Educational Institutions in Muslim India
By: Sayyid Abdul Hai
The first attempt in Islamic history to bring the study of different branches of learning under a systematic and standardized institution was made in the fourth century after Hijrah, when such a madrasah was established at Nishapur. Later on, the two institutions which achieved everlasting fame were the Nizamiyah and Mustansaryah Universities of Baghdad. In India the early Muslim rulers do not appear to have been conversant with such formal educational institutions; for, they encouraged learned persons as well as those adept in any art of craft through liberal grants and benefactions to impart their knowledge and skill privately to students having an aptitude for the same.
Likewise, the religious doctors too taught the students privately either at their own houses or in the mosques and monasteries. Most of them did not only to seek the pleasure of God and they never accepted anything for the service rendered nor did they approach anything for the service rendered nor did they approach the kings and grandees for financial help in any form. Nevertheless, a number of later Muslim rulers and their nobles established numerous educational institutions which provided not only free boarding and lodging to the teachers and students but they also paid handsome stipends to attract students to these institutions. We, however, mention here only the well-known madrasahs of the medieval India.
Madrasahs of Sind
Madrasah Firuziah was founded by Nasiruddin Qabacha when he was governor of Multan and Uch. As stated by Muhammad bin 'Abdul Wahab Qazwini in his marginal commentary on 'Aufi's Lubab-ul-Albab, a reputed scholar Minhajuddin Abu 'Amr 'Uthman bin Muhammad Juzjani was appointed as the head of this institution in 1224.
Madrasah Multan was located in the monastery of Sheikhul-Islam Bahauddin Zakariya, the renowned mystic of Multan. Sheikh Musa and Sheikh Mujiduddin taught in this madrasah while Sheikh Abul Fated bin Muhammad bin Zakarya was the head of the monastery. It has been mentioned in Jami-ul-Uloom that Sheikh Jalaluddin Husain bin Ahmad Husaini of Bukhara had been a student of the above-mentioned scholars.
Madrasah Siwistan. Siwistan had a large educational institution. When Ibn Batutah visited India during the reign of Muhammad Tughlaq, he paid a visit to this madrasah in 1333. In regard to the institution he says: "I stayed for a while in the big madrasah of this city and used to sleep on the roof of the institution during my stay there."
Madrasah Bhukkar was founded, according to Tuhfatul Kiram,(1) by Najmuddin Muhammad Raf'i of Sind in 1747 while his Sheikh, Muhammad Mo'in bin Muhammad Amin(2) was still alive.
1. Vol. III, p. 206.
2. Maulana Muhammad Mo'in was a noted scholar and mystic of his time. A disciple of Shah Waliullah, he died in 1747. (Nuzhet- ul - Khawatir)
Madrasahs of Kashmir
Madrasah Qutbuddin Purah: Sultan Qutbuddin of Kashmir (d. 1393) had established a big madrasah at Qutbuddin Purah which, as stated in Hada'iq-ul-Hanfiyah, produced the noted Traditionist, Sheikh Jauhar besides several other reputed doctors of religion.
Madrasah of Sultan Zain-ul-'Abdin : Sultan Zain-ul-Abidin of Kashmir was a patron of learning who established quite a few madrasah located near the imperial palace. The teachers appointed by him were men of learning who were paid handsome remuneration. The Sultan had also ordered to set up pathshalas and maktabs for the Hindus and Muslims in the temples and mosques throughout his realm and had earmarked the land revenues derived from certain areas for the maintenance of these schools. (Tarikh Kashmir)(1).
Khwaja Muhammad 'Azam, Tarikh Kashmir (Lahore, 1303 AH)
Madrasah Srinagar: Mirza Burhanuddin Tuni, also known as Fadil Khan, built a large madrasah at Srinagar while he was governor of Kashmir during the time of Aurangzeb. A mosque and hammam were also constructed by him as an adjunct to the madrasah. He attached some cultivable land to this educational institiution for its maintenance.
Madrasahs of the Punjab
Madrasahs of Lahore: Muhammad Fadil of Badakhshan who was the Superintendent of Justice in the military cantonments during the reigns of Jahangir and Shahjahan, established this educational institution in the year 1634. Himself an erudite scholar, Muhammad Fadil used to deliver lectures in the institution. A number of scholars had the honour of being taught by him (Mathar-ul-Umra).(1)
Shanawaz Khan, Mathar- ul - Umra (Calcutta 1895), Vol. 111, p. 71.
In another madrasah at Lahore the governor of the province Nawab Qilich khan Indjani, used to teach law, exegesis and Traditions (Mathar-ul-Umra).(2)
Lahore had yet another big madrasah established by Wazir Khan near his famous mosque. Two scholars had been appointed in this institution by the founder who also created a trust for its maintenance.
Madrasah Sialkot: The madrasah was established by an eminent scholar, 'Abdul Hakim(3) bin Shamsuddin. Emperor Shahjahn gifted out a number of villages for meeting the recurring expenses of the madrasah. 'Allama 'Abdul Hakim taught in this madrasah for a long time and after his death his sons and grandsons continued to shed the light of guidance and learning in this institution.
3. Aurhor of several books, he was twice weighted in silver by Shahjahan (Nuzhat-ul- Khwatir, (Hyderabad, 1955) Vol. V. p. 211.
