Sunday January 29, 2023

Hitting in Seminaries — a myth or reality?

By Amna Ijaz
June 26, 2022

“It has become a norm to hit kids in Madrassahs, little kids suffer at the hands of their teachers and some of them are beaten badly just because they cannot perform well”, says Abdur Rehman Hashmi who runs a small madrassah in Lahore. He further goes on; “I make sure such incidents don’t take place in my madrassah because Madrassahs are meant to provide you a safe place and to keep a check on it, I have appointed Salman, who keeps an eye on every teacher and how they deal with the students who come to learn deen.” No doubt there are good Madrassahs and good teachers, that provide you a safe environment.

Hitting in Madrassahs is increasing day by day and there are numerous cases in different Madrassahs where no one is held accountable for doing such acts.

Abdullah, a 15-year-old has a very heart breaking story to share. He narrates the incident when he was beaten badly by one of his teacher in Madrassah and he had no one to save him except Allah. “I forgot to memorize my homework and the next day when I entered, I sat in front of my senior teacher, he asked me to recite the part that was given to me as my homework, to which I told him that I could not prepare it due to high fever but how he responded broke me. He took out the stick and started beating me on my back, he asked me to turn over which I did in respect, but he did not stop. He kept on hitting me and then asked me to open my hands and hit me with the steel scale on hands. It was painful, very painful”, Abdullah had tears in his eyes and after taking a long breath he continued “It was painful, but I had so much respect for my teacher that I thought it was okay but it started happening frequently and my teacher would hit me on small things and all I could do was to bear the pain silently until one fine day my mother saw me crying because of pain and I told her, showed her my back and my parents finally decided to stop sending me to that Madrassah, I do not want to mention the name but this is a harsh reality that so many kids suffer at the hands of their teachers”.

Students are scared to take names of their teachers and especially their Madrassahs because they fear that if disclose the names, they will be in more trouble. It is sad to see that little kids are threaten, beaten and hit by the teachers in Madrassah when they are just coming to learn a beautiful deen from you that teaches you peace and love. How on the earth can these teachers set an example for the students who come to them? How can they teach them to be a better Muslim?

There are multiple homes that have such stories but they are scared to talk about it because the strictness they face at the hands of their teachers is so much, that they are scared to the core. But then some parents justify it by saying that in this way their child will learn from their mistakes and never repeat them. These people are the reason why we as a society fail. “The day we stand up together as society and raise our voice against this issue of hitting in Madrassahs, is the day we all win. This needs to stop. This is a reality and we should not turn our faces away from it, we should stand up for the little kids who are afraid to talk about it, there should be proper system in Madrassah and if something like this happens, there should be a punishment for such people. They deserve it”, says Abdul Rehman Hashmi.

Where in the world we see kids beaten so bad that they bleed? Where in the world we see students being punished so bad that they are asked to open their hands and the teacher can freely hit them? This is getting so bad. It is not a myth but a reality and this definitely needs to end. The sad truth is that only a 10% of these cases are reported and many of such cases are not reported or brought into limelight because of the fear of their teachers. This is why there are no statistics available as to how many children are suffering from this in Madrassahs of Lahore.