move is propelled by the ability to differentiate between beliefs (unchanging principles) and thoughts (ideas) so as to be able to move forward without the fear of transgressing the limits as prescribed in Din al Islam.

The spirit of all the above statements translated into unpublished paper, Dynamics of SRI-SMI (Islamic Primary School-Islamic Secondary School) Curriculum : Ideals versus Realities (Nor Zalmiah, 2001) and following that A New Model and Primary Components in Al Amin Curriculum : A Paradigm Shift in the focus to produce Salih wa Muslih Generation (Saari Sungib, 2001) serve as impetus for Board of Directors of PPAA to embark onto a comprehensive MERKURI project in 2001. These two working papers project the philosophy, rationale, conceptual framework, and aims for designing a new curriculum.

The MERKURI Project

The MERKURI project involves an effort to revise the existing PPAA curriculum. The Curriculum Committee, who is held responsible for the project consented to name it MERKURI, an acronym for merubah kurikulum (curriculum change). The MERKURI project was listed as one of 2001 objectives of PPAA Board of Governors to be implemented in 2002 (PPAA Strategic Planning, 2001). The rationale behind the project states :

Since the inception, the three schools have been utilizing the same curriculum. In the span of fifteen years there has been dynamic changes in today’s world education both locally and globally, thereby an evaluation of the existing curriculum is inevitable. The school curriculum demands some changes to be implemented so as to accomodate the students’ need to move forward, thus enabling them to face the challenges of the new millennium.
(Projek Merkuri, 2001)

MERKURI project proposes revision and changes in the curriculum of ‘Ulum Naqliah, Kurikulum Baru Sekolah Rendah, KBSR (New Curriculum for Primary School) and Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah, KBSM (Integrated Curriculum for Secondary School), Arabic Language, Information Technology (IT), and and Hifz al Qur’an (memorization). The proposed changes involve :

• All subjects categorized under ‘Ulum Naqliah are replaced by a single subject Tasawwur Islami.
• KBSM and KBSR subjects are to be presented within the Islamic perspective (islamization of contemporary knowledge).
• A new curriculum and instruction is proposed for Arabic Language.
• Information Technology curriculum is designed as compulsory subject for all levels.
• Methodology of Hifz al Qur’an is made standardized between primary and secondary levels with the adoption of Al Barqi method.
(Projek Merkuri, 2001)

Thereafter, series of four nightly discussions were thereby organized for the PPAA community, which comprises PPAA Board members, school management committee (JPS), Parent Teacher Association (PTA), teachers, and members of non-governmental organization JIM (Jama’ah Islah Malaysia), which is also PPAA interest group in an effort to convey the proposed curriculum revision and changes and assess their views or feedbacks. The audiences were specifically exposed to the pertinent ideas in the two working papers besides acknowledging the experiences of IBERR (International Board of Educational Research and Resources). The prepatory efforts culminated in a day seminar held in September 2001 at International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), which signifies a momentous development in the history of PPAA curriculum revision and change. During the seminar, the PPAA community were exposed to key ideas as means to instill readiness in implementing the new curriculum. Among the issues and topics highlighted are history and philosophy of Islamic education, IT, analytical and critical thinking, tasawwur islami as a discipline, postmodernism, Islamic metaphysics, Islamization of contemporay knowledge, and products of Islamic education system. Upon approval short-term and long-term objectives were formulated, and the frame of work and the expected time of compeletion were outlined to initiate the implementation stage at the ground level. Thereafter, PPAA Curriculum Committee launched series of workshops and meets to discuss the stages for textbook and workbook production. The new curriculum of Tasawwur Islami was gradually introduced in stages with the completion of year one textbook in 2002.

Curriculum and Instruction of subjects categorized under ‘Ulum Naqliah : The Earlier Practice

