Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Rabi-Ul Awwal/Rabi-Ul Akhir 1423 H
June 2002
Volume 15-06 No:186

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Community Initiative


Times are Changing
Who cares for Muslims in Chautala's Raj?
Soul - Searching on Summer Mornings

Times are Changing

While madrasas across India have been under scrutiny, the Rahmani Model School-cum-Madrasa in Jaipur has taken the initiative by incorporating modern education in its curriculum and adopting co-education

By A Staff Writer

Flag flying timeJaipur: The madrasa education in India has for long hovered around the rigid notions and the community has resisted the attempts for modernisation despite the urgent need to equip Muslim children with qualities to meet the challenges of the contemporary world. In the context of the charges being levelled against madrasas and doubts being created about the nature of their education, modernisation has assumed an added significance. A madrasa functioning from within a 275-year-old mosque in the Walled City here has taken the much-needed initiative in this regard by incorporating modern education in its curriculum and adopting co-education in an attempt to promote girls’ education. Not only that, the Rahmani Model School-cum-Madrasa has achieved 100 per cent results in the middle school examination for the third consecutive year. The madrasa, situated in the densely populated Muslim locality, caters to the lower income artisan families - bangle makers, embroidery designers and jewel cutters. “The madrasa was established in 1980 with a primary school for educating children who were deprived of basic education,” says Abdul Qayoom Akhtar, founder president of the Rahmani Welfare Society which runs the school.

The madrasa has recently added a kindergarten and has been upgraded to the secondary school level. Girls, in hijab out-number boys in several classes. Of the 32 girls who appeared in the Class VIII Board examination last year, 29 secured distinction. Over 95 per cent of them passed with the first division. Curiously, the madrasa-cum-modern school occupies most of the space in the Rahmani Mosque and has left only a small quadrangle for prayers. “We do not mind that. The sheer number of children has forced us to use two floors, balconies, terraces and the rooftop for running their classes,” points out Qayoom Akhtar. The makeshift class-rooms in the central hall on the first floor are divided by thin wooden partitions. Children squat on durries and concentrate on their studies despite the din around them from other classes running simultaneously in the hall. Evidently, the 1,500-odd children studying here are working hard to make the most of the opportunities available to them. The madrasa teachers, too, are a dedicated lot. Their salaries range from a paltry Rs. 1,200 to Rs. 1,500 per month. “We have succeeded in generating awareness about education among the poor Muslim families,’’ points out the madrasa’s headmaster, Syed Athar Ali. In a remarkable contribution to the cause of education, the madrasa teachers had conducted a door-to-door survey in the Muslim-dominated Ramganj area before the current academic session began in a bid to prevent drop-out of students.

The survey identified the factors responsible for parents’ failure to send their wards to schools and offered to help them by way of waiving the fee wherever feasible. The madrasa charges a nominal fee from its students, ranging from Rs.50 to Rs.125 a month. The Rahmani Welfare Society has chalked out ambitious plans for the madrasa. A hi-tech computer education centre is coming up adjacent to the mosque. The Rajasthan Madrssa Board - a non-Government organisation, recently felicitated it as the best madrasa in Jaipur city. Making rapid strides in education, Rahmani Model School has truly emerged as the model for others to emulate. The elders in the community here hope that it would achieve more distinctions in future to serve as the beacon of hope for the children deprived of basic education.

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Who cares for Muslims in Chautala's Raj?

By Andalib Akther

Mewat (Haryana): Like in many north Indian states, Muslims of Haryana too, have been facing step-motherly treatment from the government. In fact, the state government has turned its back towards Muslims. The prejudice and partiality of the state government is clearly visible in the region of Mewat, where Muslims live in large numbers. Consisting of five blocks, with over nine lakh Muslims the Mewat region of the state comes under the Gurgaon district, just 50 km from Delhi. While the Gurgaon township is being transformed into a 'cyber' city with all modern facilities of international standard, the Muslim region of the same district is longing for even a drop of drinking water. Leave alone the development, the biased attitude of the government and negligent administration have even deprived the area of basic amenities. The inhabitants of Nooh, Nagina, Tavod Ferozpur and Jhirka are in fact living in miserable conditions. Scarcity of drinking water is evident everywhere, well and ponds are dried, the animals are dying of thirst. In the scorching heat, the women with pitcher on their heads could easily be seen trudging for miles in search of water. At many places, poor people have to buy water at a high price to quench their thirst. hum log garib aadmi hain, hammari kaun sunnta hai. Hum log paani ke liye taras rahen hain. un logon ko hamari yaad sirf election ke time aati hai (We are poor people. Who listen to us.? We are thirsting for water. They remember us only when there is an election) says, Tayyab Hussain, a resident of Nooh. Rashid another resident asks, Gurgaon chamak raha hai aur hum andhere men hain yeh kaisa insaaf hai(While Gurgaon is sparkling with development, we are living in darkness. Is this justice?).

