What is Tarbiya (Nurturing, Education, and Development), and How Important Is It?

Answered by Dr. Muhammad Fayez Awad


What is Tarbiya (Nurturing, Education, and Development), and How Important Is It?


Praise be to Allah Most High. Blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family, companions, and those who follow him.

In Islam, Tarbiya is the nurturing of the Muslim and the comprehensive preparation of the individual – for life in this world and the Hereafter in the light of Islam. Alternatively, it is the holistic formation of the individual and society following the Sacred Law of Allah (Most High).

Tarbiya is a strenuous task that requires time and is a noble mission. The importance of this topic is outlined in the following points.

1. Lessons in Child Rearing from the Prophet and Righteous Predecessors

Emulating the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him), his companions, and the righteous predecessors in raising their followers and children. By understanding how they raised them, we can understand how to raise our children.

2. Assessing the Present State of the Ummah

When one examines the reality of the Ummah, one finds a dire situation unlike any experienced in previous eras. Many Islamic principles are on the verge of extinction in some Islamic countries, and through tarbiya, this situation can be addressed.

3. Self Resilience

Through tarbiya, a child’s self-resilience is cultivated, making them resist temptations and doubts. This tarbiya strengthens their mindfulness of Allah Most High, preventing them from transgressing the boundaries of Allah Most High when they are alone. They remain unswayed and unaffected by the desires that have become widespread in this era, even if those desires are unsought

4. Preparation for Challenges

Tarbiya is crucial for preparing children to endure hardships, calamities, and trials they may encounter in their future lives.

5. Preparation for Their Role

Tarbiya prepares the child to fulfill their role, which is entrusted to benefit themselves, their community, and their nation.

6. Protecting Themselves and Their Community 

The importance of tarbiya becomes evident when faced with the relentless campaign to corrupt society by enemies of Islam. The existence of such a campaign must be met with the upbringing of children, enabling them to protect themselves and their community.

7. Safeguarding the Intellect

Tarbiya ensures the intellectual security of the child, keeping them away from extremism and protecting them from ideas contrary to Islam, such as secularism and others.

8. Bridging the Gaps in Educational Institutions 

Tarbiya is crucial in making up for the shortcomings of educational institutions, such as schools and mosques.

9. Addressing the Consequences of Educational Negligence on Community Health

Some diseases that have spread within the community result from negligence or shortcomings in tarbiya. Issues like immodesty, public indecency, drug abuse, and other problems have become prevalent due to educational negligence or weaknesses.

10. Fostering Moral Excellence Through Tarbiya

Tarbiya is a means to guide a child towards higher moral standards, such as practicing altruism, and patience, and cultivating a love for the well-being of others.