The largest madrassa network of Pakistan, Wafaq-ul-Madaris, has produced one million Hafiz-e-Quran in three decades.
“One million children have become Hafiz-e-Quran after an exam was introduced in 1982 by the Wafaq-ul-Madaris,” Qari Hafeez Jalandhari said on SAMAA TV’S morning show Naya Din on Wednesday.
Jalandhari is the general secretary of the Wafaq-ul-Madaris.
“More than 78,000 children became Hafiz-e-Quran in 2019, of which 14,000 were girls,” he said. Children of ages between four and seven years memorize the Holy Quran at these madrassas. It takes around two years.
The students receive a primary education and study Science, Mathematics, English, Urdu and Pakistan Studies.
Jalandhari compared the yearly figures of Hafiz-e-Quran in Pakistan to that of Saudi Arabia. Five thousand children become hafiz in Saudi Arabia every year, he said.
“Although Arabic is not our national language, more children memorize the Holy Quran in Pakistan,” he added. The government of Saudi Arabia also acknowledged the Wafaq-ul-Madaris’ efforts and honored it with an award.
The madrassas provide free education and accommodation. “We start our classes after six in the morning,” he said. “After that, the children have their breakfast and classes go on till ten at night.” The children are given breaks for offering prayers and to play.
He said that a European country’s ambassador once asked him why the children rock themselves back and forth when they are reading the Holy Quran. Jalandhari replied, “When they read the Quran, they enjoy it and that is why they sway.”
He said he was in talks with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the Prime Minister Imran Khan to change the madrassa curriculum. “There should be one education for all and the same curriculum should be taught in schools and madrassas,” he said.
This could be a step taken by the premier to de-radicalize Pakistan under the National Action Plan.