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The Quran and the Sunnah part of the Turkish academic curricula

Date: 06/04/2012 A.D 15/05/1433 H

Translated by: Manal Samhat

News…

The Turkish parliament passed into law a bill that stipulates giving courses on the Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah as two optional subjects in the secondary and intermediate levels…

The draft law was proposed to the parliament appended by the signatures of the deputies of the President of the parliamentary bloc of the Islamic ruling Party of Justice and Development headed by the Turkish Prime Minister, Erdogan. The MPs of the ruling party and the Nationalist Movement Party, the second opposition party after the secular Republican People’s Party, voted in favor of the bill…

Article 9 of the draft law that increases the duration of the obligatory learning to 12 years stipulates enlisting courses on the Holy Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah in the academic curricula for the elementary and intermediate levels as two optional subjects, and charging the Ministry of Education with choosing the optional courses and broadening the scope of education to include the religious schools that prepares Imams of mosques…

It is worth mentioning that the current academic curricula do not include any Quranic courses and they include, instead, courses on religious culture and morals only…

On its part, the secular opposition considers that the ruling party aims through this law and other reforms at Islamizing the Turkish society…

Comment…

This project participates in spreading the culture of peace, tolerance and dialogue inspired from the Quran and brought along by the purified Prophetic Sunnah (all sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad (p.)). Moreover, it brings up dignified generations and enlivens their awareness and culture and develops their personalities, especially if the way of approaching and presenting the Sunnah and the Quran is purely educational and scientific and aims at instilling the authentic Islamic awareness away from all the sectarian and fanatic sensitivities; which renders the society immunized and fortified and increases its elements of strength and solidarity…

In the same context, His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra), says: The  Quran is the ultimate light that lights up everything; it is the Book Allah sent down to take us out of darkness into the light; and it is the guiding torch that leads us to the conclusive Divine verity…

In the light of this, we ought to open up to the Quran with all our thought and to preserve its texts and their meanings in a scientific and accurate manner. Thus, we are not allowed to impose our beliefs, trends or illusions on it; but rather, we ought to refer to it set our conceptions straight and uproot any form of backwardness and dust off the debris of misguidance and delusions that imposed themselves on the general Islamic mentality…

His Eminence (ra) adds: The Quran is the one book over which all Muslims come together, why then should it not be the reference that all Muslims refer to in their beliefs, laws, methodologies and conceptions in life to maintain Islamic unity by referring to it and abiding by its verses, in response to the call of Allah: “Surely this Islam is your religion, one religion (only), and I am your Lord, therefore serve Me…” (21:92).

As for what is related to the purified Prophetic Sunnah, His Eminence considers that while concentrating on the Quranic text, we should not ignore the Sunnah that constitutes the second infallible resource for the true Islamic awareness, for it comprises of the acts and sayings of the Prophet who says nothing but the truth, as it was revealed by his Lord…

He (ra) continues to say: The Sunnah is a primary source in Islam; thus, making sure of its validity should be done with maximum accuracy and thoroughness, especially if it entails interpretations of the Quran that takes it away from its apparent meanings or elaborates on its details; thus, taking its real intellectual course out of context. This would change the image of the Quran in people’s conscience and turn it into a book that those with certain complexes and whims manipulate through [fabricated] Hadiths.

[Quranic contemplations in the methodology, by His Eminence, the late Religious Authority, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra)]

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