Thread: Maktab/Islamic supplementary school Teacher training handbook.

My Muslim Uni professor once commented on early Muslim works relating to education as being an example of what we would today refer to as self help/training manuals for teachers. #education #IsEd #teacher

UK Muslim communities give great importance to the maktab/Islamic supplementary school system. The maktab provides an authentic, confessional religious & spiritual ed. to Muslim children. Since the 1st wave of Muslim migrants, mainly of South Asian origin, maktabs have increased
Many maktabs have managed to adapt to local needs. Work has been done on implementing and maintaining teaching/learning standards, updating curriculum and revising syllabus. However many are still playing catch up and are not lead by qualified and experienced leaders/teachers.
Furthermore, to my knowledge, structured, research driven, evidence based training courses or training manuals for those aspiring to be maktab teachers are non-existent. There seems to be an assumption that anyone can be a maktab teacher. As long as they know the content.
So a trad Darul Uloom/Islamic seminary graduate is seen as qualified to be a maktab teacher. They have extensive knowledge of Islam. But is that enough to be a maktab teacher? Should maktab SMT’s start looking into developing a QMTS qualification?
This is 1 of many trainee teacher handbooks for aspiring teachers in the mainstream. I’m sure maktab SMT’s value such training; what would a maktab trainee teacher handbook look like? Which discussions, ideas and theories are imp for a QMT? Or is having the knowledge sufficient?
I hope SMT’s at maktabs will collaborate with experienced Muslim educationists who understand the maktab system, maybe with Darul Ulooms too, and direct attention to fill this gap. To start work on a ‘trainee maktab teacher’s hand book’ and training courses that lead to a QMTS.
Someone may have knowledge of Islam but without any educational know how, training or expertise, how competent and effective will they be as a teacher? For those of us who are in maktab management, leadership or teaching what content would you say needs to be covered?
The Islamic scholarly tradition of ‘handbooks’ can be revived collaboratively. Let’s go back to the content of the handbook to give us ideas of discussions, theories and content for trainee maktab teachers...
On learning to teach:
1. What is Ilm?
2. The virtues of teaching & learning
3. The deeni dunyawi binary?
4. The history of UK maktabs
5. Why do you want to teach at a maktab? Quran literacy, Islamic studies or both?
6. Planning your journey through maktab training
7. Working with/shadowing a mentor
8. Reflective practice
9. Feedback & development
10. Potential challenges to teaching
11. Resilience...

What about teaching practice? That’s where discussions around ‘What do maktab teachers do?’ can take place...
1. The key aspects of the maktab teachers role
2. What is teaching and what are teacher competencies?
3. Pedagogy: Planning lessons, creating resources, being inclusive, classroom management, checking progress & assessment, pastoral support.
This can then be followed up with a part discussing maktab teacher CPD, because as teachers we should never stop reflecting on our practice and continue learning and benefiting from new research.
Working on such a project will help to improve the quality of maktab education, enhance teacher skills, raise classroom standards, facilitate for varied ability students and really drive for a much needed renewal in maktab teaching and learning.
This no doubt requires substantial financial and human resources, research, discussions, planning, time, sincerity, dua. Most of all, to recognise and acknowledge the need for well thought, structured maktab teacher training resources and programmes and not take it for granted.
I believe if we start to review the foundation and the core function of the maktab, which is the teaching and learning, we will make great progress in meeting the religious and spiritual needs of Muslim children in the UK.
Yes, maktabs are facilitating training for their teachers, however this is at times ad hoc, met with resistance from ‘teachers’, not delivered by experts in both Islamic subjects and education fields, theory centric, resources are not organic and there is little to no mentoring.
I hope this post inspires work on this project. May Allah Almighty bless & preserve all the efforts of Deen, may He facilitate it through us whilst we are informed by the trad but apply it effectively, in accordance with current needs & meeting new challenges.
والله ولي التوفيق
This thread was inspired by classroom discussions with my fellows (Darul Uloom grads working as Imams, maktab leaders, Is HE teachers etc) whilst studying at Warwick and led by my teacher, Professor Dr. Abdullah Sahin @WarwickIESS

More from Religion

Rig Ved 1.36.7

To do a Namaskaar or bow before someone means that you are humble or without pride and ego. This means that we politely bow before you since you are better than me. Pranipaat(प्राणीपात) also means the same that we respect you without any vanity.


