Witness Pioneer | Magazine

Index

  Editorial

  The Problem of Moral Conduct in the Co-education Institutions: Bangladesh Situation

  Bringing an End to the World of Extremism

Editorial

We are extremely sorry for being late to bring
out the fifth publication of “The Window”.
Thanks to “ The Pioneer” for publishing
“MOHAMMAD ASAD, Shataborsher
Shradanjali ” a book as a tribute to the 100th
birth anniversary of Mohammad Asad. Please
communicate with us with your wise ideas.
Hope you all in good shape.
Ma ’as Salam.

The Problem of Moral Conduct in the Co-education Institutions: Bangladesh Situation

Shah Abdul Hannan
Co-education in educational institutions is
nothing new in Bangladesh. Since the inception
of modern education system during the British
rule co-education has been in vogue. Since the
establishment of Dhaka University co-education
has been in practice here. The practice is no
different in other universities as well.
In college and school stages the practice is
somehow different. In most of the schools and
colleges there is no co-education. In most places
for girl students there are separate schools and
colleges. But where there is no adequate number
of schools and colleges for girls, co-education
system is prevalent.
In madrashas there is no co-education, so to say.
In the past there was no madrashas for the girls.
This is a pointer to the social failure. Now there
are madrashas for the girls. Where there is no
madrashs for the girls, there has been made
some arrangements for teaching the girls.
In the past the number of girl students was very
few in universities and colleges. The free mixing
among boys and girls was very less. As a result
there did not crop up any major problems (at
that time). Now for obvious reasons, the number
of girl students has increased tremendously and
its fallout is to be seen in social fabrics. In
universities and colleges most of the students
being Muslims, even than due to co-education,
free mixing among the boys and girls has
increased considerably. Many students, boys
and girls, sit together and are found gossiping,
cutting jokes and indulge in making fun and
frolics of all descriptions. The boys and girls go
a step further. They walk hand in hand and
move by the same rickshaws (a kind of
transport used in Bangladesh). Islam approves
none of this.
s
In most cases, the results are very bad. Problems
of various kinds of nature are cropping up, still
more in some cases illegitimate relation
developing. It was on 14th May, 1998 issue of
Bangladesh Observer that Dr. Sabrina Rashid
wrote, “Never before did we doctors come
across so many unmarried girls getting
pregnant”. She also writes, “It is the boys who
get more emotional and earlier too than the
girls. Girls are relatively cooler all through.
Therefore, even if she takes him as a friend as
such, the boy is likely to emotionally involved.
That is why it is better to keep a safe distance
from them”.
Dr. Sabrina also writes, “Talking does not stop
at talking. It starts in the beginning with study
talk, than it goes step by step to more personal
one and finally, to emotional ones. It is because
there is a surge of hormones through you, which
is new for the body and the brain and therefore,
has a new affect on your emotions setting them
afire easily and quickly. This happens in case of
the boys all the more. Because the girls are a bit
cool, the boys are much more emotional. So the
girls want to get the boys as friends, but the boys
is likely to get emotionally involved”.
So for this Dr. Rashid wants the girls of coeducation system not to mix with boys and urge
the girls to maintain safe distance. Dr. Sabrina
Rashid’s advice is quite logical. The boys and
girls relation should be formal and not informal.
Girl students who require coaching or help in
their studies should approach good girl students
and boys to good boy students. Otherwise, with
few exceptions, the situation may take turn for
the worse, which Islam does not approve. Care
should be taken in case of private coaching.
Adolescent girls should not take coaching under
or be under tuition with young boys, girls should
be tutored by lady teachers and senior girl
students only.
Senior girl students should also be ready to do
coaching of girls. This will be helpful in solving
the problem.
Of course, some thoughtful men think of
different solution. They think that in higher
education co-education should be done away
with. There have to be universities and
campuses exclusively for girls. Taking steps like
this is no doubt a matter of time. This can’t be
implemented easily. But some girls’ college,
universities or medical colleges can be set up
without difficulties. It is also appropriate that
co-education is abolished initially from school
and college level, the stage in which the West
sexual anarchy becomes rampant. This would
require setting up of more girl schools and
colleges.
Malaysia’s Islamic University, however, has coeducation systems in practice. But they have
made arrangements for decent dress code and
other necessary rules and regulations which
have kept the situation well under control and
modest.s
In Bangladesh measures like this, under present
circumstances may not be possible. In this
context Dr. Sabrina has dealt elaborately in her
essay. We draw the attention of the government
of the country, educationist, sociologist, Islamic
thinkers, religious leaders and righ t-thinking
students towards this serious moral issue and
problem.

Bringing an End to the World of Extremism

Fatima Nasreen Hasan
(Continued from the previous issue)
Indications of Extremism: There are basically
four manifestation of extremism which are
explained below:
(a) The first indication of extremism is bigotry
and intolerance. The clearest evidence of
extremism is bigotry. A bigot has a strong and
unreasonable beliefs and opinions about religion
and will not listen to or accept opinions of any
one who disagrees. Thus a bigot or an extremist
neither knows nor believes in moderation.
(b) The second characteristics of extremism is
the perpetual commitment to excessiveness and
the attempt to force others to do likewise,
despite the existence of good reasons for
facilitation. This kind of alternative is not in line
with the teachings of the Quran. The Quran
says: “… Allah intends every facility for you; He
does not want to put you to difficulties….” [2:185]
The prophet also said, “ Allah loves that His
dispensations (to make things easier) be
accepted as the dislikes (to see people)
committing disobedience.” It is also reported
that, “ Whenever the prophet (SAWS) was given
a choice between two options, he always chose
the easiest unless it was a sin.” Thus it is wrong
to believe that if one performs excessive Ibadah
(so that it overburdens him), he will get more
reward. An extremist therefore does not care
about other people. He d oes not keep in mind
that his action (or performance) might put
others in difficulties. A Hadith to support this
view is like this: Anas Ibn Malik narrated: “ the
Prophet (SAWS) said, ‘ When I stand for Salah ,
I intend to prolong it but I cut it short on
hearing the cries of a child, because I do not like
to trouble the mother.
(c) The third indication of extremism is the out
of time and out of place religious excessiveness
and over burdening. It is observed mainly when
applying Islamic principles in non-Muslim
countries or to people who have only recently
been converted to Islam. One of the recent
events of North America can be related here. It
was found that devout young Muslims, who
belong to some Muslim groups, have started a
great controversy because Muslims sit on chairs
during the Saturday and Sunday lectures in
mosques instead of sitting on mats or ground,
and those who attend wear shirts and trousers
rather than loose outer coverings. In another
Islamic center, people were creating fuss over
the showing of historical/ educational film in a
mosque. Unfortunately these Muslims ignore the
fact that the purpose of the mosque is to serve
the worldly as well as the spiritual interest of
Muslims.
(d) Harshness in the treatment of people,
roughness in the manner of approach and
crudeness in calling the people in Islam are all
included in the fourth characteristic of
extremism. There is no doubt that the above are
contrary to the teachings of Quran and Sunnah .
The Quran states: “ Invite (all) to the way of thy
Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and
argue with them in ways that are best and most
gracious………”[ 16:125] The Quran also address
the Prophet (SAWS), defining the relation with
his companions: “ It is part of mercy of Allah
that thou (Muhammad) dost deal gently with
them.. What thou severe or harsh hearted they
would have broken away from about thee……”
[3:159]