There is an unprecedented growth in the Madarasahs owing to which the students are
graduated at the pattern of Dar ul Uloom Deoband of Utter Pradesh. The unique
feature of these Madarasahs is that they focus on Inter community relations. What
is interesting is that donations and frequent visits by local Hindu’s to these
There is an unprecedented growth of Maddersahs in a hilly hamlet Bhalessa (Doda). There is rising tide in madrasah
education, as is being witnessed today. The Madersahs increased in number.
Interestingly, the number rose
to 12 in an inaccessible area of Bhalessa including Thathri. Besides nurturing
the Islamic clerics from these Madarasahs including Hafiz and Ulema, these
institutions seemed increasingly imparting modern education also at the pattern
of other government schools under the ambit of the state government.
Innovative Madrasah’s like the Jamia
Gunyat ul Uloom are increasingly visible today, Jamia Gunyat ul Uloom Bhatyas established
in the year 1983 and was named after Hazrat Abdul Gani Sadiqui. The madrasah is
managed by Gunyat Ul Uloom Trust Bhalessa is the largest Institution imparting Madrasah
and academic education to the students of hilly terrain of Bhalessa.
It currently has more than a thousand students on its rolls. Patterned on the Dar ul Uloom Deoband model, it
is one of the few Madarasahs in the state of Jammu and Kashmir that provide
Islamic education till the Alim Fazil or specialization level.
Besides Jamia, there are several
other maddersa’s like Madrasah Asrar Ul Uloom at Neeli Bhalessa named after
Shah Asrar ud Din Bagdadi (RA). Other Madrasa’s are:- Madrasah Anwar-e-Madina
Gandoh, Madrasah Aweesya Ameenya Dhraveri, Gulshan-e-Madina at Dhadkai hamlet,
Akhyar ul Uloom at Kahara, Gayas Ul Uloom at Gingota hamlet, Inam ul Uloom at
Donadi, Ume-Sadiqa at Kilhotran, Madrasa Taleem ul Quran Bharti and Zia-ul
Uloom at Thathri.
Madrasah Um–e-Sadiqa very recently founded by the Fredya Welfare Society Bhalessa headed by Alhaj Shoket
Ali Batt. The madrasah is unique in the sense that it is meant for Girls only.
There are as many as 80 girl students getting Islamic education. The madrasah
is named after Hazrat Aishya Sidiqa (RA). The Madrasah focuses on the life and
teachings of Hazrat Aishya Sadiqa (RA)
There is an unprecedented growth in the Madarasahs owing to which the students are graduated at the
pattern of Dar ul Uloom Deoband of Utter Pradesh. The unique feature of these
Madarasahs is that they focus on Inter community relations.
All these institutions follow
the curriculum prescribed by the Jammu and Kashmir State Board for Education,
These maddersa’s are either affiliated to the state education department or are the sister concerns of the
Jamia Gunyat Ul Uloom Bhatyas. In Jamia there are as many as 250 students
memorizing Quran popularly called Hifz.
They stay for a night in the
hostels managed from the donated money by the management of the institute.
The students, neatly dressed
in spotless kurta-pajamas and topis, sit in a circle on a large
quilt accompanied by a qualified Hafiz or a Maulana- The teacher who teaches
the students in madrasah. The Maulana translate verses of Quran or teaches as
to how to pronounce the verses in a particular language. Jamia is situated in a
mountainous slope where Haji Sahib’s residence is located. Haji sahib who is
also regarded as a Mohatmim of Jamia.
There is a frequent visit by
one and all even by the local state politicians like Union Minister Ghulam
Nabi Azad to express their sympathy to Madersah on an occasions like of
annual celebrations or a meeting with revered Sufi Haji Sahib.
On being prompted by
management committee, the Madersah organize an annual day celebrations with the
initiative of the local masses and students of nearly maddersa’s. The students
stand up and deliver an impassioned speech in Arabic and recite Naat Khuwani
I had a frequent visit to this
Institution especially in connection with the Annual day celebrations. On that
very day I sit among the students to listen the details of the programme
presented by the students on that day. The management focused on the importance
of academic education and on how Islam positively encourages it.
