Islamic Educational Thought: A Comparative Study of al-Zarnuji's and al-Shawkani's Learning Models

Methods of learning constitute a basic component of the educational thought paradigm which includes other elements such as the aim of education, curricula and administration.

Burhan al Islam al-Zarnuji: (d. 591 A.H.: 1195 A.D.) is one of the forerunners of Islamic educational thought who early laid the rules of learning within the context of human educational thought.

Prof. Dr. Sayyid Ahmad Othman, a contemporary Muslim psychologist, has been able to revive al-Zarnuji's legacy in our modem language and within the framework of the highly developed expertise of contemporary laboratories of psychological schools. Dr. Othman's book "Learning According to Burhan al-Islam al-Zamuji" embodies a mature study and a profound analysis of al-Zarnuji's book"Talim al­Muta'allim Tariq al-Ta'allum", (Teaching the learner how to learn), a book of learning and teaching which reflects the Islamic cultural methodology of that time.

Imam Muhammad ibn Ali al-Shawkarii (1173-1250 A.H.), six centuries later, contributed to this field in his work "Adah al-Talab wa Muntaha al-Arab" (good manners of learning; the highest aim), a work which is simlar to al-Zarnuji's in some respect. Both works were the outcome of practising, coexisting with and experiencing the learning medium. Moreover, much can be concluded from Al-Shawkani's educational ideas through the study of his numerous manuscripts and studies which exceeded 240, and his printed works which amounted to nearly 24 books and treatises.

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