Proposed Madarsa Central Board and Ulema

By Manzar Bilal,,

Last part of the seven part series on Darul Uloom Deoband

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In November, I was in Deoband to attend Jamiat’s General Conference. The conference was attended by millions of Muslims from across the country. Besides several issues, proposed Madarsa board was also a topic of discussion at the conference. The conference also passed a resolution rejecting the Board.

On the conclusion of conference, I happened to interact with some Maulanas and administrators of Madarsas to discuss about Madarsa Board as why should Muslims oppose the board.

What I found was disappointing for me because they conclude their answers with the sentence: We do not tolerate government interruption in our Madarsas and this is a conspiracy against Islamic Madarsas planned by outsider anti-Muslims factors.

What may be the reasons but it seems that neither they try to go in depth of the issue nor they asked the experts. It is also responsibility of leading Ulema, Muslim and organizations to highlight the every point of the bill at high level before the community by publishing it in all local languages and also by open discussion at all parts of the country.

Of course, Ulema are considered as leaders of the community so they must be fully prepared to solve the issues related to the community. If they will not argue with cogent reasons and will not take decision about any thing with prudence, their voices will be in vain and demands will be put under the carpet.

This is Mulana Sultan, rector of Madarsa Faizul Uloom, in district Merut, UP. He said: We follow the instructions of our Akabir (seniors) and they are opposing this proposal so we must do the same because they always take decisions in the favor of the community.”

“I did not go through the bill but I heard that it is not in favor of community and it will destroy the independent Madarsas and we will never let it be” said Maulana Abuzar, teacher at Madarsa Falahul Muslimeen, Madhubani in Bihar.

Mufti Anwarul Haq from Sitamarhi, Bihar, was of the opinion that it is a plan prepared by Israel and America to devastate the religious identification of Madarsas. The centres from where true followers of Islam are produced and right guidelines for Muslims are issued are Madarsas. Therefore, anti-Muslims factors want to ruin that.

“Government has slipped from its right track and is working under pressure of foreign power. Establishment of Madarsa Board is an effort to capture Madarsa and to transfer them into formal education centres where religious education has no importance” expressed Maulana Nazir Ahmad, nazim Madarsa Miftahul Uloom, Nalgonda, Andhra Pradesh.

According to HRD union minister Mr. Kapil Sibal there is no compulsion to associate with Madarsa Board and also government will not interfere in Madarsa syllabus rather it will include some new contemporary subjects to make Madarsa graduates fit for modern age and to provide them with opportunities to get education at universities. Maulana Nazir of Malda, West Bengal said:

“Before establishing state Madarsa Boards governments also promised that they will not put disturbance intervene in religious education but what happened with them you can see. In West Bengal‘s Madarsas, religious education has been pushed aside in the name of modernization. Firstly they lure by giving some amount and facilities then destroy the education syllabus as well as system. So, we do not want to be cheated again and lose our Madarsas that are the powerhouses of education as well as spirituality”

“Muslims have lots of problem which must be solved and they have been demanding for that but government is not keen for that and Muslims did not ever demand for Madarsa Board then why it is insisting on it. It indicates that there is something fishy in the proposal,” said Maulana Abdut Tawab Qasmi.

“In fact, there are lots of suspicions in Madarsa Board Bill which can not be ignored because it may harm the Madarsas. Ulema have right to decide what to do because they know well about Madarsa they have spent years of their lives there. But it is tragedy that there are some Muslims who always try to take on Ulema. They do not miss any chance to comment on any topics. Above all, they do not hesitate to give their remarks in religious issue about which they have no knowledge,” said Mufti Amjad of Madarsa Falahe Millat, Nalgoda, AP.