About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5101-5106
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain

THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAMIC STUDIES IN MALAYSIA: CLASSICAL MEETS MODERNITY

N. Othman1, K.A. Mohamad2

1Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (MALAYSIA)
2Yayasan Ilmuwan (MALAYSIA)
This paper is descriptive in nature. It seeks to sketch the historical context of the education system in Malaysia particularly as it relates to the Islamic education system. Later developments show that what was initially traditional in nature could now be implemented in the modern context. Malaysia is an Islamic country in a modern setting. Being an Islamic country, Islam is being put at the frontline of its education system. Malaysia has its own history as far as the education system is concerned. Prior to that a number of countries came and colonized the country. British was the last from which it attained its independence from. Naturally, the British education system has had the strongest influence. In the earliest stages of the country’s education development and progress, even the examinations of the secondary schools in Malaysia were prepared by the Cambridge Examination Syndicate in the Great Britain. The studies of Islam which was traditionally taught in Malaysia (then known as Malaya) in the Islamic schools such as the Madrasa or Sekolah Agama were later losing prominence as later the English education system promises better economic values. After a number of years, the traditional Islamic education system which was based on learning the Quran, hadith (the prophetic traditions), classical books of Islam (in Arabic language) covering the subjects of history, jurisprudence, philosophy, Arabic language and some scholarly religious works in the Malay language, to illustrate some, the system had undergone changes and transformations. From previously everything was in the traditional settings to now everything in the modern context. Modernity is not only defined to represent building and facilities, but also means contextualizing the contents and methods of teachings. The British education system put the strongest emphasis on the academics. It was also secular in nature. Islam is absent in this system of education. As a result dualism existed. One that is pro the English education system and another that is the Islamic religious system. For many years this dualism in education system prevailed. In the modern era of Malaysia, schools are no longer under the auspices of the British education system. Everything was Malaysianized. The subject of Islamic studies were taught in the mainstream education system, namely the primary and secondary schools as a subject but not as a system. The same goes with the universities in Malaysia. The subject related to Islam was taught as a subject in various faculties. A full Islamic studies content could only be studied in depth in the faculty of Islamic studies of many universities. After some times, there was a realization among those who studied Islam that they were not equipped with the modern academic knowledge in the widest context. Similarly, those who were trained in the secular system did not master the knowledge of Islam deeply. Efforts started to be put in place to bridge such dualism. A new product called Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama which means the national secondary religious school was introduced. In this school, both subjects, academics and religion are being taught under one roof. A new model of university that would serve the economics and professional needs of the country coupled with Islamic contents and values was developed.This metamorphosis continues to flourish and appeared in different other schools and universities in Malaysia.
@InProceedings{OTHMAN2014DEV,
author = {Othman, N. and Mohamad, K.A.},
title = {THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAMIC STUDIES IN MALAYSIA: CLASSICAL MEETS MODERNITY},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {5101-5106}}
TY - CONF
AU - N. Othman AU - K.A. Mohamad
TI - THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAMIC STUDIES IN MALAYSIA: CLASSICAL MEETS MODERNITY
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 5101
EP - 5106
ER -
N. Othman, K.A. Mohamad (2014) THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAMIC STUDIES IN MALAYSIA: CLASSICAL MEETS MODERNITY, ICERI2014 Proceedings, pp. 5101-5106.
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