Last to last week the WEFAQ organization of religious madrassah, their chiefs and some other religious organizations which are testified by governments; their elders met the leaders of Pakistan. They first met the President, then PM and then they had meeting with Army Chief. There was only news that came about the meetings but not the details. Two of them have written columns in newspaper from where we get some idea.
These organizations meeting the three top personalities; President, PM and Army Chief Bajwa of the country means there is some sensitivity on this subject. Some other Muttahida Ulama board of Punjab have also met and they have expressed this in their columns. To have such high level meetings is an indication towards the sensitivity of the subject. I have read the columns of two participants; one wrote a column one day and other the next day. What was written in that I present.
The leaders of the Madaris and WEFAQ said that one syllabus should be made for all Madaris across the country and should be the same as one in college and schools. Both have mentioned that it was a meeting in a very healthy manner and hopes were expressed that some good forward way will come out for Madaris. As I said that why the subject of Madaris, because there is an international pressure on Pakistan and amongst this Madaris are top of the list.
The international pressure is that there are some groups in Pakistan on whom there are some reservations from certain countries outside. They are demanding Pakistan to end these groups and specifically America and India have put high pressure. Many centers of these organizations have been taken over by the government and appointed their own personnel. Then the government also announced that we don’t have money, funds to run these Madaris which they have taken over. The solution which they are bringing out, and that too when the solution is being put up under international pressure, then this would not be in favor of Madaris or country.
One thing which is unique in Pakistan, is that the religious madrassahs are education institutes but the guidance, policies which these educational institutes get comes from security organizations. The CTD (Counter Terrorism department) is controlling these Madaris. If they were doing this to control terrorism inside Madaris then it was fine, but they are preparing syllabus, establishing the future of educational institute, then how will this happen, that if you take the Madaris from scholars then who will make their syllabus. The last WEFAQ head has said that in the past the syllabus of WEFAQ used to come from America. This news is of importance for the hosts and guardians of the Madaris.
These organizations related to Madaris, that this WEFAQ of 5 organizations have practically no relationship with Madaris. Apart from one or two WEFAQ like the Madaris of Jamaat e Islami have their own WEFAQ and they have an organization and have full control over their Madaris as they are trained and nurtured organization. The Deobandi also have in a collective manner some control over their Madaris but not over all. The other WEFAQ do not have any control or connection with Madaris. They have never spoken to the Madaris but have gone to decide on the syllabus and destiny of Madaris.
These WEFAQ organizations though do not have any connection with Madaris but with government they have good relationships because it is not easy to have a meeting with such high position personalities. Even if some Minister wants to meet PM, it is not easy to meet PM, President or army leadership. When these people meet easily with them, then they have good relationship with government but they have no connection with the Madaris below them. They have met and decided on the destiny of the Madaris but still they did not inform the Madaris on what is being decided.
This issue of Madaris is very sensitive and to fiddle with this will give birth to many other issues. Many others have done this before. In the past in Afghan war a certain sect Madaris was used. There were Madaris made for them with Arab money, then people were trained, battalions made, then Jihad was done and it became a crooked history and due to which Pakistan became victim of many issues. The Madaris were used but as an outcome what the country got and even what the Madaris got needs to be assessed.
The way in the past those Madaris were used for non-educational activities the same seems to be planned now. We understand and accept that there are weaknesses in the system of Madaris and it is failed system of religious education collectively. Some successful organizations are there and are going fine as per their system, but in general the Madaris of all sects are under stress and issues. There are crisis of funding, discipline and many other issues. It needs reformation. It is like a sick person who is diagnosed and needs to be treated. But who will treat them, some Hakim, Homeopath, sage or some recognized physician. If the government selects as per their desire anyone like they have selected some persons permanently for WEFAQ. The religious sect is such that if someone gets a position he will not leave it, unless angel of death comes.
I have mentioned few days before that there are some personalities who have gained high respect in the world; this was because when they came on the peak of their authority they left the position of power. Like Nelson Mandela and Mahathir Mohammed when he went on the peak of power, he separated from politics and became a hero but again at 94 years he came back into power.
The other bigger example is from the religious world that is Pope Benedict who had the maximum followers as compared to religious followership. He is the most powerful religious person but when he came to the peak of his power, he seperated from leadership stating that I am old and I want to do research and worship. These are great people as this is not easy. In Pakistan if anyone gets stuck they don’t get out easily. This religious world is like this; if anyone is made the head of some organization he becomes eternal and will not leave other than death.