Surrendering False pride is Namaskaar. Even in devotion or bhakti we say the same thing. We want to convey to Ishwar that we have nothing to offer but we leave all our pride and offer you ourselves without any pride in our body. You destroy all our evil karma.


We bow before you so that you assimilate us and make us that capable. Destruction of our evils and surrender is Namaskaar. Therefore we pray same thing before and after any big rituals.


तं घे॑मि॒त्था न॑म॒स्विन॒ उप॑ स्व॒राज॑मासते ।
होत्रा॑भिर॒ग्निं मनु॑षः॒ समिं॑धते तिति॒र्वांसो॒ अति॒ स्रिधः॑॥

Translation :

नमस्विनः - To bow.

स्वराजम् - Self illuminating.

तम् - His.

घ ईम् - Yours.

इत्था - This way.

उप - Upaasana.

आसते - To do.

स्त्रिधः - For enemies.


अति तितिर्वांसः - To defeat fast.

मनुषः - Yajman.

होत्राभिः - In seven numbers.

अग्निम् - Agnidev.

समिन्धते - Illuminated on all sides.

Explanation : Yajmans bow(do Namaskaar) before self illuminating Agnidev by making the offerings of Havi.

#BookExcerpts #Venkateshwara #Balaji

I will write a 3 part thread series with some interesting points from this book.

Part-1 : History of Tirumala & Venkateshwara Swamy
Part-2: Rituals & Prasada Procedure
Part-3: Historical records

Part-1 thread below


Venkatachala Hill

Maha Vishnu wished for the mountain Krida / Krida Parvatham / Kridhachalam from Vaikunta to be brought to the earth for his avataram.

This was brought to earth by Garuda and Ananta & placed it on banks of river Swarna Mukhi


This is where current Tirumala temple is located. The fact that this was transported from Vaikunta is apparently a scientifically proven fact.

The scientific dating of the sedimentary rocks have confirmed the date to be around 120 million years ago..


This timeline coincides with Swayambhu Manu manvanthara of the Sweta Varaha Kalpa which is the time when Swamy descended on earth in the form of Venkateshwara Swamy.

From a survey of flora and fauna, they have found rare species of plants & animals like golden gecko..


that are exclusive to this hill range only and not found anywhere else in the world.

Tirumala hills are a range of 7 hills
1. Seshachala
2. Vedachala
3. Garudachala
4. Anjanachala
5. Vrishabhachala
6. Narayanachala
7. Venkatachala --> Where temple is present

Knowledge & Bharat : Part V

The Curriculum of Vedic Education :
According to the Ancient Indian theory of education, the training of the mind & the process of thinking, are essential for the acquisition of knowledge.


Vedic Education System delivered outstanding results.  These were an outcome of the context in which it functioned.  Understanding them is critical in the revival of such a system in modern times. 
The Shanthi Mantra spells out the context of the Vedic Education System.

It says:

ॐ सह नाववतु ।
सह नौ भुनक्तु ।
सह वीर्यं करवावहै ।
तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

“Aum. May we both (the guru and disciples) together be protected. May we both be nourished and enriched. May we both bring our hands together and work

with great energy, strength and enthusiasm from the space of powerfulness. May our study and learning together illuminate both with a sharp, absolute light of higher intelligence. So be it.”

The students started the recitation of the Vedic hymns in early hours of morning.

The chanting of Mantras had been evolved into the form of a fine art. Special attention was paid to the correct pronunciation of words, Pada or even letters. The Vedic knowledge was imparted by the Guru or the teacher to the pupil through regulated and prescribed pronunciation,

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