Just like the nation needs doctors, lawyers, barristers and engineers, in the same way, our nation needs muftis and religious scholars which can be ensured only through madrassas, said President of Jamiat Ulama Hind.
NEW DELHI – After a meeting of the All-India Islamic Madrassas affiliated with Darul Uloom Deoband (‘Kul Hind Raabta-e-Madaris Islamia’) here on Monday, President, Jamiat Ulama Hind Maulana Arshad Madani made it clear that they are not at all against modern education.
Addressing the media, he said, “We also want the children of our nation to become engineers, scientists, lawyers and doctors. They should prepare for appearing in competitive exams and attain success. But we want our children to learn about religion and its beliefs first.”
He said just like the nation needs doctors, lawyers, barristers and engineers, in the same way, our nation needs muftis and religious scholars, which can be ensured only through madrassas. Not only Muslims but also followers of other religious denominations need religious people to guide them on the path of righteousness. This, he pointed out is the reason why the Jamiat is in favour the madrassa system.
He explained in detail the role of Islamic madrassas in India, especially Darul Uloom Deoband, and the twin objectives of its establishment, one, pursuit of education, and two, carrying forward the freedom struggle.
The purpose of Darul Uloom was not only education, but also the freedom of the country, and for this, the madrassa graduates played a key role in the freedom movement. After the independence, the Islamic scholars completely dedicated themselves to the active politics and reserved their activities for the service of the nation.
He further said that the responsibility of religion rests on the shoulders of the clergy. Imams, muazzins, muftis and qazis are produced by the madrassas who serve the people by guiding them through various religious affairs, just like the way the non Muslims need priests and pujaris in temples and matters of marriage, death, etc.
“We do not need any government aid for our mosques and madrassas, nor is there a need for madrassas to be affiliated with any government board for statutory aid, Maulana Madani asserted.
Recounting the history of the Darul Uloom Deoband, he said that at the time of the establishment of the Islamic seminary it was decided that issues would be decided on the basis of humanitarian considerations, on the basis of caste, creed or gender. That is why its track record shows that non-Muslims also used to get enrolled with the madrassas. Therefore, he said madrassas are not against the country, but they are there for its well-being. The 1,500 years of history of madrassas, he said is witness to their contribution to the nation building.
In response to a question, Maulana Madani said even though the doors of madrassas are always open to everyone, there is no such a thing to hide inside them. Elaborating his point, he said what is imparted at the madrassas is pure religious education. The constitution of the country gives them the right to establish and run own educational institutions.
Maulana Madani dismissed the allegation that killings are encouraged in madrassas saying it is baseless. No such teaching is imparted at the madrassas that others do not have the right to live. Go to any seminary at any time and you will find nothing, but religious books and the quest for knowledge.
“It is historically true that our scholars and forefathers who dreamed of liberating the country from the shackles of slavery at a time when the entire nation was sleeping. They offered their valuable lives for the freedom of the country,” the Maulana asserted.
He lamented that conspiracies are being hatched to cut down the roots of these trees (madrassas) planted by our forefathers. The descendants of such noble souls who have made innumerable sacrifices for the country are being called traitors and enemies of the country, and these institutions are called a hub of terrorism.
Photo: Maulana Arshad Madani, President of Jamiat Ulama Hind addressing media.