One Afghan leader who passed away some days back and was the leader of Mujahideen; that was Sibbattullah Mujaddidi. When the Mujahideen got success in Afghanistan, he was made the interim President so that he can get the elections done and democracy can be established. When he was asked to leave the power, he said power comes from Allah and Allah has given me this and I will not leave this. Later Taliban snatched it away from him and he passed away few days back. The religious world is like this only that they don’t leave the position unless angel of death comes. If you get the opportunity to provide services to the religion, then do it till you can do but if you are not able to do and then leave it for others to do.
There are some organization like Muttahida Ulama Alliance made by Punjab board who has nothing to do with Madaris so how come they will decide the destiny of Madaris. Tahir Ashrafi is well known as a heavy weight personality and he was called in that meeting, he has written a column that our services are always available. What does he have to do with Madaris? First the weakness of Madaris can be removed by the guardians of Madaris because the Madaris are not made by government, capitalists except for those Madaris due to which all Madaris are getting defamed who were made by foreign funding.
All these Madaris have been made by the small contributions from people. Those who have made these Madaris have not made it easily and they know about the Madaris that they have to run them and have sympathy towards it. If you want to reform the Madaris then government can cooperate and these guardians of the Madaris will work to resolve the issues. We are also saying that there are problems, and if you see the outcome then the Madaris have failed. But we should take it as a challenge that we have to make the unsuccessful system of Madaris successful. But the system should be religious and not made secular. Digesting the Madaris into the current secular system will be dangerous. First you dragged Madaris into Jihadi activities and now if you transform the Madaris into secular governmental then the outcome would be devastating.
We can see what the government has done with government schools. The government schools are in worst position. If the government was capable to run the schools, then why all the schools have moved towards privatization. Today the children of businessman, politicians, ministers, Army General and even the children of these WEFAQ leaders are studying in private schools. This is beause the government schools have failed. It is today’s news, that the current Chief Justice, Asif Khosa who has adopted seriousness. This is a big progress in judiciary that first time seriousness has come up in the Judiciary system. We are grateful to Allah that some reserve was there, who has not created panic and is focusing seriously on judiciary.
A case has come to him for the heavy fees in private schools. He has declared government as responsible for the increase in fees of private schools and it is in headlines of yesterday. The government has failed education and schools. These Madaris if some of them which are running also, and if these leaders sit and give these Madaris to government to make syllabus and run, then the outcome will be worst then the schools. This is a serious issue and these WEFAQ leaders are not at all serious about this, they are not consulting anyone and are not taking into confidence any Madaris under them. They don’t even think the need as they have good relationship with government and they get good protocol. When they touch, fiddle then those who are not related to Madaris, they sit to decide on the destiny of Madaris.
I am telling this to the leaders of WEFAQ, Madaris, government and those believers who have sympathy towards Madaris; for the sake of their awareness. In Iran when the Islamic revolution came, the Islamic government got established by the scholars. The educated scholars, Faqeeh, Mujtahids from Islamic Seminaries of Qom, Najaf, and Mashad came into power. After coming to power, it is 40 yrs, where there is an Islamic government, and the government is run by those who are certified, qualified by religious seminaries; and we can see that the Supreme Leader is from the Seminary.
The President, the Chief Justice there are people educated and qualified from Seminaries. But none of them have taken this step to take Madaris under government control. The Madaris system is independent of government. At times from the revolutionary this voice was raised that the Madaris should come under government control as the government is Islamic, the rulership is of scholars so the Madaris should come under government. The scholars in government and Imam Khomeini (r.a) strongly opposed that the Madaris should never come under government control else they will be ruined. If government cannot cooperate with the Madaris then let them not fiddle with the Madaris as well. They should not disturb their system.
These Madaris are running with people cooperation, with Zakat, Khums and are running under scholars. In 40 yrs of Islamic governance these Madaris have not come under government control in Iran. Neither does the government pays one penny to them nor do they intervene with Madaris and this is the secret of success. If they come under government control; then one day there will be Ahmadinejad, he has his own mindset and he will place Madaris in some form of work; then next day Rafsanjani is there, he has other thinking.
