Galloping Growth of Madrasas in India

Galloping Growth of Madrasas in India

Islam is hell-bent on re-conquering India. Post-independence through Madrasa multiplication Darul Uloom Deoband has laid a formidable siege to India. The task was facilitated by secularism-doped Hindus swearing by Pandit Nehru!

The quantum jump in the number of madrasas from 88 in 1947 to five lakhs in 2006 across India is a mind boggling narrative of unremitting Islamic aggression. It has the potential to bring about tectonic changes in the future geopolitical developments across India – including the much dreaded clash of civilizations! Unfortunately the secularism-trapped Indian government never tried to exercise any control over lakhs of madrasas where Islamic scriptures are preached with impunity laying special emphasis on waging jihad bil saif, i.e. holy war by sword. Post 9/11 the role of madrasas did come under serious scrutiny in most countries across the globe, but in India no attention was paid to the problem. Islamic militancy is intricately intertwined with the politics of mosque and madrassa which are two institutions fully controlled and commanded by Wahhabi Ulemas and clerics. Islam has a rigid congregational tradition, almost a cast iron ritual, scripturally binding all Muslims to attend Friday prayers in mosques where religious diktats are issued by Imams as part of the post-namaz ‘khutba’ for propagating the duty of waging jihad and hating non-Muslims dubbed as kaffirs.

A madrasa is an exclusivist theological Islamic seminary, or a religious school, where children are initiated into tenets of the Quran, the Sharia and Hadith. For Muslim parents and religious scholars the first priority for their children is the acquisition of knowledge about Islam and their religious beliefs.  That is their most important religious and educational priority, while the knowledge about other subjects, including the science, technology and humanities can wait. The basic curriculum of madrasa education is hugely steeped in Islamic theology which is also described as Daras-e-Nizami. Instructions in madrasas are mostly imparted in Arabic – though in Pakistan and India Urdu and Persian are also used as medium of instruction. Apart from major emphasis on Quran, Sharia and Hadith, the children are also taught Islamic history with special reference to the conquests made in the past by the heroic warriors of Islam – a subject closely related to the doctrine of jihad, i.e., Islam’s permanent war against ‘kaffirs’ or infidels. It is well known that the Saudi government has been pumping into India billions of dollars for radicalizing the Muslim youth.

 Madrasa Mirror across India

Historically madrasas (i.e., the Islamic seminaries) have been a source of religious education for Muslim children since the birth of Islam for preaching Islamic orthopraxy to children. Ever since the oil-price boom of 1970s there has been a phenomenal growth in these religious schools all over India, nay across the world.

According to the well-known Islamic scholar Prof. Mushirul Haq in the year 1950, there were only 88 madrasas in India1. Their number rose to 5 lakhs in 2006 and their present number is far higher. In an interesting article titled, Islamic Madrasa: Servicing and Challenges, Maulana Muhammad Kalim Siddiqui claimed that in 2003 the number of madrasas had grown to 1,25,000 in which nearly 30 lakh students were studying and the cost of servicing was nearly Rs 14 billions.2 A brief summary of the syllabus of madrasas given by Devendra Mittal on pages 67 to 74 of his intensively researched book, ‘Hindusthan Mein Madarse’ reveals the ugly truth about what is taught in Islamic seminaries across India reveals that students are indoctrinated to worship only Allah, but not their motherland. They are tutored to not make friends with idolators, i.e. Kaffirs whose destiny is Hell. Among other things, waging jihad and establishment of Islamic rule across India are two important teachings imparted in almost every madrasa, both in India and Pakistan. A very important functional role of madrasas in the sub-continent and across the world has been to indoctrinate the young Muslims for waging jihad.

As highlighted by late Devendra Mittal, a well-known scholar of Islam, in his seminally researched Hindi book titled ‘Hindusthan Mein Madarase’, there were only 88 madrasas in post-independence India in the year 1950.3 By 2006 the number of madrasas was estimated to have risen to more than five lakhs, as highlighted by Dr. Arjumand Ara, a well-known Muslim scholar in her insightful essay on Madrasas and the Making of Muslim Identity.2 The mind-boggling growth in madrasas explains the huge fan following of the likes of Zakir Naik, Owaisi brothers and Imam Barkati of Kolkata’s Tipu Sultan mosque among Muslim masses of India. It also explains the fast-paced growth of extremist students being churned out by these religious seminaries. The magnitude of the havoc likely to be played in the near future by the fast paced growth of madrasas has to be adjudged with the backdrop that India has 640 districts and every district is dotted with mosques and madrasas! All Muslim societies place a great emphasis on religious education in madrasas for young children right from the age of 5 or 6 years.

A typical instance of the frightening penetration achieved by madrasas and mosques across India came into limelight after the arrest of five Muslim youth from Bijnor on 21 April, 2017, for planning a terror plot aimed at targeting Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Next day the police arrested Mohammed Faizan the Imam of a local mosque who was radicalizing the Muslim youth and tutoring them to participate in the proposed attacks. According to data accessed from the Minority Affairs department of the U.P., in and around Bijnor there are 15 degree level and 55 high school level Islamic seminaries. In addition, close to 1, 500 mosques in the area are also under police lens. The police and other security have been keeping a strict vigil over religious institutions across Bijnor and neighbouring areas and watching the outsiders visiting these seminaries.

According to senior police officers there were nearly 2, 000 mosques and madrasas in and around the sensitive Bijnor district. Incidentally Bijnor is only one of the 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh.4 Another four Muslim youths between 19 and 25 years were arrested on Thursday, the 20th April, 2017, for allegedly conspiring to stage terror strikes in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Additionally eight more suspects were detained during the joint raids across four States. While six of them were interrogated by the UP Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) at an in NOIDA, the other two were detained in Maharashtra. The arrests were made from Bijnor, Mumbra in Maharashtra, Jalandhar in Punjab and East Champaran district of Bihar State.

On completion of the interrogation most of the youth detained by the UP Anti-Terrorism Squad were released after summoning their parents, but with a warning to behave in future. According to the District Superintendent of Police, Ajay Sahani, these youths were in touch with a terror module which was planning attacks at various locations. Security agencies also found some literature pertaining to Islamic State in their possession. The youths held by UP Anti- Terrorism Squad from Bijnor were closely associated with Imam Faizan, who had been trying to radicalize them. The students detained and interrogated were of impressionable age who were studying in different madrassas. The attention of the law enforcement agencies was now focused squarely on the madrassas and mosques dotting this swathe of Uttar Pradesh.

There has been a stupendous increase in the number of Madrasas, i.e. Islamic seminaries worldwide during the last 30 years. The global experience is that there has been a corresponding increase in the number of jihadi attacks in all those countries which have witnessed a spurt in the growth of Madrasas, For instance, in the militancy-ravaged Kashmir the secessionist movement was preceded by a big spurt in madrasas financed by the ISI of Pakistan and charities operating from Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries.

As a result of the sustained efforts of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan the concept of Jihad, or the Islamic doctrine of Permanent War against Kaffirs, is being taught with gusto in almost all madrasas across the globe, including India. As a result most madrasas, in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, have become nurseries for promoting Jihad against the so-called kaffirs (read all non-Muslims). In India also the doctrine of jihad is regularly taught to young children in most madrasas – though Muslim clergy and political leaders often try to conceal what is being taught to the impressionable young minds. There is an organized attempt to rebut this indisputable truth.

According to a conservative estimate during the last two decades Saudi Arabia alone has rolled out nearly 90 billion dollars for propagation of Wahhabi Islam through establishment of thousands of mosques and madrasas. On a rough count more than 25 percent of the 90 billion petro-dollars are believed to have been pumped into India, Nepal and Bangladesh for establishing more madrasas. Additionally, huge sums were transferred from other Muslim nations, including Pakistan, to establish lakhs of Madrasas in India and other countries of South Asia to step up the campaign of global jihad. It is a well-established fact that the number of jihads being waged across the globe has increased in direct proportion to the growth of madrasas and galloping Muslim population.

