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What Makes Tarbiyyah, Tarbiyyah? Before You Throw the Words Around Make Sure They Fit These 10 Characteristics.

Evolve, develop and grow.

What makes Tarbiyyah, Tarbiyyah? Before You Throw the Words Around Make Sure They Fit These 10 Characteristics.

In the Arabic language, Tarbiyyah is a derivation closely related to education, improvement, development, growth, maintenance, and care. 

Muslim scholars and Islamic movements describe Tarbiyyah to contain and manifest the following 10 characteristics:

1. Divine (al-Tarbiyyah al-Rabbaniyyah) — The source, the goal, and the approach must be divine and not unethical, sinful or displeasing to Allah. 

2. Comprehensive (al-Tarbiyyah al-Syumuliyyah) — Encompasses all the cognitive, the affective, and the psychomotor. Any shortfall would result in imbalanced outcomes.

3. Moderate (al-Tarbiyyah al-Wasatiyyah) — Not prioritising one over another. E.g: Seeking of knowledge is imperative, so is Tazkiyya, Ibadah, Da’wah, leadership, Zikr, physical activities etc.

4. Humane (al-Tarbiyyah al-Insaaniyyah) — Recognising and acknowledging the ebb and flow of human spirit and emotional conditions. 

5. In phases (al-Tarbiyyah al-Manhajiyyah) — Performing one’s current tasks in stages, phase by phase, not in haste, and without jumping to premature conclusions.

6. Continuous (al-Tarbiyyah al-Mustamirrah)Tarbiyah is a  never-ending process and everyone should keep on improving. Even the most senior in age and in the work of Tarbiyyah may be liable to making mistakes. 

7. Positively encouraging (al-Tarbiyyah al-Ijabiyyah) — Focusing on the positive self and building its capacity for further growth and success.

8. Realistic and Flexible (al-Tarbiyyah al-Waqi’iyyah wa al-Murunah) — Applicable and doable in his or her particular context of life. The world and its human generations change, and so should the implementation of Tarbiyyah.

9. Moving (al-Tarbiyyah al-Harakiyyah) — action-oriented, moving and changing with time in terms of the groundwork. Tarbiyyah shouldn’t stop at the theoretical and reflectional levels.

10. Concrete and Well-rooted (al-Tarbiyyah al-Daqiqah wa al-’Amiqah) — Not merely about beautiful words, symbols and grandeur, Tarbiyyah should be able to transcend the abstracts and penetrate the hearts.

So, have we done the Tarbiyyah?

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