Early compartmentalization of knowledge in the process of instilling the understanding of Islam, in a way deprives students from being exposed and able to internalize the comprehensive conception (tasawwur) of Islam as dynamic and vibrant worldview. At the primary level (SRIAA), the curriculum and instruction of ‘Ulum Naqliah as fiqh, aqidah, akhlah, sirah are treated separately. In this practice over emphasized and overlapping of facts are also evident. This situation is further aggravated by the fact that the evaluation system of dual curriculum (KBSR-KBSM and ‘Ulum Naqliah) based solely on formal tests and written examinations produce too exam-oriented students. When examination mark becomes the sole criteria in determining the students’ success, it indirectly relegates their mission to practize and internalize the obligations as required by ‘aqidah, ‘ibadah, and akhlaq islamiah to secondary endeavor. The burden of accomplishing dual syllybus also acts as a hinderance in implementing islamization of contemporary knowledge at primary and secondary (SRIAA and SMIAA) levels. The islamization effort should reinforce the role of Islam in the conception of world view. The implementation of dual syllybus also leaves insufficient time for SRIAA-SMIAA to integrate character building component in the education system. This component is vital for SRIAA-SMIAA in their effort to generate salih wa muslih students, and hence shabab du’at. Finally, the use of al Qur’an and al Sunnah as the foundation, axis, and primary source for all kinds of knowledge, its purpose, obligations, and application has not assumed its central place at SRIAA-SMIAA. It is only through sound foundation on revealed knowledge that profound understanding of Din al Islam is developed.

Curriculum and Instruction of Tasawwur Islami : Philosophical and Conceptual Framework

PPAA’s mission to develop salih wa muslih students is facilitated through an integrated system of education. As an integrated system of education, PPAA upholds that,

the foundation, transmission and internalization of of knowledge, are without any separation whatsoever between the components of knowledge. Early compartmentalization of knowledge into its components is to be avoided. This compartmentalization will deprive students from conceptualizing and visualizing Islam as a comprehensive system of life. All types of knowledge are aimed at the growth of mind and personality of students strongly founded on the basis of Tawhidic values, which are aimed at leading closer to their Creator. The inculcation of knowledge must be based directly and primarily on the al Qur’an and al Sunnah.
(Saari Sungib as cited in Ruzainah, 2004. p. 29)

The above conceptual framework serves as condusive environment for the introduction of Tasawwur Islami. Ulum Naqliah subjects at the primary level, which are ‘aqidah, fiqh, akhlak,and sirah are to be treated as a single subject Tasawwur Islami. PPAA Board of Directors concurs with the view that Islam has to be presented as a world view above and over Islam as religion and culture. Tasawwur Islami should be understood as one that encompasses the world view of Islam. Hence, its main elements are comprized of the concept of God (theology), the concept of metaphysics, the concept of cosmology, the concept of man, the concept of epistemology, the concept of axiology, and not least the concept of Prophethood. Those very elements when further expanded encompass the whole gamut of Din al Islam, which are usul al Din (principles of Din al Islam) , shari’ah (Islamic law), Islamic civilization (politics, economics, education, jurisprudence, law, arts, historiograhy), Islamic thought (philosophy, metaphysics, theology), and not least Islamic science. The emphasis on themes, concepts and principles derived from al Qur’an, and as translated into practice in al Sunnah is primarily to equip students with the ability to innovatively apply those concepts and principles in changing circumstances, an approach understood as Islamic Asalah (AbuSulayman 1993). Most importantly, the students are made to appreciate al hikmah encompanying the commandments of those principles and concepts. Themes, concepts and principles such as oneness of Allah SWT, the Omnipotent and Omniscient God, shahadah (proclaimation of Islamic faith), enjoining good forbidding evil, Muslim as the best Ummah, the Prophet SAW as a blessing to all mankind, Islam as a way of life, ‘ibadah (worship) in Islam, ukhuwah (brotherhood) in Islam, Maqasid al Shari’ah (purpose of Shari’ah), resurrection (life after death), and many others properly transmitted within Islamic worldview will have great bearing on the life of an individual and society.

At level one SRIAA, themes are based on Asma al Husna (beutiful Names of Allah SWT). The themes are then expanded by relating to the appropriate stories of the Prophets AS, sahabah RA (companions of the Prophet SAW), verses from al Qur’an, and the accompanying obligations with respect to ‘ibadah, ‘aqidah, and akhlaq islamiah. At level two SRIAA, al Qur’an and al Hadith as primary sources, Islam as society and civilization, and Islamic history are introduced as main chapters in Tasawwur Islami. Nevertheless, elements of inter-disciplanary approach are employed especially in relating the obligations of ‘aqidah, ‘ibadah, and akhlaq islamiah to al Qur’an and al Hadith. With respect to injuctions of ‘ibadah, which are not yet obligatory on the students (for example haj (pilgrimage to Makkah) and zakah (paying poor due) at SRIAA level, and nikah (marriage), al buyu’ (sale), faraid (distribution of wealth) at SMIAA level), hikmah is more emphasized as preferance to processes and details. Proper understanding of fard ‘ayn (obligation towards the Self) and fard kifayah (obligation towards Society) is here exercised whereby fard ‘ayn does not end at secondary education but it develops with respect to one’s maturity, responsbility, and intellectual ability and at certain stage one’s fard kifayah becomes fard ‘ayn (Al Attas, 1999). Similarly, in sirah of the Prophet SAW, stories of the Prophets AS and sahaba RA, and Islamic history, chronology and facts are less emphasized and in its stead lessons are drawn from each events.

