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Traditional Wisdom on Sustainable Learning: An Insightful View From Al-Zarnuji’s Ta‘lim al-Muta‘allim

Traditional Wisdom on Sustainable Learning: An Insightful View From Al-Zarnuji’s Ta‘lim... Providing guidelines to the students is central for them to optimize their learning, so as to enhance the effectiveness of their learning. However, one of the contemporary issues debated within the dynamics of learning indicates the decline of instructional strategies, one of which occurs due to the ruling out of ethical consideration in learning. Traditional wisdom plays a role in strengthening ethical considerations needed in the learning process. This article aims to shed light on strategies utilized in dynamics of learning through addressing moral ethics. A critical review of peer-reviewed journals, articles, and books was conducted with special reference to al-Zarnūjī’s concept in Ta‘lim al-Muta‘allim. This concept contains several significant guidelines for teaching and learning instructions. The findings revealed that the dynamics of learning requires mechanical aids and rules with ethical consideration on the moral purpose to promote sustainable learning. Learning with holistic approach comprises rightful intention and comprehensive perseverance, which plays a significant role to strengthen ethical engagement in sustainable learning among the students. Finally, this study is expected to contribute to the conceptual framework on the Islamic literature, specifically in relation to sustainable learning by strengthening traditional wisdom. Keywords traditional wisdom, al-Zarnūjī, Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim, mechanical rules, ethical consideration, sustainable learning, considering intention, comprehensive perseverance extended by focusing on the ethical concerns, which may be Introduction emphasized through the application of traditional wisdom. In There seems to be a continuous increasing need to develop short, it can be said that strengthening the traditional wisdom instructional strategies, as it is found that fruitful learning with its significances could enable the potential engagement to leads to potency in skills, knowledge, and competencies ethical consideration within the learning process. Thus, the (Colquitt & Simmering, 1998). Such potencies need to be instructional strategies and ethical considerations in learning transmitted through giving feedback on students’ learning need to be combined to enhance students’ learning perfor- achievements (Huda, 2013; Paris & Paris, 2001). Moreover, mances. Thus, this article aims to critically explore the con- students’ and teachers’ collaboration in terms of their duties cept of sustainable learning, which refers to further concern in and tasks simultaneously becomes central to support the learn- relation to the purpose of moral engagement. This study is an ing and teaching process. As a result, it assists in enhancing the attempt to construct a model of sustainable learning through students’ critical thinking skills (Asyari et al., 2016). An the engagement with character building aspects and practices attempt to link students’ and teachers’ behaviors to the devel- conducted in Islamic education. In doing so, we approach opment of deeper content understanding has been made learning through the lens of al-Zarnūjī’s Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim. through the classrooms’ management to enable maximum impact from the pedagogical skills utilized in the learning pro- cess. In particular, the area to be further explored is personal- Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, Malaysia ized learning, which may enhance the students’ own learning, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Darussalam especially via the experiential aspect coming from their sur- Corresponding Author: roundings (Sabani et al., 2016; Sabki & Hardaker, 2013). As a Miftachul Huda, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, UTM Main Campus, Skudai, result, the students can optimize the efficacy of their learning Johor 81310, Malaysia. experiences through their learning environments. This can be Email: hudaelhalim@yahoo.co.id Creative Commons CC BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage). 2 SAGE Open This treatise serves as a source of guidance for Islamic educa- Why al-Zarnūjī ’s Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim? tion because it presents fascinating theories on teaching and The traditional Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim text contains many learning, which are relevant to the teaching of religious values timely insights for contemporary learning theory. Despite its at the entire level of education in the Muslim world (Huda age, the work is still a valuable source in the field of educa- et al., 2016a). This work has attracted the interest of not only tion, mainly in the ethical discourse of classroom manage- Muslim scholars but modern Western academics as well ment in pesantren or Islamic boarding schools (Hafidzah, (Afandi, 1993; Gilliot, 2012). 2014). By emphasizing the students’ interaction within their learning sphere, al-Zarnūjī makes it clear that learning can- About Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim not be acquired only by mechanical aids, rules, and external regulations, but it requires the drive, aspiration, and passion Scholars have long recognized the great contribution of within the student himself or herself (Huda et al., 2016a). Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim, which was written in the 13th century Rather, the instructor must also uphold moral ethics as part during the reign of the last Abbasid Caliph (Mu’izzuddin, of its teaching and learning instructions to develop students’ 2014). In al-Zarnūjī’s work, the full title is Ta‘līm al- cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills. This leads to the Muta‘allim Tariq al-Ta‘allum (guidelines for students in the profound conclusion that outstanding attainment of educa- art of learning), in which he outlined how students and teach- tion should involve a balanced interaction between students ers can create a conducive educational atmosphere that illu- and instructors to ensure sustainable level of motivation and minates positive characters and reflects values (Hitti, 1948). to maintain high moral purposes. The text has generally been regarded as a monumental work At the time it was written, Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim served a among Islamic intellectuals, as well as among Western schol- practical purpose. By 1203, al-Zarnūjī had compiled all 13 ars. Its theories have been utilized as references and guide- chapters. At that time, many students were highly motivated lines in the formulation of academic work, especially in the to endeavor challenges to attain knowledge specifically and field of education (Yahya, 2005). Its content has been influ- education in general. However, they were falling short in ential, especially in the Indonesian context, where it is inten- terms of their aims in learning. The students, according to sively studied and practically applied in almost all Islamic al-Zarnūjī, were unsuccessful because most of them were educational institutions, particularly in the pesantren—tradi- not mindful of the right methods of learning. His view was tional Salafi Islamic boarding schools (Nata, 2000). In these that they did not do the right thing for themselves, and there- schools, al-Zarnūjī’s theories have served as the central ref- fore wasted much of their time. As a result, al-Zarnūjī erence for students in the acquisition of knowledge (Hafidzah, decided to explain to the students a method of study, which 2014; Huda et al., 2016b). he had read about and listened from his own teachers Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim sets itself apart from other Islamic (Grunebaum, 1947). intellectual sources through its unique theories. The series com- The significance of al-Zarnūjī’s Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim is mences with the principles of the pursuit of knowledge and pro- evident through the wide influence of its essential principles vides details of ethical foundations for the teaching–learning for students and teachers, particularly in Islamic institutions process based on religious conservatism (Huda & Kartanegara, like pesantren. This necessitates a deeper study of his key 2015a). Thus, the content of this work focuses on the inculca- ideas for the following reasons: (a) the concept of al-Zarnūjī’s tion of good morality within students in Islamic educational Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim has been operationalized in the world’s context. Therefore, it becomes a fundamental reading for every educational society, particularly in pesantren; (b) its model student in pesantren or madrasah (school), during their first of teaching and learning has been further developed in year, prior to commencing to the study of other subjects. Islamic education; (c) the basic foundation of the content is There are 13 chapters in Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim, including sufficiently applicable in the context of the current Islamic (a) the nature and merits of knowledge and its systematic educational system in the Indonesian Islamic heterogeneous comprehension; (b) the intention of studying; (c) the choices community (Huda & Kartanegara, 2015c). of the knowledge types, the teacher, the colleagues and on one’s permanent affiliation; (d) the respect toward knowl- edge and its possessor; (e) the importance of hard work, per- Education and Learning Objectives in severance, and vigor; (f) the commencement of lessons; (g) the Light of al-Zarnūjī ’s Ta‘l īm the emphasis of tawakkul (trust in God) concept; (h) the time al-Muta‘allim for knowledge acquisition; (i) the value compassion and advice (to others); (j) the achievable benefits of time and There are three words in Arabic language that are normally chance; (k) the emphasis of Godliness or divine involvement translated as education. The diversity in the meanings is well during the time of learning; (l) the process of memorization placed as it provides useful starting point in the analysis of and what makes (one) forgetful; and (m) elements that afflu- Islamic education. These are tarbiya, which comes from the ence