Earlier this year, on the 18th of March, we had the pleasure to launch our first handbook, that promotes moral education of children by outlining the key aspects of morality and the types of knowledge and skills needed to become morally good people.
The launch event took place in Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, and was honoured by the participation of industry leading experts who shared some of their research findings about the subject, and how to go forward creating awareness and change in society:
- Professor James Arthur and Mr Aidan Thompson, from Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues
- Professor J. Mark Halstead from the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies
- Professor Ali Paya and Dr Isa Jahangir from The Islamic College in London
All presentations were followed by a Q&A moment, providing an opportunity for participants to express their views and make suggestions.
Virtue Ethics Foundation, co-chaired by Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra and Mr. Ali Azam, aims to promote moral education as a key component of a holistic education, starting with offering the handbook titled Parental Responsibility and Commitment towards Creating a More Ethical World. The goal is to create a better awareness among parents and educators, and encourage their commitment to moral education, which has the potential to provide the antidote to undesirable traits such as a lack of self-control, selfishness and lack of regard for others – the causes of injustice, untold misery and carnage throughout history. By inculcating human values from early childhood, we can ensure that future generations will have acquired the positive values that lead to a more balanced social order and eventually to human happiness.
The parental handbook highlights moral education in Islam, and lists the three aspects of Islamic education:
- Tarbiyya (“To grow”, “to increase”), which refers to the development of the individual, and the process of nurturing and guiding the child to a state of completeness and maturity.
- Tahdhib (“to be refined, disciplined, cultured”), and refers to the process of developing a moral and social behavior within the community and society.
- Ta‘lim (“to know, perceive, discern and to be informed”), which refers to the imparting and receiving of knowledge through forms of teaching.
These aspects are further described and exemplified to give a clearer vision to the reader of what to be achieved: a paveway to developing good moral human beings with the insight (Basirah) and wisdom (Hikmah) to discern right from wrong, and who feel the responsibility and courage to serve and reform their communities.
The handbook is largely drawn from the article ‘An Islamic Concept of Education’ by J. Mark Halstead, the research paper ‘A Framework for Character Education in Schools’ by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtue, and research conducted by Virtue Ethics Foundation.