The greatest investment any community can make is to invest in their children. Our children are our future. If we invest in today’s children and develop them into people who are firm in their Imaan, upright and respectful, and who cherish human value more than material wealth, then such an investment will reap tremendous returns and benefits for us as parents both in this world and the hereafter.
The Maktab has always played a pivotal role in developing the children of the Ummah. It is in the Maktab where our children learn the fundamental principles of Islam that enable them to live and practice as Muslims.
In communities where Maktab education is not provided, children grow up without knowing even the basics of Islam. They are unable to perform wudhu and Salaah and in many cases are not able to recite the Kalimah properly.
Maktab education is essential in the life of every Muslim child and it is our duty as parents and guardians of our children to ensure they receive its knowledge.
Our children attend madrasahs every day, yet we as their parents do not attach much significance to them, regarding them merely as places that look after the ummah’s infants. We hold them on a par with nurseries, as places of elementary learning. We should realise though, that as long as we fail to attach importance to them, we will remain ignorant of our children’s development and progress.
The flame of Īmān (faith) is first kindled in the madrasah. The light of Īmān first permeates the heart of a Muslim child in this environment. It teaches our young children moral values.
It is in the madrasah where we learned that to lie is a very great evil and that we should always speak the truth. It warned us against the use of bad language and that stealing, cheating and oppressing people are wrong. The madrasah taught us not to be a thorn in the side of our parents and to care for the elderly, orphans and widows. It was in the madrasah that we learned that we should be kind to our neighbours, be they Muslim or non-Muslim.
The madrasah even taught us things that we do as adults without paying attention to them, like the simple yet rewarding act of removing an obstacle from a path. The good morals and character we take credit for as adults were acquired through the madrasah. All the teachings we are familiar with and today practice in our lives spring from there. By taking stock of every good deed we are performing and every evil that we detest and avoid, we will be witnessing the legacy of the period of our lives between the age of four or five up to fourteen or fifteen: the years spent in the madrasah.
The madrasah not only brings our children benefits in relation to the hereafter, it also provides them goodness in this world. Parents too, receive worldly gain: a child that spent its time well at madrasah will become a means of comfort and joy for its parents. The madrasah is a boon for the country as well because it produces good citizens, regardless of whether it operates in an Islamic country or a secular state. At madrasah, children are taught to respect the rights of all people and are warned against involvement in drugs, alcohol, theft, vandalism and all types of antisocial behaviour. It contributes towards a socially cohesive society and is a great blessing for humanity as a whole.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ came into this world as a mercy and all his teachings are full of mercy. What is taught in the madrasah is what the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ taught. His life, his character, and his dealings – they all form the basis of what our children learn. Every child who attends a madrasah becomes familiar with these Prophetic teachings and is equipped to go on to embody them and serve humanity and work for its betterment.
Umar bin Khattab was off to kill the Prophet of Allah ﷺ, when he came across a “madrassah”, the house of his sister, Fatima Bint Khattab (RA), where the noble act of learning and teaching Islam was taking place, and ultimately resulted in Umar (RA) accepting Islam and becoming one of the greatest companions of Nabi ﷺ.
So the next time you drop-off your child at Madrassah, instead of being happy that you got two hours to yourself, be grateful that your child has a madrassah to attend.