Hopes and aspirations are part of human nature. Even an ordinary person sitting by the chai shop has dreams. Maulana Nisar Ahmed had just finished his afternoon cup of tea and was casually sitting on the pavement in Hyderabad watching the world go by. Just 30 years old, Maulana completed his Fazilat from Darul Uloom Deoband. Hailing from Jharkhand, Ranchi district, Maulana has made Hyderabad his home for nearly 10 years now.
Here, he is an Imam in a mosque and gets Rs 1500 per month as salary. He takes Arabic tuitions in different homes and earns Rs 1500 through this. As a part time real estate broker, he earns Rs 1000. His day is packed with work and he picks up just few minutes to relax in the afternoon with a cup of tea.
With these earnings, he pays the school fees for his three kids and also the rent for his tiny house. He really works hard to make ends meet. He does not complain, but says that he does not want his children to follow in his footsteps of being an Imam. He agrees that religious education enlightens one’s life, but in his experience he was not exposed to basic contemporary subjects like science, maths, history or even English in the madrasa. Due to this, he is today not in a position to face challenges posed by the fast paced world. “ I wish I had learnt skills that would have made me self-reliant today. These days, there are so many mosques and equally large numbers of religious Imams for these mosques. Supply is more than demand. We Imams have no bargaining power. Even if I ask for more money, I will be asked to leave and they will employ another maulvi in my place. There is no job security. There are very few mosques in Hyderabad under the Wakf Board which offer fixed salary and perks. I only wish madrasas today introduce many subjects in the curriculum that will equip maulvis to stand on our own feet,” says Maulana Nisar.
He imparts religious lessons to his children at home, but also hopes to send them to school and later college so that his children become engineers and doctors. “Education is very important and being economically self-sufficient is important so that we are not at the mercy of zakat funds for our salaries,” says Maulana.