At the secondary level (SMIAA), the same philosophical and conceptual framework is adopted. In spite of that, ‘ulum al Qur’an (sciences of al Qur’an), ‘ulum al Hadith (sciences of al Hadith), comparative religion, and science and ‘aqidah are included as main chapters in Tasawwur Islami. Of significance, the curriculum at this level accomodates an appropriate and relevant syllybus for module to produce shabab du’at and to fulfill their needs towards executing their roles as salih wa muslih in the contemporary society. Contents of the modules are integrated into the curriculum, and their practical implementation are channeled into co curricular activities. This special module is developed primarily according to Islam two primary sources to equip the students with the necessary knowledge and skills in their mission to convey the message of Islam and mould their lives accordingly. Sirah of the Prophet SAW concentrates on how the events in the Prophet’s SAW life prepare him for the work of da’wah (call to Islam) throughout his mission. For that reason, chronology and details seem obscure; and instead emphasis on concepts and principles drawn from the al Qur’an, and the manner in which they are translated into practice in the sirah of the Prophet SAW are highlighted. The concept of ukhwah, leadership, war, treaty, shura (mutual consultation), hijrah (the emigration from Makkah to Madinah) and others are focussed on aswering the questions of why’s and how’s. This exercise will cultivate a sense of appreciation as well as analytical, critical and creative thinking

The effort to make Tasawwur Islami less exam oriented is realized in the adoption of formative evaluation of students in SRIAA and SMIAA. The evaluation is based on written, oral, and practical assessments, and supported by teachers’ and parents’ bi-yearly reports. These reports indirectly invite the parents’ participation in strengthening the habits or character supportive of the school’s mission. Love, internalization, and ‘izzah with respect to being practicing Muslims is realized by methods of instruction in which emphasis is placed on comprehending and emulating the acts of ‘ibadah over memorization of facts and details. Analytical, critical, and innovative thoughts are helped to flourish by the manner in which knowledge is presented in written materials and learning methods, which also incorporate element of problem based learning. This is supported by designing questions, which appeal to higher level thinking. Teaching and learning, which include deliberation on contemporary issues that relate to fiqh al waqi‘ (reality) helps build appreciation of al hikmah of principles and injunctions. Profound understanding of principles and concepts translated in the lifetime of the Prophet SAW helps guide application of them in the changing circumstances by way of Islamic asalah approach and not imitative historical approach (AbuSulayman, 1993). Application of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach in teaching and learning, whereby events are deliberated not as chronology as such but more on the processes involved. This methodology helps contribute towards comprehending Islam as a worldview (Sardar, 1985). Implementation of module for shabab du’at complements teaching learning aspect because it prepares the students to utilize the knowledge and skills acquired in the curriculum at the practical level. Social service, which forms part of service learning whereby students are encouraged to utilize the relevant knowledge and skills for the good of the community represents as part of education programs.


Curriculum and Instruction of Tasawwur Islami : Objectives and Learning Outcomes

Having laid out the philosophical and conceptual framework, PPAA Curriculum Committee organized a day workshop at IIUM in 2002. After intense brainstorming session, agreement was reached in the formulation of general and specific objectives for all levels of SRIAA-SMIAA. Both objectives reflect heavily on the philosophy and concept of Tasawwur Islami (PPAA Curriculum Committee, 2002).

General Objectives of Tasawwur Islami
• Recognition and acknowledgement of Islam as a way of life
• Inculcation of love and ‘izzah through translating principles and values into practice to result in their internalization.
• Sufficiently equipped in knowledge of revealed sciences , which facilitates conveyance and transmission of the message of Islam.
• Al Qur’an and al Sunnah as pivotal with respect to being source of referance and guidance.
• Accountable being with a readiness to contribute to Din al Islam, nation and the country.

