Dr. Abdul-Rahman Salih Abdullah
Education has two sides: theoretical and practical, contemporary educationists vary in their outlook concerning the relation existing between these two sides. The educationist who believes in the existence of facts that arc suitable for all times and places, differs in his approach to the theoretical side of the educational process from that who believes that experience, observation and experimentation alone are capable of creating the fact. A Muslim educationist clearly perceives a strong correlation between theory and actual practices. Al-Imam al-Ghazzali voiced this attitude when he regarded the learning or science not leading to application, a kind of foolery and that the work not founded on learning cannot exist.
Numerous theses, researches and books were written on Islamic educational theory. Most researchers who addressed this issue overlooked the discussion of the nature and construction of the Islamic educational theory. Some of them did no more than using this term in their researches without defining it. But those who accuse early Muslim educators of ineptitude because the latter could not formulate a clear-cut theory, arc still more confused because they have not added anything new except some doubts and some alien principles to Islamic ones. The present paper, therefore, tries to investigate the nature of the general theory of education from an Islamic perspective.