Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to supernatural and to spirituality. It is part and parcel of man and cannot be separated from it. It plays important roles in the life of an individual and in the society at large in such a way that it binds people together, explains the human predicaments, helps to control human behaviour and provides an individual with emotional support in respect of uncertainty of life. In nations where the government holds a large amount of control over population, religion can play a substantial role. Hence, the Federal Government set up an Advisory Council of Religious Affairs (A.C.R.A) in 1987 to co-ordinate the effort of different religious bodies in the country with a view to emphasizing the factors which bind mutual understanding and cooperation (policy and legal advocacy, 2012).
In any society where religion covers all aspects of human life, the people of such society or nation will experience peace and tranquility and happiness will spread within the people regardless of individual belief or faith. That informs the reason why (Balogun, 1978) had to say that: “whenever the power of religion had been correctly used or applied, it had often led to coherence, happiness and progress among the people”.
The term religion was derived from Latin word “Religio” which means “to bind together”. Scholars from various fields of study try to define religion according to their respective field of study or in order to satisfy their needs and purposes. As stated earlier, there are numerous definitions of religion and few will be mentioned to back this ascertion. The typical dictionary definition of religion refers to belief in a superhuman controlling power or in a personal God or gods entitled obedience and worship (POD 1994). However, writers and scholars have expanded upon the “religion” definitions as insufficient to capture the diversity of religious thought and experience. For instance, Durkheim (1912) being a sociologist analyzes religion as a social phenomenon. He attributes the development of religion to the emotional security attained through communal living. Schleiermadier (1987) sees religion as “a feeling of absolute dependence which is devoid of doctrinal belief. Religion is defined as a particular system or set of systems in which doctrine, myths, rituals, sentiments, and other similar elements are inter-connected (Mc Henry 1992). Because of these divergent opinions of scholars on the meaning of religion, Hashir (2002) noted that an acceptable definition of religion is difficult to find because so many definitions have been framed over the years by scholars with one deficiency or the other. But some scholars accept the definition given to religion by Balogun, (1978) which says that religion is a system by which man recognizes the existence of the supreme human creator, controller of the universe and the recognition of God as an object of worship, love and obedience which ultimately leads in practical piety and morality.
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
In this chapter, related literature which is the work of previous researchers who have written on the related topic was reviewed. This chapter therefore, covers the following subheadings;
1. Concept of Islamic Education: Nature and Peculiarity
2. Foundation of Islamic Education
3. History of Islamic Education in Nigeria
4. Features of Islamic Education in South-Western Nigeria
5. Position of Women in Islam
6. Appraisal of Literature Reviewed
Concept of Islamic Education: Nature and Peculiarity
Many attempts have been made to define Islamic education. According to Ashraf and Hussain (1979), Islamic education entails giving instruction on purely theological mailers, such that the trainee would be able to practice the five pillars of Islam. Similarly, Mohammad (1980) opined that Islamic education is a process of self-discipline, which ensures spiritual and intellectual growth of the individual.
However, neither of the above can stand the test of our time because, we have to realize that Islamic education is not confined to ensuring the practice of the five pillars of Islam. The pillars only constitute the Ibadah aspect of the religion. Not only this, spiritual and intellectual development are but two of the three important dimensions of personality development, the definitions leave out the psychomotor domain.
We may wish to consider Islamic education as a system of education, which entails ideology concept expounding the very nature of life (here and after), and prescribing the position of man and is role on earth. In arriving at this definition, this writer is greatly influenced by the opinion of Qutub (1997) from which we can infer that Islamic education includes the doctrine and pragmatic set up which emanate from and premised on the ideological framework. The framework in question entails ethics and its sustaining power, politics and its characteristics, social order and its values, economic precept and its philosophy and internationalism in its ramification. In Nigeria today, there are some people who adopt a confused approach to defining Islamic education. These people deliberately refer to Islamic education as being synonymous with Islamic studies, which is just a subject in the Nigerian western-oriented educational system. The basic discernible difference is that Islamic studies is an academic subject offered in a formal school settings, whereas, Islamic education refers to the total upbringing of an individual within the content and context of Islam. It therefore transcends the classroom setting. It can be received formally, non-formally and informally.
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