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Islamic Society ( 22 Jan 2022, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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A Major Paradigm Shift In Madrasa Education Policy Needed

Maulana Arshad Madani Should First Modernize Madrasas Affiliated Under Darul Uloom

Main Points:

1.    Maulana Arshad Madani stressed the need to teach Muslims modern sciences.

2.    Madrasas have not benefitted from government’s madrasa modernization schemes.

3.    Madrasas have always opposed any modernization move.

4.    Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind grants scholarships to minority students for technical education.

5.    Maulana Madani says successive governments prevented Muslims from education.

6.    Successive governments did not stop Muslims from establishing madrasas.


By New Age Islam Staff Writer

22 January 2022

Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind has announced scholarships worth crores of rupees for needy minority students taking up professional courses. Students applying for engineering,  medical, journalism or any other technical professional courses would be eligible for these scholarships provided they have acquired 70 per cent marks in the previous year’s examination. 

 The Jamiat headed by Maulana Arshad Madani had granted scholarships to minority students previous year as well. Giving the details about the scholarships, Maulana Arshad Madani also stressed the need for promoting modern education among the minority especially among the Muslims. He said that the kind of ideological battle that has been waged in the country can only be fought not with any weapon or technology but with modern education.


Also Read: Madrasa Education is a Clear Violation of the Human Rights of Children: Sultan Shahin asks UNHRC to make Muslim Countries Stick to their Pious Declarations


Putting all the blame for the educational backwardness of Muslims since the independence on the successive governments, Maulana Arshad Madani said that all the governments after the independence kept Muslims deprived of education according to a predetermined policy and Sachar Committee put a seal on this truth. The report says that Muslims lag behind even Dalits in education. He asked, This happened automatically or did the Muslims commit suicide?” He said that the governments had realized that if Muslims had progressed in educational field they would capture power. 

Therefore, the governments kept Muslims away from education. He stressed the need to establish such schools and colleges that produce doctors and engineers and where Muslim students can also acquire religious education. He advised Muslims to establish more and more schools and colleges for providing modern education to Muslims.

Maulana Arshad Madani said that the community needs both hafiz and Ulema and doctors and engineers. He gave the information that for that purpose his organization had established B.Ed. college, Degree College and schools for Muslim boys and girls and ITI’s in different states.

It is to be noted that the scholarships are being granted by Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani Charitable Trust (M.H.A. Madani Charitable Trust) and not by the Darul Uloom Deoband of whom Maulana Arshad Madani is an important part. Darul Uloom Deoband was established by the elders Maulana Qasim Nanautawi and his aides in the late 19th century (30 May 1866) for providing only religious education to the Muslims of undivided India. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan had established Aligarh Muslim University in 1875 only because Darul Uloom Deoband had excluded science subjects from its curriculum. Even now, despite realising the importance of sciences, the Madrasas in India have not agreed to modernize. They have not implemented the governments schemed SPQEM and SPEMM for introducing modern subjects in madrasas. Under this scheme, the governments will pay the salary of Rs 6000 to 12000 to the teachers of modern subjects teaching in madrasas but for that the madrasas would need to register with the Educational Boards of the state and the salary of teachers would be paid through banks. Many few madrasas registered under this scheme as the scheme was voluntary. 

Madrasa authorities opposed government’s madrasa modernization schemes on the pretext that it would lead to unnecessary interference of the government in the minority institutions.

If that was the fear, then the Madrasas would have taken up their own modernization programme and introduced modern subjects in madrasa education curriculum. Nobody stopped them from doing that. But here the real obstacle was ideological and not political. 

A large section of madrasa scholars are of the view that introducing modern subjects into madrasa curriculum would wean away madrasas from their true spirit and so modern sciences should not be added to the madrasa curriculum. They believed and circulated this belief that Duniyawi Uloom (worldly sciences) are not part of an Islamic education system and so they should not be included in madrasa educational curriculum. Only Deeni Uloom( religious sciences) should be taught in madrasas.

During the initial period of Islam there was not demarcation of religious sciences and modern sciences or worldly sciences and so madrasas would teach both Quran and hadith and jurisprudence along with physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics and as a result great Muslim scientists were produced by these madrasas.


Also Read: Evolution of Hadith Sciences and Need for Major Paradigm Shift in Role of Hadith Corpus and Scope of Madrasa Education


But after the spread of British Empire, somehow the wrong belief that the English education will corrupt the faith of the Muslims strengthened among the Muslims and so the modern sciences believed to be akin to the British or Christian education was opposed. This happened in India when Darul Uloom Deoband was established with the sole purpose of saving Indian Muslims from the modern education that the British government was promoting.

After the establishment of Darul Uloom, Sir Syed establish Anglo Mohammadan Oriental College which later became Aligarh Muslim University with the sole purpose of providing modern education to the Muslims to enable them to compete in the modern world. The ulema of his time even issued fatwas of kufr against him for promoting modern education among the Muslims.

And this perception has not changed among the Madrasa educationists yet who do not want to include modern sciences in madrasa curriculum. While stressing the need to equip Muslims with modern education, Maulana Arshad Madani skipped the issue of madrasa modernization. He asked Muslims to establish colleges and schools for Muslims where both religious and modern education would be provided to students, he did not say whether Darul Uloom Deoband was going to modernize itself. Therefore, the views expressed by Maulana Arshad Madani were of the head of M.H.A. Madani Charitable Trust and not of the spokesman of Darul Uloom Deoband.

If the Darul Uloom Deoband had included modern sciences in its curriculum soon after the independence, the madrasas in India would have been the centres of quality education as millions of Muslim students studied in madrasas. They came out with the knowledge of hifz, jurisprudence but did not have knowledge of modern sciences. The Quran enjoins on Muslims to study sciences and do research in scientific fields but these scholars of the Quran and Islam circulated the belief that Islam discourages worldly sciences or modern sciences. This promoted an anti-science mentality among the Muslims.

Since, Maulana Arshad Madani has realized, though belatedly, the need to equip Muslims with modern education; he may make a move for the modernization of madrasas affiliated under Darul Uloom Deoband. Many modern and liberal educationists of India have already established modern Islamic educations where both Islamic and modern education is provided to the Muslim students. But as leaders of the Muslim community, Darul Uloom lagged in this field of knowledge. And even though Maulana Arshad Madani makes a progressive statement, he makes it not from the platform of Darul Uloom but from the platform of an NGO.


Also Read: RESTRUCTURING MADRASA EDUCATION: Muslim Opponents of India’s 'Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act' are Enemies of Indian Muslims


This is time instead of blaming the governments for the educational backwardness of Muslims in India, the Muslims understood that the governments did not stop them from establishing modern schools in every town and village. The successive governments did not stop Muslims from establishing madrasas and producing hafiz, qari and jurisprudents. This is only an alibi to hide the prejudice of Muslim scholars that cost Muslims of independent India dearly.


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