In the days of yore, our fathers gave their all to madrasah education, yet they would eat from hand to mouth. That’s because the service was free of charge and they had no job to fill up their pockets. They sacrificed their convenience for the betterment of the ummah which we are today leveraging on, consolidating with pride and amending the shortcomings.

The madrasah was usually flooded by children of unappreciative parents. Since the ustadh would not say “bring”, they too would never say “take”. Tens of students numbering almost a hundred would be handled by only one ustadh who probably would even double as imam.

Enrollment of students was ridiculously informal. The ustadh would receive new entrants on a daily basis without their parents showing up. No registration form, no commitment. That’s why they could at any point stop attending madrasah and nothing would happen. Our fathers in those days were so magnanimous that the parents of absentees and/or runaway students would be voluntarily visited to know why they had not been seen for some time. May Allah bless our forebears for their unequalled sacrifice.

Only a few of the madaaris in those days were of standard. Of course, how workable was it that 50 to 100 learners would be effectively taught by only one teacher who even had nothing accruable to the enormous, heinous service?

Lamentably, parents of today want that ugly, unpalatable trend continued. They passionately, enthusiastically pay #50/100k to foot school bills, but are apathetic, reluctant to pay fees as low as #1k per month for madrasah education. What injustice! This is the era of civilised madrasah administration, where students are stratified based on their levels and salaried, motivated asaatidha (teachers) are assigned to classes following laid down curricular and schemes of work. That’s the new order Muslim parents must understand.

What sustains the madrasah is the monthly, termly statutory payments by parents, and sometimes assistance or sponsorship from relatively rich philanthropists. The mudeer and the asaatidha have got needs to cater for, after all. Where a parent seems indebted to the madrasah, measures such as asking the child(ren) back home, should constitute no offence or contempt. But it’s unfortunate that parents are usually angered and as such ask their children to jettison madrasah, whereas if it were the secular school, they would rather beg the proprietor (or the school head, as the case may be) sometimes on their knees to tamper justice with mercy. In fact, for the days their children would be home, they would get quarantined like corona-struck patients. To them, it is shameful not to go to school, but it isn’t to miss madrasah. What a pain in the head!

Some parents do the worse by slandering the ustadh tagging him unprintable names and their gullible, golugoistic accomplices help them in the satanic character assassination. They don’t stop at that. They enrol their children in another madrasah paying the required bills in full while their indebtedness to the previous madrasah is left unsettled. I wonder if they have forgotten that Allah is a just God.

Muslim parents want their children have Islamic education but they do not want to make the requisite sacrifices that will see them through the desire. Where there is no pay, you should expect no gain.

It is time parents helped in the administration of the madrasah by paying regularly and promptly. They should join hands with the ustadh to make the madrasah reach its peak rather than blast its brink to success.

If you cannot sponsor the madrasah like some big-hearted persons do, you should at least pay up your child(ren)’s bill on a regular basis.


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