A Social History of Education in the Muslim World
From the Prophetic Era to Ottoman Times
Author(s): Amjad M Hussain
Amjad Hussain’s book is a timely addition to the corpus of literature on Islamic education. His contribution is unique as it presents Islamic education within the social context of Islamic civilisation. It provides an accurate setting to understand how educational institutions throughout Islamic civilisation were established. The sources used by Hussain provide opportunities for contemporary Muslim scholars in education to understand the curriculum used in their own setting. By presenting the context from the Prophetic era to the Ottoman period, the book’s analysis provides a comprehensive understanding of the organic transformation of education in different eras. Hussain challenges the notion of scholars in Islamic civilisations who trace the start of the decline of the Islamic civilisation from the early thirteenth century when the Abbasid Caliphate had become a puppet to governors and viziers. Despite this claim, the book makes a considerable effort to show the dynamism of Islamic educational institutions during the Mamluk and Ottoman periods. By utilising primary sources, he shows that the educational institutions were still functioning with appropriate changes made to their structures and curriculums in accordance with the context of the era. He firmly believes that each period had its time of rise, stagnation and finally decline.