Dehradun | The story of Lord Ram will be made a part of the new syllabus for madrasas affiliated to the Uttarakhand Waqf Board from the session starting in March, its Chairman Shadab Shams said on Thursday.
The story of Lord Ram's life will be taught to madrasa students alongside that of Prophet Mohammad, he said.
Seasoned Muslim clerics have also approved the move, Shams, who is also a BJP leader, said, adding the values represented by Shri Ram are worth being followed by all, irrespective of their religion or faith.
There are 117 madrasas under the waqf board and the said modern syllabus will initially be introduced in the madrasas in Dehradun, Haridwar, Udham Singh Nagar and Nainital districts, he said.
"The study of Shri Ram will be introduced in the Madrasas affiliated to the Waqf Board as part of our madrasa modernisation programme from March this year," Shams told PTI.
"Someone who gave up the throne and went to the forest to help his father keep a commitment! Who wouldn't want to have a son like Shri Ram," Shams said.
Quoting 20th century Muslim Philosopher Allama Iqbal, Shams said, "Hai Ram ke wajood pe Hindostan ko Naaz, Ahle nazar samjhte hain unko Imam-e-Hind (Hindustan is proud of the existence of Lord Ram, people consider him as the leader of the Hind).
Lord Lakshman and Goddess Sita who followed Lord Ram to the forest leaving behind the comforts of the kingdom were also highly inspiring, Shams said.
"Who else deserves to be taught to children if not Shri Ram. Shall we tell them the story of a king who imprisoned his own father and beheaded his own brothers?" Shams said, apparently referring to Mughal ruler Aurangzeb without naming him.
"We are not Arabs, Mongols or Afghans. We are Hindi (of Hind) Muslims. We will teach our children about our own cultural icons who can instill high moral values in them," he said.
When asked what if the move is opposed by members of his community, he said he was not afraid. "If I was afraid of opposition, I would not have been in the BJP despite being a Muslim. I am ready to bow to the weakest if they are right and not afraid of standing against the wrong, howsoever powerful they might be.".
A modernised syllabus based on the Uttarakhand education board guidelines will be introduced in the madrasas affiliated to the Uttarakhand Waqf Board from March, he said.
NCERT books will be introduced in madarasas too, he said.