The government keeps on changing so if you place Madaris under them then every new government will take Madrassah’s in their direction. Today there is government of Imran Khan from PTI; he will take Madaris in his own direction. Zia ul Haqq will run his own, some other General will come and run his own way. These Madaris will become toy and religion will become a playground and dangerous results would come out.
I asked one leader of one of these WEFAQ that under which article of Pakistan constitution the Madaris falls. He replied that we have never thought about this. You first make this system and present to government and remove the reservations and concern of government which can be removed. You have made few Madaris for extremist Jihadi activities and then when incorrect results came out from them; now you want to carry out operation on all Madaris. You want to now impose your own syllabus across all Madaris. We are also saying the demands of the current era should be fulfilled in the Madaris but the Madrassahs should themselves do this. The Madrassah should themselves update them, and the Madrassah should tune themselves as per the current era need.
Now I am telling this not out of boasting, but for the sake of awareness of people; those who are concerned about the Madrassahs and sitting to discuss about them, I am inviting all of them; the government authorities, the leaders of WEFAQ, the scholars of all sects, the believers of all sects, their guardians, hosts to come and see Jamea Orwatul Wuthqa; visit us to see how a Madrassah is running as per demands of current era; see how the syllabus is, how the system is.
If you do not have a model, though I did not wanted to speak about this with my own tongue but since there are concerns about the Madaris and if you do not have a formula to resolve this. And we know that you do not have any solution, since you are busy in many other things; education is not amongst your priority and focus. You are the leaders of Madrassah but you do not even visit for one day. You are teachers of Madrassah but don’t go there for one day. You don’t even know the syllabus as you have outsourced the Madrassah’s to others for running. You should come and we will teach you the technology on how a standard moderate Madrassah runs as per the education needs of current era.
It is an advanced Madrassah where even you will see that your schools are incomparable. You visit, see and then follow this model and copy this. We will not take copyrights on this, and ask for royalty for this. There are some Madrassah’s who are copying us and we are pleased to see this. Even though we have lack of resources, means, people and despite of severe difficulties but you come here. We also have some deficiencies and these can be removed. If the Madrassahs can cooperate together they can build such a good system of education that these secular academies will get oriented to get children educated in Madrassah.
The current Chief justice who is highly educated but he has given one very irresponsible unintellectual statement. Since he has come out from the same education system, it can happen. He has said that due to uselessness of government people are sending their children to private schools and since many cannot afford they are sending their Children to Madrassah. Mr. Chief Justice please get up from your intellectual seat and come to Madrassah, visit our Madrassah and see if the parents are sending their children out of persuasion or choice.
People desire, from all sects, the Deobandi’s, the Sunni and even secular people want their children in secure environment. They should learn the current latest education, they should learn religion as well and they should become something for the nation. Today the cases which are running in your court and NAB are on those people who were educated from Madrassah’s or from pass out of universities? The big criminals whom you have caught and are behind bars; have come from where? Were they from Madrassah’s or universities? You have arrested the Vice Chancellor of university as criminal and then you defame the Madrassah and becoming aggressive against Madrassah? You have yourself used some of these Madrassah’s and now you are defaming them? This is a big injustice which you are doing. First you adulterate a field, then defame it, blame it and accuse it, not appreciating their efforts.
On one hand you are putting efforts to reform the Madrassahs and on the other hand there is a famous Haqqania Madrassah on the border province of late Sami Ul Haqq. This was a Jihadi academy which the entire world knows and he also accepted that. The government has given third grant to them. First they gave 300 Million grant, then 900 Million and now again 300 Million grant has been given to this Madrassah. The KPK government has given this grant now the school funds. There is no fund for Madrassah for government. What is this that some Madrassah become so beloved for you, some become a splinter for you? As I mentioned there is a need for seriousness with the leaders of WEFAQ, the guardians of Madrassah’s. It is not the way to run the Madrassah under police and security control.
If you want to affiliate Madrassah’s with the government then the little that can be done is to get them connected with Education department. I have said that this should also not be done, as Imam Khomeini (r.a) said that even this should not be done. Though he was in government but he still did not said that the Madrassah’s should come under me. This is a specialized topic and since this happened last week, I have briefly mentioned. This needs gatherings, sittings with Madrassah and to sit with various education institutes. There are many who have not taken the subject of Madrassah seriously and have never come to Madrassah to see how the system of Madrassah runs.