The Need for an Islamic Social History: A focus on Islamic Education

Hussain A. M.

Muslim Education Quarterly, vol.24, pp.1-11, 2011 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Title of Journal : Muslim Education Quarterly
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-11


This article highlights the need for Muslim scholars to research micro and macro social history, especially the social history of Islamic Education. The major criticism that can be directed at books of Islamic history is that they are devoid of any mention of the complex history of the social aspects that make up the Muslim world. The majority of Islamic history books seem to be concerned with the study of the Caliphs, military conquests, politics, and reforms. If a history book about Islam does mention the social aspects, it will mention them as a mere footnote. In the English language, there exist, to our knowledge, very few analytical studies of the social aspects of Muslim society in history. Thus, the main intention of this article is to provide an insight into the importance of the study of Islamic social history, local or international. The main interest from the viewpoint of contemporary times is the state of education in Muslim countries. It is a fact that the highest illiteracy rates in the world are to be found in Muslim countries. In both Egypt and Pakistan, the statistics for illiteracy show that it is higher than 70%. One has to ask why this is so when a few centuries back the Muslim countries were the seats of knowledge and education.