INSTITUTIONALIZING EDUCATION AND THE CULTURE OF LEARNING IN MEDIEVAL ISLAM: THE AYYŪBIDS (569/966 AH) (1174/1263 AD) LEARNING PRACTICES IN EGYPT AS A CASE STUDY

Authors

  • Merah Souad
  • Tahraoui Ramdane

Keywords:

Ayyūbids, culture of learning, institutionalizing education, liberal educational practices and educational institutions

Abstract

Because of the political weakening of the central Abbasid caliphate
in Baghdad, and the fragmentation of its vast dominions into
sultanates and emirates, it was customary for those emerging Muslim
sultanates in medieval Islam, both Sunni and Shii’, to manage
andpatronizethe intellectual activities, including institutions of
learning, curriculum, human capitals (scholars, and students) in a
flexible manner. The intellectual life was not run by one particular
office, though the educational policies in each of those sultanates
were largely politicized like in the case of the Seljūks, Fatimids and
the Ayyūbids. Some researchers in the history of Islamic education
attributed the involvement of the state into different educational
activities to another political and cultural factor that is the
emergence of dogmatic, philosophical and legal debates and
subsequently sectarianism. These factors have had a negative effect
on the independent culture of learning which dominated the liberal
character of Islamic education for many decades. This paper
highlights the process of institutionalizing education and its effect on
the culture of learning during the rule of the Ayyūbid sultanate. It
aims to unveil the effect of the measures taken by the Ayyūbids in
formalizing education and show the visible dominance of military
and political elites on the intellectual life, an influence which
heralded the death of the customary Muslim conventional and liberal
style of learning. The results of this research show that despite the
success of the Ayyūbids in their endeavor to restore Sunnism in
Egypt, the autonomy that Sunni ‘ulama maintained in early Islam up to the military Seljūks deteriorated further under the Ayyūbid military
patronage. However, the official formal institutions of education never
replaced persons as the focus of intellectual life. Informal and formal
instruction was available for pupils in their own homes or in the
privacy of learned scholars and wealthy individuals.

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Published

2018-01-24

How to Cite

Souad, Merah, and Tahraoui Ramdane. 2018. “INSTITUTIONALIZING EDUCATION AND THE CULTURE OF LEARNING IN MEDIEVAL ISLAM: THE AYYŪBIDS (569/966 AH) (1174/1263 AD) LEARNING PRACTICES IN EGYPT AS A CASE STUDY”. Al-Shajarah: Journal of the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC), January, 245-75. https://journals.iium.edu.my/shajarah/index.php/shaj/article/view/571.

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