Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education

The Naqshbandiya Foundation for Islamic Education (NFIE) is a non-profit, tax exempt, religious and educational organization dedicated to serve Islam with a special focus on Tasawwuf(Sufism),

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Towards a Grand Renewal: The Salient Features of the Azhari Approach by Sheikh Usama Al-Sayyid Mahmoud Al-Azhari 

Full Paper PDF:

Video Lecture by Shaykh Jamaal Diwan on Majlis Facebook:


All Praise be to Allah, Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds, and Peace and Salutations be upon our Master Muhammad who has been uniquely endowed with the highest of eloquent aphorisms, reservoirs of wisdom, the Supreme Leader of the first generations and the last generations, Seal of the Prophets and the Messengers, God’s Mercy unto the Worlds. O God bestow Your Peace, Salutations and Blessings upon him, his family, his Companions and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Reckoning.Numerous are the schools and institutions that have risen to carry the trust (amanah) of our religion (din)—schools and institutions for which God has decreed acceptance and approval and which people have favourably endorsed— and to such an extent that these schools and institutions have served and imparted the religion for centuries. These schools and institutions became the eyes through which the Umma of Muhammad viewed events and methods, and through which it formulated a methodology and issued its view of what is to be accepted and rejected. And in the forefront of these schools and institutions was the illustrious al-Jami’ al-Azhar (Al-Azhar University), which has supplied the Muslim Umma throughout the ages with great religious leaders and scholars and during its illustrious history has recorded in its name many noble positions. It has emitted the lights of knowledge, realization and guidance to the entire Umma in the East and the West. What is the Azhari methodology? From where did it originate, and what is it composed of? After having researched extensively the generations of its alumni, scholars, books, its impact on the people over the centuries, and other critical evidence, we are able to articulate some conclusions about the essential features of the Azhari aproach. These features are akin to the spirit that inheres in the scholarly activities of its ‘ulama, their works and scholarly positions. We will abstract and explain these features here so it becomes easy forstudents of the religioussciencesto commit them to memory, and in order that they may serve as a criterion whereby they are able to differentiate between sound and unsound approachesImpacting on these features, we must note, are issues such as grounding in the tradition, deductions, examples, models, methods of application, for which this present work is insufficient to cover in its details, but each may form the basis for more extensive research and publication in the future. However, we discover that these very elements are common, widespread and current in the curricula of the great learning centres like the University of Zaytuna in Tunis; the Ottoman School in Tripoli (the Uthman Pasha Madrassa); the University of Al-Qarawiyyin in Fez; the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus; Fatih University in Istanbul; the great learning centres in Hadramawt, Sana’a, India, Mauritania; as well as the secondary schools and institutionsthat have developed from these primary ones. The aim here is to recollect and bring to mind these principles, for they are the criteria of knowledge which we hope will serve as a sort of matn (basic text), which students of knowledge can memorise, and hence improve their understanding of knowledge and thus proceed therein on the basis of insight and keen mental perception.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home