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Don't hesitate to share your questions and comments. They will be highly appreciated. I'll reply ASAP if I know the answer. Send at mubashirnazir100@gmail.com .

 

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Dear Mubashir

Salam

I have downloaded the Quranic Studies Program and studying it. Certainly it shows the hard work you have done and the presenting quality this course has. However, I have some observations which I think should be considered.

This course is structured on some selected verses translation and then some practical works i.e. case studies, field work, personality growth, etc. now there are certain problems in this approach.

1) You set a topic and select some part of Quran. Off course this selection has this topic but as you know Quran discuss many things simultaneously. While you only provide translation, and I understand that the pure translation does not describe the nazm (coherence), the circumstances, the background etc., which give a reader full understanding of what Allah is saying and why. So a reader will find many irrelevant things along with the topic. So if the purpose of this course is to study the selection of Quran then it is not fulfilling the job except giving translation which can be found anywhere.

2) Secondly every topic is actually covered in many other verses of Quran. So as a matter of fact the topic also not covered fully. Since many more important things are actually not in these verses. So a person also does not get the full knowledge of all aspects of this particular subject or topic.

3) The nature of this work is more like a text book which always requires a teacher who explains everything, but problem is that the way it is managed it is actually self-study program.

4) Even the exercise are mostly an "extra work" for the student. Until unless the student is fully self-motivated he/she will find it difficult to do all exercises.

I do not mean to discourage you but as a matter of fact I have been working on an idea of making a course for a common man for last 3 years so that is why I am able to comment on this work. When you come to Pakistan, I will give you a full presentation of what I have designed for a common man on the basic of Quran and hadith, which not only covers all the aspect of the essential knowledge but also covers the entire Quran. and large part of hadith. So it is better that we discuss this in details and then we may come to a better educational program for a common man.

Regarding the second, third and fourth level, I also have some suggestion which I will give you when you come.

One more thing I have added two chapters in the beginning of my novel. I am sending you and will request you to send me your feedback asap.

thanks again

Rehan Ahmed Yousfi

September 2010

Dear Brother

Wa alaikum us salam wa Rahmatullah

Many thanks for providing detailed comments. I appreciate your valuable comments. Before commenting on them, I want to share an important matter.

While thinking about the idea of establishing a Religious Educational Empire, the question of our target audience and their needs arises because we have not yet conducted a detailed analysis of our target audience and their educational needs. We have also not agreed upon our coordinated strategy about the target audiences. So let us do that.

Based on the factor of perceptibility and learning style of our target audience, we can divide them into four major groups. Then each group can be split into sub-groups. The definition of each group is as follows:

Group A

The people who are away from the religion. They neither read religious books nor like to watch some religious videos. They do not want to learn the religion. They can be split further into two groups:

(1) People who are against the religion and are atheists;

(2) People who are not against the religion itself but are heedless and careless about it.

The majority of Pakistani society belongs to this second sub-group of Group A (may be 60-70% of entire population). Sub-group 1 is very limited in our society although it is very common in the Western societies.

At the moment, neither you nor I could target them for religious education. The only way to approach them is the electronic media because they have no reading habits, but the problem is that they don't watch religious programs. Therefore, only one method is left to deliver them the message of Islam is to use fine arts. If some God-fearing producer make movies, dramas etc. to convey Allah's message to them, they can be aproached The objective of such artistic products should be to bring them into Group B which I have discussed below.

All people who are working for Islamic Da’wah and Education are currently not targeting this group at all except the Tablighi Jama’at who knock doors to convey the message of God. It is possible that Brother Saifullah and his sons may target this group. Brother Aqil may also target some of them while teaching at his college but you and me cannot.

Group B

The people who like the religion and want to follow it. Due to their lifestyles, they have no reading habits. They do not have enough time to attend religious programs. This group is the second largest in our society and may constitute about 20-30% of our population.

You are targeting such group by your religious videos and talk shows etc. Since you have recording equipment and a good team, you can target them. Due to my circumstances, it is not possible for me. So I have left this group as well. You can target them with an objective to move them into the Group C that is discussed below.

Group C

The people who like the religion and are serious to follow it. They have reading habits but lack self-motivation and persistence. They can dedicate some of their time for religious education. This is a small minority which may be 2-3% (or may be 5-10%, if we are very optimistic) of our society. After learning the basic or intermediate concepts of religion, they can convey it to their family and friends in an informal way.

