Projects of Educational Reforms Trust can be discussed as Current Projects and Future Projects:
1. Safa Institute
2. Safa Islamic Center
Education is the sole enterprise on which destiny of a nation depends. The foundation on which Muslim Ummah can stand, flourish and progress is, “The Knowledge” (Al-Ilm) revealed by Allah (SWT) to human beings so that they can fulfill the purpose of their creation i.e. to be the sincere servants of Allah (SWT) and to follow the path of life set by Allah (SWT) for the humanity.
Present system of education in Pakistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world is dichotomized into sacred and profane, or simply to say into Deeni Madaris and modern educational institutions. Scholars like Allama Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, Dr. Rafi-ud-Din, Muhammad Asad and others always emphasized integration and unification of the education system to bring true and knowledge based unity in the Muslim Ummah. Many efforts have been done in this direction, especially in Indo-Pakistan sub-continent, but unfortunately all went in vain except some patch work here or there.
Under present circumstances of western onslaught on Muslim lands, culture and civilization and a sort of crusaders’ attack on education of Muslim societies armed with the weapons of globalization and commercialization, treating education as a tradable commodity, a well planned strategy to reform education in the light of root Islamic values of Tauhead and Risala is essential.
The effort to formulate such strategy and to implement it over time demands lot of patience, perseverance and consistent support from those who think this is an action which can lead to both Hasana in this world and Hasana in the Akhira.
Educational Reforms Trust
A group of teachers and researchers having a long time experience of working in the present system but bestowed by allah (SWT) with deep understanding of Islam and its implications for education and training of Muslim people, gathered to gather to initiate the gigantic task of educational reforms an Educational Reforms Trust was launched. The educationists of Educational Reforms Trust for the last fifteen years have been working with Ulama of different schools of thought and modern educators convincing them to come forward and evolve curricula and a system of education to eradicate sectarianism and dichotomy between religious and modern education system. With the blessings of Allah (SWT) ice is melting and a significant breakthrough has been made in this regard.
Establishment of Safa Institute
You need a laboratory to experiment and try the validity and suitability of your product, Keeping in view this notion, Safa Institute was established to work on multi pronged strategy:
(a) Education and training of human resources needed for unified education system.
(b) Running some certificate and diploma courses on trial basis.
(c) Development of educational materials especially in the field of social sciences within the framework of Islamic Epistemology i.e. Islamic world view and Islamic theory of knowledge.
(d) Developing consciousness among selected groups like teachers, doctors, lawyers, business managers and others to think and act in the paradigm of unity of knowledge and integration of education system.
An overview of educational programmers of Safa Institute
Presently following programs are under implementation:
- A three months’ course on Islamic thought and civilization for modern educated persons. A three months’ course on western thought and civilization for Ulama-i-Karam.
- Tafheem-ul-Islam for modern educated persons.
- Nine months’ diploma course for graduates of Deeni Dadaris covering English language, basic social science and introductory knowledge of western thought.
- English language course for Islamic Studies teachers to enable them to teach in English medium schools
- Monthly lectures series on important issues confronting Pakistan and Muslim Ummah at large.
- Research work for the development of materials in social sciences in Islamic perspective.
SAFA ISLAMIC CENTER
Safa Islamic center is a project of Educational Reforms Trust. The objective of the Trust is to reform education in Pakistan. The reformation philosophy of the Trust is based on elimination of prevailing dichotomy of Deeni Madaris and westernized modern/general education and to substitute it with an integrated approach. In other words the Trust wishes that modern education should be provided along with religious education and Tarbiya (character building) and if some one intends to specialize in Religious Education, it should be imparted duly blended with modern knowledge to meet the needs and challenges of the contemporary life. To achieve this objective the Trust intends to establish a new role-model educational institution from school to university level, including an Islamic center for specialization in religious studies.
From Past to Present
The Trust has been working actively to achieve the above objectives from the past decade. It has published literature on educational reforms, developed new curriculum for schools and Deeni Madaris, designed textbooks, trained school and Madrasa teachers, held enormous educational workshops and seminars etc.
In 2007 the Trust established Safa Institute to complement the deficiencies of the existing educational streams of Madrasa education and westernized modern institutes. Safa is offering Certificate and Diploma courses to graduates of Deeni Madaris and Modern universities in those disciplines, which they have not been able to study in their parent institutions.
Safa Islamic Center
The Trust has now decided to establish and Islamic center which would be free from flaws of existing Deeni Madaris and Islamic Study Institutes of Modern Universities. The Center would provide specialized religious education, discouraging sectarianism and blending it with modern knowledge and Tarbiya activities for character building; to produce graduates who will meet the needs and challenges of the contemporary life.
The graduates of this Center would be fluent in English and well versed in Western thought & civilization, I.T., Islam & Contemporary Issues, Comparative religion and Western Social and Natural Sciences; in addition to in-depth study of traditional Islamic Science such as Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, Arabic language etc. Safa would be made a center of Excellence in Religious Education by providing quality education, creative research and vigorous Tarbiya activities.
Courses to be offered
Initially, the following three courses would be introduced in Safa Islamic Center:
1. M.A. in Islamic Thought & Civilization (8-years)
This would be an 8-year compact and comprehensive course for in-depth study of traditional Islamic Sciences, blended with modern knowledge on the pattern of modern Medical and Engineering institutes, which provide expertise in a certain branch of knowledge. The students will join this program after having passed 8th grade in the school and would continue their studies without any break. This program has been designed for those who seriously wish to work hard and emerge as brilliant Islamic scholars and not merely to get a degree for employment after a flimsy effort.
2. M.A. in Social Sciences (2-years)
This course has been designed for graduates of Deeni Madaris to enable them to study Modern Social Sciences (in Islamic Perspective) such as Economics, Law, Communication Studies, Political Science, Education, Philosophy, Psychology, Anthropology etc. so that they are able to infuse in the society and can get jobs in the open market.
3. Certificate and Diploma Courses
3-months, 6-months and One-Year Certificate and Diploma courses would be offered to graduates of universities in the after noon to enable them to have access to basic teaching of Islam and to introductory study of various branches of Islamic Thought and Civilization. Such short courses would also be offered to Madrasa graduates to complement their deficiencies in English language, computer skills and introductory study of Western Social & Natural Sciences and also of Western Thought & Civilization.
Significance of the Project
To establish an institution like that of Safa Islamic Center is of very significance and importance because there exists, in our society, either old type of Deeni Madaris which do provide specialized religious education but in a manner which does not fulfill needs and challenges of the contemporary life. On the other hand, there are Departments of Islamic Studies in many modern universities, which issue degrees after a meager a superficial study of Islamic sciences mostly for employment purpose. These two types of institutions are currently awarding degrees to students who get employment in similar institutions and thus become a source of multiplying the flaws and deficiencies of the existing institution dichotomy.
Thus, there is a dire and immediate need of an institution like that of Safa Islamic Center to complement the above mentioned deficiencies and bridge up the increasing gap between Mr. and Mulla in our society; by providing in-depth study of traditional Islamic science duly blended with modern knowledge; to coup up the need and challenges of the cotemporary modern life.
1. Safa Model School
2. Safa University of Social Sciences