The important part in seeing something that you are not familiar with – and wish to get familiar with – is to suspend judgment. I had been given a rather realistic idea of what I should expect, but even then it took me years back in time in a way that I felt uncomfortable. Still, I suspended judgment, and took a factual, realistic view of the situation with the trust that I am going to work with people who want to change. When you have work to do and people to lead, you can’t afford to wish. Who could you wish to but yourself?
I realized how far my image of education has developed and how deeply have I come to not-like the way education is in the world today. Not just Islamic, but modern education. If the Islamic education primarily prepares Man for the Mosque, the modern education anywhere in the world prepares the Child for the Factory. I had trouble thinking that I would likely be putting the two together: Mosque + Factory.
We have to have a modified Urdu idiom for this: mullah ki daur factory tak. The Mullah sees not beyond the factory. That replaces the age-old idiom: The Mullah goes not beyond the Mosque.
Note: Madrissah is term popularly used to refer to an Islamic school. In Urdu, it just means, “school.” In this series of blogs, it refers to a major Islamic school that I visited.