Through Ishraq Dawah, you are targeting this group. Brother Aqil also had made his mission to target it. All of your educational programs at your religious education center are directed towards this group. Not only you, almost all of our religious movements are also targeting only this group.

I have some interest in targeting this group but it is not at my top priority. My personality development program, travelogues, novels, question-answer service etc. are the products for this segment. But as I said, targeting them is not my No. 1 priority.

This group is mainly your target audience. I'm available to support you for that. If some of them moves to the Group D, he may become my target audience.

Group D

These are the people who make the religion their No. 1 priority. They have strong reading habits and are full of self-motivation and persistence. They are willing to go for great lengths in order to learn the religion. They can dedicate significant portion of their time for religious education.

There are an extremely small portion of our society (may be 0.01%) but they have the potential to become religious and intellectual leaders of future generations. All people working for Islamic Education and Da’wah belong to this group. As mentioned in the Bible, such people are "salt of earth".

During my 23 years’ experience of the religious services, I've reached to the conclusion that Allah has specifically designed me to provide a humble service to this group. Look at the available religious education system! If a modern-educated person like each of us has a strong motivation to learn the religion up to the highest level, no solution is available for him/her. All programs of all religious establishments are designed mainly for the Group B or C and nothing is available for the Group D. Only madrassas and some modern universities are providing courses for them but they require full-time attendance.

I've a long experience of interacting with a lot of such people from diverse background. I found them wandering in search of true knowledge. Some of them left their jobs and joined a madrassa. After spending several years, they metamorphosed into a traditional moulvi as anything fallen into a salt mine becomes salt. Some of them left their jobs and joined a university but they became research scholars, not reformers. Some of them including me conducted self-study or got private instruction but consistency and a bstructured approach was not available to us.

As I know about your programs, you are not targeting this group. You have restrained yourself at the level of Group B or C. On the contrary, my personal capabilities, circumstances and a strong zeal to serve such people resulted eventually in the idea of "Islamic Studies Program" which has become my No. 1 priority and life-time mission.

In my humble opinion, we should clearly define our target audience and dedicate ourselves to their service. After that, we can provide support to each other in doing his job. I think, let us make this idea the agenda for our meetings during my visit at Karachi.

Now I comment on your ideas:

Rehan: 1) you set a topic and select some part of Quran. Off course this selection has this topic but as you know Quran discuss many things simultaneously.

Mubashir: Noted. I've tried to give the title that arouses curiosity. It is like giving names to the Surahs. The title may not describe the full content.

Rehan: While you only provide translation, and I understand that the pure translation does not describe the nazm, the circumstances, the background etc., which give a reader full understanding of what Allah is saying and why.

Mubashir: This is not the objective of the Level 1. The objective is to give them some idea about the Quran, do some Tazkiya-Nafs and create curiosity for the Level 2. Nazm and background will be discussed in detail at Level 2 onwards. I've given some exercises for that in order to develop their curiosity.

Rehan: so a reader will find many irrelevant things along with the topic. so the if the purpose of this course is to study the selection of Quran then it is not fulfilling the job except giving translation which can be found anywhere.

Mubashir: Simple translation is available everywhere but "work on the Quran" is available nowhere. Since my target is the Group D, so I think that it will create enough curiosity to go to Level 2.

Rehan: Secondly every topic is actually covered in many other verses of Quran. So as a matter of fact the topic also not covered fully. Since many more important things are actually are not in these verses. So a person also does not get the full knowledge of all aspects of this particular subject or topic.

Mubashir: The objective of Level 1 is to produce curiosity and develop a habit of pondering into the Quran. The idea is not to provide full knowledge. That is the objective of the Level 2 and 3.

Rehan: The nature of this work is more like a text book which always requires a teacher  who explains everything, but problem is that the way it is managed it is actually self-study program.

Mubashir: I agree with your comment but that's what I can do practically at the moment. I've also offered an online-tutor support for any questions of the students. Insha Allah, I have a plan in the long run to dedicate myself fully as a teacher after leaving my profession and associating to this program full-time. Pray for me that Allah provide circumstances in this regard. That will be the Phase II of this project. After finishing the text books, I'll try to arrange some students, teach the entire course and make its videos available with the text books. After that, online Q/A service will still be available.

