Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tarbiyyah and Insan Rabbani

Tarbiyyah is one of the key and integral component in the development of an insan rabbani literally meaning the "person of divine" though metaphorically it derives into something more abstract and transcendent yet pragmatic. Dr Aidit Ghazali defines insan rabbani as "a person that is able to balance the elements of his being viz the mind, body, soul and emotion".

As prudence might suggest, a disclaimer here is crucial to add to the point that an insan rabbani in its externalization is one that is of benefit to others and not otherwise - destructive, reactive and emotional. The balance of the mind, body, soul and emotion comes from a deep spiritual source in an individual. It is this spirituality as Tariq Ramadan have said that is part of a person which guides him through this sojournhood we understood as life. It is different from being emotional or reactive since that according to him does not come from a spiritual source but one out of anger and hate which contradicts the concept of spirituality in itself. Hence this conceptualization of insan rabbani is crucial in today's hazy context.

In the most literal sense, the term tarbiyyah itself means training which brings forth to a certain development of an individual into the insan rabbani. One important concept of tarbiyah highlighted by Dawud Tahwidi is that, in the bigger scheme of things, tarbiyah is not a process of learning "about" Islam but it is a process of learning to "be" a Muslim.

This is interesting considering that in today's landscape many of us actually go for weekend classes or even adult learning classes on Islamic knowledges yet the manifestation of that learning seems far from reality. It is interesting further that many learning centers and providers that offer these classes at times do not put into consideration of actualizing the tarbiyah element and performance indicators in respect to that practicalization. The impending question here is: how effective is it when the resources invested do not bore the fruitful goal base on the principles of tarbiyah - which, again, goes far beyond just knowing about but rather and more importantly of being a Muslim.

However the process of development comes in tadaruj or via stages. Clearly as common sense might suggest, change does not occur through the wave of a wand or in a blink of eye but it requires time and space.

An effective tarbiyah system is one that not only recognizes the tadaruj principle but importantly facilitate it thus recognizing certain marhalah. Not to be mistaken with the concept of musafir or traveling, the marhalah in this sense refers to areas or stages in the tarbiyah or developmental process. Therefore, an individual that goes through this tarbiyah process goes through areas or stages or marhalah which exposes them to different activities and programs wherein it is not merely an absorbing of new things and knowledges but also actualizing of the knowledge learnt. At each marhalah, the curriculum compose would set the intensity of the development and hence harmonizing with the larger tarbiyah process.

At each marhalah therefore would be several muwasafat or attributes in the individual that is desirable which goes beyond paper play. This muwasafat would indicate a certain development and hence moving onto the next level.

Through this entire process, mentorship or teachers or nuqabat or asatizah plays a stirring role - be the tarbiyah comes in the form of a formalized or informal setting. After all, students or those under mentorship looks up in high regards to their source. In fact the quality of the teacher would somewhat reflect and be imparted to the character of the students. In the current context teachers or asatizah or nuqabat need to play a stirring role of not only imparting or the contemporary term: "downloading knowledge" but at the same time ensuring the behavioral aspect that transpire through the various forms of learning.

In the context of the informal learning through usrah and so on, nuqabat need as well to especially enhance themselves and be familiarize with aspects of tasawwur and fikrah that is progressive in nature and contextualize. The intellectual aspect of development is as key as the spiritual and physical. It does not suffice that nuqabat are PR experts and "pak lawak" but importantly must develop a learning that enhance not only the ukhuwwah aspect but importantly the intellectual and the spiritual thus connecting into a synergy that aims toward the growth of the insan rabbani.

Wallahua'lam

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

i couldn't agree more. the role of the nuqabat is especially essential, and he/she is teacher, mentor, role model, trainer, coach, brother (sister), father (mother) all in one. a very demanding position that requires a person to have reached certain marhalah in order to prove effective. however, this doesn't mean that to be a naqib/naqibah a person must be experienced. being part of the nuqabat is a part of tarbiyyah for the naqib/naqibah. whether we realise it or not, we are naqibs/naqibahs to our children, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc. insightful article. jzkk.

KHAIRU REJAL said...

:)

well, i wouldn't say experience per se but rather grounded knowledge on matters that would be discussed in usrah. if the at nuqabat level knowledge of things are shallow how then would be the state of the ones under that tutelage?

but that said, picking up from your last point that we are all naqib and naqibah hence everyone needs to have that knowledge and wisdom - therefore expanding the scope wider ...

KR

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