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Education: Educational Institutions

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Education: Educational Institutions

    Historically, there are two major types of Islamic educational institutions: elementary Quranic schools (kuttab or maktab) and higher religious schools (madrasas). Elementary Quranic schools emphasized memorization of the Quran in Arabic, reading, and writing. Madrasas were endowed residential colleges that taught Quranic exegesis, hadith, jurisprudence, theology, Arabic grammar, and logic. Upon completion of studies, students received a document indicating what texts had been studied and with whom (ijazah). Less-formal education was available from Sufi lodges, literary circles in princely courts, private tutors, and apprenticeships in state bureaus and craftsmen's shops. Western-style institutions introduced after 1800 became rivals to kuttab and madrasas. After independence, Islamic and Western school systems were unified, maintaining Western models and curricula. Islamists are presently working to Islamize education as part of the broader goal of Islamization of society.

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