#006: The Purpose of Schooling with Dr. Bilal Philips

Dr. Bilal Philips Podcast

I am so honored to have Dr. Bilal Philips on today’s show. If you’re familiar with Shaykh Bilal, then you already know that he is in no need of an introduction! A world-renowned Islamic scholar, educator, speaker, author, and philanthropist; Shaykh Bilal Philips has been actively involved in educating the Muslim ummah for decades!

In today’s episode, I ask Dr. Bilal a number of questions about Islam and education, our goals and purpose of education and schooling as Muslims, secularism and Islamic schools, what truly makes an Islamic school Islamic, and so much more.

Shaykh Bilal Philips has traveled all over the world and visited over a 100 Islamic schools lecturing and training teachers and principals on education and Islamization. You’ll get to hear what he thinks about the current practices of Islamic schools, their successes, and shortcomings. And you’ll also hear about the important question he asks to measure the moral character of every graduating class. A question that, if the responses continue to be what they are, we’ll never produce the quality of Muslim youth needed to uplift this ummah. What’s that question?

Listen to find out!

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What is behind IOU’s motto “Changing the Nation Through Education”
  • How has education always been the solution to our problems as Muslims since the time of Prophet Muhammed?
  • What is meant by the term khalifah in Suratul Baqarah, verse 30, according to the classical exegetes of the Quran
  • Where the misconception in the use of this term in educational spaces came from, and who initiated this movement
  • How secularization has snatched morality from the school curriculum
  • Why adding 3 religious classes to a secular curriculum doesn’t make a school Islamic, and how this model was adopted from the Christian’s approach towards secularization
  • How all knowledge is revealed knowledge from Allaah, and what we learn from Prophet Adam’s story
  • How to have a higher purpose for education and schooling
  • How to answer students when they ask “why do I have to learn this”
  • Where does student talent and passion fit in the curriculum
  • The response of hundreds of students across a hundred Islamic schools to the question “How many of you have never cheated on a test?”
  • The kind of mentality everyone involved in an Islamic school, from the owner down to the parent, must have for an Islamic school to be truly successful

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Islamic Online University
Islamization of Education
Canadian doctors: “Cancel our pay raise and spend it elsewhere”

Suratul Baqarah (2): 30
“And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a Khalifah.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.”


Jazakallahu Khair for Listening!

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22 comments on #006: The Purpose of Schooling with Dr. Bilal Philips

  1. Be says:

    It was very instructive as usual
    The sheikh sums it all when he speaks about the morality that we Muslims need to achieve and the level of sincerity.
    His analogy of the students being asked if they ever cheated is right on!
    To me I tend to think that working on the morality of our children being kind to other honest sincere and helpful and not being cunning interest oriented manipulative and deceitful should really get our attention. Because if we do not implement such morality and values no amount of Islamic educational tools, curriculum etc .. will make the difference. May Allah strengthen us in His path.

    1. Zahra Osman says:

      Ameen! Thank you for your comment.
      The shaykh places lots of emphasis on instilling morality in the children, and you are absolutely correct that no amount of Islamic instruction can benefit the students if their moral character is still poor. The prophet salallahu ‘alayhi wa salam said: I’ve only been sent to perfect moral character.

  2. Ibrahim Hamisu Musa says:

    Alhamdulillah Sheikh Dr. Bilal Philips (Abu Amina) is already known in the world in the field of education. I currently study in his university Islamic Online University (IOU) I don’t have a word to thank him than to say may Allah gives him His good reward and may Jannatul Firdaus be his final abode.
    Jazakumullahu khairan.

    1. Zahra Osman says:

      Allahumma Ameen! Truly a blessing!

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