Truth about Madrasas

Eleven years ago, in a refreshing essay titled, ‘Madrasas and The Making of Muslim Identity’, published in a book, Redefining Urdu Politics in India, (Oxford University Press, New Delhi 2006) a well-known Muslim scholar, Dr. Arjumand Ara had pointed out that “within India, according to government statistics, half a million madrasas are active in which about fifty million students (out of the estimated 15 crore Muslim population at that time) are enrolled. Part time and evening madrasas are not included in this list.” 5 According to her, the questions of foremost importance are: “Why do madrasas exist? What is the reality behind them? How is that these medieval institutions still flourish in an otherwise well developed world? 6

Dr. Ara lamented that the “Congress incumbent is planning to organize dini madaris under the canon of a board like the CBSE.” Needless to say that “these madaris are not equipped to compete with schools, nor are they willing to do so. With this kind of wisdom one is surely living in fools’ paradise ………..” wrote Arjumand Ara. It is wrong to believe that “only giving degrees to the alumni of dini madaris from a recognized board will serve the purpose to modernize the madrasas”. She lamented that no one can speculate on the fate of five crore Muslim students in the years to come; nobody knows how many millions of them will find jobs as religious preachers?”7 Dr. Ara dubbed ‘dini madaris’ (plural of the word madrasa) as “feudal remnants” which were responsible for keeping the Muslim community educationally backward. The lady scholar of Islam began her essay by quoting a news from Times of India, New Delhi, 17 August, 2002, that 200 students in Basala village, 20 km from Meerut (U.P), had hoisted the Pakistani flag and raised pro-Pak and pro-Osama slogans on Independence Day! 8 That showed the pernicious influence of Madrasa education on children of impressionable age!

Justice Sachar’s Lies

Now let us turn to Justice Sachar’s claim on page 76 of his factually- fabricated report that only four percent Muslim children attend madrasas. The assertion made by Justice Sachar in his voluminous report is an unalloyed lie. To confound the Indian nation Sachar report further stated this figure relates only to students between 7 to 9 years age. Interestingly Justice Sachar did not explain in his voluminous treatise that what happens to the children between 5 to 7 years. But on the very next page (i.e., p. 77 of his Report) it has been admitted that these figures relate only to madrasas which are not attached to mosques! It is a mystery why could not Justice Sachar honestly admit the well- established fact that most madrasas are attached to mosques. Was this obfuscation done by the retired Chief Justice of Delhi High Court to further the cause of radical Islam in India? Well, your guess is as good as mine. According to a Muslim scholar (name withheld), on a rough count in India more than 50 percent mosques have a madrasa attached to it.

The Sachar Report tried to bluff the gullible Indian masses by reassuring that a distinction should be made between a “Maktab” and a ‘Madrasa’. In his voluminous report Justice Sachar claimed that a Maktab is attached to a mosque where part time religious instructions are given, while a madrasa is an independent Islamic school. It is an undeniable fact that the doctrine of jihad, or holy war to sub-due the non-Muslims, i.e., kaffirs, is regularly taught in all Islamic seminaries. But the retired Chief Justice of Delhi High Court did not spell out if at all there was any basic difference in the teaching of the doctrine of jihad in the two types of Islamic seminaries, i.e., the Madrasas and the Maktabs. Suffice it to say that Justice Sachar’s factual falsehood stands totally contradicted by the well-researched findings of Dr. Arjumand Ara.

Murky Role of Darul Uloom

The institution of Islamic madrasas was introduced in India during the long spell of Muslim rule. It was given a pan-Islamic and fundamentalist orientation in the year 1866 when Darul-Uloom seminary was established at Deoband in Uttar Pradesh. The syllabus of Darul-Uloom is based on the teachings of Quran and the doctrine of jihad constitutes an important part of the tenets of Islam propagated by the jingoist seminary.

