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Islamic Madarsas and their role in India

03 March, 2008

By Tanveer Jafri


It may be an international conspiracy or reality but it is clear that wherever there is an event of terrorism in the world, the world at once thinks of the Islamic terrorism. When there is a talk about the Islamic terrorism, it is easily associated with the Islamic Madarsas (Schools).It is accused that these Islamic madarsas work as a nursery to produce religionists. It is accused that the students who get education in these madarsas become the Molvi or other ranked religious teachers & spread such thoughts among their pupils that limit the religious thoughts & make them hardcore religionists. In their views the Islam is the only true religion & the Muslims are the only men of God. And this extreme communalism becomes the reason of hatred for the other religions. And then after some time or due to some political reasons when there is communal hatred in the peaceful atmosphere of a country, the man becomes an enemy of the other man. This is the path that leads to terrorism, terrorists & terrorist activities.

India is accepted as a country that inhabits the largest Muslim population in the world. Not only this, a noted group of the Muslims in the Islam that is known as the Deobandi group has the greatest & the most ancient centre in a Deoband town of India. This madarsa, which is the greatest & the most ancient in the world, famous as Darul Uloom was established in 1866. It is being accused that religious teachers who get education in these madarsas, are misguiding the youths & carry them on the path of terrorism, directly or indirectly. Obviously, under these circumstances, it was necessary from this greatest Islamic madarsa of the world to express his authoritative views to the world that what the views of the Darul Uloom Deoband are regarding the Islami terrorism.

For this objective, last days, the Darul Uloom called a conference of about 6000 madarsa representatives of India, in Darul Uloom Deoband. A declaration was made in this conference that the Darul Uloom & the other madarsas that are under it, have no link with the terrorism & the terrorists. In this conference, the present Muslim scholars & the madarsa teachers were appealed to not to be influenced by the anti-Islam & the anti-national powers & not to try to protect them. And they should oppose them to the maximum. This conference that held in the Deoband town of the Uttar Pradesh is considered the biggest Islamic conference ever held in India. A notable feature of this conference was that, not only persons from the Deobandi thought but the Shiites, the Sufis & the Ahle Hadis representatives were also invited among the many other Muslim groups. In this conference, all the terrorist activities happened in the entire world were announced to be anti-Islamic. All the scholars present, & the madarsa teachers criticized the violence & the terrorism & made an anti-terrorism declaration, in which it was declared that the Islam is a religion that has kind & pitiable attitude towards the humanity. There is no place of violence, terrorism or cruelty in the Islam. The conference strongly criticizes the anti-Islamic activities such as terrorism. There is no place of riots, killing of innocents, cheating & cruelty towards the weak & all these are sins in the Islam religion.

In this great Islamic conference, a light was thrown on the real teachings of Islam & its human aspects & it was told that the Islam religion is a religion that considers equality among all the human beings & gives a message of pity, love & harmony. In this conference, all the madarsa teachers were advised to remain away from all such activities & not to give asylum to the anti-social elements, to unveil them & to oppose them. The organizers of this conference were unhappy that the Islam was being insulted because of the terrorism. Taking part of the other Muslim groups in this conference was a positive & admirable step. The different Islamic groups that are always at daggers drawn because of the historical difference & those different Islamic groups that organize their different sects were also appealed to sink their differences & to be one. Undoubtedly this organizing attitude of the Darul Uloom must be praised. The Darul Uloom has talked of opposing the terrorism & at the same time of the Muslim unity, it will help to lessen the terrorism in the world. But despite this praiseworthy declaration & appeal of the madarsa, will there be a refusal of the world's blame on the madarsa that there is no teaching of hardcore communalism through them? If not so, why was Musharraf compelled to do Operation Red Mosque in Islamabad? What was the thought that influenced the students of that madarsa? How & why, so dangerous weapons reached that madarsa? What is the talibani thought? From where is the talibani or extreme Islamic thoughts are nurtured? Who is Moulana Masood Azhar or other persons who spit out poison? From where did they get the teaching of spreading communalism & terrorism?

The spread of characteristics of the Islam religion by the Muslim scholars will not give mush fruit. Because its message of equality, pity, harmony is well known, not among the Muslims only but the entire world knows it. But the Islamic scholars must not hesitate to accept that it may be the education from the madarsas or the home education. Similar to that of the madarsa education, the teachings that the Islam religion is the best or the own sect among the Muslim groups is the only claimant of heaven. These are the assumptions that give birth to the thought that except them none other is the right follower of God or claimant of heaven. And this is the assumption that gives birth for the hatred of other communities & even the terrorism.

Now it is doubtful that only declaration to oppose the terrorism or merely saying that we have no concern with the terrorism will bring a mental change among the madarsa teachers or madarsa students. For it, all the chiefs of the different sects of the Islam will have to come on the single platform. Specially the Shia-Sunni, the Deobandi, the Barelvi, the Wahabi, the Ahmedia, the Ahle Hadis, the Sufis will have to unite. What seems impossible will have to be done possible. After that they will have to base their teachings on that teaching of the Quran sharif that says 'Lukum Deena Kum Waale Deen' that means your religion is the best for you & ours for us. This teaching joins the man to man. All the religious teachers of all the religions should keep it in their minds that unless we adore the other religions, the other religions wouldn't adore our religions. Love begets love & hatred begets hatred. Morally, if we don't give respects to anybody, then we too don't deserve respect. Only this teaching can save the Islam from the blames of terrorism. It can present the true & real form of the Islam before the world. So all the religious leader of the Islam should rise together to oppose the terrorism & teach their followers to love the other communities. Their teachings of communal harmony, cooperation & celebration of the festivals jointly, will bring to light the human aspect of the Islam.

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