Daily life of Darul Uloom students

By Manzar Bilal, TwoCircles.net,

Part 4 of the seven part TwoCircles.net series on Darul Uloom Deoband

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Hosting thousands of students, Darul Uloom Deoband has plenty of living rooms for boarding students in numerous hostels. These rooms are of different category; rooms of single bed, two, three…till twelve beds. Dare Jadeed, Ruwaq-e- Khalid, Shaikhul Hind Manzil, Shaikhul Islam Manzil, Hakimul Ummat Manzil, Afriqi Manzil and Darul Quran are some of the magnificent building in Darul Uloom campus.

Students are given the places in hostels on account of their marks they get in finals and if new then in the entrance test. Better marks in the exam translate to better room. Thus if a student was in room of sixth bed ,for example, last year and he gets good marks in annual exam, he is eligible to change his bed and get place in a room with only five beds.

Daily instruction in this world famous Islamic seminary is divided into six periods, four in the morning session and two in the afternoon session but in Daur-e Hadeeth (final year of Arabic) there are two additional periods; one is after Maghrib prayer and second is after Isha prayer.

Fifth year student Shafqat Ali is from Araria, Bihar. His day starts with offering Fajr prayer followed by recitation of some verses of the glorious Qur’an.

“Between Fajr prayer and class time, we do not have much time. Therefore, after finishing recitation of Qura’n, we become busy in preparation of breakfast with my friends. We try to reach class before period bell is rung because if teacher enter the class room before us, he would mark me absent and next day he may punish,” Ali said.

“After completion of fourth periods, we have three hours hiatus. After getting lunch from the mess, we eat with our friends, then we find some time for siesta. Having offer Zuhar prayer once again, we are ready for classes,” added Shafaqat Ali.

“Only between Asr to Maghrib we have time to go out of campus for a walk otherwise whole day busy in academic activities, after Maghrib we revise our lessons while after Isha we prepare for next day classes” said Shakir Azam, a sixth year student from Nepal.

Students of first to fourth years revise their lessons after Maghrib and Isha under the watchful eyes of their teachers at Masjid-e-Rasheed. Teachers also take attendance every day and the absent students are accountable before the director of education while students of fifth year to seventh year tend to their lessons on their own by group discussions. Final year students attend the classes not only after Maghrib but also after Isha till late night. They are so busy lives that they do not find sufficient time to sleep.

“Hum log Daure Hadeeth(last year of fazilat course) main hain isliye daurte hi rahte hain .. From first period we start to attend the class and take breath of rest in late night” told Sarfaraz who came here on educational visa from Bangladesh.

This is Zaki Anwar standing in queue for receiving lunch from mess. He seems somehow embarrassed.

“I do not have enough time for completion of my homework but it is not less than a tragedy that I have to spend my valuable time here every day. I think Darul Uloom should take immediate positive decision regarding two things; first for ending the queue system for food and launch new style as in other institutions because this system kill our precious time, second for changing the food items as we are provided with the same thing every day for lunch and dinner. Therefore, we have to cook additional items which take much time,” said Zaki Anwar from Bijnor, UP.

It is to be noted that Darul Uloom provides lunch and dinner to all boarding students. In both lunch and dinner they are given breads and Qorma and also Biryani three times in a month.

Educational environment at Darul Uloom is high. Not to speak about class time, students are busy in studying and memorizing their books every time even a number of them after Asr which is free time for enjoy. To study till 12pm is daily routine for students but in exam season there is no difference of day and night.

“During class days we concentrate on our current lessons but when exam schedule is declared, we have to make extra ordinary efforts for covering previous lessons to perform well in exam. This is my final year so we want get good marks because we want to take admissions in post-graduate class here and it depends on good marks as only some students are selected on the basis of marks obtained in final exam,” expressed Ghufran from Darbhanga, Bihar.

Though students have busy lives here but they do find some times for their extra curricular activities. They take parts in Anjuman activities to improve their speaking and writing skills. There are many Anjumans (clubs) almost for every district’s students a separate one which have libraries. These Anjumans hold weekly programs on every Thursday for their members and also publish wall magazines where they practice their writing ability. Several elocution competitions and essay competitions during the year are also organized by the Anjumans to increase the interest among student.

[Photo by TCN]