The crisis of modern-day Islamic education is rooted, in large part, in the way we teach our children about Islam. This approach, which focuses primarily on conveying “information” about Islam, has failed to capture the hearts and minds of our youth. A renewed approach is therefore needed – one that addresses the real needs and concerns of students themselves. The field of Islamic values education – with its focus on beliefs, values, manners, feelings, attitudes, and moral literacy skills – should be the focus of contemporary Islamic education, as it was in the time of the Nobel Prophet (pbuh).
-Dawud Tauhidi in The Tarbiyah Project (2001)
Although this webpage is designated “Islamic Studies,” most Muslim educators agree that Islam should be integrated into all studies – sort of like Islam across the curriculum. Many of the curricula in Islamic schools in America strive to do exactly that, and the ISLA strongly supports this approach. For a more complete discussion of Islamic curricula, please see the Curricula & Tarbiyah section.
Islamic Studies in most full time Islamic schools varies widely, but there are some main components common to almost all schools:
- Memorization and recitation of Qur’an
- History specific to Islam
- Biography of the Prophet (pbuh)
- Traditions of the Prophet (pbuh)
Furthermore, all full time Islamic schools teach Arabic language to one degree or another. There is a serious and unresolved question about whether to teach Arabic as a mechanism for understanding Islam or as a complete language (such as Spanish, French, or German in public schools). The ISLA supports and encourages schools to teach Arabic as a complete language for various reasons that are explored fully on our Arabic Language page.