Yearning for learning


Did you know that the Arabic word for mosque is Jami' and the Arabic for university is Jami'a? A thousand years ago the first universities emerged within mosques where religion and science sat comfortably side by side.

Building on knowledge from Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Chinese and Indian Civilisations, Muslims developed a learning culture where enquiring minds searched for truths based on scientific rigour and experimentation. In almost every field of knowledge, Muslims made new inventions and discoveries with practical outcomes that helped develop society.

Muslim charitable institutions provided the first scholarships to support students.Courses were difficult and medicine was particularly gruelling, and just like in universities today, examinations were long and difficult.

17th century madrasa manuscript
17th century Turkish manuscript showing a Madrasa in Istanbul.