Madrasah Education

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By Haider Butt

I can’t believe I am doing this right now. I receive my copy of The Truth on Sundays. It is convenient for the paper delivery guy or something like that. I have been meaning to write on this topic for a very long time, but I just couldn't get the time for it. But despite the fact that I have my A-levels exam the day after tomorrow, here I am writing about it. Actually it was the editorial from issue number 44 that instigated me to leave everything and switch on my laptop. It was on Islamic Schools and as usual, was written remarkably.  But it reminded me of something more imminent, more catastrophic at the current moment. Now it is common knowledge that Pakistan was made for Islam, that the cause behind the struggle for freedom was to achieve a land where Muslims could openly practice Islam and that  the slogan which eventually lead up to August 14th was; “Pakistan ka matlab kya? La-Illaha-Illallah!”
Yet, the new generation of this country is being told otherwise. This is being done especially for the younger generation who are in public schools with liberal teachings and secular beliefs. I say this because I deal with such mind sets every day. I deal with people who claim that Pakistan was meant to be a secular country and some even go as far as saying that ‘Islamic Republic’ with the name of Pakistan must be excluded as soon as possible. Though this is very disappointing and pathetic, it gets worse. In the light of recent events, countless people have linked Islam to Terrorism, which is preposterous and simply make-belief. Despite knowing this, the so called “educated” class of our country (who in my opinion are nothing but wannabe liberals gone way too far in their ‘worship’ of the West) put most of the blame of terrorism on Islamic teachings. The noble men who teach children to read The Quran are ridiculed and made fun of. They are said to be responsible for extremism. These Qaris are worth of our lives, for they teach the most important thing, yet our society has nothing but abuses for them today. But these liberal extremists have gone even a step ahead from this now. They are now campaigning against madaris. Is it fair to radicalize an institution so pure and perfect? Is it fair to ask for the closure of an institution which has been reshaping lives of countless people? Is it sane to conspire against an institution which does nothing but ensure that the cause of this country’s formation does not vanish in thin air? The opposition to madaris is not all that hurts. The fact is that the people opposing the sacred madaris are not some ignorant fools, not in a very literal sense at least, but form prestigious institutes of this very country. Students form top notch universities and employees in the biggest firms. The ridiculous thing is that most of those who oppose madrasah education have never even stepped inside a madrasah. How can you comment about something you have not seen? How can it be expected that stories of Hazrat Khadija’s devotion or Hazrat Khalid bin Waleed’s glorious victories propagate extremism? How can Hazrat Umar’s justice and Hazrat Ayesha’s pursuit of knowledge be bad influence on the kids? How can the simple life of a madrasah student be expected to create imbalance in society, when all they learn from their madrasah is that no matter who your father is, you are nothing but an ordinary student and irrespective of your financial position you will be entitled to the same portion of floor to sit on, same food to eat and same treatment from your teacher? I can go a long way with “how cans” but that is not the point. Point is, if they can stand against Madrasah education, can’t we take a stand for them? If they can point their fingers at our Madaris, can’t we invite them in and show them what it really is that they speak against? If they can impose West and its ways in our kids, can’t we show them what our legacy is and inspire them to stick to Islam with nothing but its practical implication? If the younger generation does not realize this today, I fear that, with the amount of propaganda in the land, Islam will not stay here for long (God Forbid).
 If we, as Muslims and Pakistanis, are trying to exclude Islam from our country, what identity do we stand to have? What was the purpose of the sacrifice of millions who were martyred on the train-track or rivers to Pakistan? They did not die, they were martyrs, and hence they still live. Perhaps it is their blood in this land that has kept it intact still. Or perhaps it is the prayers of scholars and walis that live in Pakistan. But with our ways, how long will it be before the wrath of Allah unleashes upon us? I hope it never happens because my Lord is Ar-Raheem, the Most Merciful. Yet, He is also the Most Powerful, and why do we opt for His displeasure when we can very well work for His Blessings? How long will it be before we finally realize that this land is for Islam and that Pakistan and Islam aren't separate entities? The clock is ticking, and a decision is to be made. Are we going to keeping opposing the chant of “La-Ilaha-Illallah” and seal a dreadful fate for our hereafter or are we going to take the stand for the word of Allah, to whom we have to return, may be today or tomorrow? It is for you to answer.