There are 491 villages in the region. According to the Mewat Development Agency, 90 per cent of the population is illiterate and 87 per cent of the girls leave school before completing 5th standard and worse, 40 per cent of women are suffering from anemia. Farming has almost vanished, as there was no rain for many years. Men have turned to driving as a source of bread and butter and other menial jobs. The Mewat Development Agency has not yet succeeded in bringing any visible change in the area.

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Soul - Searching on Summer Mornings

By A Staff Writer

I Choose myself to be a Muslim and I declare to be the Khalifa of Allah and be caring, just and truthful.Bangalore : It is the season for water melons, juicy mangoes and lazing around under trees for those who are too tired to work in the sweltering heat. Summer is also the time for a range of summer camps to flood the cities across the country. With kids getting a break from school, it is time for them to develop on their hidden talents, work on their creative abilities and of course get oriented to new things. While summer camps could be of all types from crafts classes to trekking trips, Islamic Summer Camps hold a special place as this is an attempt to help children get closer to their religion. The 13-day Islamic Summer Camp organized by Islamic Voice that concluded recently stands out as an unique experience for the participants. While the camp invited girls above 14 years, those who participated were girls from the age of 10 to housewives aged 55. While most camps focus on the basics of Islam like Zakat, Fasting, Hajj and the five times prayers, A. W. Sadathullah Khan, Editor of Islamic Voice and the chief anchor of the Camp had brought in many novel aspects and subjects into the Camp. "Human Development" was a session conducted by Rafiullah Baig and A. K. Rahim took the participants through fun with mathematics with mind-blowing puzzles and games and brain-teasers.

Islam as a way of life and the guidelines towards being a practising Muslim were well covered, the most enlightening aspect was the topic on relationships with special focus on relationship with parents. Handled by Saadia Tonse who took the participants into a series of discussions on self- analysis, the concept of 'being' the 'identity' and the goal of transforming ourselves into the khalifas (representatives of Allah) than being mere Muslims by name, the session proved to be a truly rejuvenating experience as it helped the participants to introspect and reflect on themselves as human beings. In fact the focus of the Camp was to intensify and strengthen the relationship with Allah. With Sadathullah Khan's motivating interaction with the participants, one had to see to believe the tremendous transformation among the participants "The main aim of the Camp was to create an awareness that we have to live life through our soul and that can occur only when we have a strong relationship with Allah. We may do our prayers on time fulfill all obligations as Muslims, but the only thing we miss out is "complete surrender to Allah.

Through this Camp the participants have been able to begin a new life as the representatives of Allah by adopting at least three attributes of Allah-it could be being forgiving, being justa nd being loving," says Sadathullah Khan. "How to honour your word", was another interesting issue tackled by Sadathullah Khan in the Camp and as a fitting climax to the Camp all the participants made a declaration on the concluding day of the Camp on May 4: " I choose myself to be a Muslim and I declare to be the Khalifa of Allah and be caring, just and truthful." This was not just another statement, but something promised by the participants that they would focus their life on Allah and live life by adopting at least three attributes of Allah.

Second Camp of Islamic Voice

The second Islamic Summer Camp was organised between May 26 and June 4. The Islamic Orientation Camp was focused on the idea of laying a strong foundation in relationship with Allah. The Camp designed for housewives, young girls, career women, divorcees, spinsters and professional women received an overwhelming response as the participants could identify themselves with the topics dealt in the Camp.

The participants got powerfully the distinctions of Islam like Khalifa, being true to oneself, who they are is the soul, Hijrah- giving up whatever displeases Allah, being their word, constituting oneself as their word, living moment to moment as khalifa, being responsible and accountable for the choices they make, surrendering to Allah their body and mind and operating their lives from the domain of soul.

The context of Islam was powerfully created " Islam is PEACE" and it is the responsiblity of every humanbeing to establish peace on earth but Muslims are accountable for establishing peace on earth being the khalifa of Allah.

Similar camps could be organised in colleges with minimum of 50 participants and three days will be needed to create a whole new level of constituting oneself as khalifa of Allah.

Our promise is that each and every participant experiencing love, peace and happiness right now and you will have a life that you love by freely choosing Islam as a way of life.

For further details get in touch with A W Sadathullah Khan on Ph: 5544483 or email at islamicvoice@vsnl.com

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