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What is traditional Islamic education?

Although innovation is critical for scientific advancement, the central concern of religion is emulation. The word “traditional” reflects an overriding concern for preservation, and stands in contrast to our modern preoccupation with novelty. Traditional Islamic education is the means by which Muslims have preserved their religion. Its core is the student-teacher relationship.
Since the time of the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace), sacred knowledge has been transmitted directly from teacher to student, never acquired solely by turning the pages of books. Students seeking sacred knowledge traditionally spend long years studying intricate texts with teachers who have taken their knowledge from their teachers, and so on all the way back to the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace). The teachers transmit sacred knowledge exactly as they inherited it from their teachers and when they judge the student to be their worthy heir, they authorize him or her to go forth and transmit sacred knowledge to others. This metaphor of “inheriting” sacred knowledge from teachers is taken from the hadith of the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace),
“Verily, the prophets do not bequeath dinars nor dirhams, but rather, they bequeath knowledge.” [Abu Dawud, 3641; Tirmidhi, 2682; Ibn Maja, 223; a rigorously authentic hadith].
This traditional model of education ensures that students have respect for their teacher, their teacher’s teachers, and so on all the way back to the Prophet (God bless him and give him peace). Iconoclastic tendencies in the modern Muslim mindset that have filled our homes with disrespect, our mosques with argumentation, and our societies with intolerance are a direct result of our departure from traditional methods of education.
Direct aural instruction from a teacher also ensures that sacred knowledge is properly understood and applied: unlike books, teachers bring sacred knowledge to life by interacting with their students and providing living examples that can be emulated.


About seekerofsacredilm

The people of knowledge are the heirs of the Prophets and and they inherit knowledge. The one who takes knowledge is taking an ample share. And if someone travels a path in quest of knowledge, Allah will make his path to the Garden

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