Madrasah Jalsahs Have Become Morally Ruinous

Some Evils and Corruptions of the Customary Jalsahs of the Madaaris

(Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi)

The summary of the Shar’i prohibitions o­n this issue are: Reflection and experience testify that there are two primary reasons for organizing these functions (Jalsahs):

(1) Fund-raising

(2) Advertising the dignity and status of the Madrasah.

The motivation for this is hubb-e-jah (love for fame) and hubb-e-maal (love for wealth). Numerous Nusoos (Qur’aanic verses and Hadith narrations) forbid this. If the fame and wealth are intended for the Deen, there is then no objection. However, the question is: Is the motive the Deen or the dunya?

Although interpretation will be presented (by the Madrasah authorities) claiming that these jalsahs are held for the sake of the Deen, it should be understood that Allah Ta’ala has indicated a standard for every motive. O­n the basis of this standard can the correctness or corruption of the motive be ascertained.

An examination of these jalsahs shows that o­n these occasions worldly desire is dominant. If truly the motive is the Deen, anything in conflict with Allah’s Pleasure would not be countenanced and adopted. When we see that acts which are in conflict with Divine Pleasure prevail at these functions, then it is clear testimony for the conclusion that the motive is the dunya (not the Deen). Some of these acts are as follows:

(1) Exaggerating the status and condition of the Madrasah both overtly and covertly. This is kithb (falsehood) and khidaa‘ (deception).

(2) In order to increase the student population unqualified (unfit) students are portrayed as qualified (fit).

(3) Advertising the accomplishments (of the Madrasah); self-praise; giving preference to o­ne’s activities; lauding o­ne’s own activities; displaying that students have attained expertise in the branches of Shar’i knowledge regardless of them having such ability or not. All these are signs of hubb-e-jah and hubb-e-maal.

(4) Riya (show) is haraam. Invariably, o­n such occasions donors contribute with riya. Becoming a way for riya is sinful.

(5) Even if a valid objection or criticism of the Madrasah is made, it is refuted. It will never be accepted. On the contrary, the objector is pursued acrimoniously and the objection is rebutted inspite of the heart understanding its validity.

(6) If another Madrasah is established (in the proximity), it is viewed with suspicion and enmity even if the new Madrasah’s state is good. The wish is for its failure and closure. In reality, the opening of a new Madrasah should be an occasion of happiness because of the multiplication of Deeni activities. However, the existing Madrasah authorities view the new institution with disdain and enmity merely because they feel that the prominence of their institution will wane.

(7) In most cases there is extravagance and waste at these jalsahs. Large amounts of money are wasted for bringing people and their retinue to the jalsah. Those whose presence is unnecessary are invited. At times the Madrasah funds the entertainment bill for the food, etc.

(8) Noise, rowdyism, worldly conversations,evil poetry and other evils also accompany these gatherings.

(9) The the rules of the Shariah are not observed when funds are being raised. Indirect pressure is exercized to put prospective donors to shame thus constraining them to contribute.”

Undoubtedly, there are many un-Islamic factors which accompany the customary Madrasah jalsahs. Although jalsahs were initially good and beneficial functions, they have outlived their utility. In the South African context, these jalsahs are morally ruinous for both the organizers and the participants.

The Majlis Vol 16 No 01


Recently our Madrasah held an annual jalsah. One of the items was a fashion show. Two of the muallimahs (female teachers) and a Maulana who happens to be the Imaam of the Musjid and the principal of the Madrasah opposed this item, arguing that the Madrasah is a place where Islamic knowledge is being imparted. It cannot, therefore, allows such a show.

Another Maulana who is a trustee of the Musjid said that the fashion show was Shariah compliant. A row ensued between the two parties, and the Imaam of the Musjid was compelled to apologise from the mimbar after the Jumuah lecture. Then the trustee Maulana spoke and justified his action by belittling the Imaam of the Musjid.

The next day the jalsah was held and the fashion show took place. Among the girls were baaligh ones. They modeled Eastern outfits- Shararas, Gararas and Punjabis. The girls had make-up and their hair was hanging loose, and uncovered.

Although men were not allowed to view the fashion show, they could hear the description given of the clothing these girls were modeling. A wedding gown was also modeled. Various Hadiths were quoted to justify the fashion show. One was from Bukhaari Shareef which states that Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) loaned a beautiful dress to someone to wear on her wedding day since one has to look the best on one’s wedding day. Qur’aanic aayats were also recited to support the fashion show. Another proof was that a woman can dress up in front of her mahrams and ladies.

Is this all acceptable in the Shariah? This event has caused our community to split unto two. The female teachers have resigned. Please comment and advise us on this issue.

We can lament with certitude that on the Friday which followed this evil and haraam fashion parade of Jaahiliyyah, when the Malaaikah presented the deeds of the Ummah to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Most assuredly, Nabi-e-Kareem in Aalam-e-Barzakh must be viewing with total revulsion the evil which learned people are in this day perpetrating in the name of the very Qur’aan and Sunnah which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) delivered and taught to destroy kufr and all vestiges of immorality and Jahiliyyah which applies to the Haraam modeling show or fashion parade.

No Muslim requires knowledge to understand the evil and prohibition of this fashion show. It is absolutely revolting that Qur’aanic aayat and Ahaadith were presented in substantiation of a haraam fashion show in which baalighah girls were so callously misused to parade their haya for the haraam pleasure of the audience. The all women audience makes absolutely no difference. The exhibition of Jaahiliyyah remains haraam. The list if evils of the haraam fashion parade by Muslim girls under the aegis of a Madarasah and organized by the Ulama citing Qur’aan and Hadith in Substantiation, is formidable:

  1. The very concept of a fashion show is immoral in the Shariah. Islam teaches its womenfolk to conceal themselves, not expose and express themselves. It is utterly contemptible to parade girls in this kaafir fashion. The Shariah commands them to perform their Salaat in the most concealed corner of their homes. By what stretch of imagination and Islamic Intelligance can it ever be clamied that putting up baalighah and muraahiqah girls to publicly model dresses, and that too haraam dresses of pride and show? Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Whoever dons garments of pride in this world, will be clad with garments of disgrace (i.e. of the fire) in Qiyaamah.”
  2. Men listening to the description of the dresses which girls modeled. This is zina of the ears. It incites lust in the diseased hearts of men. And, only men with diseased hearts will venture into proximity of such a mal-oon and madghudh haraam modeling parade.
  3. Allowing the girls to parade bare-headed with their hair all loose, and painted up like gay coons with haraam cosmetics, aggravates the evil. It was indeed utterly shameless for the organizers and the girls to have appeared in public (even if only in front of women) with their heads uncovered. They have to cover their heads for even Allah Ta’ala when performing Salaat. The natural haya of a Mu’minah dictates that she keep her head covered out of shame for even Allah Azza Wa Jal. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that the Malaaikah of Rahmat do not frequent a home in which the womenfolk wander around bare-headed. This applies even if there are no ghair mahaareem in the house. It is not permissible for a Muslim man or woman to strut around naked even in solitude in the house where there is not a soul present. The Fiqhi (juridical) arguments relative to satr are unrelated to Murawwat (Islamic-Sunnah culture) which is an extremely lofty concept. Haya is such a lofty and noble attribute of Imaan that Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) would not bare his head even when alone in his room. It is simply not Islamic-not Sunnah culture for women to strut about with out head-covering even at home. What judgement should be passed about girls parading with evil garb and bare heads in a show of riya?
  4. The Qur’aan Majeed commands: “And remain resolutely inside your homes, and do not make a display of yourselves like the exhibition of Jahiliyyah.” The fashion parade in which girls projected and displayed themselves to all the sundry, was undoubtedly an exhibition of Jaahiliyah. In addition to this harram modeling, they were encouraged and dragged out of their homes by Deeni personnel to publicly auction themselves and put up their ‘charms’ for show and humiliation. They were taught and instructed in the art of riya-to showoff un-Islamic garment. They were ordered by their seniors to display themselves to the public with garments of riya whereas the entire thrust of Islam’s concept of Hijaab is on maximum female concealment. Rasulullah (sallallhu alayhi wasallam)said that when a woman emerges from her home, shaitaan lays in ambush for her.

    The modeling show was in total conflict and negation of the Islamic concept of Hijaab with its emphasis on female concealment. This evil fashion parade is in violent conflict with the whole corpus of Akhlaaq-e-Hameedah (The Beautiful attributes of excellence).

  5. Riya or show. Riya, undoubtedly was the prime attitude prevailing in the minds of the girls when they were modeling and showing off the Haraam shararas, gararas haraamas and Punjabi dresses. Such dresses are never permissible for Muslim women who believe in Allah and the day of Qiyaamah. Show, parading, fashioning and modeling are all elements of riya and lewdness. These are acts of the kuffaar. Fashion shows are integral constitution of the kuffaar, more specifically western, idea of pleasure and recreation.
  6. Modelling the weddindg dress was an aggravated factor of evil. What must have been going through the mind of the young girl when she donned the wedding dress projecting herself as a married woman. A wedding dress has no place in Muslim society. It is a customary practice of non-Muslims. Muslims society is a society of the Sunnah, not a society which has enslaved itself to the norms and styles of Westernism. A wedding is associated with a relationship in the making with a male. The young girl was schooled in the idea of zina of the mind. She was simulating a relationship with some imaginary man. Her seniors are guilty of having polluted her mind and heart.

    The response to the fallacious arguments presented in support of this haraam modeling parade as follows:

  • There is no Qur’aanic verse nor any Hadith from which substantiation could be drawn for this haraam fashion show. The Qur’aan and Hadith instruct hayaa, purdah, concealment and self-denial. The Qur’aan and Hadith can never support a fashion show which is an immoral pratice of the kuffaar. In the fourteen centuries of Islam’s history, was there ever a dress fashion show or a modeling show where girls paraded and exhibited themselves? Ignorant Muslims too cannot accept the baseless claims made by the trustee Maulana Saheb.
  • Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) did not lend any of her dresses out. She, however, had borrowed the dress of her sister Hadhrat Asmaa (radhiyallahu anha) to put on. But does the Hadith say that she went to a model show or fashion show to put herself and her sister’s dress on exhibition? It is too ridiculous to cite this Hadith in support of a fashion show. What relationship is there between a person borrowing a dress and a fashion parade where young girls strut around like prostitutes advertising their charms? Did Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) make an exhibition of herself with the dress? What was the purpose of having borrowed the dress from her sister? She never paraded in front of other women showing off the dress. In the tafseer of the Hadith it is mentioned very clearly that she had borrowed the dress to adorn herself for Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), her husband. Does the Maulana Saheb not understand the difference between a wife adorning herself for her husband and women putting themselves up for show and exhibition to other people? It is an absolute absurdity to cite the dress-hadith in support of the haraam fashion parade.
  • “Looking the best on one’s wedding day”? What does this mean? For whom should the bride ‘look her best’? Definitely not for the public even if the public consist of only women. She has to appear in her best form for her husband, not for others. Further, what relevance does this have with the Haraam fashion parade? Was any of the girls or the particular girl modeling the wedding gown getting married at the fashion show? Was that her wedding day? For whom did she elect to look her best on the fashion show day? What has the wedding day to do with the fashion show day? This argument is palpably stupid.
  • It is not an issue of women being allowed to dress up in front of their maharams the ladies. In fact, a women, especially a young girl, should appear hayaa (shame) in front of even her mahram males. She should not make an exhibition of herself in front of even her mahram males. She should be dressed simply and modestly in front of all people, her mahram males and ladies included. Islam does not exhort her to appear gaudily dressed in front of ladies or her mahram males, especially in immoral outfits such as Punjabis, Shararas, Gararas and Haraamas. Futhermore, the fashion show was not in private setting in a home where a girl appears in front of her uncles and grandfather. In fact, the Fuqaha have said that girls should not appear with total freedom in front of even their paternal uncles. They should exercise caution with even uncles.

    There is not vestige of merit in the nonsensical argument tendered in substantiation of the Haraam fashion parade. Undoubtedly, it was a major sin. It was an act of shaitaan and an exhibition of riya and zina. The Imam of the Masjid who had apologized for his opposition, has rendered Islam a disservice. His apology has confused the minds of ignorant people. He has betrayed Islam for fear of possibly losing his job. He should understand that only Allah Ta’ala is the Raaziq, not the trustees who have employed him. The teachers who resigned are to be complimented for the firm stand and their dissociation from Haraam.

    The split in the community is a healthy sign to be welcomed. At least there are some people in the community who do not accept baatil and haraam even if a Maulana condones it with aayats and ahadith. As long as there are such people who take a firm stand against haraam and baatil, it is hoped that the universal Athaab of Allah Ta’ala will not overtake the whole community.

    We are living in an age in which the insanity of total emulation (tashabuh) of the kuffaar has left Muslims wallowing in mental torpidity, unable to distinguish right from left, and incapable of differentiating between vice and virtue, Halaal and Haraam. When an ‘Imam’ of a Musjid professes to be a gay, and a so-called Islamic radio rushes to offer tacit support to this vile cause of sodomy by disseminating over the air the homosexual viewpoint calling for ‘tolerance’, and when Maulanas cite Qur’aan and Ahadith falsely in a morbid bid to accord Shar’I sanction to an exhibition of Jaahiliyya, then there can be no difficulty in comprehending the moribund condition of the Imaan of the Ummah. Only Allah Ta’ala can save this Ummah from its head long plunge in the pit of abysmal gloom and ruin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *