|The Madrasah: A Vital Lifeline to Deen|
|“Save yourselves and your families from a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones…” (6:66)
Our children are a trust given to us by Allah. It is our responsibility to mould their hearts and minds. We are responsible for their moral, ethical and educational needs. Our duty goes beyond feeding, grooming, entertaining and preparing them for this temporary abode. Ensuring that they are fed, clothed and schooled is by no means an indication of good parental care. Proper education and guidance is far more important to a child than this food, grooming and appearance.
Muslims in South Africa have been fortunate enough to enjoy a unique educational infrastructure known as the Maktab or madrasah system .We enjoy this educational legacy because of the foresight and wisdom of our forefathers who established a madrasah wherever they resided. It is our invaluable heritage which we must jealously guard and promote. The maktab is a response to the obligation of educating our children and of conferring upon them best parental gift any parent could confer on his child. Nabi Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam has said: “No one has given his children anything better than knowledge” (Tirmidhi) It is also in compliance of the verse that states: “Save yourselves and your families from a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones.” (6:66)
The virtue of the maktab can be gleaned from the following piece of advice Nabi (saw) gave to one of his companions: “O Abu Dharr! If you learn one verse of the Quran, it is better for you than a hundred rakaats of (nafl) salaat.” (Ibn Majah)
Allah only opens the doors to learning for those whom He loves.
Seeking Knowledge paves the path to Jannah
The quest for knowledge attracts divine blessings
The maktab serves as the lifeline to the preservation and protection of our faith.
• It provides a deep rooted consciousness of distinguishing between right and wrong and between the permissible and forbidden.
• It gives them a sense of belonging to a wider brotherhood of the Ummah.
• It forges a distinct Muslim identity.
• It helps insulate our children from hypocrisy and disbelief.
• Parents now remove their children from the maktab at the age of twelve or thirteen under the pretext of homework, extra- curricular activities or that they are now able to read the Quran.
• Many parents in their quest to ‘empower’ their children materially do so at the cost of their madrasah education. This deliberate and willful deprivation of Islamic education is an unpardonable breach of our parental obligations. There is no poverty as harmful as ignorance!
The madrasah is the only formal opportunity children will ever have to learn their Deen. Very few people are able to devote time to learning after completing their schooling career. Children who leave madrasah at the age of twelve or thirteen do so at the most impressionable stage of their lives. Just when they reach the age of understanding we deprive them of learning Islamic values, of appreciating the beauty of Islam, of becoming proud, committed and devote Muslims.
Parents are urged to take heed of the Quraanic verse that exhorts us to save ourselves and our children from the Fire. The tried and tested Maktab system undoubtedly fortifies us as Muslims not only from hellish worldly onslaughts but also from eternal hell fire.
May Allah give us the eyes to see and heart to appreciate the importance of the legacy that our forefathers left for the protection and preservation of our Deen
The Messenger of Allah (SAAW) said:“Seeking ‘Ilm (knowledge) is incumbant on every Muslim.”(Ibn Hahar Al-‘Asqalani, Al-Matalib al ‘Aliyah)Ibn Majah reported this Hadith as follows: Anas Ibn Maalik reported, theMessenger of Allah (SAAW) said:“Seeking knowledge is incumbent on every Muslim; he who offers knowledge to those who do not appreciate it, is like the one who decorates pigs with precious stones, pearls and gold”
‘Abd Allah Ibn Mas’ud (SAAW) said, the Messenger of Allah (SAAW) said:“Let there be no envy, except in two things:1- A man whom Allah gave a wealth and guided him to spend it in righteous way.2- Or a man to whom Allah gave wisdom and he acts wisely and teaches it to others.”(Al-Bukhari and Muslim; See An-Nawawi, Riyad As-Salihin)
Anas (RA) said: the Messenger of Allah (SAAW) said:“He who leaves his home in order to seek knowledge, he is in Allah’s path until he returns [to his home].”(At-Tirmidhi, Sunan, An-Nawawi, Riyad As-Salahin)