and benefit one’s livelihood; the agents of life’s longev- Arabic root rabā, meaning to grow or increase, which refers ity and its diminishment (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). to the development of individual potential, and the process of Huda et al. 3 nurturing and guiding the child to a state of completeness or role in influencing students, acting as role models with noble maturity (Halstead, 2004). Ta’dīb comes from the root character values (Mu’izzuddin, 2014). In particular, within aduba, which is to be refined, disciplined, and cultured, the learning objectives, teachers must first manage the transi- referring to the process of character development and learn- tion of the learning intention (niyyah) from heart to applica- ing; a sound basis for moral and social behaviors within the tion. With an open mind, the student is then prepared to community and society at large (Halstead, 2004). Ta’līm accept instructions in accordance with noble values and to comes from the root ‘alima which is to know, be informed, study the effects of bad character values. perceive, discern, referring to the imparting and receiving The learning intention should be oriented toward the fol- knowledge, usually through training, instruction, or other lowing matters: (a) to reach the pleasure of God, (b) to achieve forms of teaching (Halstead, 2004). One of them emphasizes happiness in the hereafter, (c) to eliminate ignorance from knowledge, another focuses on growth to maturity, and the himself and others, (d) to revive religious matters, (e) to third underlines the development of good manners (Halstead, maintain the Islamic religion, (f) to praise the blessing of aql 2004). This diversity in terminology reflects the origin of (cognition) bestowed by God, and (g) to have gratitude for a education itself. The principles of ushūliyah (religious prin- healthy body (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). To achieve these goals, three ciples of Islam) hold that the core purpose underlying every core elements provide the fullest possible development of act is al umuru bi maqashidiha, which means that each act’s intellectual abilities and moral values. These are ibādah (wor- purpose depends on a plan previously prepared (Kamali, shipping God) as the ultimate aim, individual development, 1991). This principle is applicable to education, where learn- and mu‘amalah (social orientation; Huda & Kartanegara, ers and instructors engage in efforts to achieve certain educa- 2015a). Trainings and practices are needed to comprehen- tional goals. Today, the development of a strong learning sively develop these skills, abilities, and insights (Olteanu, objective, or purpose, is widely regarded as necessary; the 2016). Through this practice, students develop a balance objectives allow students and teachers to know when the between their inward (emotional) and outward (practical) learning process ends, and it serves as the fundamental mea- spheres. The emotional and the practical spheres are both core surement of the success in the learning–teaching process components of a well-developed personality and life (Olteanu, 2016). The means for achieving the goal should be (Hargreaves, 2005). A balanced personality contributes to the developed simultaneously and dynamically with the goal development of both spiritual and physical abilities (Cowan, itself. This goal will guide each action taken in the educa- 2005). Thus, the wise approach toward education may con- tional process. With a clear purpose, both student and teacher cern attempts to create humans with good personalities. This can recognize their rights and responsibilities in solving is to enable the dynamics of learning within the guidelines as problems together. an attempt to achieve the goal of embedding students with In addition to working toward a purpose, personal trans- ethical values throughout the learning process. formation is a standard condition of educational success. In other words, the aim of education is to transform a person’s Traditional Wisdom (hikmah) and Its ability to think critically with ethical consideration. Thus, the Implications purpose of education is to construct character (attitude) and belief (spirituality) through worthwhile intention (vision), all Hikmah, which is an Arabic word meaning wisdom, has sev- of which influence curriculum development and its practical eral meanings, which vary from a type of knowledge (similar application (Halstead, 2004; Huda & Kartanegara, 2015a). to the English meaning) to a more complex concept that has The ultimate purpose of education, then, is to prepare the operational, attitudinal, mental, philosophical, religious, and learner with both competence and techniques necessary to mystical implications (Önal, 2010). In other words, hikmah achieve worldly goals, and to sustain spirituality as well as is the ability to determine whether an action is right and religious activities. Educated persons are therefore those wrong, correct or false, and to follow the best course of who have been transformed into “the perfect man [or action, based on knowledge and understanding (Swartwood, woman]” (Adams & Govender, 2008; Buber, 2003). As a 2013). In short, hikmah is defined as epistemic humility and result, education should cater to spiritual, intellectual, and accuracy, extensive factual knowledge and knowing how to physical growth, both individually and collectively. live well through knowledge and action. The extent of one’s In addition, al-Zarnūjī believed that education should knowledge and understanding plays a significant role in have the clear purpose of developing the student into a full, determining one’s access to the truth. Thus, hikmah involves whole, and integrated person with moral values. He devel- acquiring knowledge, using knowledge to act correctly in oped a formulation to suggest students’ and teachers’ duties accordance with virtue, and, through these correct actions, and responsibilities throughout the education process (Huda attaining further knowledge. & Kartanegara, 2015a). He tried to develop a process that In addition, hikmah has a distinct integration of cognitive, would instill ethics and character values, particularly in reflective, and affective personality characteristics. In short, learning and teaching, but also generally, in daily life (Huda the acquisition of hikmah is concerned with all the virtues et al., 2016c). Teachers, he argued, should be aware of their that derive from nature. Consequently, achieving hikmah 4 SAGE Open requires “virtues inquiry” (Ardelt, 2004). In addition, the condition; and cultural virtues (e.g., manners), which is Qur’an identifies virtuous conduct in terms of relationships acquired from particular cultural-historical traditions that promise “peace” and “integration” for individuals and (Conway, 2014; Solomon, 1988). Expanding on the idea of communities as well as its capacity to guide individuals moral virtue, Aristotle stated that a person should act know- through a “straight path” to “peace” and “integrity” in con- ingly and do the right thing, because morally correct and duct (Choudhury, 2001). As wisdom functions in enabling us incorrect aspects are intellectual concepts that require con- to overcome the ingrained perspectives of our habitual think- scious applications. Choudhury (2001) argued that, distill- ing, it empowers us to make a broad assessment of the facts, ing the wide variation of discourse on virtue ethics, the perceive the essence of an issue, and steer a certain course following positions represent the virtuous approach to moral toward happiness. Simply put, wisdom dispels our delusions inquiries: of separateness and awakens in us a sense of empathetic equality with all living things. •• Virtues signify moral identity in terms of character, In the field of education, there are four core stages to rep- which is demonstrated in our actions. resent the philosophical pillar, namely how to learn, how to •• Virtues are drawn from cultural traditions. Thus, vir- do, how to be and how to live together with others in the tues exist as moral choices to be affirmed in conduct. collective consciousness toward encouraging sincere human Individuals exhibit and impart virtues when they excel relationships (Baidhawy, 2007). This perspective refers to in practicing what they profess and become the exem- the relationship in the way which covers the educational and plar of particular virtues. societal context. With this regard, the concept of hikmah •• Virtues vary in the nature and range of relationships should be thoroughly comprehended by both teacher and stu- within, which a person finds oneself. This range var- dent. As a “person with experiences,” the instructor should ies depending on the socialization of exemplary prac- employ whatever means possible to help learners in the tices and their institutionalization in the civic culture. search for hikmah (al-Zarnūjī, 2008, p. 117), which is not limited to learning facts. As Ardelt (2004) underlined, “the This perspective is relevant to the education field because, term hikmah should be reserved for wise person rather than with an understanding of the virtues, instructors can appro- knowledge expert” (p. 257). From this perspective, wisdom priately praise the students’ individual development along is related to how one should react to the situations with which virtuous lines. Moral virtue is a helpful framework for one is presented. A wise person has many positive character- explaining the importance of acting correctly; for example, istics, not only including extensive factual and theoretical instructors can explain that “the time for praying at night” is knowledge but also including knowledge of how to live and morally virtuous if individuals use the time for “soul-reflec- it is successful at living well (Bergsma & Ardelt, 2012). tive thinking” (al-Zarnūjī, 2008, p. 117). With this knowl- edge of moral virtue, students are empowered to engage in correct conduct, in terms of acquisition of virtues as the ulti- Considering Virtue Ethics mate priority. Virtue ethics, as discussed in this section, is a distinct form of As a contemporary student of the subject has written, vir- ethical discourse relevant in addressing the emerging global tue ethics has a significant value in terms of developing a context of human consciousness. In virtue ethics, moral person