Maʿhad al-Ṣuffah is an institute for Arabic and Traditional Islamic Learning which combines academics and spirituality. It seeks to preserve an inherited legacy of sacred Islamic knowledge as understood by Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamāʿah, and promote it through transmitting the centuries of knowledge which have been passed down from generation to generation, as well as making a meaningful contribution to the sacred academic tradition by equipping its students, who are heirs to the tradition, with the necessary training to deal with any challenge.
Maʿhad al-Ṣuffah is named after one of the first centres of sacred learning and the nucleus of the inherited tradition. The enclosed platform which was part of al-Masjid al-Nabawi during the time of the Prophet (saw), known as al-Ṣuffah, and it was the living quarters for the companions of Nabi Muḥammad (saw) who migrated to Madīnah and had no place to reside in. These companions, most of whom were destitute, were given special attention by Nabi Muḥammad (saw). They constituted the core group of companions who were bearers of the Islamic tradition of knowledge. The people of al-Ṣuffah dedicated a great deal of time to academic pursuits since they spent most of their time in the company of Nabi Muḥammad (saw) in al-Masjid al-Nabawi.
The pedagogical model at Maʿhad al-Ṣuffah is designed to achieve the long-elusive goal of our more recent spiritual and intellectual forefathers: to eliminate the debilitating gap between secularly-educated and traditionally-trained Muslim scholars. Among the goals of Maʿhad al-Ṣuffah is providing traditional Islamic education that doesn’t water down content, yet can still provide contextually appropriate and relevant knowledge and rear students who are deeply grounded in both the Islamic texts and the contemporary context. Their academic training is designed to equip them to serve the faith at all levels and be a source of inspiration and guidance for the communities in which they serve.