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Islamic Seminary Founded by Imam Zayn al-Abidin(A.S.)

The Islamic world in the time of Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, suffered ideological stagnation and dangerous collapse in cultural, scientific life, for the Umayyad government officially waged war against knowledge and deadened awareness, that it might stay on the throne of authority for a longer time, plunder the wealth of the community, and control its fate. 
It is certain that there was no trace of Islamic sciences and beliefs in the time of the Ima`m, peace be on him. Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, witnessed that inactive ideological life and that ignorant community, so he began establishing his great school which was joined by a large group of religious scholars and jurists about whose biographies we will talk. 
Anyhow, the community in that time did not witness a profit greater than that of the Ima`m, peace be on him. This is when he established his science school in its homeland and enlighten it with thoughts, sciences, and knowledge. 
Before we speak about the Ima`m's school, students, and companions, we will mention some of 
his scientific affairs.

 

His Devotion to Proclaiming Knowledge
The great Ima`m thought that it was religiously incumbent on him to spread knowledge as well as he wanted with it to amuse himself which was full of worries and pain, hence he devoted himself to it. Shaykh Abu` Zahra said: "He, namely the Ima`m, devoted himself to knowledge, study, and research, for he found in it the diet of his heart, and an amusement for his soul. He turned his soul away from permanent worries and pain, hence he sought hadith (tradition) and devoted himself to it.( Al-Ima`m Zayd, p. 24)
The Ima`m dedicated himself to proclaiming knowledge among the people to the extent that it distracted him from everything.(Hulyat al-Awliya`', vol. 3, p. 135).
His only concern was to enlighten the Muslims, train their natures, and to educate them with moral teachings of the tolerant Islamic message, that they might after him carry the torches of thought and light.

 

His Praising the Excellence of Knowledge
He, peace be on him, praised the excellence of knowledge and urged (the Muslims) to seek it when he said: "If men knew what was in seeking knowledge, they would seek it even through shedding blood and wading into the depth of the seas. Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, revealed to Da`nya`l: 
'The most hateful servant with Me is the ignorant who disdains the scholars and leaves following them; the most lovable servant with Me is the pious who seeks plentiful reward, clings to the scholars, and follows the wise men. (Usu`l al-Ka`fi, vol. 1, p. 35. Al-Mahjja al-Bayda`', vol. 1, p. 26)
Have you seen how the Ima`m glorified knowledge and urged (the Muslims) to seek it? He, peace be on him, believed that the community would have no life except through spreading knowledge among its members.

 

His Encouraging Scientific Movements
Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, played an important role in encouraging scientific movements. Though he had majesty and noble self, he attended the class of Zayd b. Aslam, hence Na`fi' b. Jubayr blamed him for this, saying: "May Allah pardon you. You are the master of the people, why do you come and sit with this slave (i.e. Zayd b. Aslam)?" 
"Knowledge is sought everywhere," replied the Ima`m.( Ta`rikh Dimashq, vol. 36, p. 146. Tadhib al-Kama`l: M7/Q2/ p. 335. Safwa`t al-Saffwa).
It is not an act of Islam that false differences withhold men from learning and making use of scholars everywhere.

 

His Honoring the Seekers of Knowledge
The Ima`m, peace be on him, honored the students of knowledge and raised their position. The historians said: "When a seeker of knowledge came to him, he received him warmly and said to him: 'Welcome to the one whom the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, has recommended .'" 
Ima`m Abu` Ja'far, peace be on him, said: "When my father looked at the youths who sought knowledge, he brought them near to him and said to them: 'You are welcome. knowledge is entrusted to you. You are the youths of the people, but you are about to be the elders of others.'(Al-Durr al-Nazïm, p. 173. Al-Anwa`r al-Bahiya, p. 103).

 

Teachings for Learners
The Ima`m, peace be on him, appointed moral instructions for learners, an example of them is these words of him: "He who laughs one time loses a bit of knowledge.(Siyar A'la`m al-Nubala`', vol. 4, p. 38. Tadhikirat al-Huffa`z, vol. 1, p. 71. Al-Hulya, vol. 3, p. 134).
Ibn Jama`'a produced this tradition as evidence of that it is impermissible for a learner to laugh before his teacher.(Tadhkirat al-Sa`mi', vol. 98). This means that the learner should show politeness and respect toward his teacher.

