The tradition of the scholars

Tsc 601-i

Consisting of 2 half-modules, these sessions are designed to provide an introduction to the history and practice of Islamic learning. The first sessions examine the requisite etiquette and mannerisms (adab al-ta’alum) that have been behind the strength of the student-teacher relationship in Islamic scholarship throughout history, while the second investigates how a stable orthodoxy developed within the Muslim knowledge culture in both fiqh as well as aqidah.

Imam Mâlik (r.a) said: “My mother used to wrap my turban and before I left to see my teacher she would say: ‘Go to Rabi’ah and learn from his good manners before learning from his knowledge’.”

This module provides a snapshot into how Islamic knowledge is transmitted and preserved, observing how scholars of the past conserved the teachings of the Prophet    through Islamic history, sitting at the feet of scholars and taking the prophetic inheritance directly, face to face.

Ibrahim ibn Abd-ar-Rahman al-Udhri relates that The Messenger    said “This knowledge will be passed down through the ages by those of upright stature. They will save it from being falsified by extremists, altered by those that seek to destroy it and misinterpreted by the ignorant”. [al-Bayhaqi, Sunan al-Kubra]

In an age when everyone claims to speak on behalf of Islam, these sessions provide a refreshing roadmap to reviving the study of Islam for the modern individual, looking at what qualifies a person to speak on religious matters.

At a glance. Just some of the issues and questions explored.

  • What are the qualities to look for in a teacher?
  • How should a student conduct themselves with their teacher to attain maximum benefit from what is being taught?
  • How can we make the most of what we learn?
  • What were the qualities that great scholars and their students had?
  • What qualifies one to speak in areas of knowledge? How have scholars of the past ensured that only the most competent teach the religion of the final Prophet   ?
  • Where do the qualifications of scholars come from and who issues them?
  • What is the methodology used in training scholars in the most important learning centres of the Muslim world?


By the end of this module, students will:

  • Appreciate the importance of proper etiquette in life, particularly in learning sacred knowledge.
  • Marvel at the tradition of scholars that faithfully passed on the Prophetic legacy.
  • Understand the importance of seeking qualified scholarly advice from recognised sources.
  • Recognise the main Muslim colleges in the world, and the role they play in safeguarding mainstream Sunni Islam.