Apart from Islamic education in
the institution, the academic education is an indispensable part of the Jamia curriculum;
The Jamia is till 10th grade and is affiliated to J&K State Board of School Education. The result is also very excellent as the institute gets
10-12 distinctions every year in the matriculation examination controlled by
J&K Board of school education in this improvised area of Bhalessa.
The welcome addresses over on the annual day of Madrasah,
I sit with the students and discuss their studies. One of them wants to know
how to secure admission in the English department of the University of Jammu. Another wants to know how he can I prepare for Kashmir Administrative services exam
after completing my graduation in Islamic studies or Arabic. A third asks me,
in impeccable English, 'Why are Muslims, especially the ulema of
Deoband, thought of as terrorists by many, while they had actually played a
leading role in India's anti-colonial struggle?'
The students and their
teachers insist that the Deobandi elders are not against modern education as is
commonly imagined. Mufti Ishrat Mattu who was graduated from Jamia argues with
me, 'Islam says that all beneficial knowledge can be acquired and so our ulema
have never opposed what is good in the modern educational system. What they
were opposed to, however, was Western culture. We can and, indeed, should
acquire knowledge of all the beneficial modern disciplines, provided this is
done according to our culture and that it helps us become better Muslims.
Maulana Shoket Ali QasmiPresident of Madersah Asrar
Uloom Neeli Bhalessa tells me about the 60 such students. Who are enrolled in
the hifz course in Asrar ul uloom to memorize the Quran.
However, Asrar Ul Uloom was
sat up in 1980, It has 210 other students enrolled for academic courses upto 8th
class and is recognized by the state government. The Maderasah is functioning
on public donation as is clear from the very recent block constructed from the
public donated money.
In contrast to most other institutions that specialize in hifz, the students here must also study
English, Urdu, Mathematics and Science.
Maulana Shoket Ali Qasmi< also refers to his plans to
arrange for his students to simultaneously enroll for the tenth grade
examinations, so that after they finish their course they can join various
different departments in regular colleges and universities. 'Our ulema
must keep themselves abreast of modern knowledge and contemporary
developments', he stresses. 'That is essential for them to provide proper
leadership to the community'.
I ask the Mufti Abid Hussain who joined after, about
the Kashmir dispute, but he brushes aside my question politely. 'We have
nothing to do with politics', he says. He stresses, however, that allegations
about Madarasahs in Jammu and Kashmir being allegedly involved in promoting
'terrorism' are false. 'We are completely transparent, an open book, and have
nothing to hide. Mufti added that anyone can come and visit us and sit in our
classrooms', he replies. 'Not a single madrasah in Jammu and Kashmir has been
identified by intelligence sources as engaged in that sort of activity'. He
added further that the vision of Madersah is different from the Politics of
land” He explained me a curriculum of Asrar ul uloom. He added that in Madersah
we offer to the aspirants the teachings like, Nazra Quran, Tajweed e Farsi,
Ilm-e-Nahw, Sarf- e- tafseer, Hadees-e-Mantiq, Falsafa-e-Bayan, balagat and
He told me as we sit in a circle on a
tiny play ground at Madersah flanked by other Mufti’s. They stressed me in
response to my question regarding the Hindu -Muslim relation in this hamlet.
They stressed, “We talk about inter-community relations”.
Moreover, he adds, 'we must learn about
each other's religions and sentiments not to condemn and denounce others, but
to understand them'.
Lastly, the call (Azaan) for the
Friday prayer comes floating in. As we get up to offer the prayer in nearby
Jamia Masjid at Changa, the Maulana hands me a bunch of booklets that the Madrasa
has published, including Taaruf of Maderasa.
Sadaket Malik is a researcher in education based in Bhalessa. He has conducted a research on “Peace keeping and Human conflict in J&K state funded by The Institute of Third World Studies Philippines. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org