JKN’s methodology of learning is based on the traditional تلقى Talaqqi method of learning. With all due respect to many of the internet Islamic learning sites, non can truly compare with the most traditional methodology of face to face learning in the presence of the teacher. Allāh Subhana wa Ta’ala inspired the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam who transmitted this knowledge through a face to face learning process to the Sahābah radiallahu anhum, who in turn transmitted this knowledge in person to the Tābi’een and to the later generations. This chain did not just contain the content of the lesson but also included understanding, practice and retaining through a spiritual medium, which was very physical between the teacher and student. Unfortunately this cannot be attained via the internet.
The Holy Qur’an explains the mission of the Holy Prophet sallallahu alaihi wasallam:
لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُواْ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلالٍ مُّبِينٍ
Indeed Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad SAW) from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (the Qur’an), and purifying them (from sins by their following him), and instructing them (in) the Book (the Qur’an) and Al-Hikmah [the wisdom and the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW (i.e. his legal ways, statements, acts of worship, etc.)], while before that they had been in manifest error. (Surah al-Imram: 168)
The Talaqqi method is conducted in a حلقة Halaqah (semi circle group) and is led by a teacher who possesses a clear chain of transmission from his teacher up to the Holy Prophet SAW. The teacher instructs the students using a medium (usually a Kitāb (book) of learning and supplements this with his knowledge. The commitment to learn, by the students is demonstrated through their learning manners (Ādāb), from which the students not only gain knowledge but an associated spiritual light. The more spiritually connected the teacher, the greater spiritual benefit of knowledge to the student.
The Traditional Learning Style
The student is expected to prepare for the lesson by reading the Kitāb of study and understanding it to the best of ability. This process is called مطالعة Mutāla’a and should be an individual effort without assistance from a teacher or other students. The student then delivers his effort to the teacher in the درس Dars, where the teacher corrects his mistakes and elaborates on important points related to the text studied. The student then repeats the lesson تكرار Takrār either to himself or to other fellow students.
- The Mutāla’a process builds the students Isti’dād (capacity and ability to correctly analyse and interpret classical Arabic text).
- The Dars process is a special moment of learning where the teacher instructs the student, correcting his mistakes and building on areas of importance related to the text.
- The Takrār process is a method by which the student retains what he learns and builds on his ability of fluency in reading Arabic text and explaining, which further assists with the process of retention. The student is now ready to do the forward Mutāla’a for the next lesson.
Sayyiduna Abdullāh Ibn Abbās RA narrates that the Holy Prophet SAW said, “Acquiring knowledge in company for an hour in the night is better than spending the whole night in prayer.” (Tirmizi)