Before the advent of the Muslims in India, the Indian had already developed a system of education suited their genius. Education in that period was confined to small groups of people only. There were private individuals who set up educational institutions for the spread of education in a limited section of society, where no government, either Hindu or Muslim, considered it to be its duty to promote public education.
Muslim Educational System in India
The Muslim educational system in India has developed in the eight century. It was introduced in India in that century, and into the Punjab in the twelfth century. The Islamic pattern of education was well developed before the Muslim rules developed in India. The Madrasahs occupied as the centers of orthodoxy, and they aimed at a stabilizing a body of beliefs and a discipline prescribed by these beliefs, which the entire social structure revolved. By the middle of thirteen century, the whole of the science and culture of the Islamic world was imported into India, where Delhi became the greatest center of Muslim learning in the east. The pattern of education which found its culmination in Ghazni was adopted from where it spread all over the country.
Muslim Education under the Mughals
Babur founded a Madrasah at Delhi that taught mathematics, astronomy, geography, and the theological courses. From the foundation of Muslim rule in India to the reign of Akbar, there were no changes in the Muslim educational system, either in the curriculum or in the method of teaching. There were mainly two drawbacks in this system of education. Firstly, the existing curriculum was theological and many subjects outside the scope of Islamic Studies was neglected. Secondly, the method of teaching was difficult to understand and outdated.
However, Akbar introduced important reforms in this system challenging the whole educational pattern. In the existing curriculum, he included new subjects such as; Indian philosophy, ethics, arithmetic, domestic or home science, agriculture, mensuration, the study of government, physiognomy, astronomy, geometry and other physical sciences (tabi’i). The study of Sanskrit and Sanskrit literature was also introduced. The courses of this study included Nyaya (Indian logic), Vyakarana (Grammar), Yoga (Patanjala Yoga), and Vedanta (The Study of Upanishadic philosophy). The method of teaching was laid on training the mind of the student to understand the subject himself with little help from the teacher. The teacher was advised to pay a special attention to the following five things:
1. Knowledge of the letters
2. Meaning of words
3. The hemistich
4. The verse
5. The former lesson
With a view to enabling the Muslims to get familiar with the Hindu religion and culture, to removing misunderstanding between the two communities, and to making both of the Muslim and the Hindus realize their weakness and reform them. Akbar set up a translation bureau for translating into Persian the Sanskrit works on religion, philosophy, and literature. It was also intended to translate the Arabic works on religion, mysticism, and jurisprudence. All the translated works were deposited in the imperial library, and were read out to Akbar from time to time.
After the conquest of Gujarat, the way to the centers of learning of Arabic such as Hijaz was opened up to the Muslims scholars of India. However, the training in the academic traditions of Arabia became helpful in raising the academic standards in Mughal India. Another important consequence of this was that the Indian scholars became the masters in the intensive study of the hadith in the eighteenth century.
Muslim educational institutions were of two types- a Maktab or primary and secondary education and a Madrasahs, or institution of higher learning. It seems that the Madrasahs were endowed by the state or by some munificent noblemen, while primary education, imparted in the maktabs, was left to private enterprise. The content of education given in these schools was not the same throughout the country. However, it was necessary for every Muslim boy at least to attend a Maktab and to learn the necessary portions of the Quran required for daily prayers.
By the eleventh century C.E., the institutions of higher learning in the Muslim countries, called Madrasahs, had developed into centers of learning. They were.........