Madrasas in Tamil Nadu
First, the bad news. There is no standard, up to the mark, genuine madrasa for
Ladies in the state. Although there are a couple of them - madrasa-e-niswan in
Vaniyambadi; uswathun hasanath in Pallapatti and a couple of recently
established ladies madrasas in Chennai, Madurai and Kayalpattinam. But none
of them could be held on par with prestigious institutions like Jamia
Darussalam,Omerabad or Baqiyatus salihath, Vellore.
For a state with a century old history of best, famous, well established Madrasas
this state of affairs is pathetic.
True. We could not have co-education in Madrasas. Nobody demands it. But,
what prevents to establish exclusive madrasas for ladies. The state has
produced a number of great scholars of international repute. It is yet to produce a
lady scholar or alima who could be treated on par with say a Jalaludeen omeri or
a Abdul Wahab baqawi. Needless to say, there is a dearth of research scholars
among ladies. The Muslim society has failed to produce lady writers, thinkers,
translators, journalists etc etc. The root cause is the lack of madrasas and deeni
institituitons exclusively for ladies. There may be socio, religious and historic
reasons behind this lacuna. But atleast the big players in the field viz Jamia
Darussalam Omerabad and Baqiyatus salihat people should ponder over the
matter and with all their resources and infra structure at their disposal could
branch out and establish Ladies madrasas too.
Now the good news. Scores and scores of Madrasas and Hifz madrasas have
sprout up in every patti and thotti of Tamil Nadu. More Alims are coming out of
madrasas than ever before. More Alims are writing books and papers indicating
an increase in research. There has been five folds of increase in the number of
books published and more and more titles are being covered.
According to a conservative estimate there are more than fifty full fledged
madrasas in the state. Each and every Muslim townships boasts a Madrasa.
There is an another peculiar development. Madrasas catering to the needs of
various school of thoughts. Viz Deobandi type Madrasas tiptoeing the traditional
trend. Tawheed Madrasas with rigid outlook and the quintessential Ahle Hadith
with their focus on Hadith.
Here we take a cursory glance of the two pioneer Madrasas: Madrasa Baqiyatus
Salihat, Vellore, the frontrunner and Jamia Darussalam, Omerabad the
The frontrunner is the historic Madrasa-e-Baqiyatus Salihat, Vellore. This
premium deeni madrasa was established way back in 1884 by a legendary
scholar Moulana Abdul Wahab afffectionately called as A'ala Hazrat.
The story of Baqiyatus Salihat goes like this : ’' It all started with the trip to
Thittacherry. There A'ala Hazrat saw to his utter discomfiture, a number of
panjas, koodu and kodi(flag) of Muharram placed in the pupit of the Masjid itself.
A'ala Hazrat was very much annoyed. He gave a fiery speech condemning the
transgression and appealed emotionally to shun away such non-senses. The
public obliged and duly removed those panjas etc. Then one gentleman by name
Ghanithambi Alim Sahib asked a pertinent question. “ In your presence these
people removed those pieces. In your absence over a course of time they would
return to their old ways. Besides you cannot visit each and every village of this
state. The need of the hour is to create a battalion of Alims who would do deeni
service everywhere. What are you going to do to fulfill the need?” The question
got imbibed in A'ala Hazrat’s mind.
He started giving lessons in his courtyard. This arrangement went on for a couple
of years. When the number of students increased he shifted his madrasa to the
musafirkhana of the Masjid. This went on for six years. Then with the help pf
philanthropists like Haji baba Miyan Sahib, Sowcar Shamsudeen Sahib and Alinji
Muhammad Usman Sahib he established the Baqiyatus Salihat.
This premium institution has imprinted indelible marks in the Tamil Muslim
society. The baqavis –as the graduates of baqiyat are called–have played
important role in the socio, economical, religious and literary scenario of Muslims
of Tamil Nadu. They have translated the Holy Quran, Ahadith and Islamic books
into Tamil language. Notable among them are Moulana A. Khutbudeen Ahmad
Baqawi, Moulana K.J. Mastan Ali Baqawi, Moulana Kanji Abdur Rawoof Baqawi
and Moulana Abdul Hameed Baqawi. Moulana Muhammad Khan Baqawi has
translated the voluminous Sahih Bukhari in Tamil. Various Islamic Tamil
journals such as Madeena, Pirai, Pasunkadhir, Hilal, Darul Quran, Manarul Huda
and Sinthanai were brought out by Baqawis. Infact, Darul Quran is the largest
circulated Tamil Islamic Journal in the state. Sinthanai is received well by non-
If Madras-e-Baqiyatus Salihat could be called as the Darul Uloom Deoband of
the South and front runner of the Madrasas in Tamil Nadu the Jamia Darussalam
Omerabad could definitely be called as the Nadwatul Uloom lucknow of the
South. Besides Jamia Darussalam is the trendsetter in many respects. Whether it
is the case of infra structure or good faculty Jamia is the undisputed leader. With
its ambience, the plurality of its students, its curriculum Jamia remains the
Established by Kaka Muhammad Omer way back in 1924 Jamia Darussalam is
a well known International centre of Islamic learning in South India. It continues
to attract students from all parts of the country since its inception. It has well
established Urdu, Tamil, Arabic departments. It brings out a research monthly
Rah-e-itidal which is well received throughout the Urdu speaking world. It is yet to
bring out a Tamil Journal. But given its all India appeal it has always been
inclined towards Urdu. By and large the Omeris have done yeoman service to the
cause of Islam. The Jamia has produced innumerable scholars of international
repute. Suffice to say that it has been the cradle of knowledge in this part of the
world and continues to be the same.
