In 1392 A.H. (1972), a student desired to become an Alim in Germiston. His lessons started in a humble way – one student and a part time ustâz (teacher). Little did we realize that this, however, was the seed for something much more in the future. Yearly students began enrolling for the Alim classes. Lessons carried on in an informal way with classes taking place at the rear end of the Jamât Khâna while the students lived in the mu’azzin’s room. Alhamdulillah, in this humble way, four students graduated as Alims and about twenty as Hâfizul Qurân.
In 1401 (1981) many more applications came for the following year. In the Khânqah of Qutbul Aqtâb, Sheikhul Hadith, Hazrat Moulâna Muhammad Zakariya Rahimahullah in Stanger in the blessed month of Ramadân, this seed of learning was further nurtured by mashwarah. It now grew into a small plant and formally became established as the Madrasah Arabia Islamia of Azaadville.
In 1402 (1982), the Madrasah was situated in a double-story house in Azaadville with eight students doing the Alim course on a full time basis. Within a month, we were forced to open a Hifz class due to its demand. Within a year, three more Hifz classes were established with approximately forty students. The Alim students increased by 100% as well.
As the number of students and teachers increased year by year, circumstances forced us to apply for land to build a proper Madrasah which could serve our needs. When Allâh intends something and accepts it, He makes all the arrangements for it.
Alhamdulillah, the land was obtained and an annual ijtima was held on this plot after which the Madrasah was established at No. 1 Azaad Avenue. Now the Madrassah has a roll of more than 600 students in its twenty fifth year with 35 Ustâds. The building of the madrasah comprises a Musjid, Dârul Qurân for the Hifz classes, a Dârul Hadith, a Dârul Ifta, a printing press, twenty classrooms, a library, a kitchen, a dining hall, a laundry and all related facilities for the students.
May Allâh make the Madrasah grow from strength to strength and serve the vital role it is presently fulfilling, locally and abroad.
OTHER DEPARTMENTS OF THE MADRASAH
The Dârul Iftâ serves the Muslims locally and abroad. Fatwas and replies are issued to all queries received either telephonically, by fax, by post or by e-mail.
This very important and fundamental department has been introduced by the blessings of our pious elders. This is the department that reforms the external and internal conditions of a person. Instilling humility, sincerity, meritorious qualities and finally the recognition of our creator, Allah and consequently attaining His love are all the aims of this department.
People from far and wide come to spend the entire month of Ramadân or shorter or longer periods in the Khânqah and they perform I’tikâf in the Dârul Uloom Masjid for this purpose.
The students have a weekly lecture and qirâ’ah programme where they are given the opportunity of practising their oratory and recitation skills. This programme is held every Thursday after the Maghrib Salâh. Those who excel are then afforded the opportunity of delivering talks in the local musjids. Going out in the path of Allâh for tablîgh also provides them with an ideal opportunity of developing skills for becoming public speakers.
There are expansive fields in and around the institute where the students can participate in all kinds of physical activities.
THE PUBLICATION DEPARTMENT
The Madrasah has probably become the largest publisher of authentic Islamic books in the Southern Hemisphere. Thus far more than 160 titles have been published while new titles are published every month.
Posters & Pamphlets
The publication department regularly publishes posters for musjid boards and handbills for the general public to educate them on various matters. These were found to be very beneficial and many requests, locally and from abroad are constantly received to reprint some of them.
Ibn Mas’ûd Book Distribution Scheme
There is an increasing demand for literature from brothers overseas who cannot afford to purchase good Islamic books. The contributions of the public for this scheme enables the Madrasah to distribute free literature to deserving Muslim recipients.
Facilities at the Madrasah
The Madrasah has a fully functional mess where students are provided with three meals a day.
All the basic necessities and refreshments can be purchased at the tuck-shop. The tuck shop is open during the interval at 10.15 am and at night from 9.30 pm. Facilities are also provided for haircuts.
The student can also purchase all his stationery and textbooks at the Madrasah bookshop.
There is a fully operational laundry where the students’ needs with regards to their washing are catered for. The laundry is equipped with machines for washing, drying and ironing. The students hand in their washing in the morning at 7.30 and receive it in the evening after Asr. Washing is handed in once a week.
Public telephones are also provided to the students. The telephones are accessible during the students’ free time eg. during the interval, during the lunch break, after Asr till Maghrib and from 9.30 pm till 10.30 pm.
Alhamdulillâh, in this way, all the needs of the student are catered for at the premises and there remains no need for him to leave the perimeters of the Madrasah.
The course grants the student the ability to easily refer to Islamic sources whenever the need arises. It is by no means an end in itself. It merely provides the tools for one to become proficient. It is thereafter the responsibility of the graduate to fortify his foundations and further his studies in each and every discipline of Sharî’ah. The knowledge of the graduate can only remain fresh and vibrant if he continues turning the pages of works not prescribed in the syllabus. Thus begins the quest for knowledge. It is also highly advisable for every graduate to specialize in a particular discipline of Sharî’ah and not remain content with what he has just learnt.
The following courses are presently offered at Madrasah Arabia Islamia:
1. Full-Time Hifz
2. Part-Time Hifz (School-going)
HIGHER ISLAMIC AND ARABIC STUDIES:
1. Alim-Fâdil Course
2. Imâm-Khatîb Course
3. Teacher’s Training Course
4. Tajwîd and Qirâ’at Course
5. I’dâdiyah (Preparatory) Course
6. Iftâ Course
Courses 2, 3 and 5 are offered independently of the Alim-Fâdil Course. The Sab’ah Qirâ’at course can also be done independently of the Alim course. For any person that wishes to undertake these courses, a one-year comprehensive syllabus is offered.
Courses 2, 3 and 4 run concurrently with the Alim-Fâdil Course. They constitute an integral part of the Alim-Fâdil Course and thus have to be undertaken and successfully completed by all Alim students in order to obtain a sanad (certificate) of qualification as an Imâm/Khatîb and/or Madrasah Teacher; and also as a Hafs, Saba’h or Asharah Qâri.