1. Importance of Education in Islam
In a society where religion and knowledge in general and science in particular do not go hand in hand, it seems necessary to briefly describe the position of Islam vis-à-vis knowledge, Islam, in theory as well as in practice, has always promoted knowledge. Distinctive mark of human beings over the angels is knowledge:
"And Allah taught Adam all the names…” (2:31)
The first verses of the Quran began with the word:
"Read. Read in the name of thy Lord who created; [He] created the human being from blood clot. Read in the name of thy Lord who taught by the pen: [He] taught the human being what he did not know." (96: 1-5).
The Qur'an says.
"Are those who have knowledge equal to those who do not have knowledge?!”(39:9).
The Prophet of Islam (peace be upon him and his progeny) has also emphasized the importance of seeking knowledge in different ways:
(a) Time: "Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave."
(b) Place: "Seek knowledge even if it is far as China."
(c) Gender: "Seeking of knowledge is a duty of every Muslim"
(d) Source: "Wisdom is the lost property of the believer, he should take it even if finds it in the mouth of a mushrik."
The Prophet did not only preach about importance of knowledge, he also gave examples of promoting knowledge. In the very first battle between the Muslims and unbelievers or Mecca, known as the war of Badr, the Muslims gain victory and caught seventy kuffars as prisoners of war. One of the criteria of releasing the POWs devised by the Prophet was that those who were literate among the prisoners could go free if they teach ten Muslim children how to read and write.
2. Education of Muslim in Southernmost of Thailand1. THE THAI MUSLIM COMMUNITY
The Thai Muslim community is not regarded by the Thai authorities and society as a “minority” group. The minorities who live in Thailand consist of various ethnic groups such as Thai Yai, Karen and Wah. The Thai Muslim community, on the other hand, consists of Thais who profess the Islamic faith. They enjoy the same legal and political status as Thais of other religious beliefs such as Buddhists, Christians, Hindus and Confucians. Each of these religious groups has its own identity, religious values and practices, as well as distinct cultural traditions and way of life. The fact that they have their own identity, however, is not grounds for differential treatment or deprivation.
At present, there are approximately 7.5 million Thai Muslims in the Kingdom or about 12% of the total 62.5 million Thai populations. The approximate numbers of Thais as categorized by religion are as follows:
Buddhists 54.5 million (87.2%)
Muslims 7.5 million (12%)
Christians 0.45 million (0.72%)
Others 0.05 million (0.08%)
(Hindus, Confucians, Sikhs, etc.)
Almost all of the Thai Muslims belong to the Sunni sect with very few are Shiite. This is a living proof of the freedom of religion enjoyed by the Thai people.
As for the 3 southern border provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, in which the majority of the people are Muslims, a recent census by the Ministry of Interior shows that the inhabitants of these provinces can be grouped by religion as follows :
Province Muslims Buddhists Christians
Pattani 500,000 130,000 4,000
Narathiwat 600,000 100,000 3,000
Yala 300,000 200,000 3,000
Total 1.4 million 0.43 million 0.01 million
The Thai Muslims living in the 3 southern border provinces therefore constitute about 18% of the total Thai Muslim population. Meanwhile, a recent survey by the Ministry of Culture shows that Thailand has a total of 3,406 mosques located in 61 of the 76 provinces. These mosques are situated in different regions of Thailand as follows :
Southern (excluding border provinces) 699
5 southern border provinces 2,180
2. Ethnicity and Identity
Thailand's Muslim population is diverse and multicultural, with ethnic groups having migrated from as faras China, Pakistan, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia, as well as comprising indigenous Thais, while about two-third of Muslims in Thailand are ethnically Malay
In the three Southernmost border provinces, the vast majority of the local Muslim population is predominantly Malay in origin. These people, known colloquially as Malay speak (jawi writing), a dialect of Malay that is not mutually understood by Thai speakers. This adds to the culturally unique identity of Thai Malay Muslims.
The high number of Malay origin inhabitants in the Southern region is due the historical nature of the area, which was once known as the Patani Kingdom, an Islamic Malay kingdom established in the nineteenth century, but later annexed to Siam (the older name of Thailand). Similarly, there is an ethnic Thai minority in Northern Malaysia.
3. Education as a Way to Improve the Southernmost provinces of Thailand Situation
Education has been advocated as one of the best ways to improve the situation in the southern border provinces, according to several reports in which various groups of people had come up with the conclusion that problems in the southern border provinces could ease through better education.
