Aims of Education in India in the Medieval Period:
The education of Medieval periods stands for Islamic Education. There have been different aims of such education and its face changed with the changing wheels of Mohammedan rulers.
In short, the following were the main aims of education during the Islamic period-
- Propagation of Islam- Propagation of the tenets of Islam was the main aim of Islamic education. This was regarded a sacred duty. One who propagated Islam was called “Ghazi”. Holy Quran was taught in Maktab and Islamic literature, Islamic history, Islamic philosophy and tenets of Islam were taught in schools (Madarsa). That is why there was a mosque attached to every school.
- Spread of Education among Muslims- One of the greatest aims of Islamic Education was to give the light of knowledge to those who had faith in the existence of Mohammed and his followers. These followers of Islam accept education as the medium of “Nijat” (Mukti) because it is only through education that one is able to make a distinction between religious and non-religious, between good and bad. Therefore, they say that every Muslim must have an education.
- Extension of Islamic Kingdom- Extension of the Islamic kingdom was one of the aims of Islamic Education. Muslims were few in number when they came to India, but just after becoming rulers, they felt the necessity of expansion of their language, caste and religion so that these elements could make their task easy. One way was “Tableeg” through which they wanted to increase the population of Muslims. Akbar the great, took the help of diplomacy or this work while other rulers adopted the way of compulsion and injustice.
- Development of Morality- The aim of Islam was to develop a particular type of morality and so morality was given an important place in education. Therefore, teachers of high character were appointed in schools (Madarsa) and students were made to learn by heart the poems that were full of moral values.
- Building Character- Hazrat Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, was a social reformer also. He had propagated the teaching of human values and had established that education is a forceful source of moral and material prosperity. He was of the opinion that man could prosper only by his good character. Durrani has tried to interpret him in the following words: “According to Islam religion is not merely a private relationship between the individual and his maker, it is rather the relation of men to men and the individual’s responsibility before God for the soundness of that relation.
- Propagation of Shariyat- Muslims wanted to propagate old Islamic laws, Islamic political principles and Islamic social traditions through the Islamic education which is collectively called “Shariyat”. Through education, they tried to enforce the laws of “Sharriyat” in India.
- Material well-being- It has been rightly observed that the aim of Islamic education was to achieve worldly riches whereas ancient Hindu education mainly aimed at the advancement of spiritualism. The students under Islamic education were honoured with titles, medals and jagirs so that Islamic education should prosper. Moulvis were offered high ranks and positions. As a result of this, many Hindus also began to get Islamic education, and they started studying Persian and so they were also appointed to high posts.
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