to achieve certain understanding and moral conduct. inquiry focuses on the ethics of a person or a community, As a result, education should transform learners, imparting which reflects the fundamental convictions of that person or the ability to respond virtuously and with wisdom to certain community. Both Gülen and Aristotle seem to have empha- situations; this is fundamental to human character, more so sized a concept of the virtues, which encompasses both than either the assessment of the rightness of actions or the human commonality and diversity (Conway, 2014). One assessment of the value of the consequences of action goal of virtue ethics is to strike a balance between the indi- (Hardaker & Sabki, 2016; Solomon, 1988). Instead of engag- vidual and social performance. As a result, it emphasizes the ing in intellectual judgments, we apply this knowledge of role of character in determining and evaluating ethical moral behavior through our practice and habituation of moral behavior instead of deciding rightness or wrongness from the virtues, which leads, over time, to the development of desir- outcome of the act itself. Each of the virtues focuses on a able personal qualities. sphere of human experiences, which plays a role in all human life and growth (Swartwood, 2013). Each sphere deals with a Sustainable Learning as a Mechanical particular human circumstance, in which persons face Process With Ethical Consideration choices and may choose wisely or unwisely on how one per- ceives one’s choices in such circumstances, depending on the Learning With a Holistic Approach extent of one’s knowledge. As with most human characteristics, learning ability can be Aristotle put forward an account of virtues that encom- improved continuously throughout a person’s lifetime passed both universal virtues, derived from the human Huda et al. 5 (Asyari et al., 2016). Because learning is an individual sustainable learning, allowing students to reach self-aware- attempt to acquire knowledge, to think critically, and to ness and depth of understanding. develop useful skills (Olteanu, 2016), it is important to understand what happens to the individual as a result of a Considering Intention learning experience. Physical, intellectual, and longitudinal aspects of learning contribute to behavioral abilities, which Another aspect in the concept of sustainable learning based lead to obtain new experiences and may assist to improve on al-Zarnūjī’s work is its reflection in virtue ethics, whereby students’ skills, which were practiced in solving problems. there is the idea that the validity of deeds depends on the As scholars make progress in explaining how people intention of which they are enacted (Paramboor & Ibrahim, acquire skills, knowledge, and attitudes, it becomes possi- 2014). Therefore, the practical (outward) and spiritual ble to improve the learning process (Runesson & Runesson, (inward) aspects of education must be aligned in the learning 2015). More specifically, understanding how students learn process. In designing learning, educators should aim primar- and understanding the type of learning environments are ily at the permanent satisfaction of God’s pleasure, at remov- most effective in the learning process. This may assist to ing the darkness of ignorance in individual development, and determine integrated principles of learning, which can act at contributing positively to society (Huda & Kartanegara, as core guidelines for developing programs and training. 2015b). Maintaining this intention can help ensure educators Alternative tools such as peers and networking can also to design effective learning and teaching activities. As a support learning, given an appropriate understanding of result, students must begin their learning endeavors of how learning works (So & Kim, 2009). The optimization of becoming educated persons by purifying their own inten- education requires an effort to create ever-evolving sup- tions, if they wish to be successful. portive environments where children and students can Because learning depends on managing intentions, habit- learn. For instance, the learning aid can be engaged with uation, and more complex activities (Huda & Kartanegara, organising the good instruction such as using technology of 2015f), educators must understand the role of conscious mobile phone (Anshari et al., 2017). This aims to make sure awareness in transforming inward goals into behavioral the process to run well in the way which is consistent with learning to develop character values (Roslan Mohd Nor & addressing moral purpose. Consequently, the concrete Malim, 2014). As a result, the quality of learning depends on guidelines are needed to ensure that learning development the degree to which the classroom experience trains students is aligned with its moral purpose. to manage the balance between the inward and outward Al-Zarnūjī (2008) believed that moral purposes should aspects of their lives. Students and teachers must work underlie the learning process in the way that the students together to adapt classroom instruction and curriculum to must have certain aspirations and goals to reach, and this promote learning, self-management, and responsibility. The may be achieved through perseverance and repetitive study. student, as an active participant in the learning process, From this perspective, education is a mechanical aid and set should be aware of himself or herself when he intends to of rules from which students can achieve their learning goals. study. This is considered in the seventh and eleventh chapters Success in learning, then, comes from learning with purpose of Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim, where a student should have true in mind, which gives students the sense of being well pre- faith in God Almighty before he starts learning. Only under pared. In the field of education, there is a gap in our under- such a condition can the student remain aware of his inten- standing of how to increase learning achievement by tion during the entire study period. engaging students with this core, purpose-driven element of sustainable learning; integrating intention and perseverance Comprehensive Perseverance is a key to successful instruction. Educators should view exploration of sustainable learning It has been widely recognized that, with regard to determin- as the core of the learning process (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). On this ing which actions should be taken, education is underdevel- view, the learning process involves teachers’ lectures on par- oped, such that students face a fundamental dilemma in and ticular subjects, students’ perseverance through listening and out of the classroom (Slade & Prinsloo, 2013). There is a carefully observing, and divine involvement (tawakkal) need for further development of approaches to action-ori- (Huda & Kartanegara, 2015e). These processes are of value ented education and solutions to this dilemma, so that stu- because learning requires action to acquire knowledge, dents can develop social and individual personality and behaviors, skills, and preferences (Slade & Prinsloo, 2013), ability through skills-based learning (Asyari et al., 2016). which may occur as part of education, personal development, Customized learning agendas should be developed, includ- schooling, and training (Asyari et al., 2016). It can be pointed ing extensive use of multiple skills in resolving complex out that the learning process progresses through procedural problems. Al-Zarnūjī (2008) believed that, through many stages. It is pivotal to note that through rules governing stu- training and development programs, students will become dents’ interactions with their environment, the quality of educated and prepared to face complex challenges. These classroom experiences becomes a fundamental element to programs include cognitive, moral, and spiritual aspects 6 SAGE Open which can be applied through exercise and learning (Huda & they hold opinions in line with good critical analysis and are Kartanegara, 2015b). able to recognize and solve problems, but when they are not Among the characteristics of such training and develop- open-minded enough to listen, see, and consider new ideas ment programs is muwazabah which means a whole effort (Olteanu, 2016). The third type of human neither possesses involving mental, physical, and spiritual construction (Huda knowledge leading to right opinions nor consults or seeks & Kartanegara, 2015d). In line with the customized educa- information from others. Therefore, such a person must make tion described above, self-regulation should become a cen- an effort to search for knowledge by engaging the instruction tral part of motivated learning (Olteanu, 2016), which refers of one with experience in the subject (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). to getting started and remaining engaged with learning duties Thus, such a person’s primary responsibility is to refer to such as planning, observing, and evaluating. By emphasizing whoever has expertise and to remain open-minded. Moreover, this process, teachers can give students self-control during blessings will come to those who study in this manner, in the the learning process. Strengthening the students’ ability to form of knowledge which enables one to think and feel in a absorb the knowledge has to be conscisely engaged into the profound manner (Halstead, 2004). The point is that learning learning style with preferred ways which can be implemented and teaching involve dynamic relationships between differ- among the students (Othman et al., 2016). It is necessary to ent types of people who can work together in goal setting and note that through the instruction of a highly skilled profes- prayer setting, such that learners develop into wise people sional, using the standard strategy, students can develop cre- with ethical consideration. ativity and collaborate in the classroom. To develop students In addition, ethical consideration has a significant role to with such abilities and qualities, al-Zarnūjī underlines that play in spurring the student’s desire to learn. Moreover, an both ethical and technical aspects should be well organized attempt to addressing the moral engagement delivered in the in thought, feeling, and action (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). This will teaching and learning process has