Historic Al-Shatibi, with immortal educational views

Arabic News.com, 4 December 1997

Abu Ishak Bin Musa Al-Shatibi lived in the city of Granada, Andalusia in the fourteenth century A.D. He received his education at the hands of a number of Andalusian philosophers and intellectuals and wrote several books of great importance in theology, linguistics, language and literature.

Among the most important books is his “Analogies,” which deals with judicial issues and jurisprudence in Islam, and “Benefits and Directives,” which is a collection of rarities and literary jokes.

Al-Shatibi was a reformer in different fields of human sciences. He initiated a new school in Islamic thinking and concentrated on methodism, behaviorism, induction and deduction.

In “Analogies” Al-Shatibi dealt with science, its divisions and its aims. He also discussed the ways of spreading sciences and the ways of obtaining these sciences. He said that Islam encouraged people to seek knowledge in all its branches and obtain it through learning. Islam also asked people to spread knowledge by different means.

Muslims, according to al-Shatibi, are demanded to learn certain sciences. Man is born without any knowledge of his interests. God is the teacher of all human beings. And his teachings are divided into two kinds: instinctive knowledge like nursing at the breast, and knowledge through teaching like theoretical and applied sciences.