The first time I passed by a madrassa and heard the word a shiver went down my spine. All those frightening images I see from all the camps in other parts of the world came to mind. But when I went inside, I haven’t met more gentle teachers nor a more innocent bunch of students.
I have shot many images here and will post them in due course.
Excerpts From Wiki:
Madrasah literally means “a place where learning/teaching is done”. In the Arabic language, the word مدرسة (madrasah) simply means the same as school does in the English language, whether that is private, public or parochial school, as well as for any primary or secondary school whether Muslim, non-Muslim, or secular. Unlike the understanding of the word school in British English, the word madrasah is like the term school in American English, in that it can refer to a university-level or post-graduate school as well.
A typical Islamic school usually offers two courses of study: a hifz course; that is memorisation of the Qur’an (the person who commits the entire Qur’an to memory is called a hafiz); and an ‘alim course leading the candidate to become an accepted scholar in the community. A regular curriculum includes courses in Arabic, Tafsir (Qur’anic interpretation), shari’ah (Islamic law), Hadith (recorded sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad), Mantiq (logic), and Muslim History.
People of all ages attend, and many often move on to becoming imams. The certificate of an ‘alim for example, requires approximately twelve years of study. A good number of the huffaz (plural of hafiz) are the product of the madrasahs. The madrasahs also resemble colleges, where people take evening classes and reside in dormitories. An important function of the madrasahs is to admit orphans and poor children in order to provide them with education and training. Madrasahs may enroll female students; however, they study separately from the men.
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