Madrasah Thanesar: The madrasah was located near the tomb of Sheikh 'Abdur Rahim (popularly known as Sheikh Chilli). The building of the madrasah, a masonry structure, occupied an area of 174 sq. feet and had three arcades on each of its three sides. On its eastern side, stood a big gate with row of rooms for the students. The institution's building is reported to have been built by Dara Shikoh in 1650.(4)
4.The madrasah was converted into a Gurdwara during the Sikh regime in Punjab (Ibid, p. 27)
Madrash Narnaul was a big institution attached to the monastery of Shaikh Nizamuddin of Narnaul. The madrasah produced a number of literary scholars.(5)
5. The madrasah was built by Sher Shah Suri in 1520 near the tomb of his grandfather (Ibid p. 28).
Madrasahs of Delhi
Madrasah Mu'izziah was located in a big ad fortress like building adjacent to the great mosque in which the Qarmatian fanatics fell upon a Friday congregation in 1237 when they made an attempt to overthrow the established religion during the reign of Razia Sultana. Minhajuddin states in the Tabqat-i-Nasiri(1) that the Qarmatians attacked Madrasah Mu'izziah also as they thought it to be a mosque. I have not been able to find further details in regard to this institution but I think it was founded by Sultan Qutbuddin Aibak and named after his master Shahabuddin Ghori whose title was Mu'izuddin. Maulana Badruddin Is'haq of
Bulkhara was one of its teachers.
Minhaj Siraj, Tabqat-i-Nasiri (Lahore, 1952), p. 98.
Madrasah Nasiriyah: This educational institution is believed to have been established by Sultan Shamsuddin lltutmish who named it after his father Nasiruddin Mahmud.
Qazi Minhajuddin Uthman bin Muhammad Jauzjani was appointed head of this madrasah by Razia Sultana in 1226.(2)
Madrasah Firuz Shah: Firuz Shah made arrangements for the education of his subjects on a vast scale. He built a magnificent building for this institution of higher studies near Hauz Khas, from which a canal supplied fresh water to the madrasah. Ziauddin Barni writes in Tarikh Firuz Shahi that all secular and religious sciences were taught in this madrasah. Sheikh Jalaluddin Rumi (another scholar, not to be confused with the Persian mystic and poet of the same name) and his disciple Maulana Yusuf Jamal Husaini were the two renowned teachers of this madrasah.(3)
2. Ibid, p. 97.
3. Ziauddin Barni, Tarikh Firuz Shahi (Calcutta, 18 (2), p. 565.
Another madrasah was built by Firuz Shah within the Siri fort near the big reservoir. The building of this madrasah, too, is reported by Barni to be quite impressive. Maulana Najmuddin of Samarkand was one of the teachers in this institution(4).
4.Firishta Vol. 1, p. 148.
Firuz Shah built yet another madrasah at Delhi near the tomb of his son Fateh Khan (d. 1374). The headstone installed at the grave of Fateh Khan bore, according to Firishta, the impression of the Holy Prophet's foot. This slab, known as Qadam Rasul, was brought from Arabia by the mystic Sheikh Jalaluddin Husain al-Husaini of Bukhara, also known as Makhdum Jahanian Jahan Gasht.
Madrasah Tulanabbi: The madrasah was established by Sikandar Lodhi for Maulana 'Abdullah Tulanabbi, a scholar and man of letters, who had immigrated to Delhi. Badauni writes in the Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh that the King awarded the title of Malik-ul-Ulama to Maulana Tulanabbi and appointed him as the Principal of this College. A large number of students who later rose as eminent scholars had the good fortune of being taught by the Maulana who revised and enlarged the then prevalent curriculum by introducing some of the difficult books on logic and philosophy. Before Maulana Tulanabbi's reform the madrasah had only Sharh Shamsiah as the text book in logic and Sharh-us-Saha'if in dialectics.(1)
'Abdul Qadir Badauni, Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh, Lucknow, (1868) p. 86.
Madrasah of Maulana Sama'uddin: Maulana Sama'uddin (d. 1495) had also set up a madrasah at Delhi in which he taught for a long time. After him, Sheikh Fateh Ullah, Sheikh 'Abdul Ghafoor and Mufti Jamaluddin, the grandson of Maulana Sama'uddin kept the torch of learning aloft in this institution benefiting a large number of students.
Madrasah Sheikh Farid: It was a big institution named after the well-known mystic Sheikh Fariduddin Ganj Shakar whose shrine is at Ajodhan. Sheikh 'Alauddin founded the madrasah to commemorate the memory of his grandfather, Tajuddin al-Faruqi during the reign of Humaun in 1534. The ruins of the Madrasah can still be seen near the tomb of its founder.(2)
Bashiruddin, Tarikh Bashiruddin, or Waqi'at Dehli (Agra, 1919), Vol. III, p. 112.
