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Alef Is for AllahChildhood, Emotion, and Visual Culture in Islamic Societies$
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Jamal J. Elias

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520290075

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520290075.001.0001

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Good Muslims Do Their Homework

Good Muslims Do Their Homework

(p.76) Chapter 4 Good Muslims Do Their Homework
Alef Is for Allah

Jamal J. Elias

University of California Press

This chapter continues the discussion of childhood undertaken in the previous chapter. Child rights are explored within the framework of universal human rights and the more confined limits of documents on rights ratified by Muslim-majority countries, such as the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam and the Declaration on the Rights and Care of the Child in Islam. It provides an overview of childhood in Islamic history, beginning with references to childhood in the Qur’an and continuing to a survey of classical and medieval Islamic medical and religious literature addressing the juvenile phases of human life. The education of children in the thought of classical Muslim thinkers, especially Ghazali, emphasizes the moral purpose of education and locates play and exercise within that frame. The chapter continues to discuss childhood in the modern Muslim thought, highlighting rites of passage, the gendering of children, and the role of education and literature in engendering the concept of modern childhood in the Western and Islamic worlds, using Egypt as a principal example of the growth of modern education in Islamic society.

Keywords:   rights in Islam, education, childhood, Ghazali, moral education, rites of passage, gender, human rights

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