Tuesday, 19 June 2007

The Madrasah System - Dignity of The Muslim Community

The Christian community has the Church, the Jewish community has its Synagogue, the Hindu Community has it's Mandir, the Sikh community has the Gurdwara and the Buddhists have their Temple and so on. But the Muslim community not only has the Masjid but also the educational Madrasah.

Alhamdulillah, Allah Taa'la has blessed Muslims with such a great bounty where children from as young as five learn to read the Qur'an, Islamic Tariqh (history), Adab & Akhlaq (Manners and Etiquettes), Hadith (Traditions of the Holy Prophet SAW), Fiqh (Basic Islamic Rulings) and much more. This also is where children complete Hifz (the memorisation of the Holy Qur'an). This in itself is a miracle of Allah; and indeed - the Madrasah system is also a bounty which through the efforts of our Pious Predecessors for hundreds of years, has educated us and has saved many of us from becoming completely neglectful and ignorant of our Deen.

How many Jews can read the Torah in its original Hebrew text? How many Christians can read the Bible in its original Aramaic text? How many Sikhs and Hindus can read their respective books in their original text?

Today more than 80% of Muslims can read the Holy Qur'an in its original Arabic text. A very significant portion of this reason is through the blessings of the Madrasah which even your local "Ustazs" owes a great deal to. Through the Madrasah, an individual bases his or her moral values which carries them throughout their life.

Unfortunately, nowadays we do not value the Madrasah as much as our predecessors did. Islamic education is being disregarded. Instead of sending our children to the basic Madrasah to gain the necessary Islamic knowledge and practice, we would rather send them to an after-school homework club, piano classes or to football practice. We have this attitude and tend to think that when our son or daughter has completed the recitation of the Holy Qur'an once or twice, then their Islamic education is complete.

It is a shame that we do not truly realise and appreciate the spiritual benefit of the Madrasah. As soon as a child steps out of the house, he or she becomes exposed to various kinds of evil temptations and mischief. The child falls prey to the tricks of the Shaytaan. As soon as they enter environments where there is little respect for teachers, and the child sees the area as a place where unsanctified flirtation becomes a thing of the norm; swearing becomes a core part of the limited vocabular; slander and backbiting become the discussions of the day. So many other vices become part of the child's everyday life.

But when a child comes home, does Wudhu, then goes to the Madrasah, they become safeguarded from these Shaytaani practices, and they sit in such an environment where the words of Allah are recited in glory, Stories of the Prophets AS are orated, Sunnahs are explained and revived into their lives. What can be a more virtuous gathering than this?

It is for this reason that the pious Ulama plead all parents to not withdraw their children from specified religious education at a young age.

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