Strengths of the Madrassa
Channel: Yasir Qadhi
File Size: 12.28MB
The most obvious strength of the madrasa system of any Islamic seminary, whether it's in Turkey, whether it's in Jakarta, whether it is in Islamabad, whether it's in Medina, whether it is in Qatar, the most obvious strength of the Islamic system is the encyclopedic grasp of all of the Islamic sciences that any graduate must have. It is both encyclopedic in scope, and in depth, you cannot graduate from any madrasa. You cannot graduate from any reputable Islamic Studies school
in any Muslim country, without studying every single branch of Islam to a level of familiarity that would allow you to read on your own. And then typically, you would specialize in one or two of the disciplines. Now, in my time in Medina, and I know from my time things have changed dramatically, I think for the worse in terms of in terms of the strength of our curriculum. I'm very happy I graduated when I did. In my time, we had the old school system, which was the equivalent of 25 credit hours, right? When I was in my engineering degree in Houston, you were not allowed to take more than 18 You maximum, you couldn't take more than 18 hours. In Medina for all 10 years, we were
forced to take the equivalent of 25 credit hours, we had 15 professors teaching us 15 different subjects and we're doing all of them were torn or classical. We're studying actual methods we went over and fear of mnemonic line by line, we went over books of fit, we went over, you know, we died in which day we went over could always included Hadith, we went over the country visitor. This is encyclopedic. And I was in the College of Hadith, but I had six hours of fit every week, I had three hours of Loja every week, doesn't matter if I'm in Hadith. If I'm a graduate of the University of Medina, I had better know all of the sciences of Islam cover to cover to a basic level. Similarly,
those in the college of law would still do masala Hadith one hour, sure, I had five hours, but still, they will do it. And they will do it cover to cover. No matter what college you graduated from, you would have to do all of the disciplines of Islam. And yes, the college you were in, you would specialize more. So Phil would do or soil and fake more than we would. But we would do also like film and film as well. So the point is that going through any Islamic seminary, you must be exposed to all of the major disciplines of Islam. And you must be exposed to the classical scholarship written of in that particular genre. Now, there is simply no equivalent in the western
Academy. I mean, no, there is no comparison. In the Western Academy, it is neither the goal nor even is it feasible for the Western Academy to engage with all of the sciences of Islam. Hence, it is extremely rare to find the breadth of understanding of all of the major sciences that one finds in a basic Madras graduate. We're talking about professors, so professors, many professors of Islamic Studies, frankly wouldn't even know a fraction outside of their actual to hustle soft areas of discipline, then a mother as a student does. And because of this, the propensity to make mistakes, when you speak outside of your field is actually much much higher. So you it's quite easy for a
person trained in a mother's environment to find mistakes even of touching on top notch professors when they speak outside of their areas of expertise. So this is definitely one of the strengths of the madrasa system. Another strength of the mother Assist system is the fact that you are required to memorize everything that you study.
The Quran, of course, Hadith that's understood, I mean, you can't be an island without being a half of being able to quote any AI off the top of your head without knowing the cutover sunnah if you're even if you're not, I didn't graduate, you'd better know enough Hadith to know your religion, right? As for us in the College of Hadith, we had to memorize hundreds I forgot even how much like over the course of four years we memorize 1000s of a hadith literally off the top of our head we had to do that. That's the College of Hadith. And in fact, in our case, we even had to know the isnaad names because if somebody if my teacher asked me who is you know, a certain amount every single one you
have to know it's not just like is there an outage? I'm gonna kind of know who he was you have to know who the person is and a rough death date and whatnot memorization of all of the disciplines right you know memorize the mosquito know masala Hainault Olivia diplomatic if you're able to do so. And example of the Quran for example, right the karate students is that they have to memorize all 10 Karate after
top of their head. And I remember and of course, that's very common. It's not it's not a strange phenomenon. I mean, we all know people that acquitted Quran that had memorized all of the Quran. I remember meeting a specialist in the academy, non Muslim, who has actually achieved a name for himself writing about the Quran. I don't want to mention names in this talk. But probably one of the most famous names right now in the western Academy, non Muslim guy who's writing papers about the Quran. And I asked him, like, how do you know these little ads? He said, I have to look them up. I said, You do realize that our guys in Bettina, they know all 10 With all the rewires and all the
took off the top of their head, and I said to him, he is a friend of mine, like friendly, I said to him, I actually feel sorry for you that every time you have to look up a camera, you have to go back to the books of Donnie and the books have a jersey of New Jersey in the book. So you know, the Kerala art and and actually reference them you don't know off the top of your head. You know what the particular Quran is what not here it says and what, you know, the chronometer shows that you have no idea. And I have more friends than I can count, who know this off the top right there. So this is definitely one of the strengths of the madrasa system is that they expect you to memorize
everything you studied to a level that you don't have need your books for a basic talk right? Now, obviously, you know, depending on your own level, not every student memorizes every method, so I'll be fair here, but we all know in the madrasa system, the top 10% of students, right, they memorize everything. And you become an Allama by being a Hatfield have massive amounts of Mattoon more than one share, pre Islamic poetry and so on and so forth. So again, that's the strength of the madrasa. The Academy couldn't care less about your level of memorization. In fact, there is no such thing as a closed book exam. They don't want you to memorize it's actually insulting for them for you to
memorize, you're expected to know the places not to know the facts. And I remember my comprehensive exams at Yale.
