Member of Parliament Maulana
Asrarul Haque over the mike. Seen to his left are Dr. Halima
Sadia, Dr. Shabistan Ghaffar, Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui & others
New Delhi: Knowledge is power
and no society can progress without
knowledge. These views were expressed by speakers coming from
diverse fields of education, social service, judiciary, media and
a host of other areas of life in a seminar on “Inclusive Education
of Minority Girls: Issues and Opportunities”.
The seminar was organized by
Universal Knowledge Trust (UKT) October 02 at Mughal Banquette
Hall, Abul Fazl Enclave, New Delhi.
As the theme suggests, speakers dwelt upon the practical aspects
of raising literacy rate especially among minority girl students
from its present low percentage. The common misconception about
Islam’s narrow view of female education was removed by learned
speakers with examples from Islamic texts and history of Islam.
Speaking on this occasion, noted Muslim scholar and Member of
Parliament, Maulana Mohammad Asrarul Haque Qasmi said that Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) had spent 9 years to educate her wife
He said that the first person who memorized the
entire Quran was not a man but a woman and it was none other that
the prophet’s wife Ayesha who is also the narrator of second largest body of ahadith.
The MP said that Muslims were a vibrant nation and they did not
need to be reminded of the value of education. All they needed was
He said that Islam’s ideology was connected with practicality. It
is therefore that education in Islam is not just a right but a
duty and the key to empowerment.
Information, coordination, cooperation and initiative on priority
basis should be the key terms for success especially in charting
the map of women’s education.
Maulana Qasmi also stressed the need for community-based
infrastructure and said, “We cannot take forward our entire
community only with government’s infrastructure.”
He exhorted to
take initiatives as nothing happens without doing.
Chairman of National Commission for Minority Educational
Institutions (NCMEI), Justice M.S.A. Siddiqui said that every path
of development of Muslims passed through education.
examples of struggle of Lal Badur Shastri and Abraham Lincoln for
acquiring education, Justice Siddiqui said that there was no
excuse for people to say that they could not give education to
their children because of poverty.
Poverty and economic conditions
cannot prevent one from achieving anything if there is passion for
it, he said.
While hailing the contribution of madrasas for Muslim education,
Siddiqui lamented that despite being world’s largest community, it
was very unfortunate that Muslims could not establish a single
university that could be counted among the 100 top universities of
Dr. Haleema Sadia, head of the primary wing
of Hamdard Public School while addressing the seminar said,
"Instead of delivering lengthy lectures on the virtue of
education, there is need to find practical solutions for the
problems of girls’ education."
She asked to stop celebrating the
present status of poor literacy of Muslims and urged to think
about ways to change it.
She also asked to stop misinterpreting Quranic verses and said that they were wrong who said that ulama
were against women’s education. She called it a distortion of
Stressing to prioritise education over everything else, Dr. Sadia asked women to stop celebrating rituals.
She cited her own example how her madrasa education never stopped
her from acquiring contemporary education and maintain hijab,
which she termed as her right.
Dr. Haleema suggested that every Muslim must try to change at
least one person’s life through education, else only rhetoric
would bring no change.
In her welcome address Dr. Shabistan Ghaffar asked to avail of the
facilities of many Commissions set up to help minorities.
Rashid Agwan, Director of Centre for Advancement of Voluntary
Efforts (CAVE) opined for user-friendly concept of education. In
the time of privatization, Muslim institutions, NGOs and business
houses need to take forward steps, Agwan said. Dr. K.P. Wasnik,
Director, Vocational Education, National Institute of Open
Schooling informed about the many facilities available for
He said that under vocational education alone there
were 82 courses available.
Awards in the form of mementos and citations were given to 10
people in recognition of their community services. Some
engineering students were given scholarships.
UKT also gave an award to Danish Ahmad Khan, founder-editor of
IndianMulimObserver.com. The award was in the form of a memento
and citation in appreciation of his extraordinary community
service through the increasingly popular news portal.
Organized by UKT, the programme was sponsored by National
Commission for Minority Educational Institutions, National
Institute of Open Schooling, All India Federation for Women’s
Empowerment through Education, An-Noor Women’s Welfare
Organisation and Jamia Cooperative Bank.
It ended with vote of thanks by UKT trustee, Advocate Farid Khan