Western education is a system originated from the west and penetrated to the world after Islamic education in the earliest 15th century. Its main approach was the modernization of social life through science and technological advancement (Farid, 2005). Western system of education was first propagated by the missionaries and promoted by colonialists to different part of the globe, in their view for westernization and globalization in the name of modernity. It is a complete secular system that differentiates life and religion and focuses on materialism. It is also irrational in its quest for knowledge as it relies more on human ability of reason than spiritual inspiration. The preparation made to man in this system is very limited as it fall short in training only the body and the physique in this sphere of life, therefore the modern western system does not consider the relationship between God and human as socially or intellectually relevance, hence revelation or the revealed knowledge, are ignored even when modern secular subjects are introduced in the curriculum for the traditional older system (Rosnani, 2004).
However, Islamic education is simply translated as “tarbiyyah al Islamiyyah”. It consist of concepts such as “ta alim” (instruction), tahadhib (rear or sustain) and other sub concepts like Hikmah (wisdom), Adl (justice) Amanah (trust) and as the extreme is Khilafah (vicegerency) and Ibadat(worship). The main sources in this type of education are the Quran and Hadith. Islamic education connotes whole life approach and signifies complete integration into man’s life, its emanation can be traced to the existence of man on earth asrevealed in the holy Quran. It is the true system that first takes man from the darkness of ignorance and illiteracy to the light of knowledge and education.It shapes so many relevance and advantages not only to Muslims but to entire humanity. Islam faces education as an act of worship and a lifelong process (Hashim, 2004). Therefore, its philosophy, method, content and general curriculum are towards human successful integrative life. Education is an art that allows humans to accumulate every living experience in their lives and subsequently transmit itto a new generation. In Islam, the actual education which are required are the content of Quran and Hadith, because these are the motivations which drive the Muslim community so as to place due importance on advancement of knowledge which is borne out from the Quran and Hadith. Islamic education can also be defined as a process of nurturing and training of the mind, the physique and the spirit of human based on Islamic values which are sourced from the Quran and Sunnah. It is intended to bring forth humans who are God conscious and subservient only to Allah (Nor, 2012). However, the Islamic education left many legacies to the west as it recorded a tremendous achievement in architecture, history, philosophy, medicine and all branches of liberal and natural sciences. The scientific and technological advancement of the modern world owe a lot to the research conducted by the Muslim scientists. Islamic education also predates the western education in Nigeria. In Nigeria, western education has greatly influenced the teaching of Islamic education considering the fact that most Islamic schools now adopt some western approach of education.
Modern Western civilization’s productivity, affluence, comfort and leisure cannot be denied or decried. Advances in health and welfare, childcare and maternity have cut infant-mortality, increased longevity, produced cures for diseases deemed incurable, swept the plagues and pestilences of the past into oblivion. Nonetheless, although science and technology have moved mankind farther and faster in the last century than in 10 previous millennia rolled into one, we of the Jet, Atom and Space Age know we have only started to learn the ABC of the writings in nature’s mighty Book of Truth which await perusal. It must be regrettably acknowledged that Western civilization’s short comings and weaknesses are no fewer than its advantages. Despite the leisure and ease which knowledge and culture provide for society, despite the new pages of history turned, human happiness has not increased nor have social ills diminished. Technology and industrialization have reached a zenith while moral and spiritual life has sunk to their nadir. While science climbs, thought declines, divisions proliferate, and the West, rejecting spiritual and moral values, has bowed its neck under the yoke of worship of the machine. Machine-worshippers will never lay hands on joy or peace or happiness. Western system of Education imposes an order on life which provides affluence but not happiness, since happiness is outside its competence. It does not distinguish benefit from harm, or ugly from lovely, but only true from false. The order imposed on human living by science alone will set Hell on fire and must be resisted at all costs. Before I conclude on this let me briefly talk about the entrepreneur
- Who is an Entrepreneur?
There are many definitions for the word ‘entrepreneur’, but the most common definition is that an entrepreneur is someone who identifies problems and then turns them into opportunities.
“Entrepreneurship,” says Bob Reiss, the author of ‘Low- Risk, High-Reward: Starting and Growing your Business With Minimal Risk‘, “is the recognition and pursuit of opportunity without regard to the resources you currently control, with confidence that you can succeed, with the flexibility to change course as necessary, and with the will to rebound from setbacks.”
To be an entrepreneur and be involved in business consists of exerting significant effort and hard work, which is highly encouraged in Islam; as the Prophet said:
“No doubt, it is better for a person to take a rope and proceed in the morning to the mountains and cut the wood and then sell it, and eat from this income and give alms from it than to ask others for something.” [Bukhari]
Many of the early followers of our faith, including our Prophet Muhammad, were merchants and traders. In fact, much of how Islam spread from West Africa to China was through traders. As the country with the highest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia is said to have embraced Islam by witnessing the strong ethics and beautiful character of Muslim businessmen and entrepreneurs they came across, which speaks to the immense power of business that is driven by faith-based values.
Entrepreneurship is one of the most powerful methods to create long-lasting change in our communities that is currently being neglected. This is due to the lack of proper entrepreneurial education to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs. Within our community. There simply is not enough awareness about what entrepreneurship is, how we can develop more entrepreneurs, and how we can start and run successful companies that can create a long-lasting impact.
Being an entrepreneur is not necessarily just about launching and running a business, it is about developing the entrepreneurial mindset, which is useful to anyone who is part of an organization. It is the mindset of looking at problems as opportunities and creating more with less. This mindset encourages risk-taking, creativity, innovation, and unconventional thinking.
This is the mindset that we Muslims need to develop in order to properly create healthy communities that can deal with the myriad of socio-economic issues we face.
What makes entrepreneurs unique is their resourcefulness. In other words, they are able to do more with less. Whatever the problem, they will find a way to make it happen even if they do not have all the tools.
The key to developing an entrepreneurial mindsetis recognizing the qualities you have, then building and improving upon those you do not yet have. To get started, I have mapped out key ways to develop your mindset as a Muslim entrepreneur:
- Have Tawakkul and Be Grateful
Part of being a Muslim is understanding that Allah is the ultimate disposer of our affairs. He is Al-Awwal (the Beginning) wal-Akhir (The End). Everything begins with Him and everything ends with Him. Consequently, He is the source of everything and the Provider of all.
Contemporary business practices today cite scientific studies showing that an attitude of gratitude brings more into your life. It means the more you are grateful, the more you will receive. Believing that there is a limited amount of resources for everyone to access is a flawed mindset for any entrepreneur. You must operate from a place of abundance and believe resources are unlimited.
As Muslims, we do not need modern scientific studies to show us that being grateful and having faith in a higher being who is the Source of all is enough reason to never worry.
In the Qur’an, Allah says:
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.’ ” [Qur’an: Chapter 14, Verse 7]
Know that Allah has given you all the resources that you need in your life to create a successful business and create some impact in the world. Once you realize that you were given quite a lot, Allah has guaranteed to give you more.
- Work Hard and Think Long-Term
“That no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another.And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives. And that his effort is going to be seen – Then he will be recompensed for it with the fullest recompense.” [Qur’an: Chapter 53, Verses 38-41]
A crucial step to developing an entrepreneurial mindset is having the ability to think long-term. Long-term thinking allows a person to develop discipline to work at a problem while having a future vision in mind. This helps prevent the need to fulfill short-term gratification.
In Surat al-Israa, Allah says:
“Whoever should desire the immediate – We hasten for him from it what We will to whom We intend. Then We have made for him Hell, which he will [enter to] burn, censured and banished. But whoever desires the Hereafter and exerts the effort due to it while he is a believer – it is those whose effort is ever appreciated [by Allah]. To each [category] We extend – to these and to those – from the gift of your Lord. And never has the gift of your Lord been restricted.” [Qur’an: Chapter 17, Verses 18-20]
Allah also says:
“Whoever desires the reward of this world – then with Allah is the reward of this world and the Hereafter. And ever is Allah Hearing and Seeing.” [Qur’an: Chapter 4, Verses 134]
A key part of having a long-term vision is having the understanding of what guides your decision-making. What vision do you have for yourself, your life and your business? What impact do you ultimately want to make? This will be your reason, the one that will get you through the main obstaclesyou will inevitably face. As Allah has said, if you work, you will receive the fruits of your striving.
- Focus on Creating Value
Another key to becoming a successful entrepreneur is by creating value. The amount of success you have is proportional to how much value you bring to others. Entrepreneurs focus on creating sustainable solutions by solving problems faced by people.
Before starting your business, it is essential to ask yourself: “Who am I helping and how can I make that solution better than what exists currently in the marketplace?” This is the primary mentality to have when looking to become an entrepreneur and the basis of great business models. Contemporary entrepreneurship encourages one to find a solution for a problem within the marketplace that customers are not happy with, then create a product to help them, while constantly revising and improving that product based on their feedback.
- Entrepreneurial Education: The Way Forward
Growing and developing the next generation of entrepreneurs is crucial for our long-term communal prosperity. In order to solve the myriad of social problems that we face, we need to support those who are solving these problems. That is why entrepreneurial education can become a crucial asset for our community.
The first step in doing so is to develop the mindset of an entrepreneur. On a community level, helping more people develop an entrepreneurial mindset means we help unleash the creative potential and innovative thinking of many individuals in our community. These new ideas can help spark new businesses, organizations and projects that will benefit our community for years to come. Developing an entrepreneurial mindset gives individuals the inspiration to dream, to be innovative and to take risks.
With this spirit, we have to encourage the next generation to become the change-makers and entrepreneurs they have the potential to be!
It is obvious that the industrial revolution has forced a mass migration of people from rural areas to urban cities. Prior to that, most people in World were entrepreneurs who owned small businesses and bartered to get what they needed. Now, as technology and global competition changes the employment landscape, traditional employment that was reminiscent of the industrial revolution is being challenged. Individuals are now being forced to become knowledge workers, who essentially rely on selling their skills to make a living. We were all entrepreneurs long before the industrial revolution changed that. We need to return back to our entrepreneurial roots, not just socially but religiously as well. Interestingly enough, history has come full circle and we will all need to become entrepreneurs to survive in the future.
In conclusion, the good side of the Western System of Education should be tapped while its weaknesses should be shunned and the Islamic Education which is an all-round system of education should be given a pride of place, especially now that western system of education has dominated the world.