The definition of Madrasa in Wiki is surprisingly lengthy (anything that has this long of an explanation that should be tiny has something to hide. Duplicitous in it definition. They are trying to be politically correct –lying!) –
The word madrasah is derived from the triconsonantal Semitic root د-ر-س D-R-S ‘to learn, study’, through the wazn (form/stem) (مفعل(ة mafʻal(ah), meaning a place where X is done. Therefore,madrasah literally means ‘a place where learning and studying are done’. The word is also present as a loanword with the same innocuous meaning in many Arabic-influenced languages, such as: Urdu,Bengali, Hindi, Persian, Turkish, Azeri, Kurdish, Indonesian, Malay and Bosnian. In the Arabic language, the word مدرسة madrasah simply means the same as school does in the English language, whether that is private, public or parochial school, as well as for any primary or secondary school whether Muslim, non-Muslim, or secular. Unlike the understanding of the word school in British English, the word madrasah is like the term school in American English, in that it can refer to a university-level or post-graduate school as well. For example, in the Ottoman Empire during the Early Modern Period, madrasahs had lower schools and specialized schools where the students became known as danişmends. The usual Arabic word for a university, however, is simply جامعة (jāmiʿah). The Hebrew cognate midrasha also connotes the meaning of a place of learning; the related termmidrash literally refers to study or learning, but has acquired mystical and religious connotations.
However, in English, the term madrasah usually refers to the specifically Islamic institutions. A typical Islamic school usually offers two courses of study: ahifz course teaching memorization of the Qur’an (the person who commits the entire Qur’an to memory is called a hafiz); and an ‘alim course leading the candidate to become an accepted scholar in the community. A regular curriculum includes courses in Arabic, tafsir (Qur’anic interpretation), sharī‘ah (Islamic law), hadiths (recorded sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad), mantiq (logic), and Muslim history. In the Ottoman Empire, during the Early Modern Period, the study of hadiths was introduced by Süleyman I. Depending on the educational demands, some madrasahs also offer additional advanced courses in Arabic literature, English and other foreign languages, as well as science and world history. Ottoman madrasahs along with religious teachings also taught “styles of writing, grammary, syntax, poetry, composition, natural sciences, political sciences, and etiquette.”
Published: December 18, 2010 3:00 a.m.
Islam classes for youth get new home
A remodeled boat showroom on the city’s northwest side soon will house classes for children in basic Arabic, the Quran and Islamic history.
If all goes as planned, the Fort Wayne area’s Muslim community next month will open a new religious school at 2223 Goshen Road, site of the former Fort Wayne Boating Center.
The new facility, operated by the Universal Education Foundation of Fort Wayne Inc., will have 10 classrooms and a multipurpose room with a warming kitchen for banquets and special events, says Dr. Tariq Akbar of Fort Wayne, a gastroenterologist who is foundation spokesman.
The co-educational school, which will operate part time on Sundays with volunteer teachers, will serve about 150 children from kindergarten through high school age, he says.
Classes will be open to families who attend any of Fort Wayne’s Muslim centers, including Masjid Al-Quds Islamic Center of Fort Wayne at 1109 Chute St.; the Fort Wayne Islamic Center at 836 Lagro Drive; and a prayer room used mostly by Muslim immigrants from Myanmar, formerly Burma, in the Autumn Woods apartment complex on Fort Wayne’s southeast side.
<when a special area is set aside for prayer it is a teaching area, it becomes a MADRASA.>
Akbar says the area has a growing population of Muslim families who want their children to understand their religion.
“Most parents do provide the basic Islamic knowledge to their kids at home. But it just gives our kids an opportunity to learn with and from each other,” he says.
Sabah Saud, a leader at the Fort Wayne Islamic Center, says the new school will not replace any center’s weekend religion classes. The Fort Wayne Islamic Center has had such classes for children for about 20 years, he says.
But more religious educational opportunities for young people, including language study, are needed, Saud says.
“There has been a big surge in the population,” he says, adding that many new arrivals are from Myanmar or other countries where Arabic, which he called “the language of Islam,” is not spoken. At the same time, children born to Muslim parents in the United States may never have been exposed to any language but English.
“The community is large enough now that one facility and one institution may not serve everybody’s needs. So we’re trying to provide a variety of venues and platforms,” Saud says.
Fort Wayne’s Muslims hail from not only the U.S. but also many countries in Africa, Europe and Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bosnia, Egypt and Morocco, says Dr. Mohammed Ghazali of Fort Wayne, a foundation board member.
Organizers of the school say they do not know how many Muslims live in northeast Indiana, but some estimate there are 2,000 to 3,000. Sarah Thompson, communications coordinator for the Islamic Society of North America in Plainfield, says that group does not keep population statistics.
“But it’s a big undertaking to build a school or open one, so that in itself would be an indicator of growth,” she says.
According to its website at www.ueffw.org, the foundation bought 10 acres at 3320 Kroemer Road in 2008 to build a religious school and gymnasium. But that plan proved too ambitious and costly, so the group decided to renovate instead, Akbar says. The group no longer owns the land, he says.
He said the school is “absolutely” not a madrassa. The word in Arabic means any place where studying is done but usually refers to an elementary school, he says. It has come to mean a full-time religious school and particularly one that fosters a brand of radical Islam.
“It’s basically like a Sunday school that churches and other religions have,” Akbar says of the new facility.
Building renovations were expected to cost $270,536, according to a permit filed in July with the Allen County Building Department. They cover about 11,000 square feet, according to the permit.
The foundation was established in 2005, Akbar says. It reported to federal tax officials about $205,000 in income with a total of $331,000 in assets at the end of 2008, the last year available, according to GuideStar.org, a group which tracks the federal tax returns of charities.
About $184,000 came from contributions that year, the tax documents say.
The documents list the foundation’s president as Shazia Ghazali of Fort Wayne, wife of Mohamed Ghazali, and the vice president and treasurer as Amani Elhefni of Fort Wayne. An administrative assistant for Fort Wayne Community Schools, Elhefni will be the school’s principal.
A pediatric cardiologist who is a native of Pakistan, Mohammed Ghazali says that though the purpose of the remodeled facility is educational, the group hopes it will also serve as a site for religious celebrations. The community has been renting space for such occasions, he says.
“This is not a mosque,” Ghazali says. “But now we have a facility. We’ve never had one where we could invite people to come to a space of our own.
“I think this is going to be a good beginning for us … to be part of the interfaith community in Fort Wayne.”