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Education in Islamic Education

Reform Movements And The Print Revolution

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries were marked by reform movements and secularizing nationalists. With the presence of European colonial powers in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, an era of intensive contact and a flow of ideas between the Muslim world and the West began, with far-reaching impact on the Islamic societies. Educational reforms were implemented to raise the standard and widen the scope of learning: in Egypt by Pasha Muhammad 'Ali (d. 1849), and in Turkey by Sultan 'Abdulmajid I (d. 1861). In India, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan (d. 1898), an educational reformer and founder of Islamic modernism in India, established in 1878 an Islamic Anglo-Oriental College in Aligarh (modeled after the universities in Oxford and Cambridge), which was raised to the rank of a university in 1920; in 1886 he instituted the Muhammadan Educational Conference, with annual meetings in various cities.

In the Arab world, the intellectual reform movement of the Nahda ("Awakening") aimed at reconciling traditional and modern (Western) areas of knowledge in a spirit of openness to the world, yet without destroying the values of Islam and Muslim identity. In Egypt, Muhammad 'Abduh (d. 1905), a Muslim theologian and founder of the Egyptian modernist school, called for an educational reform and the reformulation of Islamic doctrine in the light of modern thought; and Qasim Amin (d. 1908) campaigned for the liberation of women. Similar attempts were made in Tunisia by Muhammad Bayram (d. 1889); in Iraq by the Alusi family; and in Algeria by Ibn Badis (d. 1940), an intellectual educational reformer and founder of an orthodox reform movement for the renewal of Arab-Islamic culture. In Turkey, major steps to secularize education were taken as a result of the establishment of the Turkish nation state in 1923, when the Kemalist concept of secular nationhood in an Islamic country was implemented.

One must not neglect to mention the educational activities of Christian missionaries, especially in Lebanon and Syria, and at institutions such as the Syrian Protestant College opened in 1866 (later the American University of Beirut) and the introduction of printing to the Muslim world: in Calcutta (with Arabic, Persian, and Urdu printing) from the 1780s onward; in Teheran, Tabriz (Persian), and Istanbul (Turkish) in the eighteenth century; and in Beirut and Cairo (Arabic) in the nineteenth century. The latter made possible the production of a number of important educational journals.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Dysprosium to Electrophoresis - Electrophoretic TheoryEducation in Islamic Education - Pre-islamic Arabia, The Koran, The Prophetic Tradition, Oral Instruction And Books, Educators And Institutions Of Primary And Higher Education