makiabot, or libraries, which originated in the preIslamic Arab world; tutoring houses, palace schools haiqa, discussion groups in the homes of Muslim scholars; and the library salons in the palaces of wealthy men and courtiers who were patrons of learning and scholarship. In addition, there were the majaits or meetings which were presided over by learned men at various social institutions and private homes. The majalis covered a wide range of topics and subjects. In the current revivals of traditional Islam, many of these "old" institutions and customs are being resuscitated.

Traveling to other cities to seek knowledge under the direction of different masters was a common practice in the early centuries of Islam. From Kurasan to Egypt, to West Mrica and Spain, and from the northern provinces to those in the south, students and teachers journeyed to attend classes and discuss social, political, religious, philosophical and scientific matters. The custom was later popularized in Europe during the Renaissance.
Academies began to emerge in the eighth century, serving as centers for the translation of earlier works and for innovative research. Each academy provided rooms for classes, meetings and readings. The Bay: al-Hikma of the Caliph al-Ma 'mum (813-833 A. D.) and the Dar a!- 'fim of Cairo founded by al-Hakim (996-1021 A.D.) are the most notable. Books were coUceted from all over the world to create monumental libraries that housed volumes on medicine, philosophy, mathematics, science, alchemy, logic, astronomy and many other subjects.


  Along with the introduction of paper and textbooks in the eighth century came the antecedent of "teacher certification." An instructor would give his permission (~~azah) to competent students to teach from one or all of his textbooks. Because of this practice, an individual could have an ijazah to teach a subject although he himself might be a student in another class. Consequently, the distinction between teacher and student was often minimized.
In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, as Arab influence spread to Spain, Sicily and the rest of Europe, Europeans became increasingly aware of Arab advancements in many fields, especially education and science. Books were translated from Arabic into Latin and, later, to vernacular languages. European schools which had long limited learning to the "seven liberal arts" began to expand their curricula.
For some five hundred years, Arab learning and scholarship played a major role in the development of education in the West. The Arabs brought with them well~eveloped techniques in translation and research and opened new vistas in areas of medicine, the physical sciences and mathematics. Application of empiricism in all fields of study was rapidly incorporated into the learning system of those who became familiar with Arab methodology.
Long before the popularization of the phrase "transfer of technology," a term used to describe advanced expertise which developed nations offer to Third World countries, the Arabs shared their
accumulated knowledge and institutions
with the rest of the world.





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