Despite pretentious denials by the Ulemas of Deoband the seminary approves the use of force for propagating pan Islamic ideals, especially jihad. Its syllabus states: “When the Muslims enter the enemy’s country and besiege the cities or strongholds of the infidels, it is necessary to invite them to embrace the faith, because Ibn Abbas relates of the Prophet that he never destroyed any without previously inviting them to embrace the faith. If, therefore, they embrace the faith, it is unnecessary to war with them, because that which was the design of the war is then obtained without war. The Prophet, moreover has said we are directed to make war upon men only until such time as they shall confess, ‘there is no God, but one God’.8. More importantly, the teaching of this syllabus is not confined to the Deoband seminary. It has been prescribed for preaching jihad to young pupils in more than 5,000 madrasas affiliated to the Darul Uloom Deoband all over India. The Deoband seminary has given immense boost to the jihadi ideology all over South Asia, notably in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The religious institution has several thousand affiliate seminaries in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, too. A well-known Pakistani scholar, Sohail Abbas in his research published a few years ago had pointed out that his interviewing of 517 Mujahedeen arrested in Afghanistan and lodged in two Pakistani jails revealed that “the figures on rural/urban jihadis become even more interesting as all the jihadis, barring just a few, belonged to the Deobandi school of thought”.9 That shows the extent of damage done to peace in India and other countries of South Asia by Darul Uloom, Deoband.

Most madrasas have been established with the help of hawala money remitted from Muslim countries, especially Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. All of them are controlled by extremist Maulanas who hypnotize the children by administering the ultra-radical dope of Sharia and shape them into ready-made recruits for jihadi outfits and extremist organizations. Declaring the followers of other religions as contemptible ‘infidels’ is a normal practice in majority of the Islamic seminaries. The syllabus teaches the students to hate all non-Muslims, especially the Hindus who being idolaters are dubbed as contemptible human beings, called ‘kaffirs’.

The central and state governments have the legal authority to modify the curriculum of educational institutes which include the Islamic seminaries. But no political dispensation has shown the guts to scrutinize the syllabus of madrasas. The recent attempt of the U.P. Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, has received flak of the Muslim ulema and secularism-doped leftists. It is a step in the right direction. All madrassas must be registered and the state should have the power of removing undesirable members of the staff. If China and France can do it, why not India? Prima facie what is being taught in Indian madrasas is as hatred-packed as what is being taught in Pakistan’s seminaries. Both draw inspiration from the preachings of the Ulemas of Darul Uloom, Deoband. Labelling the practitioners of all other religions, except Islam, as dirty heathens is part of the syllabus of almost all madrasas in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and many other countries. On top of it, there is a pronounced theological and thematic consistency in the use of madrasas for promoting jihad for attaining the global supremacy of Islam! No wonder, the doctrine of jihad taught in madrasas depicts Islam as a religion believing in clash and conquest laced with hatred against non-Muslims.

Decoding Turkish President Erdogan’s Boast

The importance of mosque in the lives of Muslims for global supremacy of Islam was highlighted by the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sometime ago when he declared that “mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the Muslim faithful our soldiers.”10 Erdogan’s obiter dictum succinctly summarizes the role of mosques which are being used as barracks of Islamic soldiers. For the Muslims worldwide the mosque is a hallowed institution where militants are indoctrinated, trained and housed for waging jihad! It must be remembered that every mosque has a madrasa attached to it for teaching the merit of jihad to young children.

Along with madrasas the number of mosques in India has also multiplied manifold courtesy the fund-flow from Gulf countries. Interestingly a disproportionately large number of communal riots take place in India on Fridays after the Maulanas controlling the mosques read inflammatory ‘Khutbas’ eulogizing the waging of jihad along with religious diktats to be followed by the faithful. No wonder, in Kashmir valley, Friday has come to be known among the CRPF personnel as the rioters’ day out! According to late Devendra Mittal, in the year 2009 there were nearly 32 lakh mosques all over India. That was the total number of mosques eight years ago. The exact number mosques in India is not known. Some analysts feel that their number today could be anywhere between 40 and 50 lakhs. Almost every mosque has a madrasa or maktab attached to it for imparting religious knowledge based on the Quran. To add more punch to the Islamic onslaught a proposal was mooted years ago suggesting that in every mosque centres of Islamic theological training should be set up. Needless to mention, all these mosques are being used as barracks for training and housing the jihadi soldiers, as highlighted by the proclamation of the President Erdogan of Turkey.

A very serious problem linked with the current security situation in our country, is the seminaries getting money from Saudi Arabia and other West Asian countries for promoting Wahhabi Islam. Time has come for the Indian government to devise effective measures for banning the teaching of jihad and hatred against non-Muslims in madrasas. In this connection we must learn a thing or two from the communist China which has clamped down a number of restrictions on the functioning of madrasas and mosques in Xinjiang province. The hate-spewing contents of the curriculum of madrassas need urgent attention of the Indian state. The contents of the syllabus prescribed in every madrasa needs to be scrutinized and revised, just as has been done in Egypt, China and many other countries. The bold step taken by Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, should be adopted by all State governments. The mammoth growth in the number of madrasas from 88 in 1950 (as stated by Mushirul Haq) to nearly 5 lakhs in 2006 (authenticated by Arjumand Ara), is a matter of serious concern. The teaching of jihad in Islamic seminaries constitutes a major threat to the security of the Indian nation. To tackle this threat there is a pressing need for regulating the madrasas and scrutinising their syllabus. In fact, all madrasas whether financially aided by the government, or operating with the help of donations collected internally and petro dollars rolled from foreign countries, must be registered and their syllabus scrutinized.

Mysterious Visit of 25,000 Ulemas

Before concluding, attention may be drawn to the fact that during the UPA’s regime, in the year 2013 25,000 Wahhabi scholars from 20 countries were permitted to visited India. They toured across 8 Indian States and preached in 7, 000 madrasas to nearly 12 lakh students.10 According to a source, some of the Islamic preachers surreptitiously managed to go to the Kashmir valley, too. Needless to mention, the aim of the 25, 000 Imams was to preach the merits of Sharia law and jihad against kaffir Hindus. Who prompted India’s Muslims First Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to allow entry to such a large group of jihadi preachers into India remains a closely guarded secret!

Time has come to look into the activities of Darul Uloom, Deoband, and regulate the madrasas by scrutinizing and sanitizing their syllabus. The initiative shown by the U.P. Chief Minister needs to be followed by all State governments.


  1. Devendra Mittal, ‘Hindusthan Mein Madarasey’ (Hindi), p.64
  2. Maulana Mohammed Kalim Siddiqui’s Seminar Paper, ‘Islamic Madrasa: Servicing & Challenges’ published in Radiance News Weekly, 13 Sept,2003 – Cited by Devendra Mittal on p. 55]
  3. Devendra Mittal, ‘Hindusthan Mein Madarasey’ (Hindi), p.64
  4. Harveer Dabas & Sandeep Rai. ‘Madrassas, Mosques. Under terror radar, Times of India, New Delhi, April 22, 2017].
  5. Arjumand Ara, ‘Madrasas and Making of Muslim Identity, published in Athar Farouqui’s book, Redefining Urdu Politics in India, p. 90.
  6. Ibid, pp. 90-91
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Arif Mohammed Khan, ‘Sending A Wrong Message’ Times of India, New Delhi, 30 Sept, 2008, p. 8.
  10. Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
  11. Vicky Nanjappa, ‘25K Wahhabi Scholars visited India last year, Bharata Bharati, 5 July, 2014, and Prof Saroj Kumar Rath in an article posted on Yale Global online, 20 Nov, 2014.

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Ram Ohri

Ram Ohri is a former IPS officer and writes regularly on security issues, demographics, and occasionally, on policy.