Madrasah Maham Begum. The wet nurse of Emperor Akbar, Maham had built a mosque and a madrasah in 1561 near Humayun's fort known as Dinpanah. The ruins of this monument are traceable to this day
Madrasah Sheikh 'Abdul Haq Muhaddith. Jahangir founded this institution of higher learning, along with a supporting trust, for Sheikh 'Abdul Haq bin Safuddin, the well-known scholar of Traditions belonging to Delhi. After the death of the Sheikh, his descendants Mufti Nurul Haq, Sheikh Abu Raza devoted their lives to the teaching and preaching of Traditions in this institution. To this madrasah goes the credit of introduction, growth and popularization of the science of Traditions in India, for, it had been the Alma Mater of many an eminent scholar from the day it was established.
Madrasah Shahjahani. Known by the name of Darul-Baqa, this madrasah was founded by Shahjahan some time between 1649 and 1658, not far from the Jami Masjid. Maulana Y'aqub of Bayanah was appointed as the head of the institution by the Emperor. After the madrasah fell into ruins, Mufti Sadaruddin Azurda (d. 1842) had it rebuilt and appointed teachers for the instruction of the students. The madrasah was, however, completely demolished during the First War of Independence waged in 1857.
Madrasah Fatehpuri Begum. One of the queens of Shahjahan, Nawab Fatehpuri Begum, who built the delightful Fatehpuri Mosque, constructed a madrasah also near it in 1649. The building of the madrasah had been made of marble and red sandstone. The mosque contains lodges for the teachers and students while some shops which have been constructed facing the market have been rented out to meet the recurring expenses of the madrasah. The income then fetched from the shops was rupees six hundred per month.
Madrasah Akbrabadi Begum. Another queen of Shahjahan, Akbarabadi Begum, built a mosque and madrasah at Delhi in 1630. It was a splendid masonry structure with lodges for the teachers and had shops around it to meet the expenses of the madrasah. In this institution the noted Traditionist and commentator of Qur'an, Shah 'Abdul Qadir of Delhi, taught the students for a long time. It continued to function till the last days of Moghul rule but in the upheaval of 1857 the Britishers completely demolished the madrasah leaving no trace of it.
Madrasah Mir Jumla was founded by Mir Jumla, one of grandees of Aurangzeb. Although the madrasah fell into ruins in due course of time, the locality was still known by the name of the madrasah for a long time.
Madrasah 'Inayat Khan was also an educational institution of Delhi, but its ruins are not traceable now.
Madrasah Ghaziuddin Khan: A big edifice of red sandstone was built by Ghaziuddin Khan, Prime Minister of Ahmad Shah Bahadur and, then, of 'Alamgir ll, in 1751, outside the city, near the palace built by his grandfather Ghaziuddin Khan Firuz Jang. The madrasah had pillared varandahs on its three sides and magnificent mosque on the western part which contained the tomb of Firuz Jang within an enclosure. Nawab Fazl 'Ali Khan, then a minister at the court of Nawab of Lucknow gave a sum of Rs. 1,70,000 to the East India Company to be held in trust for running this madrasah but the company appropriated the funds for establishing an English teaching school.(1)
Athar - us - Sanadid, pp. 133 and 305.
Molvi 'Abdul Qadir Qadir of Rampur writes in his book 'Roznamh' that Sheikh Nazar Muhammed of Delhi was a teacher in this madrasah.
Madrasah of Ghaziuddin Khan's mother: Ghaziuddin Khan's mother had also founded a madrasah in Delhi. Molvi 'Abdul Qadir of Rampur says that the Madrasah was known after the name of Maulana Fakhruddin of Delhi who used to teach in it.(1)
Nuzhat - ul - Khawatir, Vol. VI, P. 221.
Madrasah Shah Wali Ullah. This was the fortunate institution where the great savant, thinker and reformer Shah Wali Ullah of Delhi taught the students. Shah 'Abdur Rahim, Father of Shah Wali Ullah used to put up at Mehdiyan, outside Delhi, near his ancestral cemetery. After his father's death, Shah Wali Ullah moved within the city where Muhammad Shah made over a big mansion to him for starting a madrasah. This institution was known as the old madrasah where Shah Wali Ullah delivered lectures to his students throughout his life. After his death, new madrasah was constructed on the site of the older one, where Shah 'Abdul 'Aziz taught until he lost his eyesight. Shah Raf'i uddin and Shah 'Abdul Qadir, the two brothers of Shah 'Abdul 'Aziz continued to teach in the madrasah and, after their death, the responsibility was taken up by Shah Muhammad Is'haq, Shah Muhammad Y'aqub and Sheikh Makhsus Ullah, the descendants of Shah 'Abdul Aziz. This was one of the central seats of learning in India which popularized religious sciences in India
Madrasah Bazar Dariba. Near Dariba market in Delhi, by the side of Sunehri Masjid, Nawab Roshan-ud-Daula had got the imposing edifice of this madrasah built in 1721 during the reign of Muhammad Shah. The madrasah functioned till the termination of the Moghul rule in Delhi for the Britishers converted the madrasah into a police out-post.(3)
Gharabat Nigar, p. 146.
Madrasah of Iradatmand Khan: This madrasah was founded in 1722, during the reign of Muhammad Shah, near the mosque of Bazar Dariba, by Nawab Sharaf-ud-Daula Iradatmand Khan. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan has given an account of this madrasah in the Athar-us-Sanadid.(4)
Athar-us-Sanadid, p. 309.
