Muslims’ Education : Role of Madarsa in Muslims Education in India

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In the Arabic language, the word madrasah simply means the same as school does in the English language, whether that is private, public or parochial school, as well as for any primary or secondary school whether Muslim, non-Muslim, or secular. Madrasas generally taught calculation, grammar, poetry, history and above all the Qur'an and sacred law. At a higher level they taught literary subjects and arithmetic. Madrasas have a long and rich history. After the birth of Islam in the seventh century, Muslims who wanted a religious education joined study circles in mosques where teachers provided instruction. Over the next 400 years, additional centers of learning, founded and endowed by rulers, high officials and wealthy members of the community, met in public and private libraries. These were early forms of madrasas. A large population of Muslims in India are receiving education either from Madarsas or from Urdu- medium schools. Madarsa is an Arabic word which means an educational institution. They were never limited to provide only religious education. But this concept has been changed and Madarsas have become the centre of religious education only. Nowadays marginalized Muslim communities are increasingly demanding more quality education from their Madarsas. But most of the Madarsas in India are privately owned and Madarsa leaders may not feel a need to fulfil the community desires. Although Muslim parents are attracted to the safe environment of these schools, they are aware that a purely religious education will not help their children to earn a decent living, because of outdated traditional methods and technique of teaching and learning, with a negative outlook towards modern subjects and also due to lack of innovations, experiments and researches. The main concern of this paper is to find out the contribution of Madarsa education in the empowerment of Muslims and point out the shortcomings of Madarsa education. This paper suggests some remedial measures also to improve the quality of Madarsa education for overall development of Muslim community.

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