Of course, I was happy I was a student like, yeah, there's no such thing as a closed book, you go to the library, and you answer the questions, right? So the questions were given, I mean, if Medina they had done that, so
that would been totally different. You're expected to go to the library. This is the comprehensives of the PhD. This is like you know, the examination of your life. Sure, go to library and look up as much as you want.
Very different system, there is no memorization required. And this is definitely a strength of the of the madrasa a strength of the madrasa which again, has to be said here is you can't graduate from any madrasa in any land. And I mean, a proper mother's, of course, madrasahs are tears, right? We're not talking about, you know, the the street mothers or the local, we're talking about the most reputable mothers of every land, no matter which land you're in, you know, whether it is Malaysia, whether it is you know, Africa, whether it is Turkey, you will have to learn Arabic inside out, maybe not to the level of speaking or whatever. But at least understanding reading and writing,
right, because as you know, there's four aspects of language, right, reading, writing. But in terms of being an alum, sure, you don't have to speak Arabic fluently. There are many rules around the world who speaking is the most difficult, but they can read the most advanced texts, they can read it fluently, as if they are in fact sometimes more fluently than native Arabs of modern times. Because As you're all aware, modern Arabic is radically different than classical Arabic, and no Arlin worth his salt, you know, will not be aware of classical Arabic, right? So this is definitely a strength. Now.
In the academy, people are shocked to discover the average professor of Islamic Studies struggles to read basic Arabic. It is shocking and they can't understand how can you have a PhD, and you can't read the fetal poverty without a dictionary without hands were next to you. You can't read a most basic book of history without googling phrases, right? This is inconceivable for the madrasa student, they really are shocked, like when they discovered this point here. And I'll tell you an anecdote that again, that happened to me. And this is I witnessed this again, I don't mention any names in this talk. But one of the senior most professors known in the world today, right? Taught
me, you know, at yo and I like the guy's a nice guy is a friend of mine. He's a very friendly guy, but obviously he's not a Muslim. He's not been through and he's written monographs. He's tenured. I mean, like the big name in whatever field he's in. And I remember sitting in class, this is my first year in from Medina. And we had a class with him
About for dinner Rosie and the entire by the way, the entire class about family and Rosie right is amazing. We'll get to this point one of the positives an entire semester about one person like wow. But what we'll get to this point, but in that class we're going over stuff some difficulty in Razi quoted item corsi.
And this professor was reading in his Akik Arabic broken Arabic law. Who sunnah tune, Wallah, known then he translated, no habitual action can be characterized by God or asleep.
I'm like looking around in class. There's three other students that we did he just
professor, it's lotta hoo hoo Sina and Sina means precursors of sleep. Oh, okay. He puts him Maka so Cena. Okay.
Now people are shocked when they hear things like this. But it is what it is like. He's never heard AYATUL kursi the way we have okay. And he hasn't mastered he tried his lip read or you understand this Cena as sunnah? Because he's more aware of sooner than Cena. And so he says sunnah he invents the new era of the Quran. Here you go. But anyway, Arabic definitely it is shocking for most people to hear this but it is truth and from their perspective, they don't need it and you will see why because their paradigm is different. There will suit is different there. Its research is different, you know. So these are definitely three strengths of the madrasa the encyclopedic scope and breadth
of teaching. memorization and a mastery of Arabic.
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