Ash-Shaam: Then And Now
In the general masjid of Damascus, Abu Dardaa (ra) conducted a large circle of learning, one that was attended by more than 1600 students. Aboo Dardaa (ra) would teach them in groups, with each group consisting of 10 students. There was a spirit of competition in the air, with each group wanting to spend the most time with, and therefore benefit the most from, Aboo Dardaa (ra).
For his part, Aboo Dardaa (ra) was readily accessible to his students, he would often stand in a designated place in order to answer their questions about how to recite the Quraan.
Of all the Prophet’s Companions, Aboo Dardaa (ra) is deemed to have had the most influence on the inhabitants of Damascus, as he was their faqeeh and their judge.
[Ghaayatun Nihaayah Fee Tabqaat Al-Qurraa, by Ibn Al-Jawzee, p. 1607]