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Tadhkirat al-Sāmiʿ

This course covers the etiquette of the teacher and student of sacred knowledge.

4 Students Enrolled

  • Introduction

    • Before knowledge, etiquette is mastered

    • Knowledge of Islam is the inheritance of the prophets

    • The Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent only to perfect character

    • The scholars referred to manners as guidance

    • Chains of narration can be omitted in basic texts to keep them concise

    • There is a distinction between fear and reverential fear

    • The reality of supplication is that one must be worthy in order to have their supplication answered

    • Weak hadith can still be used

    • Evidences

    • Three facets of scholars’ value

    • During the time of Abu Bakr, scholars had legislative authority

    • Jurisprudence must be both knowledge and action

    • Practicing jurists are saints

    • Gatherings of scholars are like gatherings of the Prophet peace be upon him

    • Islamic sciences are not meant for worldly gain, they are meant for the next life

    • Encouragement comes before warning, but both are necessary

  • Etiquette of the teacher

    • 12 important points

      • Is mindful of Allah’s constant supervision

      • Safeguards knowledge in all actions

      • Practices abstention from worldly delight

      • Purifies knowledge from worldly pursuits

      • Avoids potential accusation and lowly earnings

      • Preserves the liturgy and rulings of Islam

      • Maintains legal recommendations

      • Engages people with good manners

      • Refines character

      • Is devoted to knowledge and is diligent in worship

      • Learns from one of lesser degree

      • Immersed in compilation or authorship if capable

    • Decorum in class

      • Well groomed for class and prays for success

      • Supplicates when heading out

      • Is visible to the students, and is kind and visible

      • Begin class with verses and supplications

      • Orders the lessons in order of importance

      • Is eloquent without being excessive

      • Maintains an orderly environment

      • Warns the students of poor etiquette

      • Is fair in research and honest about limitations

      • Is considerate of guests during class time

      • Opens and closes the lesson with Allah’s name

      • Be qualified to teach

    • Manners with students

      • Seeks Allah’s blessing for teaching

      • Does not refuse to teach an insincere student

      • Encourages the student and refines their hearts

      • Has the students’ best interests in mind

      • Is gracious with the student and facilitates understanding

      • Makes learning easy

      • Kind when quizzing students

      • Encourages the student when they answer correctly

      • Advises the student and does not overburden

      • Reviews fundamental principles and cases

      • Is equitable with students

      • Is observant of their condition and teaches what they need

      • Seeks to benefit and help the student and visits them when they are ill

      • Is humble and welcoming

    • Etiquette of the student

      • “Knowledge is acquired through learning”

      • Knowledge cannot enter a heart that is consumed with disease

      • Proper intention

      • Don’t delay seeking knowledge

      • Seeking knowledge requires dedication and sacrifice

      • Need support to make this possible

      • The lifestyle must be designed to be supportable on as little as possible

      • Marriage should be delayed if possible

      • The place of study should be carefully appointed

      • Leave that which you fear will harm your Hereafter

      • Don’t reduce sleep too much that the body and/or mind is harmed

      • End harmful relationships early, before they take root

    • Manners with the teacher

      • Remember that seeking knowledge is worship, so the teacher must be chosen carefully

      • Great status requires great humility

      • The teacher is the master and the student is the student

      • The student should not be constantly questioning and doubting the teacher

      • Just like anything else, there is a protocol for seeking knowledge

      • The student should defend the scholar in his absence

      • Look first for faults in yourself when the scholar makes a mistake

      • The Prophet (peace be upon him) would line people up for prayer based on status/rank and age

      • Times may change, and cultures may differ, but many forms of respect are universal

      • Do not question a teacher excessively or annoying the teacher

      • Don’t try to maneuver the teacher into making a point for you

      • Sit close but do not crowd the teacher

      • Prepare things for the teacher before handing them over

      • Some of these etiquettes come from the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and some come out of more modern culture

    • Decorum in class

      • Priority of subjects can change based on age and situation

    • Manners with books

      • Scholars would consider books more valuable than gold

    • Etiquette in the dormitory

      • Teachers should have office hours

      • Qualifications for teachers should be made easily available

      • Coed dorms and bathrooms are a bad idea



    13 Months


    Sheikh John Sterling

    Imam John Starling is the Executive Director of GCLEA, in Cherry Hill, NJ and volunteers at Rutgers University, Camden as a Muslim chaplain. He is an alumnus of NCSU’s Poole College of Management and the Islamic University of Madinah. He holds a Master’s Degree in Islamic Studies from the Islamic University of Minnesota, possesses traditional ijazahs in several subjects including Hanbali fiqh, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy. Imam John is also the founder of which seeks to revive traditional Islamic studies according to the illustrious school of Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal.

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