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.
• Nabi Sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “When Allah   wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of Deen.”   (Bukhari and Muslim)

Seeking Knowledge   paves the path to Jannah
• “Allah makes the way to Jannah easy for him who   treads the path in search of knowledge.”

The quest for   knowledge attracts divine blessings
• “… The angels lower their wings over the seeker of   knowledge, being pleased with what he does. The inhabitants of the heavens   and the earth and even the fish in the depth of the oceans seek forgiveness   for him…” (Abu Dawud)

The maktab serves as   the lifeline to the preservation and protection of our faith.
• It gives our children the opportunity to master the art   of Quraanic recitation, memorize chapters of the Quran and acquaint themselves   with the basic laws pertaining to the obligations that they have to discharge   on a day to day basis.

• 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.
Unfortunately, this priceless bastion of preserving the   Deen is being undermined, and its value is fast diminishing from the hearts   of the progeny of the very Muslims who proudly and painstakingly established   them.

• 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)