Bashiruddin has given the description of another madrasah established by Nawab Sharaf-ud-Daula in mohalla Rudgardan in the Tarikh Dehli. The locality where this institution existed is still known by its name, but only a big gate of the madrasah is all that stands now to remind us of its existence.(1)
Bashiruddin. Tarikh Dehli, (Agra, 1919), Vol. II. p. 212.
Madrasah Shah Husain: Shah Husain built this madrasah and a mosque in Bulbli Khana in 1735 but the mosque was known after the name of Nawab Qutbuddin Khan
Bashiruddin has made a mention of another educational institution founded in 1837 at Charkhi Walan in Delhi by one Saddhu Ghosan.
Madrasahs of Agra
Madrasah Sheikh Raf'iuddin: The institution, located within the city of Agra, was named after Sheikh Rafi'uddin Husaini of Shiraz (d. 1538), a scholar who had specialized in the science of Traditions.He migrated to India during the reign of Sikandar Lodhi and was acknowledged as the foremost savant of his time.
Madrasah Zainiyah : The madrasah together with a mosque was built by Sheikh Zainuddin Khawwafi in 1534. He was buried within the quadrangle of the mosque.
Madrasah of Mufti 'Abul Fath. This was the premier educational institution of Agra presided over by Mufti Abul Fath bin 'Abdul Ghafoor of Thanesar (d. 1578), where he lectured for fifty years. He was also responsible for directing the educational activities at the capital of the empire.(5)
5.Mullah 'Abdul Qadir, Budauni was his disciple (Ibid, p.12)
Madrasah Akbarabad: The madrasah was founded by Akbar. The ruins of its main building were traceable before the holocaust of 1857. The mosque attached to the madrasah still remains and the locality is known by the name of the madrasah
Madrasah Khas was so named because of its thatched roofing and walls made of reeds and straw. The madrasah was established by Maulana 'Alauddin Lari in 1561 during the reign of Akbar. 'Abdul Qadir Badauni has reckoned the year in which the madrasah was founded by adding the powers of the letters of its name.
Madrasah Jami Masjid: Jahanara, the daughter of Shahjahan built this madrasah opposite the fort at Agra and created a trust for its maintenance.
Madrasah Akbar: Akbar had built this madrasah on the top of the hillock at Fatehpur Sikri at the instance of Sheikh Salim bin Bahauddin Chishti. The emperor also appointed several theologians as teachers of this institution at handsome remuneration
Madrasah Abul Fadl was also at Fatehpur Sikri. Its ruins can still be seen.
Madrasatul Banat was also at Fatehpur. Its building was a masonry structure, ornately carved and erected near the populated area. Its ruins are still extant
Madrasah Gwaliar was founded by Amir Rahim Dad, a noble in the court of Babur
Madrasah Kannauj was established by Shikh 'Ali Asghar of Kannauj (d. 1127) who taught in the school till his death. Thereafter, his son and grandson Maulana Rustam 'Ali (d. 1764) and Maulana 'Abdul Basit (d. 1808) respectively continued to teach in the madrasah which produced many scholars.
Madrasah Farrukhabad: The madrasah was built by Nawab Muhammad Khan Bangash, the founder of Rohilla State. The locality where the school existed, is still known by its name
Fakhr-ul-Marabe was the name of another madrasah established in 1809 by Mufti Waliullah of Farrukhabad.(2)
2. Waliullah Hasani, Tarikh Farrukhabad, (Nadwatul Ulama MSS No. 150), 341.
Madrasahs of Jaunpur, Bihar and Bengal
Madrasah Qazi Shahabuddin: Sultan Ibrahim Sharqi, the great patron of learning, had built this madrasah for part in the spread of sciences and learning. The madrasah had also lodges for the residence of students.
Madrasah Raji Begum: The school was founded by Raji Begum, Queen of Mahmud Shah Sharqi (1436-58) along with a mosque in 1442. She also granted stipends to the teachers and the students of the madrasah which continued to function until Sikandar Shah bin Bahlol Lodhi captured Jaunpur and the madrasah was razed to ground like numerous other monuments and castles of the Sharqi dynasty.
Madrasah 'Aziz Ullah: It was a big institution established in the locality called 'Azizullah at Jaunpur by Junaid Barlas, the governor of the place in the reign of Babur. Sheikh 'Aziz Ullah bin Sheikh Na'im Ullah, from whom the madrasah and the locality took their names, was appointed as its first Principal. Sheikh 'Aziz Ullah was a progeny of Sheikh Muhammad bin 'lsa who was a noted mystic of the place. The madrasah fell into ruins in due course of time and was gradually turned into a cemetery.
Madrasah Shikh Muhammad Afzal: The madrasah was founded by the reputed scholar Sheikh Muhammad Afzal Uthmani (d. 1650). Savants like Mullah Mahmud Jaunpuri and Sheikh Mohammad Rashid, the authors of the Shams Bazgha and Rashidiya, respectively, graduated from this seminary.
Madrasah Sheikh Rashid. The madrasah was located in Mohalla Mir Mast in Jaunpur where Sheikh Muhammad Rashid bin Mustafa Uthman once spread the light of learning. I have, however, not been able to find out the name of its founder. The ruins of the madrasah are still traceable.
Madrasah Banaras was established by Sheikh Nizamuddin of Banaras. One of the scholars who received his education in this school was Sheikh Tayyab bin Mo'in(d. 1632)
Madrasah Patna. This was a famous centre of Islamic learning at 'Azimabad (Patna) with a magnificent building on an elevated place by the side of the river Ganges. It was founded in 1655 by Nawab Saifuddin Khan who had also constructed a mosque and residential quarters for the teachers and students, and created a trust consisting of several villages for the maintenance of the madrasah.
The author of Risala Qutbia states that two of its teachers Syed Zarif and Syed Kamal were disciples of Sheikh Nizamuddin of Lucknow. Siyar-ul-Mutakhirin, however, gives the name of its lecturer, Maulana Tajuddin of Oudh.
Madrasah Danapur. Located at Danapur, about 10 Kms. from Patna, the school was founded by Nawab Asaf Khan. The madrasah was located in a building of considerable strength and elegance whose foundation was laid by Nawab Asaf Khan but was ultimately brought to completion by Nawab Haibat Jang. The latter also constructed a beautiful mosque near the madrasah
Madrasah Shahabad. The madrasah existed in the suburbs of Shahabad (Arrah). It had once had a big trust consisting of several villages, created by Shah Alam. It also had a big library and its annual expenditure amounted to five thousand rupees. The present trustee is the head of a local monastery.
Madrasah Aurangabad. This educational institution, which still exists, is in Aurangabad town of district Gaya. The annual income from the trust created for its maintenance was rupees four hundred per annum.
Rangpur Madrasahs - Several educational institutions were started in Rangpur district of Bengal by Muhammad Bakhtiyar Khilji but none of them now exist nor the trace of their buildings is to be found.
Madrasahs of Malwa and Khandesh
Madrasah Mandu was in the capital of Ghauri kings of Malwa. It was perhaps founded by Hushang Shah who died in 1435 and, as stated by Firishta, was laid to rest in the same madrasah.(1).
Firishta, Vol. i, p. 241.
Madrasah Mahmudiya was founded by Mahmud Shah Khilji in the year 1446. He also fixed a generous allowance for the teachers and students of the madrasah.
Madrasah Ghiyathiya. This institution was also located in Shadiabad at Mandu and was founded by Ghiyathuddin Khilji as stated by Asfi in the Zafar-ul-Waleh.(2).
Muhammad b. Umar Makki Asfi, Zafar-ul-Walah, (London, 1910) Vol. i, p. 209.
Madrasah Zafarabad. According to the author of Athar-ul-Khair the madrasah existed during the reign of Mahmud Shah II.
Madrasah Ujjain. The madrasah was founded by one of the Khilji Sultans of Malwa. The ruins of its building are still visible.(3)
Muhammad 'Abbas Raf'at Sherwani, Tuzuk-i-Afghani, (Agra, 1299 AH), p. 100
Madrasah Sarangpur. This institution was established by one of the Khilji Sultans of Malwa. The ruins of the building still standing have the following inscription on its foundation stone:
"The foundation of this madrasah was laid within the territory held by Malik Madari Khan on 22nd of Rab'i-ul-Thani in the year 897 A.H. during the reign of the Great King, the patron of the world and religion, Mahmud Shah Khilji, whom God may bless with dominion and kingdom."
Madrasah Ra'isin: The madrasah with a imposing building was established at Ra'isin by Ghanim-ul-Mulk in 1485, which also provided residential accommodation for its students and teachers. The ruins of its decayed walls still stand to remind its existence.(1)
Nawab Shahjahan Begum, Taj-ul-lqbal (Kanpur, 1289 AH), Vol. III, p. 83
Madrasah 'Adilpur. The madrasah had a magnificent building and, as stated by the author or Gulzar-i-Abrar,(2) Sheikh Musa of Sind was appointed as the Principal of this school by its founder, 'Adil Shah.
Muhammad Ghaus Mandwi, Gulzar-i-Abrar, Vol. VIII, p. 453.
Madrasah Burhanpur: The madrasah was run first by Sheikh Tahir bin Yusuf of Sind and then by his nephew 'Isa bin Qasim. Thereafter his descendants continued to teach in this institution for a long time.
Madrasah Anwaruddin: Another educational institution was established at Burhanpur by Nawab Anwaruddin of Gopamau, then governor of Burhanpur, who appointed Sheikh Ghulam of Gujarat as the head of the madrasah and fixed an annual subvention of Rupees 36,000 for its maintenance.
Madrasahs of Gujarat
"In the towns of Gujarat Mahmud Shah I founded a large number of madrasahs," writes the author of Mirat-i-Sikandari, but I have not been able to find further details of these institutions.
Madrasah Uthmanpur. Sheikh 'Uthman(1) (d. 1459) established this madrasah at 'Uthmanpur near Ahmadabad. Mahmud Shah I donated a large collection of valuable books from his imperial library which were given over to the madrasah by Sheikh Uthman for the use of students.
Sultan Mahmud Shah I was one of his disciples. (Nuzhatul Khawatir, Vol. III, p. 99).
Madrasah Nahrwala was located by the side of Hauz Khan Sarwar outside the town of Nahrwala. Maulana Qasim bin Muhammad of Nahrwala was the head of this institution during the reign of Qutbuddin Shah of Gujarat (1451-1458).
