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The First Free Education City in the World.

Qurtoba known as Cordoba one of the Muslim's greatest cities in Andalus(now known as Spain) became a well-developed city and the center of all types of Science and knowledge during (the forth Hijri century/the tenth Gregorian century). Not only in Spain(Andalus) but in the world at large. As western students used to come to achieve the knowledge of light that brightens the darkness of ignorance that Europe has drowned in for centuries.

Schools were established everywhere in Qurtuba to teach both Muslims and non-Muslims. Special and general libraries built everywhere to the extent that this city became the most equipped with books in the world. It became the center of civilizations and cultures and the complex of all specializations of knowledge.

Qurtoba produced many poets, scientists and Imams/scholars in all the branches of knowledge, so with no doubts they played a great role in managing the general affairs of the city politically and educationally at the same time.

In fact, Qurtoba was the first city to implement the free Education system. During the reign of Al-Mustansir an Umayyad caliph, a special budget was allocated for the free education system. As he used to spend on the teachers who were teaching the children of the poor and needy.

There were a total number of 27 free schools in Qurtoba, 3 of these were developed in the Mosques and 24 of them were allocated in deferent areas in Qurtoba. As a result, the rulling period of Al-Mustansir the educational system underwent a rapid change, so reading and writing became common and wide spread among the people. Therefore illiteracy faded away.

Qurtoba was also known by its great Mosque that was not just a place of worship but also was a university which was the most renowned in the world at that time and the biggest scientific center in Europe. It was from this place that the all the Arabic knowledge and science were taken from and transferred to Europe for centuries. All subjects were taught in this university and the best teachers were selected to teach in this university. Students from the west and east come to this place to study both Muslims and non-Muslims.

The lessons done in the Mosque occupied more than half of the Mosque. A fixed salary was allocated for the sheikhs and teachers so that they will give full time to teaching and writing books. Also allowances were given to students as well as assistants to those in need.

Qurtoba/ Cordoba the first city of free education in the world was able to produce for the Muslims and the world a huge number of scholars in all faculties of knowledge and science. Some of whom were Az-Zarawi the most renowned Muslim surgeon, Mohamed Al-Ghafiqi one of the initiators of Eye medication (ophthalmology), Ibn Abdul Barr the jurisprudent and Al-Idrisi the main Muslim geographers.

For more details on this topic read the book "Al-Ilm wat-T'aleem fil Andalus" by Dr. Anwar Mahmud Zanati.


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