When someone mentions Timbuktu, we immediately envision an ancient, far away, distant place in the deserts of Africa. But what it should also bring to mind is EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE.
TIMBUKTU is one of the oldest Universities in recorded history.
In the 14th century it was the largest university in the world, with over 25,000 students and 180 Quranic Madrasas. Not only that, it’s graduates were considered superior to all other scholars. And although islamic education is based on the oral tradition of transfer, Timbuktu had over 7,000 handwritten books in its public library. Entire countries didn’t have as many books.
The Classical-Timbuktu educational program was, (and still is) divided into 4 levels
the memorization of Quraan
focusses on gaining mastery over Arabic and FiQh
students become teachers in ALL of the USool
Students entering the fourth level are now qualified to sit in the Circle of Knowledge. Here, they will focus on the lifelong process of purifying one’s soul, through the study of tafseer and Hadeeth. Crucial questions are also sent to members of this circle, and they all (can) participate in responding and issuing fataawa.