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Delivered by: Delivered by Dr Abdulllah Sahin [The Research  Centre for Muslim Educational Thought & Practice]*

Since the first world conference on Muslim education held in Makkah, Saudi Arabia in 1977, Muslim scholars from around the world agreed on a definition for the aim of Islamic education as being, ‘The aim of education is the creation of the good and righteous man who worships Allah in the true sense of the term, builds up the structure of his earthly life according to the Sharia and employs it to subserve his faith.’

Since then, billions have been poured into poorly conceived so-called “Islamization” projects with very little measurable success; Gulf money poured into Islamic Study Centres with very little community credibility and Traditional centres of learning already decimated by colonialism, continued in their outdated and reclusive manner without any accountability to the community it served. Previous attempts at so-called Muslim colleges/institutes in the West have either been ‘one-man shows’ with dubious funding sources or completely out of touch & irrelevant study programs.

Over the course of years til today, from local evening or weekend Islamic classes, to fully fledged Islamic Schools to Universities, the same old questions are being asked again and there is still no clear methodology, philosophy, theology and pedagogy for the practice and standard of modern Islamic education. Hence, in many Muslim majority countries, the constant struggle between secularism, modernity and religion and thus in entail affects, Muslim minorities in the West, who despite all the freedoms and resources, & those in power choose to continuously take these failed models and perpetuate the problems even more, thus Islamic education fails to be the transformative factor in their local communities.

The main focus of the seminar is to develop a transformative narrative on philosophy, theology and pedagogy for the practice of  modern Islamic education.

The seminar will be based on the Third Section (Theology, Philosophy & Pedagogy/Chapters 7-9) of the Book by Sahin (New Directions in Islamic Education; pedagogy and Identity Formation, Kube, 2013).

The day seminar will start with a brief critical assessment of the models and interpretations of education in Islam that have come to dominate the contemporary practice of Islamic education. The discussion will lead to highlight the importance of rethinking the philosophical, theological and pedagogic foundations of current perceptions of Islamic education some which have been put into an institutional framework. The rethinking process will be grounded within the  original sources of Islam, the Qur’an and Sunna as well as the subsequent emergence of the creative pedagogic impulse within the Muslim tradition. During the seminar there will be an opportunity to explore the basic concepts within contemporary philosophical and pedagogic discussions in the field of Education Studies.


The seminar will be based on the Third Section (Theology, Philosophy & Pedagogy/Chapters 7-9) of the Book by Sahin (New Directions in Islamic Education; pedagogy and Identity Formation, Kube, 2013).

Participants are also encouraged to look at the foundational sources such as the Qur’an and Hadith texts and their classical commentaries mentioned in the book.

General reading:

Nasr,  S.H (1989) knowledge and the Sacred, Newy York.

Bloom, B. S, (ed), et al. (1969). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals.New York: McKay.

Dewey, J (1997) Experience and Education, Touchstone, New York.

Al-Faruqi, I.R (1987) Islamization of Knowledge. Herndon, VA: IIIT

Freire, F (2006), Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Continuum, London.

Kanpol, B (1999) Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction, Bergin & Garvey, London.

Hall, S and Gieben, B (eds) (1995) Formations of Modernity, The Open University, London.

Habermas, J (1987) Knowledge and Human Interest, Polity, Cambridge.

Dr. Abdullah Sahin [Markfield Institute of Higher Education [MIHE] ]

Dr. Sahin, educated at the Universities of Ankara and Birmingham, comes from an Islamic and Educational Studies background and is interested in exploring diverse issues informing learning and teaching of Islam in mainly secular, culturally and religiously plural contemporary societies in Europe. Developing critical /empirical perspectives for the contemporary theory and practice of Islamic Education has been at the centre of his teaching and research activities.

His other areas of research and teaching are faith development and Muslim theological education, contemporary/classical Muslim educational thought, social and educational modernisation in the Muslim world and the use of historical/critical and social research methodologies in the study of Islam and Muslims. Dr. Sahin has taught at the universities of Birmingham, Aberdeen, Kuwait and Gulf University for Science and Technology and is a member of “International Seminary on Religious Education and Values (ISREV).”

Dr Sahin has recently been appointed as a Visiting professor (2009/10 Academic Year) at the Institut d’Etudes de l’Islam et des Sociétés du Monde Musulman at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. Dr Sahin is currently completing a book entitled “Pedagogy and identity formation: New Directions In Islamic Education” which will be published by Kube Publishing Ltd in 2011. Dr Sahin is the course leader for the new programme “MEd in Islamic Education: New Perspectives”. Some of his recent publications include:

“Islam, Secularity and Culture of Critical Openness: A Muslim Theological Reflection” in Y. Birt et al (eds) British Secularism and Religion (2011), Kube “The Complex Inheritance of the First Generation: Religious Nurture Among British Muslim Communities” in OASIS, 2011 V 6 No 12 p.45-50 “The Contribution of Religious Education to Social and Community Cohesion: An Islamic Educational Perspective” in RE and Social and Community Cohesion M. Grimmitt (ed) ( 2010), McCrimmion press, pp.165- 184 “Authority and Autonomy: An Islamic Education Perspective on Human Agency” in Islam and Autonomy; International Perspectives, Marcio Buitelaar et al (eds) University of Groningen, 2011. “Exploring the Religious Life-World and Attitudes toward Islam among British Muslim Adolescents” in L. Francis et al (eds) (2005) Religion, Education and Adolescence: International Empirical Perspectives, Cardiff, University of Wales Press. Pp.164-184. “Sahin-Francis Scale of Attitudes towards Islam” in Muslim Education Quarterly, Spring 2004. “The Profile of Religious Education in the Islamic World, in RE in Europe, Comenius-Institut, Muenster, 2001. “Technologies of self” and perceptions of Woman in Islamic Culture, Islamiyat, 3 (2) p.20-31, 2000. “Educational and Theological Foundations of Religious Education: A “Dialectical/Hermeneutical Approach to the Theory and Practice of Education in Islam”, Islamiyat, 1(2), p.50-75,1998.

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