Today, the proposed Central Madrasa Board has become a hot potato among ulama and so-called Muslim intellectuals with the latter documenting thousands of pages favouring the board. It is a fact that the supporters are ignorant of the history of madaris and their goals.
Therefore, they are easy prey to the conspiracies hatched by anti-Muslim elements, hollow promises of the government and partial statistics of the media. No sooner did the union HRD minster Kapil Sibal propose the CMB these intellectuals were quick enough to voice for it, though they did not go through the draft of the proposal-and they cannot as it is still out of reach of public.
Let me say that knowledge of us Muslims about the importance of independent madaris is less than even 10% compared to that of RSS outfits in Hindus, Zionists in Jews and Templers in Christians.
History Of Madaris
It is a must to analyse in detail the history of madaris. The financial support for madaris was rendered by Islamic Bait-ul-Mal from the very first day of Islam till the decline of Ottoman Sultanate -Khilafat-e-Usmaniah- (1923). Hence, the end of Islamic rule from any region would mark the decline of institutions and madaris under its patronage. Spain, Turkey, Bukhara and Samarqand, educational centres of their time, not only became educationally barren but also Muslims and Islam too became history over there with the end of Islam in these countries. Prior to the decline of Mughal Empire, Delhi constituted the hub of knowledge seekers and more than one thousand religious madaris ran there. But what happened after the Empire came to an end? Besides the thousands of madaris under the Mughals, hundreds of others run by Nawabs ceased to exist. A short history of Islamic government patronized madaris.
History Of Madrasah Board
The Madrasah Board proposed by UPA Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal is no innovation. A deep study reveals it is similar to the British introduced Board of Central Madrasah. As soon as the East India Company got stable in Calcutta in 1780/81, it established Madrasah Alia Calcutta to serve its purpose. In addition to promising not to interfere in religious education the company started contemporary subjects in the madrasah. Since the madrasah was beneficial for the British they established scores of madaris on the pattern of Madrasah Alia.
An attempt to interconnect all the madaris resulted in formation of Board of Central Madrasah which is the first ever Madrasah Board of the world. It was exactly 72 years later that the HRD minister in BJP-led National Democratic Alliance Murli Manohar Joshi (RSS Sangh Pracharak) formed an institution named Madrasah Modernization in 1999-2000. But the open enmity of BJP towards Muslims became the obstacle to its success. Now, in the guise of a well wisher, the Congress government which believes in soft Hindutva policy wants to fill colours in the map already prepared by Joshi. To be precise, it is trying to fulfil the dream of RSS to modernize the madaris.
Analysis of History
These are two different histories. One is of Islamic governments sponsored madaris; they faced declination simultaneously with the declination of Islamic government and it caused an irreparable loss to them. Rather it obliterated madaris from surface of the earth.
The second history belongs to madaris under Madrasah Board which included contemporary subjects without the religious education being disturbed. The latter dates back to the establishment of Madrasah Alia by Englishmen.
The British government included modern sciences in madaris curriculum in order to propagate its imperialism. George Bush who is responsible for killing of lakhs of innocent Muslims had sanctioned millions of dollars for modernization of Islamic madaris before he made an announcement about the Crusade War. The American consulates distributed the amount among madaris unconditionally. Many Muslims belonging to a certain school of thought had their faith (Iman) refreshed through this bounty of Bush.
The RSS before conducting Muslim genocide in Gujarat did something similar in 1999. Murli Manohar Joshi, its special Pracharak and then education minister, allocated crores of rupees to include modern sciences in madaris. However, to Joshi’s disappointment, only few Muslims gave acceptance to the scheme.
According to a news item in a leading Urdu newspaper of New Delhi “Hamara Samaj” on November 14, 2009, a branch of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh namely “Muslim Rashtriya Manch” has admitted that they assist 20 madaris and run 16 others. The Manch also intends to purchase land in different states for establishing 200 more madaris where modern education will be imparted.
Asked by the media as to how the Muslim community which had rejected the government’s Central Madrasah Board proposal will accept any assistance in this regard, especially if provided by an organization associated with RSS, Mr. Joyal, a portfolio bearer of the Manch, said, “Since the government schemes meant for modernization of madaris are based on interest, muslims do not accept them as interest is prohibited in Islam. As for our programme, it is not based on interest.”
The significant reason why all madaris, except a few, oppose any assistance from the government is that they admit Darul Uloom Deoband as a model in this matter. The founder leader and the moving spirit of the Darul Uloom Qasim-ul-Uloom (The Distributor of Sciences) Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Qasim Nanautavi (1248/1833 - 1297/1879) had mentioned eight principals which also include the one cautioning Darul Uloom from taking any government assistance. Here are three principles related to donations and financial help from the government:
Some Important Principles for Madaris Mentioned by Maulana Qasim Nanautavi (RA)
(1)The participation of the government as also that of the affluent appears to be very harmful (for madrasah)
(2) So long as there are no regular means of income for this madrasah, it will go on like this, if it pleases Allah, provided we pin our faith in Him. But if some assured income is obtained, e.g., a fief or a commercial establishment or the promise of a staunch man of means, then it seems that this state of fear and hope which is the source of our appealing to Allah will slip off our fingers, divine succour will cease and mutual disputes will ensue among the functionaries.
(3) The donation of these people who can give as much as they can afford and do not expect fame from it seems to cause more prosperity (Barakah). On the whole, the donor's good faith appears to be the provision for greater durability.
Both kinds of madaris- those which are under madrasah board and those which are not- have been discussed and their advantages and disadvantages are known. Now, one should think why the Central Madrasah Board is being supported or opposed.
None of the students learning in present day madaris deserves to be called an aalim until they gain excellence in the following 23 sciences and arts:
(1). Ilm-un-Nahw: The Science of Grammar/Syntax
(11). Ilm-ul-Ishtiqaq: The Science of Etymology
(111). Ilm-ul-Bayan: The Science of Style (to expressing the various shades of a single meaning)
(1V). Ilm-ul-Mantiq: Logic
(V). Ilm-ul-Kalam: Islamic speculative theology
(V1). Ilm-ul-Adab: Literature
(V11). Ilm-ul-Jughrafia: Geography
(V111). Fann-ut-Tafseer: Commentary of Holy Qurán
(1X). Fann-ul-Hadees: Hadees
(X). Fann-o-Ásma-ir-Rijal: Unique art of research on people who relates Hadees to establish their authenticity
(X1). Ilm-o-Usool-il-Fiqh: The Principles Of Fiqh
(X11). Ilm-ul-Akhlaq: Ethics/Morals
(X111). Ilm-us-Sarf: The Science of Morphology
(X1V). Ilm-ul-Maáni: Semantics
(XV). Ilm-ul-Badee: The science of Rhetorical Figures
(XV1). Ilm-ul-Falsafa: Philosophy
(XV11). Ilm-ul-Hisab: Mathematics
(XV111). Ilm-ul-Tareekh: History
(X1X). Fann-e-Qirat: Arabic Phonology
(XX). Fann-o-Usool-it-Tafseer: Principles of Tafseer
(XX1). Fann-o-Usool-il-Hadees: Principles of Hadees
(XX11). Ilm-ul-Fiqh: Jurisprudence
(XX111). Ilm-ut-Tasawwuf: Sufism/Mysticism