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Jakarta Post

Phenomenon in global education: A ‘sheikh’ called Google

  • Ulil Abshar Abdalla

Jakarta   /   Fri, January 20 2012   /  10:10 am

A Muslim adage has it that whoever studies science without guidance from a credible teacher will end up being misled by the devil.

As a result, many Muslims have maintained a strong educational and scholarly tradition based on direct contact between students and teachers.

As students completed their studies in certain fields of science, they would be granted a diploma called an ijaza by their master. Muslim scholars in the classical age based their authority on the quality of masters they studied with.

The names of the masters are normally listed in the ijaza, similar to the modern practice of granting diplomas to students after their completion of certain level of study.

The only difference is that a modern ijaza does not include names of professors, only the name of issuing institution or university.

However, the basic idea remains the same in bo...