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The Anthropology of Islamic LawEducation, Ethics, and Legal Interpretation at Egypt's Al-Azhar$
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Aria Nakissa

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190932886

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190932886.001.0001

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Taking from the Mouths of Shaykhs (Mushāfaha)

Taking from the Mouths of Shaykhs (Mushāfaha)

Chapter:
(p.159) 6 Taking from the Mouths of Shaykhs (Mushāfaha)
Source:
The Anthropology of Islamic Law
Author(s):

Aria Nakissa

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190932886.003.0007

This chapter combines ethnography and textual analysis to examine the traditional Islamic pedagogy of “taking from the mouths of shaykhs.” This pedagogy requires that a student obtain religious knowledge by sitting with a teacher and listening to him comment on ancient religious texts. The chapter discusses why Muslim scholars value this pedagogy, and why they criticize the practice of independent reading. It also discuss different forms of the preceding pedagogy including samāʿ, qirāʾa, and munāwala. Furthermore, it discusses how this pedagogy relates to matns and commentary. The chapter’s account of “taking from the mouths of shaykhs” draws on insights from hermeneutic theory and practice theory.

Keywords:   Islam, education, ethics, orality, mushāfaha

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