Unrecognised madrasas have been the subject of much discussion following the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to carry out a survey of all such institutions in the State
Unrecognized madrasas do not need to be affiliated with the Madrasa Education Board in various States to continue functioning, according to the Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, an organisation of Islamic scholars.
Unrecognised madrasas have been the subject of much discussion following the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to carry out a survey of all such institutions in the State.
“We do not need government aid for our mosques and madrasas, and there is no need for madrasas to get affiliated with any government board for obtaining aid,” said Arshad Madani, president, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind. His remarks came following a meeting of nearly 6,000 representatives of unrecognised madrasas from all over India at Islamic seminary Darul Uloom, Deoband. The meeting included nearly 4,500 delegates from Uttar Pradesh alone.
More than 90% of unrecognised madrasas in north and central India follow the Deoband syllabus without formal affiliation to the Deoband seminary.
The Darul Uloom management, which had initially opposed the survey, later supported a limited survey about the madrasas’ ownership and finances. Most of these institutions survive on community funding.
“The doors of madrasas are open to everyone. There is nothing to hide inside them. The Constitution of the country under Article 30(1) has given us the right to establish and run our own educational institutions. Rather than defying the government, we are helping in the development of the nation by spreading literacy among the poor,” Mr. Madani said.
Countering criticism of madrasas not imparting secular instruction, Mr. Madani stated, “We are not against modern education. We also want the children of our nation to become engineers, scientists, lawyers and doctors but we also want our children to learn religion and its beliefs first. Just like the nation needs doctors, lawyers, barristers and engineers, in the same way, our nation needs better muftis and better religious scholars.” Significantly, a quazi is needed to solemnise a nikah just as an imam is needed to lead daily prayers.
“The responsibility of religion rests on the shoulders of religious personalities. Imams, muezzins, muftis and quazis are products of madrasas who serve in various religious affairs of Muslims, just like priests and pujaris in temples and matters of marriage, death etc.,” Mr. Madani added.
The madrasas pledged to follow the Deoband template.