Wholeness and Holiness in Education An Islamic Perspective by Zahra Al Zeera (UK: The International Institute of Islamic Thought, and Biddles Limited, 2001. 158 pages.)

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Zeinab Ibrahim

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Abstract

Wholeness and Holiness in Education: An Islamic Perspective is a very
interesting book. Although the book is a result of her experience as a
Muslim graduate student in Canada, she does not mention any personal reasons
for writing this book, but rather tackles it very lightly without mentioning
the hard experiences she faced when her faith was questioned. A
Muslim who has taken her faith for granted for years and had had little or
no communication with the West was questioned for the first time in her life
about many aspects of her faith and found herself unable to provide adequate
answers. Her book is the result of such an experience, one which
many others in her circumstances and situation have faced and will have to
face. Although the author frequently tackles abstract ideas, she always provides
scholarly explanations and discussions by quoting and elaborating
upon many well-known figures in various disciplines.
The book is divided into four parts and has a total of nine chapters. The
first part, “Reflection on Personal Experience,” includes two chapters. In
them, she tries to take the reader from her own personal experience to the
book’s goal: preparing Muslim students in their homelands’ educational
systems to think and question their faith so that they can stand on solid
ground. In chapter 1, “The Spiritual and Intellectual Journey,” she apologizes
for including her personal experience growing up as a Muslim.
Actually, more elaboration upon such experiences and on the conflicts she
faced while studying in Canada would have been appreciated, as such a
topic requires that personal experiences be shared, given that they are not
limited to one person but rather to millions of individuals. Chapter 2,
“Spirituality: Woman’s Best-Kept Secret,” further analyzes the significance
of such experiences to women specifically ...

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