Since I'm aiming for the self-motivated people only at the moment, so I hope that this approach may be successful.

Rehan: Even the exercises are mostly an "extra work" for the student. Until and unless the student is fully self-motivated he/she will find it difficult to do all exercises.

Mubashir: At the moment, only the self-motivated people are targeted. The students who need a push from the teacher are not targeted at all.

Rehan: I do not mean to discourage you but as a matter of fact I have been working on an idea of making a course for a common man for last 3 years so that is why I am able to comment on this work. When you come to Pakistan, I will give you a full presentation of what I have designed for a common man on the basic of Quran and Hadith, which not only covers all the aspect of the essential knowledge but also covers the entire Quran and large part of Hadith. So it is better that we discuss this in details and then we may come to a better educational program for a common man.

Mubashir: That's excellent. If you've developed something, I'll just take your courses at Level 1 of my program. That will help me in dedicating myself totally to the advanced levels. So you (and Brother Aqil also) specialize to educate a common man (usually Group B or C people) and I specialize for the Group D. Frankly speaking, now I feel bored while developing something for the beginners due to my dedication for the advanced learners.

Rehan: regarding the second, third and fourth level, I also have some suggestion which I will give you when you come.

Mubashir: That's what I need from you. If you've time, please jot down it in form of small bullet points and send it to me before Eid. It will help me in thinking about them and we could have a discussion at advanced stage instead of starting it.

Rehan: One more thing I have added two chapters in the beginning of my novel. I am sending you and will request you to send me your feedback asap.

Mubashir: I'm sending the comments on your novel in a separate email. Let's keep these emails separately. It is possible that some student of future generations may use these emails to analyze our strategies and work while writing the "Da'wah History of Islam in the 21st Century". 

Remember in your supplications during Ramadan.

wassalaam

Mubashir

Salam

I m sorry for getting late coz of Ramadan. Any ways, this was a blessing to be late as i read the comments of Rehan and yours.

I went through the document, your comments and Rehan's commets. Rehan objections were valid from his point of view. But your analysis of target audience nullified Rehan's objections. Rehan has a particular bent of mind and specified target audience. He believes more in personal interaction with a person for Dawah and he does not have more reliance upon non-personal aids such as internet. Due to the fact, he is more inclined towards traditional teacher-student relationship and the outcome is his religious educational institute.

As far as you are concerned, you hardly have any options to perform your work on class room style particularly in KSA. So it seems appropriate for you to rely upon non-personal Dawah strategy like internet.

Keeping in view your constraints, objectives and target audience for your said program, following are my comments:

1. The selection of contents and Level 1 seem to be chosen randomly and apparently they have no link with one another. For instance, one chapter talks about economic issues and the other chapter describes about Hazrat Suleman. If you are going to teach Uloom-ul-Quran, the chapters should be titled and organized in a scientific manner.

2. The case studies and other follow up exercises are very good. However, they ask the reader a sort of academic assignments. For instance, if I m asked to prepare a report on the negative aspects of interest, I will prepare an assignment but it is not necessary that it is my own work. It may be copied from any internet source by just a copy paste. Hence the thinking process you want to start in the mind of the reader may not begin.

3. The case studies are very much unstructured and open ended. There should be some close ended short answers or multiple-choice questions or fill-in-the-blanks to give the reader a concrete feedback on what he has learnt.

4. I personally feel that Level 1 seems to be an EXTRA level for the advanced beginners. Your target may be fulfilled by level 2 onwards.

 ھذا ماعندی والعلم عنداللہ

What is your exact date of arrival in Pakistan and stay period? Where do u live in Karachi?

Allah Hafiz.

Professor Muhammad Aqil

September 2010

Dear Brother

Assalam o alaikum wa Rahmatullah

Many thanks for your detailed comments and also appreciating the difference between the approach and circumstances of Brother Rehan & me. Your points are very valid and indicate your deep understanding of educational studies and its hands-on practical experience. My response is as follows:

Aqil: 1. The selection of contents and Level 1 seem to be chosen randomly and apparently they have no link with one another. For instance, one chapter talks about economic issues and the other chapter describes about Hazrat Suleman. If you are going to teach Uloom-ul-Quran, the chapters should be titled and organized in a scientific manner.