Realizing that education would encourage people to think rationally and do the right thing, the Ministry of Education has set six education strategies to be implemented in the Southernmost provinces of Thailand
The first strategy seeks to develop the quality of education. In the second strategy, Islamic studies will be promoted and local residents in the South will be able to have Islamic education as they wish. The third strategy seeks to support local private schools, such as pondok and tadika.
In the fourth strategy, vocational education will be promoted to enable local residents to earn a living both in Thailand and abroad. The fifth strategy seeks to improve education management and develop provincial and district offices under the Office of Private Education Commission and subdistrict offices under the Office of Non-formal and Informal Education into IT centers for communication. The sixth strategy, education for security, seeks to ensure safety for teachers and other education personnel.
The Ministry of Education has offered annual scholarships, from kindergarten to graduate level, for those whose lives have been disrupted by the unrest. The Ministry of Interior has also carried out a project to send southern Muslim students to continue their studies in various universities. The project is considered an important measure to tackle southern problems, especially those concerning security, socio-psychology, and economic development. It is intended to provide educational opportunities for young Muslim Thais and upgrade their living standards.
The Ministry of Education has been cooperating with the Fourth Area Command and the Southern Border Provinces Administration Center in carrying out a project to develop model pondok schools at the tambon, or subdistrict, level in Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat, and four districts of Songkhla, Chana ,Thepha , Nathawi and Sabayoi . Under the project, each subdistrict in these areas will select a pondok school to be developed as a model. A target has been set to develop a total of 48 pondok schools by 2011.
Meanwhile, the College of Islamic Studies, Prince of Songkla University, Pattani province, is making efforts to upgrade the quality of Islamic studies in Thailand to suit the challenges of the globalization era. The efforts will contribute to the tackling of southern problems in the long run.
The government sees it necessary to provide greater educational opportunities for young people in the southernmost provinces, so that they would be equipped with both vocational training and religious study. It believes that the education policy will prevent young people in the deep South from being misled by ill-intentioned people.
Since a large number of Muslim students in the South had no access to education loans, in accordance with Islamic principles, the Ministry of Finance assigned the Islamic Bank of Thailand to work with Krung Thai Bank and the Income Contingency Loan program in setting guidelines for extending credit to Muslim students for education purposes. The Ministry of Finance also has a policy to provide Islamic microfinance to entrepreneurs in Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani provinces and some districts in Songkhla. It wants the Islamic Bank to play a greater role in helping Muslim students and business operations in the deep South.
Roadmap for Islamic Studies in Thailand
Aware of the importance of investing in Muslim students and introducing key investment in quality Islamic studies, Thailand has worked out a roadmap for Islamic studies in the country.
The conference “Roles of Islamic Studies in Post-globalized Societies,” held at Prince of Songkla University, Pattani Campus, on 21 December 2010 was told – with regard to a roadmap for Islamic studies in Thailand – that Islamic studies could play an important role in strengthening the basis for harmony and understanding in society. When Muslim and non-Muslim scholars study Islam and live by the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed, there is a sense of fulfillment. Not only will these scholars understand more about the principles, practices, and pillars of Islam – understanding that they could pass on to succeeding generations – but they will also be guiding devotees toward the path of peace and harmony. In this sense, Islamic studies, like the study of other religions, could serve to maintain social harmony and peace.
Around 400 Muslim leaders and academics from 16 countries worldwide gathered at the three-day conference on 21-23 December 2010. It was the first international conference on the role of Islamic studies in post-globalized societies and was co-organized by the College of Islamic Studies under Prince of Songkla University, Al-Azhar University of Egypt, the Office of the Sheikhul Islam in Thailand, the Thailand International Cooperation Agency, and the Southernmost Provinces Administrative Center.
The conclusion of this conference “The academic discipline of Islamic studies has an important role in building the capacity of Muslims to strive, and excel, in the globalized 21st century. Although Islam does not make any distinction between religious and general studies, because both are complementary and thus studied simultaneously in an integrated system, Islamic studies could be tailored in such a way that it accommodates both religious studies and other fields of study. These areas include the physical and natural sciences, which are highly praised by Islam in the Qur’an and Sunnah (traditional practice). This will increase the graduates’ chances of securing jobs in the highly competitive labor market that requires specific skills and specializations. Its curriculum needs to be designed for maximum job marketability, so graduates will be able to contribute to the overall development of their country. The study of any branch of knowledge in any field is linked to the strengthening of religious and moral values, which will in turn guide science towards benefiting the larger community. We need to review and continue to improve the curriculum, the teachers’ qualifications, and teaching methodologies to help students excel in the modern world, while acting in accordance with the true teachings of Islam.
