I was always under the impression that the Majlis and Halaqa’s of our Scholars of the past were always open and never restricted to the students only and passers by were free to sit and learn as they wished. I thought that this was the way many of our Imam’s used to teach at the pulpit in the Masjid before the universities and colleges were established.
Am I correct in assuming this. I must say I have not studied the methodology of teaching to any level and am just drawing conclusion from talks and programmes I myself have attended. I mentioned this to a brother once who said to me that “Imam Malik had two main Halaqa’s of knowledge; one where it was open for all and that would take place in the prophet’s mosque, and the second Halaqa’s was for only his selected students.”
Any thoughts and references will be so much appreciated.