Spirituality and ‘Modern’ Education
Q: ‘Modern’ schools, by and large, are geared to preparing students for material ‘success’, and not to making them better, God-conscious, kinder, more compassionate and caring human beings. They generally have little or no room for spirituality. Partly as a result of this sort of mis-education, many students grow up to think that becoming materially rich is the purpose of life. Few such students care for religion or spirituality or the Hereafter, and for this, the system of education they go through has a major role to play.
How do you respond to this? What suggestions would you have for people who would like their children’s spiritual side to be nurtured, which the present ‘modern’ system of education pays little or no attention to?
Answered by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
A: As a matter of fact, the present situation is indeed what you have pointed out. At the same time, according to the law of nature, even after achieving material gain, a person does not get peace of mind. Many people who experienced this and later read our writings revised their course of life: they made spiritual gain their priority over material gain.
My experience has been that many people want their children to develop spiritually. However, I do not find them truly sincere. If they were really sincere, they could prevent, partially or totally, their children from becoming victims of materialism.
I have a two-point formula for parents who want to nurture their children spiritually. First, the atmosphere of the house should be totally in control of the parents. The parents should make an effort to turn their homes into spiritual places. For example, instead of their discussions centering on food, clothes, furniture and other such material things, there should be discussion on spiritual issues. In Muslim homes, there is often a lot of negative conversation. If parents truly want their children to change, they should try, in the real sense, to change the atmosphere of their homes. Second, parents should not only be well-wishers of their children but they should also be well-educators of their children. Parents should engage in deep study and, based on this, address the minds of their children. Reason-based guidance addresses people’s minds.
If parents adopt this two-point principle, then it is nearly certain that they would be successful in the spiritual upbringing of their children.