35.1.1 INTRODUCTION TO BASIC ISLAMIC EDUCATION
The essence of personal development is purification of the soul. Professionals may be so engrossed
in their work that they forget themselves until they find themselves in spiritual crises that in turn have adverse effects
on their professional work. Knowledge is needed to know the correct aqidat and to perform ibaadaat. The Basic Islamic Education
program consists of 4 main areas of study: Qur’an, Hadith, Ma’athuraat, and Fiqh. These are supplemented by zawaid, nawafil, tafakkur, and extra-mural activities. The program can be covered
in the 5 years of the medical course. The program can be started at any age or level of medical education and can be continued
after that. It can also be started at any time during professional life.
35.1.2 THE STUDY CIRCLE, halaqat
A halaqat or usra is a small self-study group that undertakes this program. Each halaqa should be led
by a naqib. Members of the halaqat should be of the same age groups and preferably same academic level. It is however possible
to mix people of different ages and academic levels so that the young can learn from the older. The Naqib can lead discussion
in some sessions and is also encouraged to delegate this responsibility to various members of the usra. Whoever has the responsibility
for leading discussions must take 20-30 minutes preparing for the session. The Naqib must have a register in which members
sign their name and the times of arrival. Signing-in should be done before the usrat starts any formal work. Members should
start by reciting surat
al fatihat and should adjourn with recitation of tasbih kaffarat and surat al
‘asr. Meetings of the halaqat are preferably associated with acts of ibadat. The best times are therefore: before salat
al fajr, after salat al fajr, before salat al jumu’at, after salat al asr, before salat al maghrib, and between salat
al maghrib and salat al isha. The Naqib must make sure that all 4 components of the program are covered. The Naqibat should
make sure that all members participate. The Naqib should make sure that every member has a personal copy of the usrat manual.
Each member should also bring along a copy of the Qur’an with translation in addition to whetever other books have been
assigned. Special sessions should be set aside for collective self-evaluation by members of the usrah. The parameters of this
evaluation should be agreed on by all. The evaluation could cover the usrah and its activities or could extend to other activities
of the members. The purpose should be fostering the spirit of sharing experiences and self-criticism. Members should greet
one another before starting. All members should endeavour to know one another by name. Any member wanting to go out for a
valid reason must obtain the permission of the Naqibat. All members must learn to listen and not interrupt others. They must
obey the instructions of the Naqibat. Members must avoid quarrels or loud arguments. A spirit of tolerance should exist with
the understanding that there could be more than one way of being right. Excessive laughing or joking should be avoided. Members
should sit with proper adab. Recitation of the Qur’an should be done with khushu and tadabbur. Additional activities include discussion of current affairs and extra mural social activities.
35.1.3 NAWAFIL & ZAWAID
Nafilat refers to acts of worship in addition to the obligatory ones. There is reward for undertaking
them and no punishment for not carrying them out. Nafilat is purely for the benefit of the worshipper. Nawafil have an additional
purpose of plugging gaps and deficiencies in the performance of the obligatory duties. The following are recommended salat
nafilat, saum nafilat, sadaqat, and umra
Contemplation is meditation about Allah’s creations and signs with deliberation. It is a spiritual
and not an intellectual exercise. It requires concentration therefore it is often undertaken at times and places where environmental
sensory distractions are minimal. Contemplation of the nature of Allah is forbidden. Contemplation is possible only on signs
and creations of Allah. Contemplation can be carried out in the mosque or in other places isolated from the daily routines
of life (open desert, forest, oceon etc). Salat is also a unique opportunity for contemplation. Dhikr is a form of contemplation.
Contemplation can also be carried out during dhikr. There are several methods of achieving the purposes of contemplation.
Contemplation can be by looking at nature. Contemplation can be by looking at the self. Contemplation cn be on the wonders
of Allah’s creation. Contemplation can also be by thoughts. One can contemplate Allah’s signs. One can contemplate
the past. One can contemplate the future especially hell and paradise. Daily events of life in the individual and the community
can be objects of contemplation. One can contemplate the Qur’an.