Contributions of Madrasas
By Asghar Ali Imam Mehdi Salafi
In the eyes of
Islam, Knowledge is a great wealth which must be gained by all
possible means. Allah teaches us new knowledge at every given
moment. Individuals learn more and more day by day; nations and
humanity at large learn fresh knowledge at every stage.
Ilm is vital and most important national activity, the backbone of a country's progress. In India, Universalisation of Elementary Education, (UEE) eradication of illiteracy and development of vocational education are the thrust areas identified in the educational sector. Major initiatives in the form of Operation Black Board, Non-formal Education, Teacher Education, District Primary Education Programme and National Programme on Nutritional Support to Primary Education have been undertaken to achieve the goal of UEE. The achievement so far has been around 50 percent only.
found not only in urban areas but also in the backward rural
regions, where often no other educational facilities exist. The
Madarsas manage to spread literacy in that section of society which
is the most deprived one. Madarsas exist with very little
infrastructure. They do not usually charge any fees. In today's
commercial world, Madarsas are remarkable as centres of free
education. It is through this Madarsas education system only that
people are empowered socially and economically and are enabled to
adjust themselves in all spheres of human activity.
objective of Madarsas is to produce experts of Islam. Madarsas are
the factories to develop the personality in tune with the Holy Quran
and Hadith and they are established with a view to supply the Muslim
Community with the servants of religion, teachers, social workers,
reformers and preachers. They make the young generation true servant
of Almighty Allah and true well-wishers of humanity.
The said task
itself portrays the importance of Madarsa education, 'Ulama produced
by these Madarsas even now provide leadership not only in religious
maters but in social sphere as well. It is because of this important
role of Madarsas that people call them to be castles of Islam. The
Madarsas, sow, in the hearts of children, the seeds of the
greatness, keeping one's promise, tolerance, decency, generosity and
cooperation in dealings with Muslims and non-Muslims alike, so that
they may grow up and develop with truth. They teach the importance
and need for morality at the individual, public and collective
level. The Madarsa teach their students that the progress and
survival of nations, the nourishment and development of civilization
and culture, the rightful consolidation of power and strength all
depend an morality. If the students get good moral training, then
all these good qualities will be found in their society.
teach their students to throw away sectarianism and communal
prejudices. They do not teach them to take part in strikes,
lock-cuts, ghenaos in our national life. They cultivate universal
values so as to keep the human beings true to their name.
Maktabs have made enormous contributions to Urdu language and
literature and self employment. In many villages, if there is
government primary school, its teachers are not as dedicated as the
less paid Maulvis of privately run Madarsa and Maktabs. Madarsas for
girls do teach Muslim girls to know their rights and duties.
Educating the Muslim girls is like equipping them with a powerful
weapon. Educated women will also have an opportunity to be
financially secure and thus less susceptible to exploitation. Today
30 percent of Muslim women in India are considered to be literate
compared to 70 percent of men.
Apart from the
contribution in literacy campaign the Madarsas have made a good
contribution to provide self employment for thousands of young men.
Alims graduating from different Madarsas render their services
product has sympathy, cooperation, and honest approach in life. A
government servant of Madarsa background is just and does not
indulge in corruption, a Muslim teacher engages his classes and does
not bluff through his course, a Muslim businessman having Madarsa
education does not profiteer, a Muslim physician is available at all
times and a Muslim citizen is peaceful and participate in public
life and contribute to the development of the community, society and
the county. He meets the situation with love and patience and shows
respect to other religion. In short he is a good Muslim, a good
Indian and a good citizen of the world, rolled into one.
It is the Madarsa educated Alims who played a significant role in the freedom struggle. 'Ulama produced by these Madarsas provided leadership not only in religious matters but in social sphere as well. 'Ulama stood shoulder to shoulder with their leading freedom fighters. 'Ulama of Sadiqpur, Patna (Bihar) suffered all kinds of persecution, sentenced to long term, imprisonment even transported for life in Andaman Islands. 'Ulama influenced the Muslim masses and they participated in freedom struggle in large number.
(The writer is General Secretary Jamiate Alhe-Hadeeth Hind)
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