Specific Objectives of Tasawwur Islami for SRIAA
• Recognition and acknowledgement of Allah SWT as the Creator by means of Tawhid Rububiah, Tawhid Uluhiah, Tawhid Asma Wa Sifah.
• Acceptance of Islam as a way of life in whatever situation.
• Execution of responsibility and role as a Muslim in ‘ibadah and mu’amalah (social intercourse).
• Inculcation of ‘izzah towards Islam.
• Building life to be always in close proximity with al Qur’an and al Sunnah.

Specific Objectives of Tasawwur Islami for SMIAA
• ‘aqidah salimah and iman sahihah to be firmly ingrained.
• Comprehension and internalization of Islam as comprehensive system of life as a way of seeking mardhatillah (the Pleasure of Allah SWT)
• Cultivation of Islamic attitude and identity towards greater commitment towards building oneself, family, and society.
• Escalation of ‘izzah through recognition of Islam’s contribution and role in human civilization as a whole.
• Al Qur’an and al Sunnah as principles in life.

During the workshop, PPAA Curriculum Committee was also able to formulate learning outcomes for SRIAA and lower secondary of SMIAA according to their respective levels. In this new paradigm, efforts to turn Tasawwur Islami in its objective, curriculum and instruction, and written materials as fertile ground for inseminating analytical, critical and innovative thoughts are attempted.


Curriculum and Instruction of Tasawwur Islami : Implementation

The year 2002 is significant with the implementation of the curriculum and instruction of Tasawwur Islami in SRIAA and SMIAA. The implementation stages of selection and training of teachers, organization of syllybus, issuance of textbook and workbook, teachers’ preparation, transmission of knowledge through teaching and learning, supervision of teachers, and execution of measurement and evaluation were duly observed. Nevertheless, those stages or processes need upgrading in some aspects. This is to ensure the expectation out of the new curriculum will result. However, the existing practice in PPAA educational programs complements whatever shortcomings that exist in its implementation.

Curriculum and Intruction of Tasawwur Islami : Reevaluation

After six years of plaughing and trodding, AAEC Board of Governors bold effort has progressed quite significantly. Evidence of co operation and approval especially from PPAA community is manifested. The whole thing about Tasawwur Islami might have been misunderstood. The traditional practice of great number of subjects offering is not evident and similarly facts and details in written materials. Accumulation of revealed knowledge at hand sits heavily on the scale of success in traditional Islamic education. However, from outright objection they are now more accomodating. The shift in attitude is towards improvision of the curriculum and instruction of Tasawwur Islami. In the span of six years, PPAA Curriculum Committee has successfully issued syllybus, primary school text books and work books; and lower secondary school textbooks. Despite the fact, quality and compliance to philosophical and conceptual framework of Tasawwur Islami are still much to be desired. Finally in the second half of the year 2007, the first batch of primary students will sit for school based summative evaluation of Tasawwur Islami. PEKERTI an acronym for evaluation of written, oral, practical of Tasawwur Islami is expected as indicator of the measure of success in the implementation of the new curriculum and its instruction. As for the lower secondary students, the first batch sat for the newly formatted Tasawwur Islami written examination in the year 2004. Nevertheless, students’ performance in these examinations is not the sole measure of success of curriculum and instruction of Tasawwur Islami since a number of other interelated factors are also contributable.

Despite the progress, the effort is still hampered by a sizeble fraction of the school community for not acquiring a good grasp of philosophy and concept of Tasawwur Islami. This lack of comprehension leads to not being supportive in some aspects. Questions are raised with respect to significant decrease in facts and details be it in fiqh, sirah or stories of sahaba and other Prophets AS. Similarly, this understanding leads to the accusation of lacking in efforts towards tafaqquh fi al Din (comprehending Din al Islam). The writing of textbook does not fully adopt the inter disciplinary approach thus compartmentalization of ‘aqidah, ‘ibadah, sirah and akhlaq into main chapters still remains at certain levels. Lack of technical experts such as authors, editors, and instructors also lends due weight on the quality and standard of written materials and instruction. The SRIAA-SMIAA school system is still unsuccessful to integrate contents of modules for shabab du’at into the curriculum of Tasawwur Islami except for a short period in SMIAA indirectly due to time table reshufling. Similarly, implementation of its practical obligations in the co curricular activities has not materialized. Separate meet session is thus required to accomodate the module and co curricular activities are organized irrespective of curriculum of Tasawwur Islami.