Another brilliant aspect of this pioneer institution is its diverse activities. It has
established a technical institute in its campus, the first madrasa to do so. It has
established a separate course for training Dawah. It conducts Summer Islamic
Camps successfully for the past 25 years. It is a pioneer in this field. Besides the
social service sector is also impressive one. It has a modern hospital equipped
with all the facilities.
List of prominent Madrasas in Tamil Nadu.
1. Madras-e-Baqiyatus Salihat, Vellore (Estd 1884)
2. Darul Uloom Latheefiya, Vellore (Estd 1885)
3. Madrasa-e-madanul Uloom, Vaniyambadi (Estd 1887)
4. Jamaliya Arabic College, Chennai (Estd 1898)
5. Jamia Darussalam Arabic College, Omerabad (Estd 1924)
6. Madrasa-e-manbavul Anwar, Lalpettai
7. Madrasae-misbahul huda,Needur
8. Madrasa Anoorun Muhammadiya, Podakkudi
9. Madrasa-e-Dawoodiya, Erode
10. Madrasa-e-Qasimiya, Rajagiri
11. Madrasa-e-Faizul Baqiyat, Koothanallur.
12. Madrasa-e-Mazahirul Uloom, Salem
13. Madrasa-e-Arabiya Imdadul Uloom, Tiruvannaamalai
14. Madrasa-e-Faizul Anwar, Kadaiyanallur.
15. Madrasatul Amaniya, Devipattinam
16. Madrasa-e-Islamiya, Thondi
17. Madrasa-e-Faizul Uloom, Sankaranpandal.
18. Madrasatur Rahmania, Adirampattinam.
19. Madrasa Siratul Mustaqeem, Perambaloor.
20. Madrasa Darul Uloom, Athikadai.
21. Madrasa-e-Salahiya, Adirampattinam.
22. Madrasa-e-Rahmania, Killiyanoor.
23. Madrasa Sirajul Muneer, Pudukottai.
24. Madrasa-e-Manarul Huda, Ayapadi
25. Jamia Anwarul Uloom, Trichirappalli.
26. Madrasa Manbayus Salah, Tuticorin.
27. Madrasa Faizul Barkath, Mettupalayam.
28. Madrasa Zainul Uloom, Pandaravadai.
29. Madrasa Faizul Baqiyath, Arangakudi.
30. Madrasa Jamiul Anwar, Thiruvidhankode.
31. Madrasatul Fouzia, Kayalpattinam.
32. Jamia Imdadul Uloom, Coimbatore.
33. Kashiful Huda Arabic College, Chennai.
34. Madrasa-e-Hisnul Uloom, Ervadi.
35. Madrasa Riyazul Jinan, Pettai, Tirunelveli.
36. Jamia Firdausia, Nagerkoil.
37. Bukhari Alim Arabic College, Chennai.
Suffice to say that it has been the cradle of knowledge in this part of the world
and continues to be the same.
Lastly an exhilarating news. It is about an unique madrasa which has surpassed
all the existing big players and carved out its own path. I am talking about
Kilakarai Bukhari Aalim Arabic College. It is situated in Chennai and is just five
years old. It has just produced its first batch. What makes it different?
Its curriculum. It has blended deeni as well as secular education in its own way. It
is the only Madrasa in Tamil Nadu which prescribes a pass in SSLC (10th
standard) as a basic minimum qualification for admission. Says Moulana Masood
Ahmed Jamali, Principal of this college, “We take 10th pass student and teach
him Arabic in first year. In the second year we prepare the student for Higher
Secondary exam. Then we get him enrolled for Bachelor of Business
Administration. When he finishes the Alim Course he would have finished BBA;
he would have gained Afzalul Ulema diploma from University of Madras;
Everything gets accomplished in five years.”
In this way a 10th pass student becomes well versed in Arabic and becomes
proficient it the language and masters Quran, Hadith, Fiqh, Usool-e-Fiqh, Usool-
e-hadith, Tafseer, Islamic History, Islamic political History, Muslim Intellectual
History, Arabic prose and poetry etc etc. Besides he gets Afzalul Ulema diploma
too. Not only that. He gets BBA degree too. With his BBA he could easily get
admission for MBA in any Indian University.
Come, think about it. A Moulavi with MBA.
Great..! Isn’t it?