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Students from Islamic seminary in Mumbai top state board exams

As per TOI, so far 97 Hafiz-e-Quran students have cleared the Maharashtra state board’s SSC exams. | Picture Source: Times of India

An Islamic seminary in the Malad area of Mumbai has a unique achievement with 22 of its Hafiz-e-Quran (Quran memorizers) clearing the state board’s SSC exams. 

Basil Islam | 

NEW DELHI — Students from an Islamic seminary in Mumbai, Maharashtra Jamia Tajveedul Quran Madrasa and its sister institution, Noor Meher Urdu School have achieved success by clearing the Maharashtra board’s SSC examinations. All 22 huffaz (memorizers of the Quran) from the madrasa have successfully cleared the SSC this year. The results were announced on Friday, June 24. 

Syed Ali converted his Malad bungalow in North Mumbai into a seminary in 2000. It began as an ordinary madrasa for learning and memorizing the Quran. In the last decade, Ali said he felt the need to include “formal education as part of the curriculum.” 

“Prophet Muhammed’s saying on acquiring knowledge which asks us to seek knowledge even if one has to go to China inspired me,” Ali said in an interview with the Times of India. 

The seminary collaborated with Noor Meher Urdu school for its students to receive formal education. At present, 13 teachers are leading the hifz course (Quran memorization) at the madrasa, and Noor Meher school has nine teachers to provide modern education to them,  

Abu Talha Ansari, a hafiz of the Quran, scored 83.4% in SSC and plans to pursue engineering. “Due to covid restrictions, our studies weakened, and madrassa gave us extra classes to cover the portions. It helped us achieve this position,” he told Mumbai Times while acknowledging the madrassa’s efforts. 

Talha said that students who study in Islamic seminaries usually lag in other streams of knowledge, and students who go for secular education fail to comply with their religious learnings. “This is why I decided to take up this effort to study both, and I believe this is the way,” Talha explained in an interview with Mumbai Times.

“Most madrassas are reluctant to introduce modern subjects like science and maths in their curricula. However, the achievement of this madrasa shows a way forward. This can be replicated at many madrasas in the country. Education of religious subjects is not disturbed at all while modern subjects are taught,” career counsellor Shaikh Akhlaq Ahmed explained to the Times of India. He had initially helped the founder with guidance and counselling of students.

Another hafiz who scored 80.18% wishes to continue his studies in software engineering. “I feel that the Muslim community is lagging in that field. I wanted to change that,” he told Mumbai Times. 

He said that it was hard for them to manage the time between Islamic and modern education. “But we were able to manage it somehow,” he told Mumbai Times. 

“Most huffaz here are orphans and stay in our hostel to continue their studies. So it is a residential academy,” a teacher of the madrasa said to Zee News.

Shazia, principal of Noor Meher High School, is thrilled with this achievement as it is scarce to see such a coming together of both kinds of education. So far, her institution has aided 97 huffaz from the madrasa to clear SSC examinations. “Lockdown period was crucial for the students, and we couldn’t afford to miss them. I want to thank the head teachers and students of the madrasa who put in the effort to achieve good results. Praise to Allah,” Shazia told Mumbai Times. 


Basil Islam is an independent journalist and researcher based in South India. He tweets at @baasiie


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