Jobs @ MG
Black sheep and their fine art of fratricide
By Syed Ubaidur Rahman
|Indo-Nepal border: Problems are
not always created by others for madrasas. Most of the problems are the
creation of people attached with madrasas themselves. Different people with
different aims cause irreversible damage to the image of these institutions.
Few years back, Darul Uloom in Basti faced a piquant problem when a few
Muslim families residing in the vicinity went to the court to get the
madrasa demolished. They claimed that the place where madrasa was being
constructed was an open space and so the construction work there should be
stopped. Though later they withdrew the case, the madrasa, in Maulana
Zaheer's words, faced irreparable damage. A Muslim MLA from the Dumariya
Ganj was eyeing the madrasa land so he too went to the court against the
madrasa. It is just one example. Umpteen such examples are spread all over
Almost all the people in different madrasas visited by this correspondent
complained about the hostility of their own people. Dr Asim Masud of
Jamiatul Banatus Salehat in Tulsipur says that at times the problem is the
sole creation of people attached to madrasas. He said that sometimes people
running these institutions create problems for themselves and their
institutions. Dr Masud adds that a number of madrasas do not care about
proper auditing of their accounts. And this creates great problem for them.
He also says that the unaccounted money collected by these institutions
becomes a bone of contention among different people in the management with
every person eyeing the largest share of the pie. Dr Masud says that the
lack of proper auditing in several small madrasas makes them vulnerable in
the face of slightest investigation. He says that the reckless spending by
these madrasas on erecting new and newer buildings also catches everyone's
attention. There are a number of instances when large mosques are erected in
places where there is no Muslim family nearby. This correspondent was
himself witness to some magnificent mosques built outside small villages.
Hardly any devout comes to offer prayers here.
Inter-sect differences are also bowling out in the open. Dr Abdul Bari of
Khairul Uloom Educational Trust feels dismayed over the increasing
belligerent tone of different sects against each other. He says that
everyone wants to outshine the other. Different Muslim sects propagate
against each other and this has started even affecting Muslims relationship
with one another. Dr Abdul Bari told this correspondent that there are
madrasas that are said to have reported against other madrasas functioning
in nearby areas.
Maulana Abdus Salam Rahmani of Jamia Sirajul Uloom, Bondihar, echoes the
same feeling. He says that the infighting of Muslims on sectarian grounds
has not only affected their standing and prestige in the area but also
affected the functioning of their madrasas. The Maulana says that he feels
let down over the magnitude of infighting on non-issues. He says that Hanafi
vs. Ahle-Hadith and Ahle-Hadith (or Salafi as they call themselves) vs.
Barelavi has caused much damage to the long-held respect of such
institutions in the area.
People feel that the easy Gulf money has taken its toll on the madrasas.
Though a large number of madrasas are financed by businessmen of the area
settled in Mumbai, or 'Babmbayya seth' as they are commonly known, a large
number of expatriates settled in the Gulf countries are also financing these
madrasas in a big way. At times some projects are also financed by the
Islamic Development Bank and other institutions.
People feel that access to large unaccounted funds has affected the
educational standards in some madrasas. 'With money comes indifference and
this complicity is affecting the whole system', says Dr Abdul Bari who runs
a number of educational institutions including Khairul Uloom Technical
Institute, Khairul Uloom Orphanage, and madrasas for boys and girls besides
But things are changing, feels octogenarian Maulana Shafique Naeemi,
principal of Darul Uloom Fazle-Rahmaniya. He says that now Muslims are
giving emphasis not only on enhancing the outlook of these institutions but
also improving the educational standards of madrasas too. The future of
madrasas is bright with increasing awareness among common Muslims, feels the