Islamic education and islamization: Evolution of themes, continuities and new directions

Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Drawing on a number of primary and secondary sources, the paper identifies major perspectives and debates on themes, issues, challenges, developments important in the field of Islamic education. Against the backdrop of the rise of religious discourse and politics in the public sphere, this paper (i) discusses the sources and evolution of the concept of education as a discipline in the Muslim world; (ii) situates Islamic education within the wider Islamization project and examines the need to re-conceptualize the concept within the epistemological and ethical perspectives while balancing it with a re-examination of self and the appreciation of the ‘other’; (iii) explores the educational implications of the Muslims vs. the West divide, (iv) highlights the proliferation of Islamic schools and the concomitant innovative ideas globally; and (vi) suggests insights into improving Islamic education in the twenty-first century. The paper highlights the continuity and change in these themes across time and space. The paper finally concludes that Islamic education has reached a cross-road. To succeed in the new millennium will require ingenuity and collaboration, learning not only from the past, but also from the present and looking into the future.


This work was published before the author (Sarfaroz Niyozov) joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs