Forward by James Piscatori - Wadham College, University of Oxford
The notion that all modern madrasahs are terrorist factories is a falsehood based on ignorance. This book reveals the daily routine of one well-known madrasah in India and so lifts the veil on that ignorance. It is an account that academics, journalists, pundits and all those concerned with current events and issues should read. It demonstrates that students in a traditional madrasah are given grounding in religious life without any weakening of intellectual breadth and refinement. Above all, the students learn to tolerate and accept different arguments and points of view and to appreciate different human temperament.
Dr Muhammad Akram Al-Nadwi studied and taught Hadith and Fiqh at the prestigious Nadwat al-'Ulama (India). He was also educated at the University of Lucknow and is the author and translator of over 25 books, written in Arabic, on Islamic Sciences and the Arabic Language. After teaching Islamic Sciences at Nadwat al-'Ulama for six years, he joined the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in 1991 as a Research Fellow. The author is currently revising his recently completed 40-Volume biographical dictionary of the Muhaddithat, the women scholars of Hadith. The Muqaddimah or introduction to this dictionary is also being published separately in English and is scheduled to appear in 2007.
"An intriguing glimpse into madrasah life... is a world where pious contemplation combined with a passion for knowledge and intellectual debate raise students-and readers of this book- to lofty heights."
- Djihan Skinner-Research fellow working in Oxford on 'Cultural History of Islam in India'
"It is a gem. No, it is the jewel in the crown! Of course, it actually is-I fell in love with the book the minute I began reading it. Ghalib and Sahih al-Bukhari all in the same breath! Who wouldn't love this book? This book will stand on it's own merits. - Shaykh Yusuf Talal Delorenzo
"A fresh approach for those seeking to understand the inner working of a madrasah, Dr Nadwi's book provides an authoritative yet personal account of daily life inside these traditional institutions of learning. Written in a highly accessible manner, it will offer an invaluable contribution to understanding Islam for readers in the English speaking world." - Alexander Kent - Canterbury Christcurch University