Kozhikode: Whenever there is mention of Kerala madrassas in the news, there is talk of radical thinking. However, T. Shahid, who studied in the madarsas has proved that Muslim religious educational institute can contribute to civil servants also.
Shahid, a former madrasa teacher never got a chance to study in mainstream school but has proved that tenacity eventually triumphs.
28-year-old Shahid, a resident of Thiruvallur village in Kozhikode district, has cracked the UPSC civil services examination in his sixth attempt and got 693th position.
His father Abdul Rehman Musaliyar is a madarasa teacher and mother Sulekha is a homemaker. Shahid told The Indian Express that he was forced to study at a Muslim religious educational institute run by an orphanage in Kappi Kozhikode, because when he was 10, there was a financial crisis in the house but he never became frustrated.
Shahid achieved the religious degree ‘Hasni’ after 12 years of religious education and became a seminary teacher. During the studies of Hasni, he completed his 10th and 12th grade studies and achieved English degree through distance learning.
“From 2010 to 2012, I worked as a madrassa teacher in Kannur for Rs 6,000,” Shahid said.
After completing a degree in English in 2012, for some time, he worked in the Malayalam Daily Chandrika, managed by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and during this time his attitude towards life changed.
“I started reading about general issues. The 12-year life at the Islamic institute had made my perspective narrow. But working as a journalist made me look at the world outside.”
During this time, he felt that instead of becoming a religious scholar, he should also try to make a career in other fields. Shahid chose Malayalam literature as an alternative subject in UPSC said that Coaching classes sponsored by IUML’s students’ wing MSF in Delhi helped further broaden his mind.
“Those coaching days gave me a lot of exposure, which the madrasa teacher in me never got,” he said.
Passing the UPSC exams was one way of telling the society that terrorists do not come out from the madarsa, which was considered as breeding ground of terrorism, Shahid said.
He said that in Kerala, madarsas can also contribute to civil services.
“There may be stray issues or controversies, but madrasas in Kerala can contribute civil servants also,’’ he said.