to be conscised in the way lead to genuine education involving self-criticism, self-disci- which can be transformed among the students (Mohamed, pline, self-motivation, and willingness to be responsible for Jasmi, & Zailaini, 2016). It should be entirely configured one’s own decisions. In particular, this encourages increasing with the moral purpose. Al-Zarnūjī (2008) believed that the the students’ ability in terms of thought, feeling, and willing- moral purpose of the learning process is to broadly prepare ness to aim for perfect personality (insan kamil). students to face life’s challenges. When the student has a goal toward which he or she aims, the effort of perseverance and repetitive study is bolstered by the student’s will to Ethical Consideration in Sustainable Learning achieve that goal (Colquitt & Simmering, 1998). As a result, Following the self-determined, customized view of learning, by incorporating high aspirations, this leads to assiduity, students should be responsible for choosing their subjects of interest, and exertion. Consequently, the student will be suc- study and their teachers. According to al-Zarnūjī, because cessful in achieving the goal, as arranged with prayer setting the purpose needs to be clearly defined in earlier periods of through divine involvement. This means that learning tasks the learning process, ethical consideration requires selecting should always be approached from the perspective of consid- beneficial knowledge, experienced teachers, and educated ering the ultimate goal of the learning process. Al-Zarnūjī and trained peers (Huda & Kartanegara, 2015d). In the third pointed out that sustainable learning should be wholeheart- chapter of his Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim, al-Zarnūjī describes edly developed to encourage students’ motivation to learn, as how the student should go about selecting these learning well as to guide their actions (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). The student conditions, and insists that the student should approach these is encouraged to always combine the specific subject of choices with careful consideration and consultation. There learning with underlying ethical considerations, such as dis- are three types of individuals which can be used as selection cipline, spirit value, and respect. Thus, by encouraging per- criteria: the perfect human being, the half human, and the severance and removing ignorance, educators can impart one who is nothing. These types refer to the extent to which students with intelligence. instructors are capable of uniting and developing skills and vision within the instruction (Paramboor & Ibrahim, 2014). Conclusion The perfect human is one who possesses correct opinions and often consults with intelligent people (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). This article has broadly described sustainable learning con- Such a person is highly capable and provides good counsel, scisely engaged into traditional wisdom with strengthening the which results in a good, tolerant, and wise personality. moral purposes. This is based on the findings that a number of Students of such characteristics will feel engaged with the contemporary researches within sustainable learning focus school’s instructions and teacher’s guidance (Runesson & unrelentingly on instructional strategies and lack attention to Runesson, 2015). The half human refers to a person who has ethical considerations in learning. It is urgently necessary, correct opinions but makes no effort to consult with people, therefore, for researchers to critically explore sustainable learn- or who consults with others but does not form his own opin- ing referring to the traditional wisdom with moral purpose. The ions. Students themselves often fall into this category when concepts put forward in al-Zarnūjī’s Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim are Huda et al. 7 helpful in constructing the model of sustainable learning with Baidhawy, Z. (2007). Building harmony and peace through mul- ticulturalist theology-based religious education: An alterna- moral purpose, which we have done in this article. Our com- tive for contemporary Indonesia. British Journal of Religious prehensive determinants of the learning process began with the Education, 29, 15-30. core of al-Zarnūjī’s view on education and learning objectives, Bergsma, A., & Ardelt, M. (2012). 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Textbooks of Islamic education in Indonesia’s traditional pesantren: The use of al-Zarnuji’s ta‘lim al- Declaration of Conflicting Interests muta‘allim tariq at-ta’alum and Hasyim Asy’ari’s adab al- The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect ’âlim wa al-muta’alim [Textbooks of Islamic education in to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. Indonesia’s traditional pesantren: The use of al-Zarnuji’s ta’lim al-muta’allim tariq at-ta’alum and Hasyim Asy’ari’s Funding adab al-‘âlim wa al-muta’alim]. Al Albab, 3, 199-212. Halstead, M. (2004). An Islamic concept of education. Comparative The author(s) received no financial support for the research and/or Education, 40, 517-529. authorship of this article Hardaker, G., & Sabki, A. (2016). The nature of memorisation for embodiment. Journal for Multicultural Education, 10, 87-98. References Hargreaves, A. (2005). The emotions of teaching and educational Adams, L. A., & Govender, K. (2008). “Making a perfect man”: change. In A. Hargreaves (Ed.), Extending educational change Traditional masculine ideology and perfectionism among ado- (pp. 278-295). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. lescent boys. South African Journal of Psychology, 38, 551- Hitti, P. K. (1948). Az-zarnūjī, ta‘līm al-muta‘allim—ṭarīq al-ta- allūm (Instruction of the student: Method of learning) (G. E. Afandi, M. (1993). The method of Muslim learning as illustrated in von Grunebaum & T. M. Abel, Trans.). New York, NY: King’s Al Zarnuji’s Ta’lim Al Muta’allim Tariq al Ta’allum. Montreal, Crown Press. (Original work published 1947) Québec, Canada: McGill University. Huda, M. (2013). Model-model pengajaran dan pembelajaran Al-Zarnūjī, B. (2008). Ta‘lim al-Muta‘allim: Tariq al-Ta’allum [Models of teaching and learning]. Yogyakarta, Indonesia: [Learning instruction for students’ learning]. Surabaya, Pustaka Pelajar. Indonesia: Al Miftah. Huda, M., & Kartanegara, M. (2015a). Aim formulation of educa- Anshari, M., Almunawar, M. N., Shahrill, M., Wicaksono, D. K., tion: An analysis of the book ta‘lim al-muta‘allim. International & Huda, M. (2017). Smartphones usage in the classrooms: Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 5, 143-149. Learning aid or interference? Education and Information Huda, M., & Kartanegara, M. (2015b). Curriculum conception in Technologies, 1-17. the perspective of the book ta‘lim al-muta‘allim. International Ardelt, M. (2004). Wisdom as expert knowledge system: A criti- Journal of Education and Research, 3, 221-232. cal review of a contemporary operationalization of an ancient Huda, M., & Kartanegara, M. (2015c). Distinctive feature of concept. Human Development, 47, 257-285. al-Zarnūjī’s ideas: A philosophical inquiry into the book Asyari, M., Al Muhdhar, M. H. I., Susilo, H., & Ibrohim. (2016). ta‘līm al-muta‘allim. American International Journal of Improving critical thinking skills through the integration of Contemporary Research, 5, 171-177. problem based learning and group investigation. International Huda, M., & Kartanegara, M. (2015d). Ethical foundation of Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, 5, 36-44. character education in Indonesia: Reflections on integration 8 SAGE Open between Ahmad Dahlan and al-Zarnuji. In A. H. Tamuri (Ed.), Roslan Mohd Nor, M., & Malim, M. (2014). Revisiting Islamic Persidangan Antarabangsa Tokoh Ulama Melayu Nusantara education: The case of Indonesia. Journal for Multicultural (PanTUMN) (pp. 404-420). Selangor, Malaysia: Kolej Education, 8, 261-276. Universiti Islam Antarbangsa Selangor, Bandar Seri Putra. Runesson, U., & Runesson, U. (2015). Pedagogical and learning doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.5082.1605 theories and the improvement and development of Lesson Huda, M., & Kartanegara, M. (2015e). Islamic spiritual character and Learning studies. International Journal for Lesson and values of al-Zarnūjī’s ta‘līm al-muta‘allim. Mediterranean Learning Studies, 4, 186-193. Journal of Social Sciences, 6, 229-235. Sabani, N., Hardaker, G., Sabki, A., Salleh, S., Hardaker, G., & Huda, M., & Kartanegara, M. (2015f). The significance of edu- Hardaker, G. (2016). Understandings of Islamic pedagogy for cative environment to the character development: A study of personalised learning. The International Journal of Information al-Zarnûjî’s ta‘lim al-muta‘allim. International Journal of and Learning Technology, 33, 78-90. Innovation Education and Research, 3, 191-200. Sabki, A. A., & Hardaker, G. (2013). The madrasah concept of Huda, M., Yusuf, J. B., Jasmi, K. A., & Nasir, G. A. (2016a). Islamic pedagogy. Educational Review, 65, 342-356. Understanding comprehensive learning requirements in the Slade, S., & Prinsloo, P. (2013). Learning analytics ethical issues light of al-Zarnūjī’s taʻlīm al-mutaʻallim. SAGE Open, 6(4), and dilemmas. American Behavioral Scientist, 57, 1510-1529. 1-14. So, H.-J., & Kim, B. (2009). Learning about problem based learn- Huda, M., Yusuf, J. B., Jasmi, K. A., & Zakaria, G. N. (2016b). ing: Student teachers integrating technology, pedagogy and al-Zarnūjī’s concept of knowledge (‘ilm). SAGE Open, 6(3), content knowledge. Australasian Journal of Educational 1-13. Technology, 25, 101-116. Huda, M., Jasmi, K. A., Mohamed, A. K., Wan Embong, W. H., Solomon, D. (1988). Internal objections to virtue ethics. Midwest & Safar, J. (2016c). Philosophical investigation of al-Zarnūjī’s Studies in Philosophy, 13, 428-441. ta’lim al-muta’allim: Strengthening ethical engagement into Swartwood, J. D. (2013). Wisdom as an expert skill. Ethical Theory teaching and learning. Social Science, 11(22), 5516-5519. and Moral Practice, 16, 511-528. Kamali, M. H. (1991). Principles of Islamic jurisprudence. Yahya, M. S. (2005). Atmosfir akademis dan nilai estetik kitab Cambridge, UK: The Islamic Text Society. Ta‘lim al Muta‘allim [Academic atmosphere and ethical values Mohamed, S., Jasmi, K. A., & Zailaini, M. A. (2016). Elements of of Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim]. Journal Ibda, 3(2), 1-10. delivering Islamic education through Islamic morality in sev- eral Malaysian schools. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences Author Biographies & Humanities, 24(4). Miftachul Huda is a researcher at the Faculty of Islamic Mu’izzuddin, M. (2014). Etika belajar dalam kitab ta‘lȋm muta‘allim Civilisation, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). His main [Learning ethics of Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim]. Jurnal Al-Ittijah, research interest is learning theory and education, including Islamic, 4(1), 1-18. moral and multicultural education. Nata, A. (2000). Pemikiran para tokoh pendidikan Islam [Leading Muslim scholars’ thought on education]. Jakarta, Indonesia: Kamarul Azmi Jasmi is a senior lecturer of Islamic education and RajaGrafindo Persada. PT. Arabic, civilization studies, and qualitative research methods at Olteanu, C. (2016). Reflection and the object of learning. UTM. He has been teaching for over 15 years, and published books International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, 5(1), and many articles in refereed journals. 60-75. Ismail Mustari is an associate professor of Islamic da’wah (mak- Önal, M. (2010). Wisdom (hikmah) as a holistic basis for inter-reli- ing invitation) and Islamic education at the Faculty of Islamic gious education. In K. Engebretson, M. de Souza, G. Durka, Civilisation, UTM. He has been working in teaching for more than & L. Gearon (Eds.), International handbook of inter-reli- 15 years on Islamic education. gious education (pp. 221-234). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. Bushrah Basiron is a senior lecturer of comparative religion and Othman, R., Shahrill, M., Mundia, L., Tan, A., & Huda, M. (2016). Islamic education at the Faculty of Islamic Civilisation, UTM. She Investigating the relationship between the student’s ability and has been working in teaching for more than 15 years. learning preferences: Evidence from year 7 mathematics stu- dents. The New Educational Review, 44(2), 125-138. Noraisikin Sabani is a PhD fellow in Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Paramboor, J., & Ibrahim, M. B. (2014). Educational leadership as Institute of Education, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Her project a manifestation of ‘adab’in education: Conception of Zarnuji. focus is in Islamic Pedagogy and Personalized Learning Technology. International Journal of Education and Research, 2(3), 1-12. She received BSc in teaching English as a second language from Paris, S. G., & Paris, A. H. (2001). Classroom applications of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UNIMAS) and MEd from Edith Cowan research on self-regulated learning. Educational Psychologist, University. She is on study leave from Curtin University Sarawak, 36, 89-101. 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Traditional Wisdom on Sustainable Learning: An Insightful View From Al-Zarnuji’s Ta‘lim al-Muta‘allim

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Abstract

Providing guidelines to the students is central for them to optimize their learning, so as to enhance the effectiveness of their learning. However, one of the contemporary issues debated within the dynamics of learning indicates the decline of instructional strategies, one of which occurs due to the ruling out of ethical consideration in learning. Traditional wisdom plays a role in strengthening ethical considerations needed in the learning process. This article aims to shed light on strategies utilized in dynamics of learning through addressing moral ethics. A critical review of peer-reviewed journals, articles, and books was conducted with special reference to al-Zarnūjī’s concept in Ta‘lim al-Muta‘allim. This concept contains several significant guidelines for teaching and learning instructions. The findings revealed that the dynamics of learning requires mechanical aids and rules with ethical consideration on the moral purpose to promote sustainable learning. Learning with holistic approach comprises rightful intention and comprehensive perseverance, which plays a significant role to strengthen ethical engagement in sustainable learning among the students. Finally, this study is expected to contribute to the conceptual framework on the Islamic literature, specifically in relation to sustainable learning by strengthening traditional wisdom. Keywords traditional wisdom, al-Zarnūjī, Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim, mechanical rules, ethical consideration, sustainable learning, considering intention, comprehensive perseverance extended by focusing on the ethical concerns, which may be Introduction emphasized through the application of traditional wisdom. In There seems to be a continuous increasing need to develop short, it can be said that strengthening the traditional wisdom instructional strategies, as it is found that fruitful learning with its significances could enable the potential engagement to leads to potency in skills, knowledge, and competencies ethical consideration within the learning process. Thus, the (Colquitt & Simmering, 1998). Such potencies need to be instructional strategies and ethical considerations in learning transmitted through giving feedback on students’ learning need to be combined to enhance students’ learning perfor- achievements (Huda, 2013; Paris & Paris, 2001). Moreover, mances. Thus, this article aims to critically explore the con- students’ and teachers’ collaboration in terms of their duties cept of sustainable learning, which refers to further concern in and tasks simultaneously becomes central to support the learn- relation to the purpose of moral engagement. This study is an ing and teaching process. As a result, it assists in enhancing the attempt to construct a model of sustainable learning through students’ critical thinking skills (Asyari et al., 2016). An the engagement with character building aspects and practices attempt to link students’ and teachers’ behaviors to the devel- conducted in Islamic education. In doing so, we approach opment of deeper content understanding has been made learning through the lens of al-Zarnūjī’s Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim. through the classrooms’ management to enable maximum impact from the pedagogical skills utilized in the learning pro- cess. In particular, the area to be further explored is personal- Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor, Malaysia ized learning, which may enhance the students’ own learning, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Darussalam especially via the experiential aspect coming from their sur- Corresponding Author: roundings (Sabani et al., 2016; Sabki & Hardaker, 2013). As a Miftachul Huda, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, UTM Main Campus, Skudai, result, the students can optimize the efficacy of their learning Johor 81310, Malaysia. experiences through their learning environments. This can be Email: hudaelhalim@yahoo.co.id Creative Commons CC BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage). 2 SAGE Open This treatise serves as a source of guidance for Islamic educa- Why al-Zarnūjī ’s Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim? tion because it presents fascinating theories on teaching and The traditional Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim text contains many learning, which are relevant to the teaching of religious values timely insights for contemporary learning theory. Despite its at the entire level of education in the Muslim world (Huda age, the work is still a valuable source in the field of educa- et al., 2016a). This work has attracted the interest of not only tion, mainly in the ethical discourse of classroom manage- Muslim scholars but modern Western academics as well ment in pesantren or Islamic boarding schools (Hafidzah, (Afandi, 1993; Gilliot, 2012). 2014). By emphasizing the students’ interaction within their learning sphere, al-Zarnūjī makes it clear that learning can- About Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim not be acquired only by mechanical aids, rules, and external regulations, but it requires the drive, aspiration, and passion Scholars have long recognized the great contribution of within the student himself or herself (Huda et al., 2016a). Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim, which was written in the 13th century Rather, the instructor must also uphold moral ethics as part during the reign of the last Abbasid Caliph (Mu’izzuddin, of its teaching and learning instructions to develop students’ 2014). In al-Zarnūjī’s work, the full title is Ta‘līm al- cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills. This leads to the Muta‘allim Tariq al-Ta‘allum (guidelines for students in the profound conclusion that outstanding attainment of educa- art of learning), in which he outlined how students and teach- tion should involve a balanced interaction between students ers can create a conducive educational atmosphere that illu- and instructors to ensure sustainable level of motivation and minates positive characters and reflects values (Hitti, 1948). to maintain high moral purposes. The text has generally been regarded as a monumental work At the time it was written, Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim served a among Islamic intellectuals, as well as among Western schol- practical purpose. By 1203, al-Zarnūjī had compiled all 13 ars. Its theories have been utilized as references and guide- chapters. At that time, many students were highly motivated lines in the formulation of academic work, especially in the to endeavor challenges to attain knowledge specifically and field of education (Yahya, 2005). Its content has been influ- education in general. However, they were falling short in ential, especially in the Indonesian context, where it is inten- terms of their aims in learning. The students, according to sively studied and practically applied in almost all Islamic al-Zarnūjī, were unsuccessful because most of them were educational institutions, particularly in the pesantren—tradi- not mindful of the right methods of learning. His view was tional Salafi Islamic boarding schools (Nata, 2000). In these that they did not do the right thing for themselves, and there- schools, al-Zarnūjī’s