Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A sample of the 'overlapping curriculum of madrasahs from the Balkans to Begal'

Further, in this period, a set of institutions mark the social, physical and imaginal landscape of the Balkans-to-Bengal societies of Muslims in an inter-relational matrix that structures and configures discourse differently to what has gone before. Exemplary among these is the proliferation of the public institution of the madrasah (made possible by the prodigious application of the legal institution of the waqf endowment) which displaces the private household as the major locus of education and which, in the vast territory of Balkans-to-Bengal, is characterized by a remarkably overlapping curriculum not only of subjects and program of study, but also of books. [185] From the Balkans to Bengal, madrasah students studied similar texts: foundational works of logic such as the the Īsāghūjī (Isagoge) of Athīr al-Dīn al-Abharī (d. 1265) [186] (whose other foundational text, the Hidāyat al-Ḥikmah, has been discussed earlier) and al-Risālah al-Shamsiyyah of Najm al-Dīn al-Qazwīnī al-Kātibī (d.1204–1277); [187] of dialectics, such as the Risālah Samarqandiyyah of Shams al-Dīn al-Samarqandī (fl. 1303) and the commentaries thereon; [188]  of “argumentative” (that is, dialectical) philosophical theology, [189] such as the Mawāqif  of ʿAḍud al-Dīn al-Ījī (d. 1355), [190] the Maṭāli al-anẓār of Abū al-Thanāʾ al-Iṣfahānī (d. 1349), [191] and the Sharḥ al-Maqāṣid of Saʿd al-Dīn al-Taftāzānī (d. 1389); [192] of Qurʾānic exegesis such as the Kashshāf of the Muʿtazilī rationalist, Jār Allāh al-Zamakhsharī (d. 1144), [193] and the “toning-down”of the rationalism of the Kashshāf in the Anwār al-tanzīl of ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿUmar al Bayḍāwī (fl. 1305); [194] of Hadith (not only the Ṣaḥīḥs of al-Bukhārī and Muslim, but also later Hadith selections, such as the Mishkāt al-Maṣābīh of Walī al-Dīn al-Tibrīzī (fl. 1337); [195] and of fiqh-jurisprudence, such as, in the cases of the Ḥanafī Ottoman and Mughal madrasahs, the Hidāyah of Burhān al-Dīn al-Marghīnānī (d. 1197), and the commentaries thereon. [196]
-Shahab Ahmed, What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic(Princeton and Oxford: Princeton UP, 2015, 76-78.