Another Madrasah at Nahrwala was attached to the shrine of Sheikh Hisamuddin 'Uthman bin Daud Multani wherein the chief lecturer was Maulana Tajuddin. After his death his son Maulana Muhammad took up the responsibility assigned to his father. A number of religious scholars graduated from this institution.
Madrasah Ahmadabad was an important institution catering for the need of higher education. It was located at Sarkhich, a suburban town of Ahmadabad. Faqih Hasan 'Arab, a scholar of Islamic jurisprudence, taught the students in this madrasah during the reign of Mahmud Shah I and his son Muzaffar Shah II. As stated by the author of Gulzar-i-Abrar, the madrasah produced a number of erudite scholars.
Madrasah Maulana Muhammad Tahir of Patan: The Maulana had founded a madrasah in his home town on which he spent all that he had inherited from his father. According to the author of An-Nur-al-'Safir,(2) the Maulana took special pains to educate a number of brilliant students who specialized in different branches of Islamic sciences.
Muhiuddin Abdul Qadir, An-Nur-al-Safir (Baghdad, 1934), p. 362.
Madrasah 'Allama Wajihuddin: The founder of the madrasah, 'Allama Wijihuddin of Gujarat, instructed his students as well as provided them with boarding and lodging. When the 'Allama died he was laid to rest in the courtyard of the madrasah. Later on, Sadiq Khan constructed a dome on the grave of 'Allama Wajihuddin and rebuilt the madrasah besides providing stipends for the students.
Author of Tuhfatul Kiram reports that the progeny of the 'Allama continued to teach in the madrasah after his death.
Madrasah Ahmadabad. Saif Khan Jahangiri built a large educational institution opposite Ahmadabad Fort in 1622 when he was posted as the Revenue Collector of the province.(1)
Mitha Lal, Mirat-i-Ahmadi, (Bombay, 1307 AH), Vol. i, p. 209.
Madrasah Sheikh-ul-Islam Khan. The building of the College was built by Maulana Ikramuddin, also known by the title of Sheikh-ul-Islam Khan, during his governorship of Gujarat province. The madrasah's building was completed in three years (1696-1699) at a cost of Rupees 1,24,000. Shaykh-ul-Islam Khan, who entrusted the charge of the institution to his spiritual mentor, Sheikh Nuruddin bin Muhammad Saleh of Gujarat, endowed several villages for the maintenance of the madrasah.
Madrasah Haji Zahid Beg was founded by Haji Zahid Beg, a wealthy merchant, at Surat in 1641. The madrasah was located near the shrine of Sheikh Muhammad bin 'Abdullah 'Idur Rus and built during the time of Sheikh Ja'far Sadiq 'Idur-Rus.(
Madrasahs of Oudh
Madrasahs of Lucknow. A big institution which produced a large number of theologians was founded by Sheikh Muhammad bin 'Abi Baqa (Muhammad 'Azam-d. 1465) while another one was established by Qazi 'Abdul Qadir Faruqi (d. 1664) of Lucknow. The other madrasah, too, turned out a number of academicians who founded several madrasahs in different cities.
Madrasah Amethi was established at Baruna (Amethi) by Hasan of Sarangpur. Sheikh Ja'far bin Nizamuddin(1) of Amethi (d. 1635) was the head of this institution which had a large building and rooms for the students. The ruins of this school are still visible.(2)
1. He was popularly known as Bandagi Nizamuddin. One of the prominent mystic sheikhs of his time, he had been granted a fief by Jahangir (Nuzhat-ul-Khwatir, Vol. V, p. 109).
2. Riyadh-i-'Uthmani by Khadim Husani 'Ali Khan.
Madrasah Mullah Jiwan was also at Amethi where it was founded by 'Abdul Qadir bin Ahmad of Amethi. The father of the founder, Sheikh Ahmad bin Abi Saeed (Mulla Jiwan) was the first teacher of this school after whom his descendants continued to lecture in the madrasah
Madrasah Shah Pir Muhammad. This was the famous madrasah located by the side of the river Gomti which achieved great fame as an institution of higher education. It is, however, not known who founded this madrasah.
A number of eminent scholars such as Shah Pir muhammad) (d. 1673), Sheikh Muhammad Afaq, Maulana Ghulam Naqshband (d. 1616), Maulana Ahmad, Maulana Ghulam Yahya of Bihar (d. 1766 AD) and Maulana 'Abdur Rashid of Jaupur instructed the students in this madrasah which was perhaps located in the Aurangzeb's mosque known as Tila Shah Pir Muhammad Masjid.
Madrasah Firangi Mahal was founded by Mullah Nizamuddin of Sihali who formulated the Nizamia course of study. He started this educational institution in his own house, known as Firangi Mahal which first belonged to a European merchant and was later on given over to him by Aurangzeb. The madrasah played a memorable role in the promotion of theological learning in India.
Madrasah Mansuriya. The foundation of this educational centre was laid by Mulla Hamid Ullah bin Shukr Ullah and his son Molvi 'Askar 'Ali at Sandila in 1733. King Ahmad Shah Bahadur donated a number of villages for the maintenance of the madrasah on the recommendation of his vizir Abul Mansur Khan Safdar Jang, from whom the madrasah took its name. Besides Mulla Hamd Ullah, his son Haider 'Ali and Maulana Bab Ullah of Jaunpur taught the students in this madrasah which produced a number of scholars.