Large scale survey has not been conducted to assess the success or failure of the curriculum and instruction of Tasawwur Islami. However, feedbacks from SMIAAG teachers during review discussions in April 2007 lead to a number of initiatives being proposed. PPAA Curriculum Committee should conduct a reorientoring program for PPAA community. In this session, sharing of the philosophical and conceptual framework, the objectives and learning outcomes, and the processes involved in the implementation of curriculum and instruction of Tasawwur Islami will be initiated, thus make them partners in realizing the objectives of Tasawwur Islami. Contents of Tasawwur Islami specifically that requires practical implementation is to be integrated into other co curricular activities. In this manner, curriculum and instruction of Tasawwur Islami will assume its central place in the school system. Curriculum and instruction of Tasawwur Islami is to be strongly reinforced by Islamization of contemporary knowledge as proposed in the MERKURI Project (2001). It is unacceptable for unislamic philosophy, concepts, spirit, and culture to have an easy access to invade and encroach the minds of our youths despite the effort to nurture the right spirit, mind, and attitude with the introduction of this new paradigm. Educational specialists and established writers, and editors should seriously be considered to be engaged in the reviewing of the educational materials. Lastly, right selection of teachers and their trainings must claim top priority. These two factors are very crucial in the successful implementation of curriculum and instruction of Tasawwur Islami.

Conclusion

Despite introducing a change of paradigm, other efforts at improvision the curriculum and instruction of Islamic Studies is warmly applauded. Undoubtedly, Muslim intellectuals and scholars with sound grounding in knowlegde of the world and knowledge of Din al Islam will unceaselessly strive to find the right formula and solution towards revitalizing the Ummah. The Muslim’s role as ‘abd and khalifah in the face of Westernization, post Modernism, and globalization strongly demands the right and relevant knowledge to be sufficiently embedded in the mind of Muslim youths.

The change in the curriculum and instruction of Tasawwur Islami stands insignificant vis a vis vast aspects of Islamic education, which still demand attention. Educational issues with respect to epistomology and methodology of knowledge, islamization of contemporary knowledge, curriculum of Islamic Studies in higher institutions, the position of Islamic Studies as core discipline with respect to other disciplines, the right usage of terms and meanings with respect to Islamic education, relevant emphasis of fard ‘ayn, fard kifayah, and ideas on specialization require serious thoughts and sound commitment. Through diligent effort of Wan Mohd. Nor (1998), these issues are extensively elaborated and discussed in The Educational Philosohy and Practice of Syed Muhammad Naquib Al Attas : An Exposition of the Original Concept of Islamization.

References

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al-Attas, Syed Muhammad Naquib, 1999. The Concept of Education in Islam. KL :
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Al Qardhawi, Yusuf Abdullah. 1996. Fiqh al Awlawiat. Trans. Asmawi A.N. Kuala Lumpur : Thinker’s Library.

Board of Directors, Al Amin Education Center. Strategic Planning : Objectives 2001.

Curriculum Committee, Al Amin Education Center, 2001. Projek MERKURI.
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--------------------------------------------------------------, 2002. Objektif Tasawwur Islami.
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Nor Zalmiah Jahidin, 2001. Dinamika Kurikulum SRI-SMI : Antara Ideal dan Realiti.
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to the Leadership and Management of Islamic Schools in Malaysia. Unpublished
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Rahman, Fazlur. 1982. Islam and Modernity. Chicago : University of Chicago Press.

Ruzainah Ishak. 2004.The English Curriculum of Sekolah Menengah Islam Al Amin : A
Critical Analysis. Unpublished Master Thesis : IIUM

Sardar, Ziauddin. 1985. Islamic Futures : The Shape of Ideas to Come. London and New
York : Mansell Publishing Limited.

Sungib, Saari. 2001. Model Baru dan Komponen Utama dalam Kurikulum Al Amin :
Satu Anjakan ke arah Fokus Melahirkan Angkatan Salih wa Muslih [A New Model and Components in Al Amin Curriculum : A Paradigm Shift in the Focus to Produce Salih wa Muslih Generation]. (Unpublished paperwork presented at Pusat Pendidikan Al Amin).

Wan Daud, Wan Mohd Nor. 1998. The Educational Phillosophy and Practice of Syed
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