Study: Muslim Brotherhood Education – System of Values and Methods
Due to the importance of the role of educational methods in the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) call, researchers Dr. Nafeth Suleiman Al-Joab and Dr. Mohammed Kamel al-Gamal studied these methods and identified their target values , and classified them into six groups:
1- The values of faith,
2- The social and moral values,
3- The scientific values,
4- The jihadist and physical values,
5- The advocacy values, and
6- The administrative values.
The educational methods adopted by the Muslim Brotherhood for building the Muslim personality:
There are various educational methods in the Muslim Brotherhood, including:
1- Osrah (that means “family” in English): It is the smallest organizational unit in the group that holds a weekly meeting of (5-7) individuals led by one of them (Naqib), where they study and practice educational, cultural and political curricula determined by the group aimed at shaping the Muslim personality through enhancing the individuals’ belief and worship and upgrading them intellectually and socially, in addition to strengthening links between them through acquaintance, mutual understanding, and Takaful (interdependence).
2- Katibah or spiritual night: It is a monthly several-unit meeting, where several Osrahs meet together and spend the night in worship according to a program within a general educational curriculum. The Katibah is aimed at self-purification as it focuses on the spiritual aspect through practice of worship and rituals. The Katibah also strengthens individuals’ inter-cohesion and accustom the MB members to obedience, discipline, self-struggle, and self- accountability; and help them acquire more knowledge and science.
3- The Trip: It is one of the collective means of education for members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Among the objectives of the trip are: self-recreation, practice of exercises, and training on patience. The trip participants have freedom of movement and are trained to forbear hardships and endure hunger and thirst. The trip may also target strengthening links between members and families of the Muslim Brotherhood.
4- The Camp: The purpose of the camp is to provide a comprehensive education to members of the Muslim Brotherhood, caring for the spirit, mind and body. Camps in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood are an extension and application of the scouting activity. The camp aims at collecting, educating and training the MB members and developing their leadership skills. Camp participants practice coarse military life, patience and commitment in support of the idea of jihad for the sake of Allah. The camp lasts two to three days for non-students while the camp duration for students during summer vacations lasts from one week to the whole summer.
5- The Course: It is usually organized on a religious issue, a scientific issue, or for training the MB members, where a great number of them gather in a certain place to receive lectures and training on a specific topic related to Islamic work. Among the characteristics of the course is that it is an extensive study on a given subject, by veteran specialized experts.
6- The Seminar: where a number of experts and specialists are hosted to contribute to discussing a topic or a problem. The seminar is a cultural, intellectual and educational method that includes both MB members and non-members, where the lecturers and the audience are not necessarily Muslim Brothers.
7- The Conference: Conferences develop the cultural and intellectual aspects of attendees, where a large mobilization of researchers participate. It is noteworthy that important decisions are made during conferences.
Values adopted by MB in educating members
First: Values related to belief
These values are derived from the Holy Quran and Sunnah, most notably:
- Purity of belief
- Correctness of worship
- Achieving the comprehensiveness of Islam
- Abstinence from worldly pleasures (Zuhd)
- Reflection (in Allah’s creation)
- Zikr (remembering and mentioning Allah)
Second: moral and social values
Moral and social values contribute to development of moral self-control that emanates from the individual’s conscience, controls his actions and supports his sense of moral responsibility towards the Muslim community. These moral and social values maintain and protect the community’s faith and its social order from various factors of disintegration and decay. Key moral and social values established by the educational methods in the Muslim Brotherhood include:
- Mutual understanding
- Takaful (interdependence)
- Supporting others
Fourth: the mental and scientific values
Imam al-Banna described his group as a “scientific and cultural association” because Islam considers seeking knowledge obligatory for all male and female Muslims; therefore, the Brotherhood's clubs are in fact schools for education, as well as institutes for building the body, mind and spirit. The mental and scientific values established by the Muslim Brotherhood educational methods include:
- Spreading awareness and culture of thought
- Scientific research as a modern necessity
- Formation of public opinion and spreading advocacy
- Dialogue and exchange of opinion.
Fifth: Jihadist and physical values
Jihadist and physical values are a set of values that help the human physical existence and draws man’s sound habits in eating and drinking as well as all other areas of life. The key jihadist and physical values established by the Muslim Brotherhood educational incubators include:
- Obedience and discipline
- Security training
- Body building
- Ability to earn your living
Seventh: Advocacy Values
Allah Almighty encouraged Muslims to engage in Islamic advocacy, saying in Surat Fussilat: “Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness, and says, "I am of those who bow in Islam?” The key advocacy values established by the Muslim Brotherhood educational incubators include:
- Preparation of advocacy leaders
- Developing the spirit of belonging and loyalty to the nation of Islam
- Getting more acquainted with the Brotherhood
- Winning supporters
- Taking responsibility
- Graduation and reliance on education and clarity of steps
Eighth: Administrative Values
It is necessary for the establishment of any human group to have a successful administration to determine its goals, set its plans, organize its internal and external relations, distribute roles among members, follows up implementation, and assess results to know how far the establishment’s goals have been achieved. Therefore, we can judge whether this administration has succeeded or failed in achievement of goals. The key administrative values established by the Muslim Brotherhood educational methods include:
- Discovery and development of talents
- Problem Solving
- Planning, management and decision making
- Taking care of time