“Islamic studies could strengthen the global community. Islam calls on its followers to be well-rounded in knowledge, so that their service to God is based on true knowledge. This includes the assessment of community needs so as to best serve the community, which is extended to cover the ‘global community.’ Thai Muslims should see themselves as a unifying factor in the Thai community and the world at large. In so doing, we adopt an inclusive perspective, whereby we inculcate in people caring relationships, race and gender sensitivity, acceptance of religious pluralism, ecological awareness, community spirit, and awareness of the Divine.
“Like all academic disciplines, Islamic studies need to keep pace with the world. In order to do so, we can emphasize the issue of connectivity – physical, structural, and through people – that would enable our scholars of Islam to take full advantage of a bigger market with greater potential.
“Investing in people, which, in this case, is investing in our Muslim students, is very important. The Thai government believes that education is the key factor in human development. We therefore introduced the 15-year free education program. We also emphasized the quality of education and life-long learning. With this in mind, we need to upgrade and introduce key investments in quality Islamic studies. With a steady growth of Islamic studies in the Southeast Asian region, we hope to develop leading centers of Islamic studies, such as the Centre for Islamic Studies here in Pattani, as leading centers in the South. Eventually, we hope that centers like these will become regional leaders and destinations where both Thai and foreign students converge to pursue their studies. Through the roadmap for Islamic studies in Thailand that is being worked on, we will see many more contributions to the development of Islamic studies.”
Several system of Islamic studies in southernmost provinces of Thailand
1. Formal System
1.1 Government School. Pre- School 3-5 years old and Grate 1-12
1.2 Islamic Private School. Pre- School 3-5 years old and Grate 1-12 Grate 1-12
1.3 Islamic Studies at University of government as Prince of Songkhla University and Narathiwat Rachanakarin University and Islamic Private University is Patani University.
2. Informal System
2.1 Studying Quran in Community for Children
2.2 Hafiz Quran institute
2.3 Pondok System (traditional)
2.4 Tadika System (Fardhu In or Islamic studies for Children in Islamic center)
2.5 Islamic studies at Islamic center for youth and people in community.
Education of Muslim in Southernmost provinces of Thailand is freedom to study and Muslim Community has freedom to study Islamic Studies with formal System or informal system.
Islamic Studies shall emphasize the values of peace and harmony not only among Muslims themselves but also among the entire mankind.
Islamic Studies shall achieve integration of knowledge and coherence between knowledge and civilizational objectives of Islam to be more effective and productive to achieve development for future generations.
Islamic Studies shall emphasize the importance of developing sciences and technology to achieve growth, progress and social justice and to pursue peace and harmony within and between communities.
Islamic Studies shall emphasize on the global dimension of Islam to consolidate
cooperation and collaboration throughout the world.
Islamic Studies shall emphasize the importance of freedom and the encouragement of dialogue to protect societies against extremism and social discrimination and to build common human heritage.
Abd. al –Rauuf, Abd Kadir. (1991). Adwa ala al- Nuzum al – Islamiah. Cairo : Dar al – Tabaah al – Muhammadiah
Abdulsuko Din-a. 2007. Pondok in Southernmost Provinces of Thailand. Songkhla : Maxmedia
Abdulsuko Din-a. Pulic Policy of Studying in in Southernmost Provinces of Thailand. sl. sn.
Muhammad. () Tarikh al- Mazahib al –Islamiah . Cairo : Dar al- Fikr al Arabi
Ali al-Qari, Nuruddin. (1984). Sharh al- Fikh al - Akbar. Berut : Dar al- Kutub al –Ilmiah .
Anis, et al. n.d. Mujamal- Wasid . Damascus : Dar al – Fikr
al- Bahuti, Mansor. (1982). Kasaf al- Kinaa. Berut : Dar al –Fikr
al – Banna, Hasan. (1992). Majmua al- Rasail. Cairo : al – Iman.
al – Bukhari, Muhammad Ismail. (n.d). al – Sahih Bukhari. Berut : al – Ihyaa al – Turath al –
Husain al-shaikh, Abd. al- Fattah. (1991). al – Dirasat fi Usul al- Fikh. Cairo : al – Ithad al- Arabi.
Ibn al –Hamam, Kamal al –Din. n .d. Fath al-Qadir . Cairo : Mutafa Muhammad.
Ibn Majah, Muhammad Yazid. n.d. Sunan Ibn Majah. Damascus : Dar al - Fikr
Ibn Manzur, Jamal al – Din. ( n.d). Lisan al – Arab. Cairo : al – Maarif.
