Sulu To Send Muslim Clerics, Students Leaders On Education Tour In Malaysia, SaudiJanuary 12, 2008 at 5:22 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
Sulu Governor Sakur Tan prays with other Muslims in Patikul town. Tan says he will send student leaders and Muslim clerics on educational tours in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia as part of a local government program aimed at enhancing their knowledge on Islam and Shari’a law. (Mindanao Examiner Photos/Nickee Butlangan and Mark Navales)
SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 12, 2008) – Muslim clerics in the southern Philippine province of Sulu hailed a proposal to send selected clergies in other Muslim and Arab countries as part of a local education program.
Sulu Governor Sakur Tan, the proponent of the program, said sending ulama in countries like Malaysia and Saudi Arabia will further enhance their knowledge of the shari’a law, including philosophy, dialectical theology or Quoranic hermeneutics.
Usually, the fields studied and the importance given them will vary from tradition to tradition, or even from seminary to seminary.
“We will send the ulama to an education trip to further expose them and enhance more their knowledge of Islam, the shari’a and other fields,” Tan, himself a religious man, told the Mindanao Examiner.
The ulama in most nations consider themselves to represent the ijma (consensus) of the Ummah (community of Muslims) or to represent at least the scholarly or learned consensus. Many efforts to modernize Islam focus on the reintroduction of ijtihad and empowerment of the Ummah to form their own ijma.
In a broader sense, the term ulama is used to describe the body of Muslim clergy who have completed several years of training and study of Islamic sciences, such as a mufti, qadi, faqih or muhaddith.
Aside from the ulama, Tan said he will also send dozens of Muslim high school and college student leaders in Malaysia for an education tour where they would visit different schools and meet with other student leaders.
“The tour will give our students an opportunity to see and observe the educational system in Malaysia and mingle with Malaysian students and we can even propose or start an exchange program between Sulu and Malaysian students,” Tan said.
Education in Malaysia broadly consists of a set of stages which are Pre-school, Primary Education, Secondary Education, Tertiary Education and postgraduate studies. In 2003, Malaysia introduced the use of English as a medium of teaching in all science subjects.
Tan said the Sulu provincial government will spend for both the ulama and students education program which will begin this year.
“This is good and we long wanted to travel to other Muslim or Arab nations and observe the implementation of their respective shari’a law and other Islamic scholarly issues,” one Muslim cleric, who identified himself only as Ustadz Mohammad, said.
Tan, a known philanthropist in the southern Philippines, urged students to excel in their academics and pursue their goals so they can be a responsible citizen and future leaders of the province.
“Education is very important and only through education that we can help not only our family, but the government as well by becoming more responsible and a partner in nation building,” Tan, a former congressman, said. (With reports from Nickee Butlangan and Mark Navales)