After 2 years of running my own madrasah Masha Allah and attending Madrasah’s as a child i’ve come to question the purpose and affectiveness of the Madrasah? It would seem millions partake in what has almost become a habitual or cultural habit of sending their child to Madrasah, but do we not have to stop and question what we aim to gain or benefit from this?
I understand the objective of sending children to a Madrasah is to not only teach our children how to read the glorious and noble Quraan, but also to contemplate how we should digest and implement the practices of Quraan and Sunnah.
The other day whilst in the company of my son and his friend who are both 10 years and above, I reminded my son that prayer time was upon us. Therefore I instructed him to go and perform his Salaat. His friend who is 11 years old and raised in a Muslim family did not react to this instruction. I was familliar with the friend and new of him to be well mannered and recalled his eagerness to pray on time in the month of Ramadan.
Knowing this I questioned his resillience to go and pray, and was intrigued to hear his response. He told me, ‘My mom sent me to madrasah to read Quraan, but I really don’t see the point in learning how to read something I don’t understand’! He then added, ‘It would appear my family place a greater importance on me completing and memorising the Quraan then adhereing to my 5 daily prayers, and it has been so long since I prayed, I think i’ve forgotten how’.
This response saddened me as I realised he is one of many children who are not taught the true essence of Islam. Quite often when I ask children what I consider to be fundamental questions about Islam, they do not know the answers. For eg:
- Who is Allah?
- Who is Prophet Muhammed (SAW)?
- What is a Muslim?
- What is Islam?
Quite often children do not know the answers to these questions, and further still, crime statistics confirm that young people who were raised in ‘Muslim’ famillies go on to indulge in Free Mixing, drugs and listening to highly inappropriate music which acts as a demonstration of the inaffectiveness of many who attended Madrasahs.
As parents I believe we must encourage our Madrasahs to conduct Tarabiyah and teachings that assist young Muslims on how to behave in a society that finds them contending with many identities such as, ‘Being British, Muslim or holding dear to their ethnic minority cultural practices’.
The true understanding of Islam is now contending with the cultural understanding of Islam which can be a harm if not managed correctly.
May Allah aid our Madrasah’s to adapt their style of teachings to capture a generation of young Muslims and prepare them with the correct naseehah (advice) that prepares them for this life. Ameen