Last month Rizwan Khan (name changed) who had secured 91 per cent marks in higher secondary Class (HSC) approached Khair-E - Ummat (KEU) trust for scholarship to pay MBBS fee. Haroon Mozawala, Gen. Secretary KEU told Islamic Voice that while processing the application of Rizwan when he inquired about his basic knowledge of Islam, he was not even aware about how to offer Namaaz, or was unable to recite even Surah Fatiha or Durood Sharif. "Ironically", said Mr. Mozawala, "Rizwan had excellent general knowledge but no knowledge whatsoever about Islam." Rizwan was asked to study the basic literature and appear for a simple oral test if he wanted the scholarship.
"Within twelve days Rizwan came fully prepared and was able to answer all the queries about basic Islamic teachings and had memorized basic Qura'nic Ayats," said Mr Mozawala. "Rizwan having realized his mistake promised to offer Namaz regularly and study in detail about the Islamic literature."
Throughout the country, a slew of organization and trusts are offering educational scholarship to needy and deserving Muslim students. Although most of them have provision for academic counselling, majority of them have no setup for providing them religious counselling.
According to Mr. Mozawala who is involved with many education trusts, amongst the students who approach him for scholarship atleast 50% of them are totally illiterate about the basic teachings of Islam. Mr. Mozawala has ensured that each and every student who approaches them for scholarship is given counselling in the basic teaching. "I make it a point that before scholarship is sanctioned, these students have read the basic Islamic literature," he said. "To those who cannot afford to buy books we provide them free literature. Why most of the Muslims students who have been sponsored by Muslim Organization and trust fail to sympathise with the community cause? Why they do not like to identify with, the community once they attain success?
At Khair-E-Ummat Trust, they have a very simple solution for this problem. Instead of cross-examining the candidate they asked them to bring photocopies of ration card, electricity bill and rent receipt. Mr. Mozawala says that through these document we get fair idea about the economic condition of the candidate. "At the most within two visit we sanction scholarship to deserving students. This has a very positive impact on them and their parents. Hence whatever advice we offer them they sincerely follow it," said Mr. Mozawala.
In the race for educating our young generation, our society is gradually overlooking the need to impart our youths with Islam beliefs and values. Do we need professionals, doctors, engineers and computer wizards whose names sound like Muslims or Muslims who represent Islam in true sense and act as a magnet for others?. The choice is yours.
Setting the Priorities Right
IT is a strange irony that the city of Mangalore has a medical college, dental college, two nursing colleges and a degree college run by Muslims, but hardly any good schools to feed these professional education colleges. A group of wealthy businessmen who have set up these elite institutions have paid no attention to start good school. The city has just a single high school run by the community. No one seems to look at the real needs of the community. Do they have any scheme to educationally uplift the Muslims?
A group of Muslim youth who were concerned at the spreading tentacles of illiteracy have now embarked on the task of giving the education a bias for the poor. They formed an organisation Jamiyyatul Falah in 1989 which is now active in Dakshin Kannada and Udipi district of Karnataka. During the 11 years, the Falah group has succeeded in opening four schools at Atkarepadapu, Mallar, Bantwal and Halayangadi. The schools have nearly 1300 students and 36 teachers and teach through Kannada medium except the one at Mallar where Urdu is the medium.
According to Syed Ahmed, general secretary of the Jamiyyatul Falah, the organisation mainly concentrates on education of poor, downtrodden masses. It has also set up a student's hostel at Kankanady in Mangalore city which has currently 60 inmates. These students studying in various professional colleges are lodged in this only Muslim hostel in the town. Falah is adding 11 more rooms to the existing 27 rooms.
Says Ibrahim Bava, another functionary of the Falah, the D.K district has a sizeable number of Muslims working as beedi workers. Unless their kids are educated, the poverty and drudgery will continue to ruin the families.
Falah achieved a milestone by launching an ambulance service in January this year in Udipi. A Mahindra made ambulance was gifted by Basheer Shaikh of Uchila village. It also purchased a piece of land for putting up an ITI and a health care centre in Udipi. The Udipi unit of Falah is running two tailoring schools at Udayavar and Kaup.
Jamiyyatul Falah can be contacted at: Near Kankanady Mosque, Kankanady, Mangalore- 575002, Tel: 0824-439003, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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