 

Rights of Teacher
The Ima`m, peace be on him, legislated rights the like of which no organization of education and teaching has ever done. He, peace be on him, said: "The right of the one who trains you (sa`'is) through knowledge is magnifying him, respecting his sessions, listening well to him, and attending to him with devotion. 
You should not rise your voice before him. You should never answer anyone who asks him about something, in order that he may be the one who answers. You should not speak to anyone in his session nor speak ill of anyone with him. If anyone ever speaks ill of him in your presence, you should defend him. You should conceal his faults and manifest his virtues. You should not sit with him in enmity or show hostility toward him in friendship. If you do all of this, Allah's angels will give witness for you that you went straight to him and learned his knowledge for Allah's sake, not for the sake of the people." 
The Ima`m, peace be on him, established excellent programs for teacher's rights against his students. Students should show sincerity and gratitude toward these rights of teacher who spares no effort to bring them out of the shadows of ignorance into the fields of knowledge and civilization, in order to develop their intellects, and to enlighten their thoughts, hence they should show all kinds of thankfulness and gratitude toward him.

 

The Reward of Learner
The Ima`m, peace be on him, talked about the plentiful reward which Allah, the Exalted, would give to those who seek knowledge, saying: "When one leaves his house to seek knowledge, the seven earths will glorify him.

 

Free Education
The Ima`m, peace be on him, thought that it was necessary for scholars to spread and proclaim knowledge among people freely, and that it was permissible for them to take fee for it. In this connection, he, peace be on him, said: "He who conceals knowledge and takes fee for it, then his knowledge will never profit him.(Al-Hulya, vol. 3, p. 140. In Jammharat al-Awliya`', vol. 2, p. 73, it has been mentioned: "He who conceals his knowledge and takes fee for it by force, his knowledge is useless)
Islam is distinguished from other religions and social schools by that it absolutely believes in knowledge, makes it incumbent on Muslims (men and women(to seek it, and prevents them from taking fee for it, and especially as it concerns teaching the Qur'a`n. Isha`q b. 'Amma`r reported: "I told Ima`m Zayn al-'Abidin, peace be on him, that I had a neighbor who would teach the children to read and write, and he said to me: 'When the child is sent to him, let him say to his family: 'I teach the child to write and count and trade in teaching the Qur'a`n, that my daily bread may be good.'(Al-Istibsa`r, vol. 3, p. 66).
It is incumbent on the state to give salary to the teacher; it should spend on him in order to free him from need for people.

 

The Humbleness of Teacher
The Ima`m, peace be on him, urged teachers to cling to humbleness, self-negation, and not to show haughtiness toward men, he said to a teacher: 
"If you teach men well and show no haughtiness toward them, Allah will increase you of His bounty. If you deprive them of your knowledge and show haughtiness toward them when they seek knowledge from you, it is incumbent on Allah to deprive you of knowledge and its splendor and remove your position from hearts.(Maka`rim al-Akhla`q, vol. 143).

 

The Center of his School
The Ima`m, peace be on him, took the Mosque of the Prophet as a center for his school and an institute for him; in its hall he delivered his lectures and researches.. It is worth mentioning that his lectures included jurisprudence, the interpretation (of the Qur'a`n), the hadith, philosophy, theology, rules of conduct, and morals. We mentioned some of them in the previous researches. 
The historians said: "He delivered every Friday a general sermon in which he preached to people, induced them to renounce the world, and make them beseech the next world. The people would memorize and write his words. 
It is worth mentioning that his assembly was full of profits, hence 'Abd Allah b. al-Hasan b. al-Hasan said: "My mother Fa`tima, daughter of al-Husayn, ordered me to join the assembly of my maternal uncle, 'Ali b. al-Husayn. When I joined it, I gained profits of it, such as fear of Allah or knowledge.
('Aya`n al-Shï'a, vol. 1, p. 340).

 

The Scholars surrounded Him
The scholars, the jurists, and the reciters (of the Qur'a`n) surrounded him; they accompanied him weather he was present or on journey. When he wanted to travel to the Sacred House of Allah, about a thousand scholars and reciters of (the Qur'a`n) accompanied him. They recorded his religious opinions and what he delivered before them, such as knowledge, excellent wise sayings, and morals.

 

His Students and his Companions
A large group of scholars and jurists, who spread knowledge throughout the Muslim world, graduated from the Ima`m's school.


source : http://abna.ir/
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