India is perhaps the country outside the Arab world that has the most Arabic language schools or whose language of instruction is Arabic.
Although there is no official data on the number of madrassas, or institutes of Islamic education, in existence in India with Arabic as the language of instruction, rough estimates place the number at 40,000.
As many people around the world celebrate World Arabic Language Day on Saturday, Indian scholars of Arabic believe the language is thriving in the country and the madrassas have played a crucial role in bringing the language to where it is today.
“Madrassas have contributed significantly to the progress of Arabic in India. After learning Arabic in a madrassa, a student can start teaching at a university and become a teacher, or he can pursue another profession. But his basis of the Arabic language is laid only in a madrassa. There he learns Arabic and acquires fluency in the language,” said Abul Qasim Nomani, vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, a well-known Islamic seminary.
“Even in the madrassas, we try (to ensure) that the predominant local language is also taught depending on the region. For example, we teach Urdu in some places and Bengali language, as well as Arabic, in the state of Bengal. But, the emphasis is on ensuring maximum teaching and learning of the Arabic language so that the students can speak Arabic easily,” he told the agency. Anadolu.
Nomani said the use of Arabic has increased over the past 50 years. While the language had, in previous decades, been largely confined to reading and writing books, it is now also widely spoken and written in many madrassas.
“You will be surprised that the children of Darul Uloom publish their own newspapers in Arabic,” he said. “The newspapers are daily, weekly and fortnightly. This happens not only in Darul Uloom but in many madrassas of India so that the Arabic language can be promoted.”
“We understand that the madrassas play an important role. Besides, all the people who run Arabic magazines today only studied in the madrassas. Likewise, the alumni of the madrassas work in the embassies in the countries Arabic and also do translation work.”
– Madrassas play a major role in maintaining Arabic
Mohammad Faizan Baig, a professor at Aligarh Muslim University, agrees that madrassas have played an important role in keeping Arabic in India and keeping it popular.
“Arabic made a lot of progress after India liberated itself from British rule in 1947. When India gained independence and the country was divided, Arabic was a very important language from the beginning at universities like Aligarh and Jamia Millia Islamia,” Baig said. Anadolu Agency.
“After that, universities were opened all over the country and an Arabic department was also established there. As a result, the scope of Arabic expanded and it became popular,” he said. -he adds.
He said digital audiovisual language labs have been set up in Aligarh where students of all levels are learning Arabic.
“The role that madrassas play is very important because many of those who teach Arabic in universities and colleges come from madrassas,” he said. “Previously, the Arabic taught in the madrassahs was book Arabic. But later, everyday Arabic began to be taught.”
He said if Arabic is learned properly, it opens up many opportunities for children in a country like India.
Children who study for a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) or tourism, if they also study Arabic, their chances of getting a job increase, Baig explained.