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Islamic Society (02 Mar 2019 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Can Madrasas Be Allowed To Have ‘Sovereignty’? Let Them At Least Weed Out Violent Passages from Their Text First

By Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor, New Age Islam

1 Mar 2019

“An attack on the sovereignty of madrasas” is how the All India Muslim Personal Law Board secretary described the suggestion to bring the Muslim religious schools under the Right to Education (RTE) act. Madrasas’ autonomy and independence guaranteed under Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution will be threatened, Khalid Saifullah Rahmani said recently.

But, the question is what have Indian madrasas, where more than seven million children go for basic education, made of their autonomy? Even if one concedes that it is okay for them to teach just Islamiyaat, they must be asked what brand of Islam are they teaching these impressionable children?

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

The concern was also flagged by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights when last year it proposed bringing madrasas under the RTE to ensure that the children didn’t miss out on their right to education. Children going to madrasas were “as good as out-of-school kids”, the panel said.

I will give just one example and ask madrasa authorities if they are in right minds to be imparting such incendiary ideas to our children and that too in the 21st century. That these teachings cannot be directly linked to any violence yet is beside the point – a ghettoised mind is more toxic than a ghetto. Something that hasn’t happened yet can happen tomorrow.

There is a book called Islami Akhlaq-wo-Aadaab (Islamic behaviour and good manners) for teenage students and part of the course for Aalimiyat (an equivalent of Class 12). Written by Maulana Amjad Ali Azmi Rizvi, this is actually a simplified and summarised version of the 16th volume of Bahar-e-Shariyat, a book of Islamic jurisprudence that is a required study for every Aalim, a scholar trained in Islamic law.

The book claims to seek reforms in the Muslim society. In its chapter on an Islamic dictum Amr bil Maroof wa Nahi anil Munkar (Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil), it says:

“In attacking mushrikeen (polytheists, usually and wrongly translated as idolaters) all by oneself, there is a possibility that one will be killed but if there is a greater possibility that one will kill their man or injure or defeat them, there is no harm in attacking alone; but if there is a greater possibility that they will not be harmed or defeated, then one should not attack. If there is a possibility that when one stops fasiq (depraved) Muslims from committing sins one would get killed and will not be able to harm the debauched Muslims, still it is best to stop them from sinning, (although not stopping them is also permitted, (Fatawa Alamgiri), because getting killed in this venture does not go in vain. It may not appear to be fruitful at this time but in future it will bring good results (Page 268).”

 [I have tried to be as close to the Urdu text as possible in this translation, even at the cost of some clarity.]

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

This is so utterly senseless that anyone reading this might wonder if I am quoting it out of context. There isn’t any context. This is the last paragraph of the chapter and the one before it gives advice on reporting a theft.

The religious ruling is given as if Muslims regularly need advice on whether, and under what circumstances, it is worth risking life while trying to kill a mushrik or stopping a “wicked Muslim” from committing a sin. This would make sense if one were to assume that Muslims risk their lives in these pursuits, as routinely as, say, they go out to buy vegetables.

Fortunately, that is not the case. But, that is no argument for complacency. Islamic theology, as it is taught unabashedly and senselessly, is full of violence, most of it against Muslims who dare to think a new thought.

Fresh thinking was banned in the 9th Century CE. There are thousand and one grounds for declaring Muslims kafir (infidel) or murtad (heretic, apostate) and sentence them to death. This sentence can be carried out by any Muslim in the absence of an Islamic court.

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

As for non-Muslims, including those whom Quran considers Ahl-e-Kitab (People of the Book) and deserving the most intimate relations with Muslims, theology considers them permanent denizens of hell. No wonder most religious Muslims conversant with their theology feel nothing but contempt for non-Muslims and can have nothing but reverence for those who are engaged in despatching them to their permanent abode.

A distinction should, however, be made between Islam and Islamic Sharia (laws) or Islam and Islamic Fiqh (jurisprudence) or Islam and its understanding or Kalam (theology). If Muslims want to live honourably in today’s closely connected world, they have to work towards evolving a new jurisprudence and theology of peace and pluralism and gender justice to replace the theological texts that encourage violence, supremacism, xenophobia, intolerance and gender injustice.

At the very least and as an urgent measure, I would request madrasa authorities to weed out from textbooks passages like the one above that beget murderous violence as well as irrelevancies like how to treat female prisoners of war and concubines, etc.


An Open Reminder to the Ulema: Rejecting Universal Knowledge as Un-Islamic is Brazenly Un-Islamic and Kufr (denial of truth)

Our ulema cannot be unaware that Muslim youth in large numbers are joining jihadist groups around the world today. We should have been deeply worried when the first time a Sunni Muslim went to a Shia mosque in Pakistan, blew himself up to kill fellow namazis, considering them apostate, and thinking he was doing a pious act for which he will be rewarded by God with a place in heaven. This was several years ago. Today, we have become a society which can produce a whole army of suicide bombers practically anywhere in the world. The blame lies squarely with the kind of education imparted in our madrasas.

RTE will ensure a modern curriculum so that children are more attuned to the world around them. They will study what students in other schools are being taught and will not feel left out once they leave madrasas. A modern education will equip them to a world where technology is shaping lives and changing it at a breathtaking pace.

Madrasa education is a serious violation of the human rights of Muslim children. Our children and the world at large deserve better. We simply cannot live in the 21st Century with a 7th-Century mindset.

