Opinion: Towards a Unique Qur’anic Generation

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Students of Madarasa Bhalwal

It is a fact that Muslims across the globe unequivocally believe that the Qur’an is the accurate Book of Allah revealed to his beloved and last prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. One cannot claim to be a full believer unless he or she bear witness that there is no one worthy to be worshiped but only Allah and that he send the prophets to guide man to the right path. Some of these prophets were given scriptures /Books such as Torah, Zabur, Gospel, and the Holy Qur’an which was revealed to our prophet Muhammad as a true guidance of all mankind, Allah said  “This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah” Qur’an 2:2.

Yes, as Muslims we sincerely believe that Qur’an is our guidance. But the question here is, to what extent does Muslims up-hold to the teachings of the Holly Qur’an? And what efforts are being put in place to ensure that the future generations  will walk side by side with the Qur’an? I mean, are we creating the environment that would allow our children to take Qur’an as their teacher and guidance for their everyday deeds? To answer these questions systematically I think there is a need to thoroughly analyze the education system the Muslim Ummah in Malawi offer to their children.

If I remember very well, one day I came across news published by this website informing the Muslim community of Malawi that efforts to unify the Madrasah syllabus in the country were cat short due to some reasons. Now, let’s assume that this is the real situation on ground; how far do we think we can create the Muslim generation that will hold Qur’an as their guidance?

It should be made crystal clear to all Muslims in this country that any educational system that has no sound and or unified syllabus is known to be a failed system that produces nothing but half-baked learners who will cause a great damage to our religion.

The core reason that was given in that write up was that the committee could not carry on their duties due to inadequate funds to fuel the project. Sometimes it is very shameful to utter such sentiments. I mean the Muslim Ummah of Malawi claiming that there is no money for such an important project. On other hand, the very same Muslims are the big financier of various projects in the country that has no connection with their lives hereafter, i.e. dishing millions for political mileage and etc. Sadly, not only that, but again when we look at the populace of the Muslims in Malawi, it’s very pathetic to believe that they cannot afford to get funding for such an essential program.

Nevertheless, I believe all Muslims in the country send their children to Madrasah and at the same time to secular education where in many cases they pay fees. The question is, if we manage to pay for secular education can’t we do the same to finance this imperative project, that has a future of our children as well as ourselves? I strongly believe that Muslims of this country if well informed about this project can hold hands with the little they are blessed with by their sustainer to finance the project.

Thus, I suggest that the Muslim community of Malawi should introduce what I can call ‘One Kwacha Foundation’ (MK1.00)for the project. This foundation can play a significant role of collecting one kwacha or so, from every Muslim in the country every day or twice a week for the project. I know that same will say what difference can that make? Yes, I respect your argument but what we all agree unanimously is that to reach hundred kwacha (MK100) we have to start from one.

Although we don’t know the exact number of Muslims in the country, but still we estimate that Malawi has more than 4 million Muslims. In this case, how much can be collected every day? What all we need is to have a proper strategy and mechanism of how to run this foundation and most importantly how to use the funds once collected. Above all transparency and accountability should be put on front to ensure that the funds collected are in the safe hands.

Believe you me, we can do this and ultimately accomplish our projects. Muslims in this country can do this if and if only there is a reliable working group to facilitate this foundation. I pen off by throwing this suggestion to all Muslims in the country in general and Islamic organizations in particular to look at this issue seriously taking into cognizant that to create a Qur’anic unique generation, it  needs a vibrant unified syllabus of our Madrasahs.

1 COMMENT

  1. Assalam alykum. This is an important issue and needs all the attention it deserves. The absence of a curriculum that is goal focused entails that our madrassah cannot produce a “graduate” at any level who matches a specific “desired” product. I don’t know how the current curriculum is designed but given the kind of “product” it is producing, one can safely believe that it is not doing a great job. For instance, one of the important issues on this blog in the recent past was about muslim boys misbehaving (not paying attention during Khutbah) on Friday and making noise within the masjid when other people are praying. I am too sure, 99.1% of those young men are/have been to madrassah. The madrassah must be failing to do something properly, thus why those boys cannot respect one of the most sacred elements of Islam – swalat. How can one go to Masjid and keep chatting with friends even after Khutba begins and only stop chattering just before first rukuh???? Weird!

    Coming to the current topic. Do we need to contribute money for this effort (curriculum development)? My response if, No. I say NO because it is a very simple undertaking that can be done with the minimal investment of resources (time and money) that all the organizations providing “Islamic education” in Malawi can afford. This not supposed to be a workshop where people should make money in allowances and bonuses. First, we already have some form(s) of curriculum / syllabuses. We can segment this program into phases. Most part of it, will be processes that the various institutions will undertake as part of their day to day job activities. Any systems process can limit the financial cost of most of there undertakings.

    Phase 1. We identify the institution to coordinate this process. The coordinating institution can be an organization or individuals. We have very well learned Muslims in this country. The coordinator can be a Muslim with a strong secular or Islamic qualification in curriculum development – education as a major or indeed any qualification that make a person resourceful. I have so many names in mind as I write this. Many high caliber Muslims would be happy to sacrifice their time to this noble effort.

    Phase 2. We do the less finance intensive phases at institutional level (for instance all organizations – MAM, QMAM, Jammats etc), as them to put together if they don’t already have, their curriculum or pieces of what they are currently using into a package of some form that they call a curriculum.

    Phase 3. Within these institutions, they have or should have a curriculum committee of some kind. These committees should share their curriculum with other institutions. The different institutions should then compare these curriculum and notice differences and similarities. At this phase. This a very “one full morning process”. This process can be guided by a ” guide, a matrix” that can be developed by the coordinating “entity”. This process would mark the deficiencies in the current pieces of curriculum’s (My belief is that we don’t just need a uniform curriculum, but in addition, one that address certain identified needs. During this process, the committees can make some recommendations on the potential changes – additions and subtractions that could be made in order to make theirs able to accomplish certain preset goals.

    Phase 4. This can be a phase where representatives of these institutions (one or two people per institution) meet at one place for two days and they go through a process where they integrate into one, the different pieces. I am sure with a competent facilitator, this could be a one day process producing great results.

    Phase 5. This is the finalizing patch where the proposed curriculum goes back to the institutions and to other individuals or “non”- education organizations in Malawi for their ideas inputs. And a final product can be made.

    This is not “THE” way to do this. Some modifications can be made or indeed a complete process, my contention is that we is needed is a process that is less resource intensive.

    I am sure the curriculum would be one that should have among others, ultimate goals of producing 1. A Muslim who is knowledgeable about Islam 2. Builds an Islamic character – a concrete and conspicuous unique Islamic character 3. It is high time we made Arabic as a language of Muslims in this country, an official communication medium. Why do people go to French cultural center to learn French and within months, they are able to speak?? or indeed in the first few years of secular schooling, pupils can speak or at least understand some English. We spend tones of years at Madrassah and can’t speak or understand few Arabic words. I would like us to be able to understand the Khutbah, everyone in the Masjid. This is what the curriculum should achieve. I marveled at what the last words of the second Khutbah say when I read it is English, so profound. And I was are these the last words, message we are supposed to leave th masjid with…very strong. Unfortunately many of us don’t understand or could be sleeping by the time they are said. Allah make us better Muslims.

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