theories have served as the central ref- fore wasted much of their time. As a result, al-Zarnūjī erence for students in the acquisition of knowledge (Hafidzah, decided to explain to the students a method of study, which 2014; Huda et al., 2016b). he had read about and listened from his own teachers Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim sets itself apart from other Islamic (Grunebaum, 1947). intellectual sources through its unique theories. The series com- The significance of al-Zarnūjī’s Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim is mences with the principles of the pursuit of knowledge and pro- evident through the wide influence of its essential principles vides details of ethical foundations for the teaching–learning for students and teachers, particularly in Islamic institutions process based on religious conservatism (Huda & Kartanegara, like pesantren. This necessitates a deeper study of his key 2015a). Thus, the content of this work focuses on the inculca- ideas for the following reasons: (a) the concept of al-Zarnūjī’s tion of good morality within students in Islamic educational Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim has been operationalized in the world’s context. Therefore, it becomes a fundamental reading for every educational society, particularly in pesantren; (b) its model student in pesantren or madrasah (school), during their first of teaching and learning has been further developed in year, prior to commencing to the study of other subjects. Islamic education; (c) the basic foundation of the content is There are 13 chapters in Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim, including sufficiently applicable in the context of the current Islamic (a) the nature and merits of knowledge and its systematic educational system in the Indonesian Islamic heterogeneous comprehension; (b) the intention of studying; (c) the choices community (Huda & Kartanegara, 2015c). of the knowledge types, the teacher, the colleagues and on one’s permanent affiliation; (d) the respect toward knowl- edge and its possessor; (e) the importance of hard work, per- Education and Learning Objectives in severance, and vigor; (f) the commencement of lessons; (g) the Light of al-Zarnūjī ’s Ta‘l īm the emphasis of tawakkul (trust in God) concept; (h) the time al-Muta‘allim for knowledge acquisition; (i) the value compassion and advice (to others); (j) the achievable benefits of time and There are three words in Arabic language that are normally chance; (k) the emphasis of Godliness or divine involvement translated as education. The diversity in the meanings is well during the time of learning; (l) the process of memorization placed as it provides useful starting point in the analysis of and what makes (one) forgetful; and (m) elements that afflu- Islamic education. These are tarbiya, which comes from the ence and benefit one’s livelihood; the agents of life’s longev- Arabic root rabā, meaning to grow or increase, which refers ity and its diminishment (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). to the development of individual potential, and the process of Huda et al. 3 nurturing and guiding the child to a state of completeness or role in influencing students, acting as role models with noble maturity (Halstead, 2004). Ta’dīb comes from the root character values (Mu’izzuddin, 2014). In particular, within aduba, which is to be refined, disciplined, and cultured, the learning objectives, teachers must first manage the transi- referring to the process of character development and learn- tion of the learning intention (niyyah) from heart to applica- ing; a sound basis for moral and social behaviors within the tion. With an open mind, the student is then prepared to community and society at large (Halstead, 2004). Ta’līm accept instructions in accordance with noble values and to comes from the root ‘alima which is to know, be informed, study the effects of bad character values. perceive, discern, referring to the imparting and receiving The learning intention should be oriented toward the fol- knowledge, usually through training, instruction, or other lowing matters: (a) to reach the pleasure of God, (b) to achieve forms of teaching (Halstead, 2004). One of them emphasizes happiness in the hereafter, (c) to eliminate ignorance from knowledge, another focuses on growth to maturity, and the himself and others, (d) to revive religious matters, (e) to third underlines the development of good manners (Halstead, maintain the Islamic religion, (f) to praise the blessing of aql 2004). This diversity in terminology reflects the origin of (cognition) bestowed by God, and (g) to have gratitude for a education itself. The principles of ushūliyah (religious prin- healthy body (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). To achieve these goals, three ciples of Islam) hold that the core purpose underlying every core elements provide the fullest possible development of act is al umuru bi maqashidiha, which means that each act’s intellectual abilities and moral values. These are ibādah (wor- purpose depends on a plan previously prepared (Kamali, shipping God) as the ultimate aim, individual development, 1991). This principle is applicable to education, where learn- and mu‘amalah (social orientation; Huda & Kartanegara, ers and instructors engage in efforts to achieve certain educa- 2015a). Trainings and practices are needed to comprehen- tional goals. Today, the development of a strong learning sively develop these skills, abilities, and insights (Olteanu, objective, or purpose, is widely regarded as necessary; the 2016). Through this practice, students develop a balance objectives allow students and teachers to know when the between their inward (emotional) and outward (practical) learning process ends, and it serves as the fundamental mea- spheres. The emotional and the practical spheres are both core surement of the success in the learning–teaching process components of a well-developed personality and life (Olteanu, 2016). The means for achieving the goal should be (Hargreaves, 2005). A balanced personality contributes to the developed simultaneously and dynamically with the goal development of both spiritual and physical abilities (Cowan, itself. This goal will guide each action taken in the educa- 2005). Thus, the wise approach toward education may con- tional process. With a clear purpose, both student and teacher cern attempts to create humans with good personalities. This can recognize their rights and responsibilities in solving is to enable the dynamics of learning within the guidelines as problems together. an attempt to achieve the goal of embedding students with In addition to working toward a purpose, personal trans- ethical values throughout the learning process. formation is a standard condition of educational success. In other words, the aim of education is to transform a person’s Traditional Wisdom (hikmah) and Its ability to think critically with ethical consideration. Thus, the Implications purpose of education is to construct character (attitude) and belief (spirituality) through worthwhile intention (vision), all Hikmah, which is an Arabic word meaning wisdom, has sev- of which influence curriculum development and its practical eral meanings, which vary from a type of knowledge (similar application (Halstead, 2004; Huda & Kartanegara, 2015a). to the English meaning) to a more complex concept that has The ultimate purpose of education, then, is to prepare the operational, attitudinal, mental, philosophical, religious, and learner with both competence and techniques necessary to mystical implications (Önal, 2010). In other words, hikmah achieve worldly goals, and to sustain spirituality as well as is the ability to determine whether an action is right and religious activities. Educated persons are therefore those wrong, correct or false, and to follow the best course of who have been transformed into “the perfect man [or action, based on knowledge and understanding (Swartwood, woman]” (Adams & Govender, 2008; Buber, 2003). As a 2013). In short, hikmah is defined as epistemic humility and result, education should cater to spiritual, intellectual, and accuracy, extensive factual knowledge and knowing how to physical growth, both individually and collectively. live well through knowledge and action. The extent of one’s In addition, al-Zarnūjī believed that education should knowledge and understanding plays a significant role in have the clear purpose of developing the student into a full, determining one’s access to the truth. Thus, hikmah involves whole, and integrated person with moral values. He devel- acquiring knowledge, using knowledge to act correctly in oped a formulation to suggest students’ and teachers’ duties accordance with virtue, and, through these correct actions, and responsibilities throughout the education process (Huda attaining further knowledge. & Kartanegara, 2015a). He tried to develop a process that In addition, hikmah has a distinct integration of cognitive, would instill ethics and character values, particularly in reflective, and affective personality characteristics. In short, learning and teaching, but also generally, in daily life (Huda the acquisition of hikmah is concerned with all the virtues et al., 2016c). Teachers, he argued, should be aware of their that derive from nature. Consequently, achieving hikmah 4 SAGE Open requires “virtues inquiry” (Ardelt, 2004). In addition, the condition; and cultural virtues (e.g., manners), which is Qur’an identifies virtuous conduct in terms of relationships acquired from particular cultural-historical traditions that promise “peace” and “integration” for individuals and (Conway, 2014; Solomon, 1988). Expanding on the idea of communities as well as its capacity to guide individuals moral virtue, Aristotle stated that a person should act know- through a “straight path” to “peace” and “integrity” in con- ingly and do the right thing, because morally correct and duct (Choudhury, 2001). As wisdom functions in enabling us incorrect aspects are intellectual concepts that require con- to overcome the ingrained perspectives of our habitual think- scious applications. Choudhury (2001) argued that, distill- ing, it empowers us to make a broad assessment of the facts, ing the wide variation of discourse on virtue ethics, the perceive the essence of an issue, and