Critically examining the western, secular approach to formal education the author contests the value of an education system focusing solely on the intellectual and physical aspects of human development. The methodological aim and structure of this approach are compared to those of Islam which Dr Al Zeera notes gives credence to the importance of spiritual and religious factors, as well as scholarly ones, with the overall objective of forming a whole and holy human being who, instead of resisting the paradoxes of life, uses their interrelatedness as a means of personal and societal development.
Based on empirical research, the book engages critically with the philosophical, theological and cultural dynamics that inform Muslim educational thought and practice. The book offers an integrated model of Islamic education that identifies the heart of the Islamic educational imagination as tarbiyah, a transformative process of becoming. Overall, this book seeks to ground the theory and practice of Islamic education within the experience of the educator and the learner, and it synthesises the spiritual foundations of Islam with the tradition of critical reflection within the classical Muslim educational heritage. This ground breaking and wide-ranging work should be of interest not only to Muslim educators and education specialists, but also to social scientists, theologians and policy makers.