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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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Acquiring Knowledge through Companionship (Ṣuḥba)

Acquiring Knowledge through Companionship (Ṣuḥba)

(p.123) 4 Acquiring Knowledge through Companionship (Ṣuḥba)
The Anthropology of Islamic Law

Aria Nakissa

Oxford University Press

This chapter combines ethnography and textual analysis to examine the traditional Islamic pedagogy of companionship. In companionship, a student learns from a teacher by entering into a long-term personal relationship with him and sharing in his everyday affairs. The chapter discusses companionship as a pedagogy favored by Traditionalist scholars. It clarifies how companionship involves learning through observation, and learning through practice, as well as a certain regime of punishment. The chapter’s account of companionship draws on insights from hermeneutic theory and practice theory. Topics covered include companionship among later scholars and between sons and fathers, the structure of companionship, companionship and learning through observation, direct witnessing and baraka, companionship and learning through practice, and punishment in companionship.

Keywords:   Islam, education, ethics, companionship, Ṣuḥba

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