The Importance of Maktabs

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ

It’s Friday 17th December / 14 Jumādā al-‘Ūlā 1443H.

My chosen subject today is The Importance of Maktabs.

When our families started to arrive here in the UK, in the 60s and 70s, one of the first and most important things they did was to establish Maktabs. In those days, there were hardly any purpose-built Masjids. Cheap terraced houses were purchased and converted into Masjids.

Our elders ensured that Maktabs were set up within these Masjids. Those who are in my age group will remember the days when we used to go to school at 9am and come home at 3:30pm. We had just about an hour to get ready for Madrasah, which ran from 5pm until 7:30pm; many Maktabs used to operate on Saturdays as well.

There were hardly any ‘Ulamā, not many Ḥuffāẓ, and we hadn’t even heard of ‘Ālimāts. So our elders brought in the Ḥāji Ṣāḥibs and the Khālās. What a magnificent job they did, ‏مَا شَآءَ الله. In these two and a half hours, they instilled the Aqāid (beliefs) in our hearts and set us on the path of sound Islāmic Education, ‏.مَا شَآءَ الله

Fast tracking 40 years, I meet many parents and one of the questions I ask them is regarding which Maktab their child attends. ‘Mine are at home learning via Zoom,’ is an answer I have heard over and over again. You may be surprised to learn that whereas most learn locally, many are accessing Zoom lessons taught from India and Pakistan.

Remember, there is no comparison at all between face to face Maktab education and Zoom. This remote access method was just a temporary alternative measure adopted due to Covid. It was never intended to be permanent.

Therefore, my first message today, to all parents, is to get your children enrolled into a Maktab or Madrasah please. There must be no children between the ages of 5 and 15 at home during the Maktab hours.

My second message is to Maktab management committees. Please do your utmost best to grant admission to each and every child that wants to come to your Maktab. Let’s not put any obstructions or restrictions upon who can come and who can’t. Make as much space as possible. There is no shortage of ‘Ulamā, Ḥuffāẓ and ‘Ālimāt in many of our towns and cities.

Finally, do not set a leaving date for Maktab students. Let them stay until they want. In fact, encourage them to stay on so that they can continue to benefit. Remember, Maktab education is the solid foundation that has got us to where we are, ‏.مَا شَآءَ الله Let’s not let go of this priceless face to face teaching in an environment which is created specifically for this purpose.

May The Almighty safeguard us and our generations to come, Āmeen.

جَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا
Request for Du’ās
وَالسَّلَامُ Hanif Dudhwala


Supplementary Resources

The Legacy of the Madrasah (short article) – Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Muḥammad Saleem Dhorāt Ḥafidhahullāh

Benefits of Coming to Madrasah (English audio) – Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Muḥammad Saleem Dhorāt Ḥafizahullāh

‘Ilm and Madrasah: A Means of Progress in Dīn (English audio) – Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Muḥammad Saleem Dhorāt Ḥafizahullāh

The Importance of the MAKTAB (after school Islamic Education) – Jam’iatul ‘Ulamā (SA)

The Importance of Makatib – Shaykh ul-Ḥadīth Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Muḥammad Yūsuf Motālā Ṣāḥib نور الله مرقده‘