Madrasah Bilgram was established by Allama 'Abdul Jalil Bilgrami (d. 1725) where Maulana Tufail Ahmad of Utraula taught the students. A number of eminent theologians graduated from this institution. This educational centre no more exists but the traces of its wrecked building still exist.
Madrasah Qazi Qutbuddin. This madrasah was at Gopa-Mau. A number of young men had gone out of its portals after completing their studies, writes the author of Tazkiratul Ansab.(1)
By Imamuddin Ahmad, (Delhi, 1322 A.H.)
Madrasah Wala Jahia. The madrasah was established, perhaps in 1785 by Nawab Muhammad 'Ali Khan of Gopa-Mau, then governor of Madras, in his home town. The Nawab had appointed Qazi Mustafa 'Ali Khan as the head of this institution.(2)
Nataij-ul-Afkar, by Qudrat-Ullah of Gopa Mau.
Madrasah Sultaniya. Hakim Mahdi 'Ali Khan, a vizier in the court of Sultan Nasiruddin Haider, King of Oudh, established this educational institution near the tomb of Sa'adat 'Ali Khan at Lucknow. The school building had also lodges for the students.
Hakim Mahdi 'Ali Khan had started another educational institution exclusively for the Kashmiri students with a staff of ten teachers. The madrasah provided free boarding and lodging to the students. Hakim Mahdi Ali Khan, who took keen interest in the affairs of the madrasah, not only frequently visited the institution to test the academic attainments of the students but also entertained them with sweets and fruits.(1)
Akbar Ali Kashmiri, Sabikatuz-Zahab.
Madrasah Amjad 'Ali Shah was established at Lucknow by Nawab Amjad 'Ali Shah of Lucknow. Handsome remuneration was paid to its teachers among whom the two scholars of note were Syed Ahmad 'Ali of Muhammadabad and Mufti 'Abbas Tustri.
Madrasah Salon was located in the famous monastery of a mystic Shaykh at Salon in district Rae Bareli. The Mughul emperors had donated considerable landed property for the monastery which sufficed to meet the expenses of the madrasah which is still being run by its trustees.
Madrasahs of Rohilkhand
Madrasah Mu'izziyah. This great religious institution of Badaun was founded either by Sultan Qutbuddin Aibak or his successor Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish not far from the Jami Masijd which was built in 1223 AD. As stated by Hasan Sijzi in Fawa'id-ul-Fuad, a large number of students came out of its portals after completing their studies. 'An eminent scholar, Sheikh Zainuddin, lived in Madrasah Mu'izziyah near the Jami Masjid of Badaun,' writes Sheikh Mujahid Nizamuddin Muhammad bin Ahmad. According to my information the reputed scholar, Ruknudnin of Badaun (who had among his students such eminent scholars as Sheikh Sirajuddin of Ghazni, author of a large number of religious treatises), was on the staff of this educational institution.
Madrasah Fateh Khan was at Aonla. It was established by Fateh Khan, Khan-i-Saman (Lord High Steward) and had amongst its staff Sheikh Wasi 'Ali bin Rahmat Ullah of Ja'is.(1)
Maulvl 'Abdul Qadir Jai'si, Tarikh Ja'is, Nadwatul Ulama MSS No. 106, p. 31
Madrasah Zabta Khan was founded by Nawab Zabta Khan, son of Nawab Najib-ud-Daula, at Daranagar in district Moradabad. The institution could boast of having such men of caliber on its staff as Mulla Hasan bin Ghullam Mustafa of Lucknow and Sheikh Salim bin Kamaluddin of Fatehpur.
Madrasah Hafiz Rahmat Khan. The foundation of this great institution of religious learning was laid by Nawab Hafiz Rahmat Khan at Shahjahanpur by the side of the river Karrah. 'Allama Bahr-ul-Uloom, son of Mullah Nizamuddin of Lucknow, was appointed as trustee and Principal of this institution after he had migrated from Lucknow to Rohikhand. 'Allama Bahr-ul-Uloom continued to teach in the madrasah for 20 years but after him it ceased to exist.
Madrasah 'Aliya. Nawab Faiz Ullah Khan established this educational institution at Rampur. The students receiving education in this madrasah were also granted a fixed allowance. After the death of Nawab Hafiz Rahmat Khan he appointed 'Allama 'Abdul 'Ali, and thereafter Mulla Hasan bin Ghulam Mustafa of Lucknow as the head of this institution which continues to exist to this day.
Madrasah Bareily. This madrasah was also founded by Nawab Hafiz Rahmat Khan. Maulana Rustam 'Ali bin Asghar of Kannauj was an eminent scholar who remained head of the institution for a long time.
Madrasah Pilibhit. This institution of higher studies was also established by Nawab Hafiz Rahmat Khan, perhaps in 1767, who also created a trust consisting of several villages for the upkeep of the madrasah.