Sultan Shahin is the founder-editor of a Delhi-based progressive Islamic website NewAgeIslam.com

Note: This article first appeared in the print edition of FirstPost weekly, New Delhi

Source: firstpost.com/india/time-madrassas-give-children-their-right-to-education-6180351.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-society/sultan-shahin,-founder-editor,-new-age-islam/can-madrasas-be-allowed-to-have-‘sovereignty’?-let-them-at-least-weed-out-violent-passages-from-their-text-first/d/117902

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  • Mr Sultan Shahin you are playing Bad cop and good cop game deceiving everybody.
    Ambedkar never wanted to convert to Buddhism but Ghandhi was never ready to condemn manuscript, Ghandhi was doing intellectual jingoism which you too do with your brigade of NAI, if your Quran is eternal than it cannot have violent verses situation based 1400 years ago, it is still valid for killing polytheist.
    What you do is trying to decive all  who are not belving  in your Quran, you try to play good cop game.
    Those violent verses are all time applicable and cannot be said by God, that simple.
    You also cheat people like Zakir Naik, that you are evolving which is huge fake as I have never seen any issue that concern to Hindu and atrocities carried by Muslim to Hindus.
    By Aayina - 8/30/2019 11:09:26 PM

  • I talked to some Ulama about the text of Bahare Shariat quoted in this article. They said all war-related aayat, commentaries and explanations deal with the context of war. They can’t be applied in today’s situation for several reasons.

    They also said “it is good to point out necessaity of such text to be given in proper context as it might create confusion among common readers”.

    Either of the two things can be done in the case of the quoted text; deletion of irrelevant text in the chapter of Akhlaq w Adab or addition of proper context.    

    By GGS - 4/19/2019 1:36:54 AM

    By Dev Soni - 4/18/2019 10:48:55 AM

    By Dev Soni - 4/18/2019 10:48:39 AM

  • @ Dev Lmao even rioters nd supporters of mass murderers look concerned abt "harmony"
    No one can handle so much irony at once.
    By Mohammad Hussain - 4/18/2019 10:47:25 AM

  • @Dev Soni I would really like to know the fact your claim is based on..
    By Na H Il - 4/18/2019 10:46:58 AM

    By Dev Soni - 4/18/2019 10:46:33 AM

  • Iam humbly requesting all the learned friends please don't waste valuable time and thoughts while indulging in a wrong subject with wrong topic. This word cannot be sovereignty but may be autonomous status. Many madrassa are autonomous. One more thing to say that basically they are the place of learning and should not be misunderstood.
    By Attaullah Mahdi - 4/18/2019 10:46:13 AM

  • In India secularism means that tolerance of atrocity and exploration , done by Muslims .Any defence against Muslims,called communalism .
    Here how a fake deliberation is going on word "sovereignty", which is only viable to be fitted with state .
    It cannot exist in any town city village institution house room etc. unless there is anarchy .
    By Satchidananda Mishra - 4/18/2019 10:44:50 AM

  • I think this is the best way to make presence on fb
    By Madhukar Sibal - 4/18/2019 10:43:53 AM

  • If any nation wants to learn how to treat a minority in times of need, please use New Zealand & it’s Prime Minister as a case study. ‬
    ‪*50 Muslims got attacked & killed by an Australian born Terrorist while praying at a mosque*
    ‪How did NZ, a tiny island of only 4 million people respond? ‬
    ‪- entire population mourned genuinely ‬
    ‪- called it a terrorist attack when the attacker was white ‬
    ‪- Raised $9million‬ + for the families affected
    - All funeral costs to be undertaken by the Government of New Zealand
    - Any person caught spreading hate news, or the attack video to be jailed up to 14 years.
    - banned Guns within hours of the incident
    - Huge number of people gathered all over the
    country to lay flowers outside mosques and show their support within hours
    - Kiwi people including the New Zealand police & even gang members of the country are patrolling outside mosques while Muslims pray
    - The Azaan to be played publicly on National TV , Radio and every Mosque around New Zealand at today’s Friday prayers
    - Government fast tracked visas to 24 hours to allow families of affected to enter New Zealand
    - Kiwi people opened their homes to provide free shelter, food and support to any Muslim
    - Non Muslim Kiwi girls wore the hijab to make Hijabi girls feel safer
    - The New Zealand media made sure they covered the Muslim voice in depth and detail, with full interviews with the families of those affected, front page headlines for days and still continuing
    - The Prime Minister Jacinda wore a hijab and personally visited the Muslim community on a daily basis to provide love, support & updates all while wearing a hijab. She hugged Muslims and genuinely cried with them
    - The New Zealand Parliament invited an imam to start a Parliament session with an Islamic prayer (First time in History)
    -Flags flew at half mast
    - The Kiwi people filled up parks and beaches with art work , flowers , candles to show they stand with the Muslim community shoulder to shoulde
    By Ghulam Hussain - 4/18/2019 10:43:31 AM

  • Madarasas will flourish till the day of judgement. The critics and anmeies of madasras have vanished like ash in the past and will vanish in present and future too.
    By Ashiq Dar - 4/18/2019 10:42:36 AM

  • Sheikh Shaheen noone invaded Muslims they themselves invaded oneachother don't mislead other s and yourself also
    By Jayant Gangele - 4/6/2019 10:22:55 PM

  • Sheikh Shaheen Read your Quran & Hadith with patience you will come to know venom is there for Kafirs.
    By Behare Lal Dhar - 4/6/2019 10:22:38 PM

  • Why use d term sovereignty,instead of 'autonomy'... all comments betray a lack of knowledge,based on ignorance and rampant ,prejudice,deliberately spread by certain vested interests...
    By Saeed Ahmad - 4/6/2019 10:21:29 PM

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