Sunday, December 21, 2014

Madrasa al-Nizamiyya in Baghdad

If the caravansaries were the central element of the Seljuk economic policy, the madrasa was an important element of Seljuk political ideology.

The madrasa, a religious college, was established by the Baghdad caliph to spread Sunni doctrine, in opposition to Shi’i-Isma’ili teachings.

The first, al-Nizamiyya, in Baghdad, was founded in 1066 by Nizam al-Mulk, the powerful vizier who was killed by an Assassin (Nizari Ismai’ili). It is beginning for the madrasa system and the first of a series of nizamiyyas across the Seljuk Empire, publicly endowed with stipends for students and salaries for teachers.

The Nizamiyya Madrasa became the network of colleges of Islamic law and the best known and most important of these was the Nizamiyya of Baghdad, which remained a premier institution of learning for several centuries and served as a model for numerous law colleges throughout the Islamic world.

The purpose was to strengthen Sunni Islam. Important figures such as al-Ghazali (1058-1111) taught at these nizamiyyas. The great Persian poet of Shiraz, studied under a fellowship at the Nizamiyya College at Baghdad.

Islamic thinker, Al-Ghazali, is noted for his work in jurisprudence, theology and philosophy. He occupied the highest academic chair in Nizamiyya, teaching 300 students.
Madrasa al-Nizamiyya in Baghdad

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