Khallaf, Abd al- Wahhab. (1995) Ilm Usul al- Fikh wa al- Tashreaa al- Islami. Cairo : Dar al- Fikr al –Arabi
al – Khan , Mustofa. et al. n. d. al – Fikh al – ManHaji. Damuscus : Dar al- Fikr.
al – Jazairi, Abu Bakr. Minhaj al- Muslim. s.l. : s.n.
al- Ghazali, Muhammad Abu Hamid. n.d. Mustofa min Usul al – Fikh.. s.l. : s.n.
aI-Razi,Fakr al- Din. (1992) . Mahsul fi Usul Ilm al- Fikh. Berut : Muasasat al- Risalah. 5/26
Maududi, Abu al-ala. 1977. Towards Understanding Islam. sl. sn.
Muslim, Abi al – Husain. 1995. Sahih Muslim. Berut : Dar Ibn Hazmi
al – Nawawi, Abu Zakariya. (1995). Fath al-Bari. Berut : Dar al – Kutub al – Ilmiah.
al-Qardhawi, 1994. Figh al – Zakah . Berut : Dar al – Kutub al – Ilmiah.
Shalabi, Muhammad . 1969. al-Madkal fi al-Taareef bi al-Figh. Berut : Dar al-Nahdi al-Arabiah.
al – Sarbini, al- Khateeb.n.d. Mugni al- Muhtaj. Cairo : al- babi al- Halabi.
al –Shairazi, Abi Ishak . n .d. al-Muhazzab. Cairo: al-Babi al- Hilbi
Taha Jabir, Ulwani . 1995 .Adab Iktilaf fi al-Islam . Riyad : al-Dar al- Alamiah lial- Kitab al - Islami .
al –Zuhaili, Wahbah. (1989). al –Figh al – Islami. Damascus : Dar al –Fikr .
al-Zuhaili, Wahbah. (1991). Tafsir al- Munir. Berut : Dar al – Kutub al – Ilmiah.
Education as a Way to Improve the Southern Situation. thailand.prd.go.th/ebook/review/content.php?chapterID=183
Muslim in Thailand. http://www.thaiembassy.org/riyadh/th/organize/29025-Muslim-in-Thailand.html
Conference on “Roles of Islamic Studies in Post Globalized Societies”, held at Pattani, Thailand, during 21-23 December 2010,
Mr.Abdulsuko Din-a (Ustaz Abdulsyakur Bin Syafi-e)
Date of Bird 12 September 1969
Address 13 Sukhapibal1 M.2 Banna Subdistrict, Chana District, Songkhla Province,Thailand
Tell ,Wassapp +66897359279
Islamic Studies Teacher ,Chariyathamsuksa Foundation School
Former Islamic Law -Lecturer ,Thaksin University,Thailand
B.A (Political science) Ramkhamheang University ,Thailand, 1992
B.A. (Usuluddin) Al-Azhar University,Egypt ,1997
M.A (Islamic Studies) Prince Songkla University,Thailand, 2001
- Year 2003: The Attitude of the Ulama in the Southern Border Provinces of Thailand towards the Attributes of Allah from the Viewpoints of Salaf and Khalaf
- Year 2006 : The Strategy of Deep South of Thailand Development
- Year 2007: Shura Process for Muslim Community Development
- Year 2006, Deep South of Thailand Crisis
- Year 2008 Year : Islamic School (Madrasah) in Deep South of Thailand
- Year 2006 , Deep South of Thailand Crisis : It be can Solved
- Year 2007 : Muslim Culture in Deep South of Thailand
- Year 2010 : Shura Process for Muslim Community Development
- Year 2015 ,The Future of Islamic Law ,Thailand
Presentation in International Conference
- International Symposium on “ASEAN” 3 Communities:Socio-Political Challenges on Identity and Difference ,world conference on health promotion) at Ramkhamheang University,Thailand
- International Conference on Peace and Conflict Resolution at Prince of Songkla University,Thailand
- ASEAN Studies in Islamic Studies and Languages from Theory to Practice Orgarnized by USIM,Malaysia
- Global Alcohol Policy Conference at Korea
- The 4th International Islamic Studies Conference 2017: Islmic Education as a Driving Force for Peacful Coexistence and Development at Prine of Songkla University,Thailand
- Muktamar Waqaf Iqlimi IV 2017, at USIM,Malaysia
- International Conference on Technology in Education at UIN,Riau,Indonesia