The traditional approach to education in Islamic Sciences is the most appealing to my mind. The teaching method of personal tutelage seems to fit not only the psychic structure of the students but also conforms to the spiritual make up of the teachers, who wish to transmit the invaluable treasure of knowledge. In the maze of insuperable enigmas, teachers guide their pupils how to find the way out. In the unfathomable ocean of delusional questions, they take their hands and swim to the surface to help them breathe clarity and certitude.

The tunnel of ignorance which the ‘toddlers’ are liable to trip up in is lit by the enduring flame fueled by the compassion of the teachers. As long as the ability to learn is accompanied by the insatiable desire for knowledge, the compassion remains in a perpetual state of burning. Despite the fact that many a time the teachers provide for the sustenance of their students, they do not feel crossed when their premises are dauntlessly questioned and their conclusions are audaciously challenged by their students. The more questions are debated, the more intensely the flame burns – and sheds light on the hitherto hidden aspect of the problem. Having a first hand knowledge of the personal inhibitions of students puts the teachers in a very favorable position vis-à-vis communication of knowledge is concerned. More often than not, an impregnable bridge soon comes into being to let the traffic of ideas moves about speedily in highly sophisticated parlance – which only aim at utmost precision and exactitude. The theme which was obscured in the mist of confusion, of surety, comes into the veritable sunlight.

The expedition of learning which begins by studying the scholarly masterpieces of the earliest great Muslims ends with the investigation of the works of the contemporary scholars. Each and every important sentence is debated, and the themes presented are voraciously devoured in sheer hunger of knowledge. Objective analysis and free inquiry into the sources signify the hallmark of this expedition. While this is done, time is taken to understand and appreciate the works, and due regards are paid to the authors. Whatever discipline is studied, the teacher stands at the focal point of this activity. To sit before him is to humble before knowledge – that always eludes the bigheaded and makes friends with the humble.

(Jhangeer Hanif)

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