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Volume :10 Issue : 40 1992      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Egyptian Educational System Under the Mamluks, Highlighted (in Arabic)

Auther : Hayat N. Al-hajji

One of the factors that led to the educational boom during the time of the Mamluks was their desire to get closer to the people. Thus, mosques were established for men and advocates of religion, schools for those seeking knowledge and education, religious boarding centres and associations (Arbitta & Zawaaya) for the poor and the needy, and religious educational boarding institutes (Khanqawaat) for sufists and worshippers. As a result of this enomous demand for establishing educational institutions, endowments were increased at that time as necessitated by the volume of expenditure needed by such institutions to be able to function in a perfect and an incessant manner. Sultans, princes and sultanas all shared in fostering this religious bond with the people, each according to his / her financial ability.

One of the most famous mosques founded during the Mamluk era is that of Sultan AI-Nasser Mohammed lbn Qalawaun built in the year 711 A.H. / 1311 A.D. Mumluk sultans also took great interest in renewing and reconstructing many of the mosques built in previous ages. In addition, high selectivity was practised in appointing mosque instructors, since the mosque was the place where various social classes were recevied to perform the five daily prayers and the Friday congregation and listen to religious and ethical orientation speeches. The Mamluks took great interest in establishing schools and allotted more care and attention to education.

The major objective of the policy of setting up so many schools was undoubtedly geared to the service of the Islamic creed and all its theological and jurisprudential sciences.

Moreover, the Khangawat of the Mamluk era were marked for a high degree of sophistication in organization and methodologies, in addition to the high calibre of scientists supervising instruction, preaching and interpretation. An example of such religious educational boarding institutes was that of Saryagaus.

In addition, the religious boarding centres and associations played a great role in serving sufist and devotion purposes either in the field of religion or that of education.

Mamluk historical texts talk about a long inventory of disciplines in which many scientists of the time excelled, such as Ibn Taymiyya, Badr-eddeen lbn Jamaa, Shams-eddeen Al-Sakhawi and many others.

The educational system of the Mamluk era was characterized with specialization, so that each institute undertook a specific discipline. For example, Al-Mansoori Hospital was specialized in teaching medicine. Therefore, any student who was interested in studying a certain discipline at depth would join the school catering for such a sepcialization.

In addition, woman was granted an elevated status in learning spheres. She was given a fair opportunity for educational orientation. Educational supervising bodies during that age showed great interest in the ethical behaviour of teachers, who would set a good example for their students.

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