What were the Main Characteristics of Muslim Education in India?

During the Muslim period, education developed so slowly that no notable characteristic of it ever emerged. Minor rulers had educational institutions established for the satisfaction of their interests. However, the following features can be noted:

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1. Encouragement by the State


Muslim rulers took an interest in education, and so they provided aid to Maktabs and madrassas. There were granted jagirs or landed property. Scholars were given places of eminence in the courts of kings. The rulers started giving aid to madrassas and Maktabs being run in or along with mosques. Hence, their propagation of education was communal.

2. Religious Influence

The education of this period was profoundly influenced by Islam. Every Muslim sought education for the purpose of searching for knowledge and for religious purposes there is direct evidence of the influence of Islam on the education of this period. Students were required to memorise the Koran. Importance was attached to study of Islam. This religious influence upon education was positive proof of the communal attitude of Muslim rulers.

3. Arabic and Persian


During this period, special stress was laid on the teaching of Arabic and Persian, which were made the media of education by Muslim rulers. Knowledge of these two languages was essential for securing employment in government offices consequently; Hindus too began to learn Arabic and Persian.

4. Materialism

Muslim education sought the spread of education only from the practical and materialistic viewpoints. Education in manual skills-, sculpture, agriculture, medicine, etc., is Proof of this.

In addition to religious education, teachers tried to ensure that after receiving education, the child should become capable of earning his livelihood. Consequently, knowledge of military science, Painting, sculpture, housing construction, manufacture of weapons,

Was also imparted knowledge of such subjects was given to students directly and individually by experts through a system of Apprenticeship.

5. Emergence of Urdu

The evolution of the new language ‘Urdu’ which emerged from the inter-mixing of Arabic and Persian is the greatest contribution of the Mughal period. The importance that this language enjoys today is due entirely to the Muslim period.

6. Development of History-Writing

By initiating the writing of the history of their period, Muslim rulers helped to develop the art of writing history. Both Mughal and Muslim rulers commissioned the writing of the histories of their period or reigns among the most famous of these are Babar Nama, Akbar Nama, etc.

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