Moulana Yusuf Motala (Rahimahullah)
The Christian community has the Church, the Jewish community has its Synagogue, the Hindu Community has it’s Mandir, the Sikh community has the Gurdwara and the Buddhists have their Temple and so on…..But the Muslim community not only has the Musjid but also the (after school) Madrasah.
Alhamdulillah, Allah Ta’ala has blessed the Muslims with such a great bounty where children from as young as five learn to read the Qur’an, Islamic History, Adab & Akhlaaq (Manners and Etiquettes), Hadith, Fiqh (Basic Islamic Rulings) and much more. The Madrasah system is a bounty which through the efforts of our pious predecessors, for hundreds of years, has educated us and has saved many of us from becoming completely neglectful of the Deen.
How many Jews can read the Torah in its original Hebrew text? How many Christians can read the Bible in its original Aramaic text? How many Sikhs and Hindus can read their respective books in their original text?
Today more than 80% of Muslims can read the Holy Qur’aan in its original Arabic text. This is all through the blessings of the madrasah which even your local Imaam owes a great deal to. Through the madrasah, an individual bases his or her moral values which carries them throughout their life.
Unfortunately, nowadays we don’t value the madrasah as much as our predecessors did. Islamic education is being disregarded. Instead of sending our children to the Madrasah to gain the necessary Islamic knowledge and practice, we would rather send them to an after-school homework club or to football practice. We have this attitude and tend to think that when our son or daughter has completed the recitation of the Holy Qur’an once or twice, then their Islamic education is complete. We don’t filly realise the spiritual benefit of the madrasah.
As soon as a child steps out of the house, he or she becomes exposed to various kinds of evil temptations and mischief. The child falls prey to the tricks of the Shaytaan. As soon as they enter environments where there is little respect of teachers and the child sees the area as unsanctified, flirtation becomes a thing of the norm, swearing becomes a core part of the limited vocabulary, slander and backbiting become the discussions of the day. So many other vices become part of the child’s everyday life.
But when a child comes home, performs Wudhu and then goes to the Madrasah, He/she will safeguarded from these evil practices. The child will sit in such an environment where the words of Allah Ta’ala are recited in melodious tunes, stories of the Prophets are mentioned, and the beautiful Sunnah are explained. What can be a more virtuous gathering than this?
It is for this reason that I plead to all parents not to withdraw their children at a young age because of what has been mentioned. A couple of hours of madrasah a day really can keep Shaytaan away!
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)