The First University In The World

The First University In The World

Earlier today i wrote a post on the first university in Nigeria and still on that steam, i would love to touch on another similar subject, the first university in the world. Like i had earlier hinted, i like simple knowledge like this one. Add them together and you can one day become that ordinary person with an extraordinary mental capacity.

I am actually following a simple criteria, the first university in the world and nothing else. In fact my own pick is different from what you would find on most blogs, their claim of course is located in Italy, the university of Bologna that was established in the year 1088.

Which is way different from what i am about to present through this post, which is a journey to ancient Africa.

The search for the first university in the world was a mental trip that took me to north Africa, Morocco to be precise. And the name of the university is al-Qarawiyyin, also written Al Quaraouiyine or Al-Karaouine.

The University of Al-Karaouine is located in Fez, Morocco and is considered the oldest university in the world and its erection was made possible by Fatima al-Fihri in 859 with an associated madrasa. It was incorporated into Morocco’s modern state university system in 1963.

So what little details do we have on Fatima al-Fihri?

She was the daughter of a wealthy merchant named Mohammed Al-Fihri whose family had migrated  from Kairouan, Tunisia to Fes in the early 9th century, joining a community of other migrants from Kairouan who had settled in a western district of the city.

Along side with her sister she would inherit a large amount of money from their father, and that money would become the financial foundation upon which the university of Al-Karaouine, which was just a mosque at that time would be structured upon.

Notable Interactions

The madrasa has produced numerous scholars who have strongly influenced the intellectual and academic history of the Muslim world. Among these are Ibn Rushayd al-Sabti (d. 1321), Mohammed Ibn al-Hajj al-Abdari al-Fasi (d. 1336), Abu Imran al-Fasi (d. 1015), a leading theorist of the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudenceLeo Africanus, a renowned traveler and writer. Pioneer scholars such as Al-Idrissi (d.1166 AD), Ibn al-Arabi (1165-1240 AD), Ibn Khaldun (1332-1395 AD), Ibn al-Khatib, Al-Bitruji (Alpetragius), Ibn Hirzihim, and Al-Wazzan were all connected with the madrasa either as students or lecturers. Among Christian scholars visiting Al Quaraouiyine were the Flemish Nicolas Cleynaerts and the Dutchman Golius and Pope Sylvester II.

There you have it, the first University in world even though for most people it is simple the world first islamic university.