THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MAKTAB/MADRASAH

GMA Newsletter 1443-2022 – By Mahmood Hasan Motara

“Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim (Hadith)”
“The best inheritance that we provide to our children in this life is Islamic Education”.

Alhamdulillah, the Maktab/Madrasah system and legacy that we enjoy with freedom in our country is a blessing that cannot be enumerated at all. In many parts of the world learners are deprived of furthering their Islamic Education or at the very least, they are limited to an hour a week of Islamic Education.

It is our responsibility to protect this great legacy that was established over a hundred years ago in South Africa by our Senior Ulema and forefathers. May Allah Ta’ala reward all those who were instrumental in this regard and those who continue to uphold this great blessing and legacy.

It’s been just over two years since our country experienced a hard lockdown. This lockdown affected us all in some way or the other. However, our learners – the future flag bearers of Islam – be it at primary or high school level were greatly disadvantaged by the lockdown. At Madrasah, contingency plans were introduced by setting up an online platform, which allowed the teaching and learning process to continue. Alhamdulillah, the return to full time onsite learning since last year August has been welcomed from all quarters and encouraging to note, by our learners as well. As young as they are, our young generation has also realised the value of heart to heart and face-to-face teaching and learning.

“Your children are your business, the more effort you put in to them the greater the returns.”

When our children make the transition to high school, at times we tend to choose the so- called easier option of removing them from the Maktab system. This is due to the notion, that our children will be unable to cope with high school and Madrasah, or we have given preference to extra-curricular activities over Islamic education. In reality this thought process is very detrimental to the child, as many Islamic aspects, injunctions and life lessons are taught at this level in Madrasah. The need for our children to continue their Islamic Education up to matric level cannot be further emphasised. The onslaught of western ideologies and other agendas that are foreign to Islam, are being taught in schools with no Islamic perspective whatsoever and this has a major negative impact on our children. Added to that, the influence and challenges of the modern-day world through social media and other means, puts our learners at a disadvantage. Hence, my humble appeal to our respected parents in our community and surrounds, that we should not rush in removing our children from the Maktab system once they join High School or give preference to extra-curricular activities over Islamic Education. Instead, let them continue furthering their Islamic Knowledge, of which the benefits will be sowed later in life and once our worldly existence comes to an end. The Maktab syllabus in the higher grades covers a range of important topics such as Janazah, ghusl of the deceased, leading the Salaah as an Imaam, Zakaat, Nikaah, Umrah, Hajj, contemporary issues and many other aspects. Therefore, the tried and tested method of the Maktab system is a source of protection from the challenges our children face, which has also preserved the Imaan and Deen of generations, including ourselves.

GMA Newsletter 1443-2022

Allah Ta‘ala mentions in the Quraan Majeed: “Do not kill your children because of poverty.” (6: 151-153)

The scholars of Tafseer explain that this verse is not confined to literally killing one’s child due to the fear of poverty, rather killing one’s child also refers to depriving them of Deeni/Islamic education (Ma‘aariful Quraan vol. 3, pg. 484). The latter is actually worse, since the child only suffers in this world when they are literally killed, but when they are left bereft of Deen, they suffer in the Hereafter as well. The knowledge of Deen has to be given its due importance. It must not be such that the very ‘investment’ we spent our lives on, cannot even read our own Janazah Salaah. Allah Ta’ala protect us all.

Alhamdulillah, Madrassah Islamia Greenside has been in existence for over 20 years. It is run by the principal who is supported by the committee. May Allah Ta’ala reward them for their efforts. We have a compliment of 19 educators, who are committed, dedicated and passionate in their roles as educators. May Allah Ta’ala accept their efforts and take them from strength to strength.

The Madrasah currently has a roll of 280 learners ranging from grade R up to grade 11, including a Special Needs Class and a Female Hifz Class. For our high school learners, the Madrasah week is shortened to 3 days a week, which in my opinion should only happen at the FET phase (Grade 10-12) of their schooling career. We should make a sincere intention to send our children to Madrasah 5 times a week up to Grade 9 at the bare minimum. Alhamdulillah, on this point I must commend the parents and learners of our senior classes who have continued with Madrasah this year, despite them going to higher grades and starting high school. In this way, in addition to our children benefitting, we as parents will also reap the rewards for this as well.

Alhamdulillah, In June 2021, our Madrasah initiated a special needs class with 3 learners, which has now grown to 5 learners this year. Learners have benefited tremendously from this class with lots of positive feedback from the parents. Alhamdulillah, In mid-February this year (2022), our Female Hifz Class was initiated. The roll for the Hifz Class is currently 22, which comprises of 16 young girls and 6 adults. Du’as requested for the acceptance and success of these classes and all our initiatives.

The Madrasah runs from 3:10pm-5:10pm Mondays to Fridays according to the DBE calendar for grades one to seven. Three times a week for the senior learners (Gr 8 upwards) and Mondays to Thursdays for grade R. Learners write informal assessments or do tasks/projects for term one and three, while in June and November we have a fully-fledged examination. Reports are issued half yearly and year-end. Our learners take part in certain events/activities during the year as well. We received positive feedback from parents in this regard. Alhamdulillah, some of the activities that learners took part in:

A Janazah workshop in 2021 that was run by the ladies of our community for our senior girl’s class. The learners thoroughly enjoyed this workshop.
Two female learners took part in the annual South African National Woman’s Forum Qiraat Jalsa in 2021.

Our Grade 6 & 7 boys under the supervision of their respective educators went out on an educational outing to the West Park Cemetery on Saturday 12 March 2022. Thereafter, the boys went to the Emmarentia Botanical Gardens for a picnic.
On an annual basis our Grade 7 girls contribute towards the Syria Shoebox Campaign.

GMA Newsletter 1443-2022

May Allah Ta’ala reward all our educators for their sterling efforts in making the teaching and learning process an enjoyable one for our learners.

Going forward, we intend initiating Female Adult Classes (Back to basics, refresher course) in term two Insha-Allah. This class will run 3 times a week. We are currently in the process of looking for a female educator who has the necessary qualifications (Aalimah, Proficient in Quraan and Tajweed and Teaching experience) to teach this class. Your du’as are requested in this regard. Should you be interested or know of someone, kindly forward CV’s to [email protected]

I would be failing in my duty if I do not express my sincere thanks and gratitude to the GMA, Madrasah Committee, educators, support staff and parents for your unwavering support and my beloved learners, for without them there would be no Madrassah Islamia
Greenside. May Allah Ta’ala recompense you with the best. We request your Du’aas for the success of the Madrasah, our learners, educators, committee, parents, and community. May this institution be a beacon of light for our community and the rest of the world in years to come.

Aameen.

JazakAllah

MH Motara Principal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.