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The Development of Islamic Education In Turkey

The Development of Islamic Education In Turkey


M. Hasbi Amiruddin


Abstrak

Many historians showed us that the Ottoman Empire reigned around 700 years from the 13th century (1299) to the 20th century (1923) when the Turkish Republic came into existence.  Since the republic was established, Turkey have become a secular state. Islam has not been a base of ideology, even the situation went to extreme that all activities of the Muslim community in terms of Islamic teachings were prohibited to perform in public spheres. All Islamic education institutions, such as madrasa, the sufi lodge or tekke and, Qur’anic schools were closed down.  Furthermore, in his efforts on crushing the root of the Ottoman culture, Ataturk prohibited some cultural activities which were practised during the Ottoman Empire. For example, wearing headscarfs for women was prohibited, and the Arab scripts were changed by the Latin alphabets. Azan (call for prayer) which actually should be performed in Arabic was then forced to be called in Turkish.
All of the established institutions and cultures which were banned by Ataturk were important institutions and cultures in Muslim’s views.  Through the institutions and cultures Islamic teachings would keep everlasting from one generation to the next. The above factors come up with the question: “How the Turkish Muslim people had fought to maintain their heritage, mainly the Islamic education institutions which were potential to keep the faith of Muslim from generations to generations?  The facts show us that Islam is still alive in Turkey, even, they claimed 99% of Turkey’s citizens are Muslims. In addition, although the state recently still embraces a secular ideology, the religious life of people is similar to other people in Islamic countries, either in worship practices or in practicing other Islamic cultures. Several mosques were full of jamaah either to practice a five time prayer or to perform Friday’s prayer. Like other Islamic countries, the Turkish people not only perform fasting in Ramadhan but also perform iftar (fast-breaking dinner) and (tarawih) together. Furthermore, I found several officers working for Prime Minister’s office to perform fasting every Monday and Thursday, which was in Islam called a Sunnah (the Prophet Muhammad’s tradition). In the office, there was also a mosque, in which the people were encouraged to perform a five-time prayer including Friday’s prayer.
This paper will discuss how the Turkish Muslim people preserve their faith, that is Islam, and how they keep teaching their young generations so that the Muslims in the next generations still love and practise their religious rituals while they are facing a secular ideology implemented by the state which views that religion is a dangerous ideology.

 



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