Madrashs of Deccan
Madrasah Ellichpur. Its foundation was laid by Safdar Khan of Sistan under the order of Sultan 'Alauddin Hasan Bahmani in 1349, who also created a trust for the madrasah with an annual income of 30,000 huns. The institution had the privilege of enjoying the services of Maulana Ibrahim, Maulana Yahya, Maulana Zahir bin Yusuf and Maulana Tayyab Muhaddith. The last three scholars belonged to Sind.
Madrasah Mahmud Gawan. At Bider, the minister of Muhammad Shah Bahmani III, Khwaja Jahan 'Imaduddin Mahmud Gilani, founded this great educational centre of historic importance in 1469. The building of the madrasah was of imposing appearance. With towering minarets at its two front corners and covering an area of 205 feet by 180, it had students' cubicles along the rampart enclosing it with a mosque standing on one side in its wide courtyard. Not only the teachers were paid handsome remuneration, the students, too, were provided boarding, lodging, clothing and other amenities free of cost.
The madrasah existed during the time of Aurangzeb who appointed Sheikh Muhammad Husain of Bijapur as one of its teachers in 1687.(1) During Ramadhan in the year 1695 the southern minaret and a portion of the mosque and the madrasah were demolished by thunderbolt which took the lives of 500 persons performing the congregational prayer of Tarawih. Sheikh Muhammad Husain was also one of those who died in the holocaust.(2)
2. Mukhtar-ul-Akhbar, pp. 193-4.
Madrasah Tahiriya. The madrasah was within the fort of Ahmadnagar. Tahir bin Razi of Hamadan was the head of this institution during the reign of Burhan Nizam Shah I. His son Husain Nizam Shah II dismantled the building of the institution to build a mosque on its site.(3)
3.Firishta, Vol. 1, p. 358.
Madrasah Burhania. Burhan Nizam Shah I built this madrasah opposite Ahmadnagar fort in 1522. It was a brick and masonry structure. Burhan Nizam Shah I also endowed landed property for the maintenance of the institution, out of which stipends were given to the Shi'a students.(1.)
1. Firishta, Vol. ii, p. 115
Madrasah 'Alia. The madrasah was established by 'Ali 'Adil Shah I of Bijapur who created a trust for the institution and appointed Mir Fateh Ullah Shirazi as the head of the madrasah.(2)
'Abdul Jabbar Malkapuri, Mahbub-i-Watan, (Hyderabad, 1328 A.H.) Vol. I, p. 96
Madrasah 'Alviya was also in Bijapur. It was established during the reign of Ibrahim 'Adil Shah I by Qazi 'Ali bin Asad Ullah who had been conferred the title of the "Teacher of the saints."
Madrasah Bijapur was one of the premier institutions of Bijapur, built by Muhammad 'Adil Shah, providing higher education. Scholars of Traditions and Islamic Jurisprudence were appointed by the King who had also ordered that all students of the madrasah should be provided food from the imperial kitchen and given one hun per month for pocket expenses. The students were also provided with books, free of cost, out of the imperial library. Muhammad 'Adil Shah also made arrangements for the education of students in the great mosque of the city by appointing teachers at handsome remuneration for the purpose.(4)
4.Ibrahim Zubairi, Basatin-us-Salatin, (Hyderabad, N.D.) p. 351.
Madrasah Hyderabad. It was built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah at Hyderabad in 1596. The magnificent building of the madrasah had four towering minarets on its four sides with a big cupola in the middle, beneath which was a tank connected by canals in which danced numerous fountains. Being a residential college it also had rooms for the lodging of students who were granted stipends out of the State treasury.(1) The building of the madrasah which still exists is known as Char Minar.
Hadiqt-ul-Alam, Vol. I, p. 217.
Madrasah Hayat Nagar. It was also a big educational centre founded by Hayat-un-Nisa, mother of 'Abdullah Qutb Shah at Hayat Nagar near Ibrahim Patan. The monthly expenditure on the madrasah, met by Hayat-un-Nisa, is reported to be 200 huns. The institution is stated to have existed during the reign of Abul Hasan Tana Shah.(2)
Mahbood-i-Watan, Vol. I,p.97.
Madrasah Golconda was built by Muhammad bin Khatoon Ameli under the orders of 'Abdullah Qutb Shah. Located outside Golconda fort, the trust created for its maintenance had an annual income of one thousand huns. This Madrasah, too, existed during the time of Abul Hasan Tana Shah.(3)
Ibid, Vol. I, p.98.
Madrasah Aurangabad. The madrasah was established at Moghul Pura in Aurangabad city in 1735 by Nawab Muhammad Ghiyath Khan, a grandee of the court of Asaf Jah I.(4)
Samsam-ud-Daula Shah Nawaz Khan, Ma'athar-ul-Umra, (Calcutta, 1888) Vol. III, p. 770.
Madrasah Madras was a big educational institution founded by Nawab Muhammad 'Ali Khan. The madrasah had the privilege of having on its staff several scholars of out-standing caliber, such as, 'Allama Bahr-ul-Uloom 'Abdul 'Ali bin Nizamuddin of Lucknow, Maulana 'Alauddin, Maulana Abdul Wajid and Maulana Jamaluddin.
A large number of students graduated out of its portals, of which several were high-ranking scholars.
Sayyid Abdul Hai, India During Muslim Rule