Mubashir: Yes, the topics are a random selection of passages from the Quran. But the criteria for selection are well-planned. I've tried to include a sample of almost every type of the Quranic content e.g. prayers, Tazkiya Nafs, ethics, Sharia’h, history, faith & its arguments, hereafter, eloquent passages, issues of modern life etc. It seems unorganized but you'll find some sort of personality development (Tazkiya Nafs) in each lesson which is the primary purpose of this course. The Uloom-ul-Quran will be discussed in detail at Level 4 which you'll find well-organized and coherent.

Aqil: 2. The case studies and other follow up exercises are very good. However, they ask the reader a sort of academic assignments. For instance, if I’m asked to prepare a report on the negative aspects of interest, I will prepare an assignment but it is not necessary that it is my own work. It may be copied from any internet source by just a copy paste. Hence the thinking process you want to start in the mind of the reader may not begin.

Mubashir: Originality is not required at the Level 1. If a student just does copy-paste and use some thinking over the assignment, it will be sufficient. But the reality is that such assignments are not available somewhere else. The student has either to think deeply himself or he has to select the material from a lot of sources. In both cases, he has to think and that's what I require at this stage.

Aqil: 3. The case studies are very much unstructured and open ended. There should be some close ended short answers or multiple-choice questions or fill-in-the-blanks to give the reader a concrete feedback on what he has learnt.

Mubashir: I agree with this. It is a weakness of this book. I'll try to create some closed-ended questions. Most of the assignments require short answers. If the student does not write the answer, still they instigate him to think and do the assignment in his mind. As I said to Brother Rehan, that one of the primary objectives of the Level 1 is to develop curiosity for the Quran. A reader should not feel satisfied after completing Level 1. His curiousity should force him to go for Level 2.

 Aqil: 4. I personally feel that Level 1 seems to be an EXTRA level for the advanced beginners. Your target may be fulfilled by level 2 onwards.

Mubashir: That's the fact. In the Quranic Arabic Program, I had the same experience. Level 2 was downloaded more than the Level 1. The reason is that most of the readers are those who already know the basics. But beginners' level has its own significance especially for those who have been inclined recently towards the religious studies.

At Level 2-3, I've a plan for comparative study of Tafasir of both English & Urdu languages Insha Allah. Level 4 will be for the advanced students and I'll try my best to cover everything which has been discussed by the scholars of last 14 centuries including Usool, history, questions of orientalists, art of exegesis ...... etc.

Aqil: What is your exact date of arrival in Pakistan and stay period? Where do you live in Karachi?

Mubashir: There are two possibilities of my arrival at Karachi. Insha Allah I'll be there either on 19 Sep - 22 Sep or 22 Sep - 25 Sep. I would have to look for a hotel. What are your plans on these dates i.e. 19-25? Would you be available?

Remember in your supplications during Ramadan.

wassalaam

Mubashir

مصنف کی دیگر تحریریں

Quranic Arabic Program / Quranic Studies Program / علوم القرآن پروگرام / قرآنی عربی پروگرام  /  سفرنامہ ترکی  /    مسلم دنیا اور ذہنی، فکری اور نفسیاتی غلامی  /  اسلام میں جسمانی و ذہنی غلامی کے انسداد کی تاریخ   /  تعمیر شخصیت پروگرام  /  قرآن  اور بائبل  کے دیس میں  /  علوم الحدیث: ایک تعارف   /  کتاب الرسالہ: امام شافعی کی اصول فقہ پر پہلی کتاب کا اردو ترجمہ و تلخیص  /  اسلام اور دور حاضر کی تبدیلیاں   /  ایڈورٹائزنگ کا اخلاقی پہلو سے جائزہ    /  الحاد جدید کے مغربی اور مسلم معاشروں پر اثرات   /  اسلام اور نسلی و قومی امتیاز   /  اپنی شخصیت اور کردار کی تعمیر کیسے کی جائے؟  /  مایوسی کا علاج کیوں کر ممکن ہے؟  /  دور جدید میں دعوت دین کا طریق کار   /  اسلام کا خطرہ: محض ایک وہم یا حقیقت    /  Quranic Concept of Human Life Cycle  /  Empirical Evidence of God’s Accountability

 

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