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Jamia Mohammadia: Islamic and Modern studies rule here with equal power

 

Friday, January 22, 2010 11:38:27 PM, Aleem Faizee, ummid.com

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Malegaon, despite an appalling history of negligence by successive governments at the centre and state, still has the tag of being a town of literate, erudite and cultured masses firmly intact. True to this identity, the first thing that greets the people entering the town from the western side on the Mumbai-Agra National Highway and touching the banks of Girna River is the grand educational complex. Mansoora, as this complex is named by its founders, is not only an education hub but also a symbol depicting state-of-the art combination of Islamic and modern Indian culture.

 

Lush green lawns, buildings of class architecture, classrooms with modern amenities, model computer rooms – one each for boys and girls, well-equipped laboratories, library with valuable collection of rare books, hostel with suitable lodging, playground enough not only for cricket but also for games like basketball and football, giant mosque with separate arrangement for women having a capacity exceeding 5000 people and what not.  The campus stretched on 56 acres of land has everything that parents would love to have for the education of their children.

 

Moreover, Mansoora is perhaps the only place in India having a dedicated mosque for girl-students where they not only offer prayers five times a day but also it is they who lead the prayers every day. Above all, they have a unique syllabus for study that not only masters them in Islamic as well as Modern subjects but also train them in meeting the emerging challenges.

 

The Plush campus of Jamia Mohammadia Mansoora. In the centre is Sultan Manzil - Kulliyah Aisha Siddiqua for girls. The buildings on the right are for boys.

(Photo: ummid.com)

 

The brainchild of Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Nadvi, who with the help of his friend Saith Mohammad Khaleel of Malegaon initially and single-handedly later on, turned the Mansoora into a model not only for those working eagerly on Madrasa modernization but also for many schools and educational institutions in India where quality education and desired results have become scarce.

 

The Beginning

King Abdul Aziz University of Saudi Arabia had organised an International Conference in 1975. The theme of this conference was to deliberate on the possibilities to amend the existing Madrasa syllabus followed by most of the Islamic institutions and bring them in line with the modern requirements. Besides Muslim scholars and Ulema from all across the world, Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Nadvi and noted Muslim scholar Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Miya Nadvi were also present in the conference. The deliberations on the all-important issue in the conference kept Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Nadvi impatient throughout the way back to India. He consulted on the matter with Maulana Ali Miya Nadvi and then tirelessly began searching for options to establish a model Madrasa in India.

 

Sultan Manzil - Kulliyah Aisha Siddiqua for girls. On its left is the dedicated mosque for girl-students where they offer prayers five time a day.

(Photo: ummid.com)

 

At this juncture, Maulana Mukhtar Nadvi met his friend Saith Mohammad Khaleel of Malegaon in Mumbai. The two men, though living miles away from each other, had many things in common. While Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Nadvi had the vision and plan to convert his dream into a reality, Saith Mohammad Khaleel had the required resources in plenty. Simultaneously, he proved a powerful backer and a great motivator for Maulana Nadvi. The combination worked and what Muslim leaders and Islamic scholars dreamt at King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia in 1975, became a reality thousands of miles away in Malegaon in 1979.

 

Mansoora

A man with a vision, Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Nadvi was also a master in doing things in novel ways. Hence for his dream Education Institute - running on a unique syllabus based on Islamic as well as Modern Education pattern and stretched on 56 acres of land touching the banks of Girna River along the Mumbai-Agra road in Malegaon – chose Mansoora as its name.

 

Masjid Aisha Ad Daeej: It has the capacity of 5000 people with separate

and up-to-date facility for women and children

(Photo: ummid.com)

 

Mansoora, as Maulana Mukhtar Nadvi used to recall, in ninth century was a historic locality in Baghdad. Iraq’s capital Baghdad during that time was the source of wisdom, knowledge and erudition, and preferred destination for scholars and academicians. People from all across the globe seeking knowledge and wisdom used to converge at Baghdad. In the heart of the city and centre of all academic activities in Baghdad was Mansoora. Thousand years later, Mansoora took a rebirth in Malegaon – a small town in North Maharashtra predominated by Muslim population.

 

A Model Curriculum

For the Curriculum and syllabus to be followed at Jamia Mohammadia for boys and Kulliyah Aisha Siddiqua for girls – as he named the first two institutions founded by him in Malegaon - Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Nadvi worked on two levels.

 

Realising that the existing Dars-e-Nizami - normally followed by the Mada’ris (plural of Madrasa) in India - is not sufficient to meet the emerging challenges and requirements of even the Islamic studies, he after consulting renowned academicians and scholars of the time introduced suitable and needful amendments in it.

 

At the same time, he introduced the modern subjects like Science and Mathematics, and also the languages like English, Hindi and Marathi for students that included boys and girls both. Finally, the curriculum that came into being out of his efforts was a perfect combination of Islamic and Modern Education pattern.

 

New building of Kulliyah Aisha Siddiqua. It gets inaugurated on

January 25, 2010

(Photo: ummid.com)

 

Simultaneously, he meticulously worked for obtaining the all-important affiliation and recognition from the state education board, and also from the Indian and foreign universities. Thanks to the determination, commitment and speed with which he worked, both of his institutes were very soon recognised by the Mahrashtra State Secondary Board and also by Jamiah Islamia, Madinah Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia and Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

 

Mansoora: A force to reckon with

Due to the hard-work it needed on the part of the students as well as the teachers, the curriculum was really tough when introduced in the beginning. However once it was on a roll, results started pouring in consistently and with surprising rewards. The Jamia students – both boys and girls, soon found them not only scoring excellently in Islamic studies but also coming with flying colors in state board exams.

 

However, the brightest moment for Mansoora came in 2008-09 when one of its students Abdur Rehman along with sixteen others created history at Jamia Islamia Madinah Munawwara, Saudi Arabia. While Abdur Rehman topped his faculty and bagged student of the year award, sixteen others from Mansoora cleared the University exams with distinction. The results were so impressive that Jamiah Islamia sent its Head of the Education Department to Mansoora. He specially traveled from Saudi Arabia to Malegaon to have a personal and first-hand account of the way students are taught.

 

JMES goes National

After he succeeded in his mission, Maulana Mukhtar Ahmad Nadvi  invited people from various places – specially those who were part of the deliberations with him at King Abdul Aziz University in 1975 – to have the first hand experience of what was dreamt in that conference. At the same time, while extending all supports, he urged them to replicate the model in their localities. However, when he found some of them wary and some others hesitant, he took it upon himself to do the job. Soon JMES spread its wings to other parts of the country and established branches at Maunath Bhanjan, Aakot, Dhule, Bangalore, Mahesla and Mewaat – all running on the Mansoora pattern and affiliated to the respective state boards.

 

Future ambitions

The Mission was partly accomplished. Maulana Mukhtar Ah Nadvi died September 9, 2007. Behind him he left, besides Mansoora in Malegaon and a chain of education institutes spread all across the country, an able and equally ambitious son Arshad Mukhtar. At the helm of the affairs now, Arshad is smartly following his father's footsteps. His dream is to convert Mansoora into a big University - capable of offering every subject that exists on the earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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