steer a certain course following positions represent the virtuous approach to moral toward happiness. Simply put, wisdom dispels our delusions inquiries: of separateness and awakens in us a sense of empathetic equality with all living things. •• Virtues signify moral identity in terms of character, In the field of education, there are four core stages to rep- which is demonstrated in our actions. resent the philosophical pillar, namely how to learn, how to •• Virtues are drawn from cultural traditions. Thus, vir- do, how to be and how to live together with others in the tues exist as moral choices to be affirmed in conduct. collective consciousness toward encouraging sincere human Individuals exhibit and impart virtues when they excel relationships (Baidhawy, 2007). This perspective refers to in practicing what they profess and become the exem- the relationship in the way which covers the educational and plar of particular virtues. societal context. With this regard, the concept of hikmah •• Virtues vary in the nature and range of relationships should be thoroughly comprehended by both teacher and stu- within, which a person finds oneself. This range var- dent. As a “person with experiences,” the instructor should ies depending on the socialization of exemplary prac- employ whatever means possible to help learners in the tices and their institutionalization in the civic culture. search for hikmah (al-Zarnūjī, 2008, p. 117), which is not limited to learning facts. As Ardelt (2004) underlined, “the This perspective is relevant to the education field because, term hikmah should be reserved for wise person rather than with an understanding of the virtues, instructors can appro- knowledge expert” (p. 257). From this perspective, wisdom priately praise the students’ individual development along is related to how one should react to the situations with which virtuous lines. Moral virtue is a helpful framework for one is presented. A wise person has many positive character- explaining the importance of acting correctly; for example, istics, not only including extensive factual and theoretical instructors can explain that “the time for praying at night” is knowledge but also including knowledge of how to live and morally virtuous if individuals use the time for “soul-reflec- it is successful at living well (Bergsma & Ardelt, 2012). tive thinking” (al-Zarnūjī, 2008, p. 117). With this knowl- edge of moral virtue, students are empowered to engage in correct conduct, in terms of acquisition of virtues as the ulti- Considering Virtue Ethics mate priority. Virtue ethics, as discussed in this section, is a distinct form of As a contemporary student of the subject has written, vir- ethical discourse relevant in addressing the emerging global tue ethics has a significant value in terms of developing a context of human consciousness. In virtue ethics, moral person to achieve certain understanding and moral conduct. inquiry focuses on the ethics of a person or a community, As a result, education should transform learners, imparting which reflects the fundamental convictions of that person or the ability to respond virtuously and with wisdom to certain community. Both Gülen and Aristotle seem to have empha- situations; this is fundamental to human character, more so sized a concept of the virtues, which encompasses both than either the assessment of the rightness of actions or the human commonality and diversity (Conway, 2014). One assessment of the value of the consequences of action goal of virtue ethics is to strike a balance between the indi- (Hardaker & Sabki, 2016; Solomon, 1988). Instead of engag- vidual and social performance. As a result, it emphasizes the ing in intellectual judgments, we apply this knowledge of role of character in determining and evaluating ethical moral behavior through our practice and habituation of moral behavior instead of deciding rightness or wrongness from the virtues, which leads, over time, to the development of desir- outcome of the act itself. Each of the virtues focuses on a able personal qualities. sphere of human experiences, which plays a role in all human life and growth (Swartwood, 2013). Each sphere deals with a Sustainable Learning as a Mechanical particular human circumstance, in which persons face Process With Ethical Consideration choices and may choose wisely or unwisely on how one per- ceives one’s choices in such circumstances, depending on the Learning With a Holistic Approach extent of one’s knowledge. As with most human characteristics, learning ability can be Aristotle put forward an account of virtues that encom- improved continuously throughout a person’s lifetime passed both universal virtues, derived from the human Huda et al. 5 (Asyari et al., 2016). Because learning is an individual sustainable learning, allowing students to reach self-aware- attempt to acquire knowledge, to think critically, and to ness and depth of understanding. develop useful skills (Olteanu, 2016), it is important to understand what happens to the individual as a result of a Considering Intention learning experience. Physical, intellectual, and longitudinal aspects of learning contribute to behavioral abilities, which Another aspect in the concept of sustainable learning based lead to obtain new experiences and may assist to improve on al-Zarnūjī’s work is its reflection in virtue ethics, whereby students’ skills, which were practiced in solving problems. there is the idea that the validity of deeds depends on the As scholars make progress in explaining how people intention of which they are enacted (Paramboor & Ibrahim, acquire skills, knowledge, and attitudes, it becomes possi- 2014). Therefore, the practical (outward) and spiritual ble to improve the learning process (Runesson & Runesson, (inward) aspects of education must be aligned in the learning 2015). More specifically, understanding how students learn process. In designing learning, educators should aim primar- and understanding the type of learning environments are ily at the permanent satisfaction of God’s pleasure, at remov- most effective in the learning process. This may assist to ing the darkness of ignorance in individual development, and determine integrated principles of learning, which can act at contributing positively to society (Huda & Kartanegara, as core guidelines for developing programs and training. 2015b). Maintaining this intention can help ensure educators Alternative tools such as peers and networking can also to design effective learning and teaching activities. As a support learning, given an appropriate understanding of result, students must begin their learning endeavors of how learning works (So & Kim, 2009). The optimization of becoming educated persons by purifying their own inten- education requires an effort to create ever-evolving sup- tions, if they wish to be successful. portive environments where children and students can Because learning depends on managing intentions, habit- learn. For instance, the learning aid can be engaged with uation, and more complex activities (Huda & Kartanegara, organising the good instruction such as using technology of 2015f), educators must understand the role of conscious mobile phone (Anshari et al., 2017). This aims to make sure awareness in transforming inward goals into behavioral the process to run well in the way which is consistent with learning to develop character values (Roslan Mohd Nor & addressing moral purpose. Consequently, the concrete Malim, 2014). As a result, the quality of learning depends on guidelines are needed to ensure that learning development the degree to which the classroom experience trains students is aligned with its moral purpose. to manage the balance between the inward and outward Al-Zarnūjī (2008) believed that moral purposes should aspects of their lives. Students and teachers must work underlie the learning process in the way that the students together to adapt classroom instruction and curriculum to must have certain aspirations and goals to reach, and this promote learning, self-management, and responsibility. The may be achieved through perseverance and repetitive study. student, as an active participant in the learning process, From this perspective, education is a mechanical aid and set should be aware of himself or herself when he intends to of rules from which students can achieve their learning goals. study. This is considered in the seventh and eleventh chapters Success in learning, then, comes from learning with purpose of Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim, where a student should have true in mind, which gives students the sense of being well pre- faith in God Almighty before he starts learning. Only under pared. In the field of education, there is a gap in our under- such a condition can the student remain aware of his inten- standing of how to increase learning achievement by tion during the entire study period. engaging students with this core, purpose-driven element of sustainable learning; integrating intention and perseverance Comprehensive Perseverance is a key to successful instruction. Educators should view exploration of sustainable learning It has been widely recognized that, with regard to determin- as the core of the learning process (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). On this ing which actions should be taken, education is underdevel- view, the learning process involves teachers’ lectures on par- oped, such that students face a fundamental dilemma in and ticular subjects, students’ perseverance through listening and out of the classroom (Slade & Prinsloo, 2013). There is a carefully observing, and divine involvement (tawakkal) need for further development of approaches to action-ori- (Huda & Kartanegara, 2015e). These processes are of value ented education and solutions to this dilemma, so that stu- because learning requires action to acquire knowledge, dents can develop social and individual personality and behaviors, skills, and preferences (Slade & Prinsloo, 2013), ability through skills-based learning (Asyari et al., 2016). which may occur as part of education, personal development, Customized learning agendas should be developed, includ- schooling, and training (Asyari et al., 2016). It can be pointed ing extensive use of multiple skills in resolving complex out that the learning process progresses through procedural problems. Al-Zarnūjī (2008) believed that, through many stages. It is pivotal to note that through rules governing stu- training and development programs, students will become dents’ interactions with their environment, the quality of educated and prepared to face complex challenges. These classroom experiences becomes a fundamental element to programs include cognitive, moral, and spiritual aspects 6 SAGE Open which can be applied through exercise and learning (Huda & they hold opinions in line with good critical analysis and are Kartanegara, 2015b). able to recognize and solve problems, but when they are not Among the characteristics of such training and develop- open-minded enough to listen, see, and consider new ideas ment programs is muwazabah which means a whole effort (Olteanu, 2016). The third type of human neither possesses involving mental, physical, and spiritual construction (Huda knowledge leading to right opinions nor consults or seeks & Kartanegara, 2015d). In line with the customized educa- information from others. Therefore, such a person must make tion described above, self-regulation should become a cen- an effort to search for knowledge by engaging the instruction tral part of motivated learning (Olteanu, 2016), which refers of one with experience in the subject (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). to getting started and remaining engaged with learning duties Thus, such a person’s primary responsibility is to refer to such as planning, observing, and evaluating. By emphasizing whoever has expertise and to remain open-minded. Moreover, this process, teachers can give students self-control during blessings will come to those who study in this manner, in the the learning process. Strengthening the students’ ability to form of knowledge which enables one to think and feel in a absorb the knowledge has to be conscisely engaged into the profound manner (Halstead, 2004). The point is that learning learning style with preferred ways which can be implemented and teaching involve dynamic relationships between differ- among the students (Othman et al., 2016). It is necessary to ent types of people who can work together in goal setting and note that through the instruction of a highly skilled profes- prayer setting, such that learners develop into wise people sional, using the standard strategy, students can develop cre- with ethical consideration. ativity and collaborate in the classroom. To develop students In addition, ethical consideration has a significant role to with such abilities and qualities, al-Zarnūjī underlines that play in spurring the student’s desire to learn. Moreover, an both ethical and technical aspects should be well organized attempt to addressing the moral engagement delivered in the in thought, feeling, and action (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). This will teaching and learning process has to be conscised in the way lead to genuine education involving self-criticism, self-disci- which can be transformed among the students (Mohamed, pline, self-motivation, and willingness to be responsible for Jasmi, & Zailaini, 2016). It should be entirely configured one’s own decisions. In particular, this encourages increasing with the moral purpose. Al-Zarnūjī (2008) believed that the the students’ ability in terms of thought, feeling, and willing- moral purpose of the learning process is to broadly prepare ness to aim for perfect personality (insan kamil). students to face life’s challenges. When the student has a goal toward which he or she aims, the effort of perseverance and repetitive study is bolstered by the student’s will to Ethical Consideration in Sustainable Learning achieve that goal (Colquitt & Simmering, 1998). As a result, Following the self-determined, customized view of learning, by incorporating high aspirations, this leads to assiduity, students should be responsible for choosing their subjects of interest, and exertion. Consequently, the student will be suc- study and their teachers. According to al-Zarnūjī, because cessful in achieving the goal, as arranged with prayer setting the purpose needs to be clearly defined in earlier periods of through divine involvement. This means that learning tasks the learning process, ethical consideration requires selecting should always be approached from the perspective of consid- beneficial knowledge, experienced teachers, and educated ering the ultimate goal of the learning process. Al-Zarnūjī and trained peers (Huda & Kartanegara, 2015d). In the third pointed out that sustainable learning should be wholeheart- chapter of his Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim, al-Zarnūjī describes edly developed to encourage students’ motivation to learn, as how the student should go about selecting these learning well as to guide their actions (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). The student conditions, and insists that the student should approach these is encouraged to always combine the specific subject of choices with careful consideration and consultation. There learning with underlying ethical considerations, such as dis- are three types of individuals which can be used as selection cipline, spirit value, and respect. Thus, by encouraging per- criteria: the perfect human being, the half human, and the severance and removing ignorance, educators can impart one who is nothing. These types refer to the extent to which students with intelligence. instructors are capable of uniting and developing skills and vision within the instruction (Paramboor & Ibrahim, 2014). Conclusion The perfect human is one who possesses correct opinions and often consults with intelligent people (al-Zarnūjī, 2008). This article has broadly described sustainable learning con- Such a person is highly capable and provides good counsel, scisely engaged into traditional wisdom with strengthening the which results in a good, tolerant, and wise personality. moral purposes. This is based on the findings that a number of Students of such characteristics will feel engaged with the contemporary researches within sustainable learning focus school’s instructions and teacher’s guidance (Runesson & unrelentingly on instructional strategies and lack attention to Runesson, 2015). The half human refers to a person who has ethical considerations in learning. It is urgently necessary, correct opinions but makes no effort to consult with people, therefore, for researchers to critically explore sustainable learn- or who consults with others but does not form his own opin- ing referring to the traditional wisdom with moral purpose. The ions. Students themselves often fall into this category when concepts put forward in al-Zarnūjī’s Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim are Huda et al. 7 helpful in constructing the model of sustainable learning with Baidhawy, Z. (2007). Building harmony and peace through mul- ticulturalist theology-based religious education: An alterna- moral purpose, which we have done in this article. Our com- tive for contemporary Indonesia. British Journal of Religious prehensive determinants of the learning process began with the Education, 29, 15-30. core of al-Zarnūjī’s view on education and learning objectives, Bergsma, A., & Ardelt, M. (2012). Self-reported wisdom and which underlie the ethical consideration of learning dynamics. happiness: An empirical investigation. Journal of Happiness The key point is that sustainable learning needs a dynamic bal- Studies, 13, 481-499. ance between mechanical strategies and ethical consideration, Buber, M. (2003). Between man and man. London, England: necessitating a holistic approach. In this regard, we identified Routledge. intention and comprehensive perseverance as behavioral Choudhury, E. (2001). Virtue ethics and wisdom tradition: approaches that, when integrated into the learning process, Exploring the inclusive guidance of the Quran. Global Virtue encourage the development of skills and spiritual abilities Ethics Review, 3, 1-26. through practice and training programs (muwazabah). Colquitt, J. A., & Simmering, M. J. (1998). 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(2016). Reflection and the object of learning. UTM. He has been teaching for over 15 years, and published books International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies, 5(1), and many articles in refereed journals. 60-75. Ismail Mustari is an associate professor of Islamic da’wah (mak- Önal, M. (2010). Wisdom (hikmah) as a holistic basis for inter-reli- ing invitation) and Islamic education at the Faculty of Islamic gious education. In K. Engebretson, M. de Souza, G. Durka, Civilisation, UTM. He has been working in teaching for more than & L. Gearon (Eds.), International handbook of inter-reli- 15 years on Islamic education. gious education (pp. 221-234). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer. Bushrah Basiron is a senior lecturer of comparative religion and Othman, R., Shahrill, M., Mundia, L., Tan, A., & Huda, M. (2016). Islamic education at the Faculty of Islamic Civilisation, UTM. She Investigating the relationship between the student’s ability and has been working in teaching for more than 15 years. learning preferences: Evidence from year 7 mathematics stu- dents. The New Educational Review, 44(2), 125-138. Noraisikin Sabani is a PhD fellow in Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Paramboor, J., & Ibrahim, M. B. (2014). Educational leadership as Institute of Education, Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Her project a manifestation of ‘adab’in education: Conception of Zarnuji. focus is in Islamic Pedagogy and Personalized Learning Technology. International Journal of Education and Research, 2(3), 1-12. She received BSc in teaching English as a second language from Paris, S. G., & Paris, A. H. (2001). Classroom applications of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UNIMAS) and MEd from Edith Cowan research on self-regulated learning. Educational Psychologist, University. She is on study leave from Curtin University Sarawak, 36, 89-101. Malaysia.

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SAGE OpenSAGE

Published: Mar 22, 2017

Keywords: traditional wisdom; al-Zarnūjī; Ta‘līm al-Muta‘allim; mechanical rules; ethical consideration; sustainable learning; considering intention; comprehensive perseverance

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