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Education in Islamic Education

Oral Instruction And Books

Between the seventh and the ninth century C.E., as Islam was spreading among diverse peoples, education came to be recognized by the Muslim community as a proper channel through which the universal and cohesive social order, in the way the Koran commanded it, could be established. This resulted in a rapidly increasing need for accessible and effective formal education at both the primary and higher levels.

Students traveled far and wide in "the quest for knowledge" (Ar., talab al-'ilm) and to study under the supervision of a well-known scholar. "Sessions" (sing., majlis) and "circles" (sing., halqa) were held by Muslim scholars for the purpose of teaching. These scholarly sessions took place at public places such as mosques but also, privately, at the homes of scholars. Oral instruction was the primary technique for imparting (religious) knowledge ('ilm), soon to be used in all branches of Islamic scholarship.

This strong emphasis on the oral component of learning did not exclude the fact that Muslim scholars in early Islam also based their teaching on written material such as collections of data and lecture scripts (often organized in notebooks), and notes used as memory aids. In the course of time, these thematically organized collections of data gradually gained more definite shape and came to be fixed (in writing, or memory, or both). Some old collections became known as the literary or scholarly "work" of the scholar who had prepared them initially and had then "published" them in his lectures; others were revised, edited, and formally published first by a scholar's student(s). Scholars preparing such written collections and lecture scripts, however, were not deprived of authorial creativity altogether: for they expressed their individual opinions and convictions through thematic selection and arrangement of the material they included in their works. Beginning in the ninth century, there was a steady increase in the number of scholars who were writing books, editing them definitively, and publishing them themselves.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Dysprosium to Electrophoresis - Electrophoretic TheoryEducation in Islamic Education - Pre-islamic Arabia, The Koran, The Prophetic Tradition, Oral Instruction And Books, Educators And Institutions Of Primary And Higher Education